Gatorland is a must-see attraction; no doubt about it! Our family has visited many times over the years and love it! What makes Gatorland unique, of course, are the residents! I'm not talking just gators, although, there are plenty of them, but the beautiful Florida waterfowl that call Gatorland home.
The boardwalk, which hugs the edge of the breeding marsh, is the perfect place for gator and bird watching. Now, I'm not normally a bird watcher, but you can't help be in awe of these beautiful birds! A perfect place to stop and take in a "bird's-eye-view" of the area is the Observation Tower located on the boardwalk.
For the ultimate view, if you keep your eyes open, is from the thrilling Screamin' Gator Zip Line! This was my first zip line experience and except for that "first step" off the 70 ft. platform, it wasn't so bad! Actually, it is rated one of the top 10 zip lines in Florida! I would definitely do it again, in fact, already have!
A trip to Gatorland is not complete until you see the Gator Jumparoo Show and the Gator Wrestlin' Show! Two classics that never get old!
The gators are mesmerizing to watch, especially the big ones! Sometimes they look like they have this smirk on their face/snout, other times a toothy grin and other times a "I think I'm full look"! I don't know which look is the "I'm extremely hungry so you'd better get out of my way look" so it is best to keep a safe distance. That is, of course, if you are brave enough to experience the Adventure Hour Tour. On this adventure, you get to go behind-the-scenes to feed the gators in the breeding marsh and also have your picture taken with them stalking you from behind! There is always a gator wrangler with you, so no worries!
Funny story: when the kids were 10 - 15 years old, we headed over to Gatorland for a field trip. After we received our tickets and park information we stepped aside to make our plan. With our admission tickets, were 20 smaller tickets that said hot dogs. I got to thinking about them and I guess I had a puzzled look on my face because one of the kids asked what was wrong. I say, with all my mommy smarts working overtime, "this is nice for them to give us hot dogs, but I don't think we can eat 20"! There was a collective groan from the peanut gallery with one of them being so bold as to reply, "um, I think those are for the gators!" Ok, then, moving along! So, don't forget to buy some hot dogs to feed the gators - it's fun! Oh, and if you get hungry, stop by the snack bar, not the gator food hut!
The Adventure Hour experience takes you on a behind - the -scenes tour of the alligator breeding marsh to get up-close to some of the biggest alligators around. Part of the experience is the opportunity to feed these creatures! As you can see by the photo evidence, our daughter offered up her husband to go first!
What We Enjoyed!
Nothing holds a child's attention quite like their favorite Legos! Imagine the family fun you will enjoy, as you experience the ultimate Lego adventure that is, Legoland Florida! With our first visit to Legoland just around the corner, I was excited that the grands would be here visiting. I knew they would just love the place and they did! Although there was so much to see and do, with a lot of rides and interactive exhibits for both the girls to enjoy, I think they were just below the age for optimum engagement of everything in the park. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty, I mean plenty of things to enjoy with them! When little ones are exhausted and just can't do one more thing, it has been an extraordinary day!
Who would have thought that a 3 year could drive? She loved taking control and experience this pint-sized driving school, located in Lego City, for herself!
Little bit was not old enough to take to the open road at the Ford Jr. Driving School in Lego City, but she had fun pretending, in this kid-size Lego car!
Fun ride on the Duplo Tractor train, with mom, in Duplo Valley. The Duplo dog has definitely caught the attention of the littlest grand!
I just couldn't resist! Life imitating art!
First roller coaster ride for the three year old. That's her and her mom in the front car with their arms in the air! Oh what fun!
The coolest attraction was the new Lego Ninjago The Ride, in Lego Ninjago World. Little bit and I didn't wear the 3-D glasses but we all enjoyed the action! This is definitely a must-see attraction!
Entering Lego Ninjago World!
What We Enjoyed!
It's date night, and the pre-planning conversation goes something like this; "what do you want to do honey", oh, "I don't care, what do you want to do? What are you thinking? What do you feel like eating?". Anyone else have the same conversation?
Fortunately, we live in Central Florida where there is no shortage of things to do and places to eat!
One of my favorite places to go, for a date night with the hubs, is Disney Springs. Craving a burger, we head over to D-Luxe Burger located in Town Center.
We did pass by the Disney Food Trucks in Exposition Park, which started me to rethink the burger choice but decided to save that option for next time, because you know, there will be a next time!
When we arrived at D-Luxe, it was obvious that we weren't the only ones looking to enjoy a great burger! I don't know about you, but sometimes the best part of the "whole line
experience" is finding out where your line mates are visiting from.
Our "new" line friends were visiting from Michigan; a sweet, young family with three little ones. The mom was trying to get the attention of others, in the back of the line, so she could order for them. I told her it would be fine for them to join her in line, we didn't mind.
By the time her party was all together, she was organizing her three adult sisters, and their husbands, with each family unit having 3 or 4 kids and then their mom. Oh boy, what a time they were having!
Striking up a conversation, I learned they have spent five days at Walt Disney World and are now getting ready for a 7 day cruise! I was exhausted just listening! Love their spirit of adventure!
Stepping up to order, we noticed that D-Luxe has added a new menu option; Duo meals! There are three to choose from but you will have to ask for them. The information is on the scrolling monitors in the queue line, not on the posted menu overhead.
We opted for the Duo Premium, which included the classic cheeseburger and then a choice of any other burger, a fry to share and two drinks. Price wise, it works out to getting your drinks for free! Who doesn't love a deal?
Of course the burgers are wonderful, but I love the whole theme and "history" of the restaurant; cozy, with a "sitting on your southern porch kind of a feel"!
Speaking of porches, a serendipitous moment presented itself as we were leaving the restaurant. We snag a couple of rocking chairs on the back porch of the Town Center Guest Relations building, propped our feet up and spent time listening to the group Right-On-Key, while enjoying the beautiful weather and gorgeous sunset!
With a cooler temperature and a light breeze, it was the perfect evening to stroll through Disney Springs - you never know what you might see!
A must-stop for me, each time I go, is the Marketplace Co-Op. The Co-Op always has something new; they like to switch things up in there! This particular night, their new store, The Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane was having its grand opening. This is a delightful shop that features dresses perfect for Dapper Days! All the dresses are made out of fabrics that are Disney inspired! Each dress has its own set of accessories - so adorable!
For those who do not know, Dapper Days is an unofficial event held twice a year at both WDW and Disneyland. Guests dress up in their finest classic vintage outfits, usually reminiscent of the 1940's - 1950's! Justin J, the creator of Dapper Day, was on hand for a meet and greet!
Disney Springs never disappoints; date night was a success! Except, what happened to the dessert portion of the night? Sprinkles? Amorette's Patisserie? Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC? Ghrardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop? Vivoli il Gelato? That will just have to wait until next time!
What We Enjoyed!
A Florida Adventure is taking on Florida, one amazing attraction and destination at a time! Follow on instagram @AFlorida