Gatorland: Going Strong Since 1949

By: Gary McKechnie


Long before Walt Disney World opened, my family’s excursions were to places off the beaten path.

That meant we’d usually take drives to visit quiet places like Longwood’s Big Tree Park, Weeki Wachee, Rainbow Springs, and Silver Springs.

It’s nice to know that, on a stretch of 441 between Orlando and Kissimmee, one of my family’s first destinations, Gatorland, is still attracting tourists much as it did since it first opened in 1949; a time that preceded the interstates (as well as a time that preceded many of us).

There’s something refreshingly pleasing about visiting a place like Gatorland. Maybe it’s the connection with the past when we realize that what pleased our parents and grandparents still possesses the magic to please our children and grandchildren.

Over the years, the park has added more items of interest than is possible to include here, so try this: Visit Gatorland’s website and then, if you can, visit Gatorland. It’s a classic Florida attraction.

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