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We are so lucky to be able to visit Orlando Florida often! My cousin lives there, and her kids are around the same age as mine. They adore each other and we love exploring Orlando together. In the past, we all visited Legoland Florida (twice), Chef Mickey Brunch, the Orlando Eye, Aquatica and the Orlando Crayola Experience. So when planning this recent Florida trip, we were trying to think of something unique to do. My cousin suggested we try an Everglades Airboat Tour and I knew this was something my kids would love! We spent the day with Wild Florida and I am so excited to share my everglades airboat tour and gatorpark review with you!
Momma To Go would like to thank Wild Florida for hosting us at a discounted rate! As always opinions are all my own.
Everglades Airboat Tour
Wild Florida boasts being “in the middle of nowhere” but really, Wild Florida is only 45 minutes from the Orlando theme parks (and 30 minutes south of where we stay in Lake Nona). But at Wild Florida, you will feel like you are worlds away from the craziness of the amusement parks.
Wild Florida offers the opportunity to ride an airboat into a Florida swamp, and to pay a visit to the gator and Wildlife Park.
For our visit I booked a one-hour airboat tour at 12:45 on a Monday. We arrived around 12:15, paid, and then waited in the little holding area for our tour to be called. Our party of six was scheduled to ride with Captain Todd on an airboat that seats about 15 people.
The folks from Wild Florida will call your party up and help get you situated on your boat. Kids 5 and under are required to wear life vests and those are provided. Each guest can wear the noise canceling headphones, although it is not required (I wore them).
For the next hour, you will ride through the lake/swamp! We had such a beautiful day, I love being out on the water.
We cruised around a bit, then Captain Todd stopped in several spots to point out various wildlife and talked to us about what we were seeing. We saw different birds, frogs and of course, gators! We saw both baby ones and full on big gators. They were just swimming around, it was crazy how close you could get!
The hour did seem to go fast, but we saw so much, I would definitely recommend the hour-long tour over the other ½ hour option.
After our everglades airboat tour, we stopped for some snacks at the concession stand, The Chomp House Grille. The kids had slushies and ice cream, and we sat and relaxed for a bit. There was also a food truck on site, serving po’boys and funnel cake, including gator po’boys! You can also bring your own food and picnic at Wild Florida.
After our snack, we headed to the Gator and Wildlife Park. I was surprised at how much there was to see here. We definitely did not budget enough time to see all the exhibits! Admission to the Gator and Wildlife Park was included in the price of our airboat tour ticket. (Little cones of feed in the petting zoo cost a few dollars extra).
We spent over an hour walking around the Wildlife Park. Highlights included seeing more gators, the albino alligator, feeding the goats and the tortoise in the petting zoo, and of course a trip to the playground. We also saw a panther, lemurs, many exotic birds, an alpaca and some more animals that I honestly can’t even remember. We also walked through a cypress tree forest, which I thought was really neat.
With the boat tour, a snack stop and the Gator Wildlife park visit, we spent about 4 hours at Wild Florida. The kids loved it, as did the grown ups! We had a great day and were glad we chose this as our Orlando activity!
Here are some tips to help you plan your best visit:
- Call ahead to make reservations. Around 2pm I overheard someone arriving at Wild Florida and being told the next available boat tour was at 6pm!
- For the boat tour wear sunscreen, sunglasses, although we kept our hats in the car. I was too afraid they were going to blow away! BUT we were sitting in the sun for an hour, so you don’t want to get sunburn!
- You can pack a picnic, or pick up lunch/snacks at the The Chomp House Grille. Items were very reasonably priced. I would suggest packing extra water and drinks… the Florida heat will make you very thirsty!
- Parking is free, and the lot is close by. You can keep your snack and cooler in the car and check back when you need to refuel.
- There is no minimum age for the boat tour.
- Want to save money on your Wild Florida visit? Book your tour tickets here!
I love visiting Orlando and we had such a great day at Wild Florida. Have you been on an everglades airboat tour? Have you seen an alligator up close? What are your favorite Orlando activities?
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Many photos courtesy of the EventMarketingMaven
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