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Amusement Parks: Gatorland – a Potted History


Gatorland is an amusement park located in Orlando, Florida.

The amusement park was created by Owen Godwin and dates back to 1949 and it is still owned by the Godwin family today. It has been billed as the “alligator capital of the world” and features thousands of alligators and crocodiles as well as other ‘dangerous’ species such as lizards and pythons. 

The amusement park gives you the opportunity to observe the reptiles breeding in their own marsh from an observation tower perched above it and there are also several educational programs in which you can learn more about these fascinating creatures. There is also a petting zoo and an aviary at the amusement park as well and one of the most popular shows is the alligator wrestling where you get to choose the alligator the expert is going to wrestle with.

The amusement park suffered a tragedy in 2006 when a fire caught hold which killed a crocodile and two pythons as well as destroying the gift shop and several of its walkways. Several buildings were also damaged at the amusement park as a result of the fire and these were rebuilt which led to the main entrance being redesigned in the form of an alligator’s mouth through which you now walk to enter the amusement park.

As well as the alligator wrestling, there are plenty of other things to keep you amused at the amusement park. You can watch both the alligators and crocodiles jump for their food at feeding time but the amusement park is not simply about dangerous reptiles.

Allie’s Barnyard features a lot of friendly animals such as Gracie the goat who will come and feed straight from your hand and a friendly (and talkative) macaw called Harley who might even talk back to you. The amusement park also has its Very Merry Aviary which features colourful parrots called ‘lorikeets’ which originate from the islands of the western Pacific and East Indies.

See also:
Amusement Parks: Epcot – a Potted History 
Amusement Parks: Disney Quest – a Potted History 
Amusement Parks: Discovery Cove – a Potted History 
Amusement Parks – Lion Country Safari – a Potted History

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