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“Not as fun as it sounds”
Review of Gator Park

Gator Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Come visit us deep in the Everglades! At Gator Park you will see all sorts of wildlife as you take an Airboat Ride into the Everglades National Park!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Not as fun as it sounds”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

I was recommended to take one of the Everglades tours and as I was travelling by myself this time, a private tour was too expensive so I had to find a cheaper option. Booking it through America Tours in the lobby of the Carlton hotel on Collins as I happened to walk by, the low price meant my expectations were similarly low, and I wasn't surprised.

The pickup was 15 minutes late and the first thing you see in the bus is a sign reminding you to tip the driver. His brief intro included a few mentions of the other tours on sale, and a verbal reminder that tips are appreciated! It was a 40 minute drive from South Beach and we were on our boat within 15 minutes of our arrival. The boat trip lasted about 30 minutes and although our guide/driver was friendly and informative, we didn't see much wildlife - nothing the guide can do about that!

We then went straight into the gator wrestling show which I didn't enjoy at all but others seemed mildy entertained. Luckily it was over in ten minutes and then we had a free hour so you could buy lunch or souvenirs.

On the return trip the driver again told us to tip him so of course I didn't. I probably would've enjoyed it more if we'd seen some gators but the rest of the trip was just too annoying.

Visited February 2013
Thank Bergkamp9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dunbar, West Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Go In Morning”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We visited this park before 10 am and thanks to an internet coupon got one ticket free. Also did not have to wait for the airboat ride -- was one of the first to go. Had a friendly guide who showed us whatever he could find-- gators, turtles, fish. The show back at the park was OK -- saw gators and a scorpion up close. Also say a bunch of ducks and birds running around the area.

As we were leaving (takes about 2 hours) we saw people from buses lining up for everything. It was also very hot. Our advice is -- drive if you can and get there early (they open at 9). It will be cooler, less wait and more enjoyment.

Visited February 2013
Thank Margaret P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
265 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“Great once in a lifetime experience!”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

No trip to the Florida Everglades would be complete without a trip on an airboat. These flat-bottomed boats are powered through the marshes by an enormous fan - one that makes so much noise earplugs are provided! We got front row seat views of gators, turtles, birds and beautiful flowers as we zipped along. Our guide stopped and jumped out into the water - black ooze engulfed his legs! (no thank you) while he told us a bit about the area and the plant and animal life. The trip lasted about 30-40 minutes and on the way back we got to see a gator nest with lots of babies in it. ick! Back on dry land we got to see a mini gator wrestling by a guide who risked fingers by placing his hand in the creature's mouth then invited guests hold a smaller gator (thankfully with its mouth taped up!) for photos. My husband held it and kissed it while I kept my distance. However, I couldn't help feeling its skin and was quite surprised how maleable it was as it looks like black armour. Also got to see a scorpion the size of my hand! And a tarantula. Kids would love this trip. Although my husband and i had already seen heaps of gators on the Anhinga Walk on the other side of the park and there weren't that many crawling around on the ride, the guests ont he boat who'd never seen any gators were very impressed by the site. I think any of the airboat rides lined up along Shark Alley in highway 41 would offer a similar experience. i don't know if any othr let you hold and living breathing gator!

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Aussiewriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth the cost”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Took a half day from our very excellent week in the top of the Florida Keys and headed up to Gator Park. We opted for the popular airboat ride followed by a wildlife show, both were very entertaining, and informative. Our airboat pilot obviously loved his job, he went out of his way to entertain as well as educate us about things that live in the Everglades. We were taken on a fairly short loop which started down a long canal with enough water in it that you could easily see many kinds of fresh water fish swimming about. It was not long before encountering the first alligator, a local regular he referred to as "scar head" followed by a close encounter by an American Egret who was waiting for our boat to spook a fish to him, which promptly happened as he deftly stabbed it with his long beak and choked it down in about three jerks. We then got a taste of the grassy portion of the Everglades where our guide quickly jumped down from his perch and into the swamp to show us the shallow depth of the clean slow moving water of the unique to the Everglades. We saw a big colored slider turtle, a nest of juvenile alligators, another small gator looking for fish under the water, various plants and blossoms and finally another close look at Scar Head for a last chance for a good touristy picture. It was worth our time, drive, and diversion from all the fun we were having down in Islamorada.

Visited February 2013
Thank JJ55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“so much fun!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Had an amazing time can't wait to go back! such a great experience! Got to see a few Gators and other animals.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank maroosha614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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