End of story--after dropping a gazillion dollars for full days at Universal and Discovery Cove, my 11- and 14-year-old both found Gatorland to be their favorite part of a long weekend trip to the Orlando area. The whole shooting match, including lunch, and a bunch of inexpensive add-ons to enhance the experience (c'mon...$1.00 for a seed stick to have the birds swarm you in the aviary?!) couldn't have been more than $150 for our family of four. All of the add-ons made for great photo ops. We didn't do the zip-line.
Gatorland has been there since the late 1940s, and I suspect little has changed about the facility in that time...the simple snack bar menu, "folksy" style of writing on the informational signs, on-the-spot cash handling for the add-ons, the corny jokes the handlers tell in the shows, etc. I'm pretty sure the only computers in use there are for the photo sales and ticket office. And for four hours, my kids had no desire to use their own handheld technology for use as anything other than a camera. Amazing.
The staff is knowledgeable and incredibly friendly--they genuinely love what they do and sharing it with you.
In addition to providing budget relief from the cost of the major attractions, we chose Gatorland because we had a limited amount of time on our day of departure--it fit perfectly in the four-hour window we had available. Try that at one of the majors and you'll use that time just getting from and back to your car. That afforded us plenty of time to see all three standard shows in their regular rotation and do a fair amount of exploring of the park, which includes a lot of non-gator exhibits.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.