Alligators are so commonplace for Floridians. When most people visit Orlando, they want to see alligators in a safe and controlled setting. The state of Florida has over a million alligators and many of these are in Orlando. Finding ways to see them safely is easier than you might think! Here are some places to see alligators in Orlando.
Where Can I See Alligators in Orlando?
What Orlando Attractions Have Alligators?
Gatorland Florida is home to over 2,000 alligators. This attraction will offer multiple opportunities to see and interact with alligators in a safe way. With alligators of all ages from babies to very large adults, you can see a large variety of alligators. Thrill-seekers can even zip line over an alligator enclosure. Here are a few experiences you can have at Gatorland Florida.
- Screamin Gator Zipline – Zipline over a live alligator enclosure and see alligators from above as you zip past them.
- Feed young alligators. – For a small fee, you can feed young alligators in their enclosure.
- Adventure Hour! – Take things up a notch and go inside an enclosure with over twenty large alligators. You will have the ability to throw food to alligators while getting up close and personal!
- Breeding Marsh – See 150 large alligators in a shallow area where you can see a large selection of alligators while walking along a safe bridge through the area.
- SO SO Much more! – With shows, train rides, alligator exhibits, and so much more, you are sure to see more than your fair share of alligators!
Wild Florida is a bit outside of Orlando and offers a unique alligator experience. Visit a hidden oasis at Wild Florida and see a variety of alligators in the wild and in captivity. Wild Florida offers other experiences as well but weaves alligator encounters throughout multiple portions of their park. Visit Wild Florida will be a bit further if you are staying near any of the Orlando attractions. Here are a few things you can see at Wild Florida.
- Airboat Tour – Travel out onto the lake on an airboat and see alligators in the wild. I highly recommend booking this experience for early morning as you will have a higher likelihood of seeing alligators than during the later portions of the day.
- Crusher Alligator Show – Watch as a worker at Wild Florida steps into the enclosure with Crusher a very large alligator. This is a great show to learn more about alligator behaviors and be taught a bit by a keeper.
- Gator Feeding Times – Take some time to watch large alligators as part of a feeding time with the keepers! You are sure to get a laugh out of this larger-than-life experience!
Read more about Wild Florida!
Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center has a collection of small alligators on loan to them for educational purposes. You can see an enclosure filled with young alligators. Ask any of the OSC staff for more information to learn about the alligators. Not only can you enjoy an immersive science museum, but you can also enjoy seeing alligators. Take the family for a day at the science center and stop in to see the alligators while you are there.
Fun Spot Gator Spot
Gatorland has loaned some alligators to Fun Spot Orlando’s Gator Spot. This area will let you enjoy a variety of alligators in a safe way. You can feed the alligators as well as seeing a variety of alligators. Fun Spot Orlando offers a variety of fair-themed rides as well as a go-kart course. Don’t miss this opportunity to see alligators near Universal Orlando.
Miniature Golf Courses
Many of the Orlando area miniature golf courses will have young alligators on loan. This will depend on the golf course. Some will offer alligator feeding opportunities. Others will only let you look at alligators while enjoying a miniature golf course. Check the website before visiting to find out which locations offer alligators as part of the course experience.
Where do I see wild alligators in Orlando?
Alligators are actually in MANY of Orlando’s lakes and ponds. Seeing alligators in the wild is completely possible and doesn’t have to include a visit to local attractions. You just have to know where to look and what to look for. There are a few lakes that are more known for alligators than others. Here are a few of them, though there are many more!
- Lake Monroe
- St. John’s River
- Lake Kissimmee
- Walking trails – Many of the Florida walking trails that go through the marshes and the water areas will have alligators you can see if you are looking carefully.
- Most bodies of water. – Many bodies of water in Florida have alligators in them. You simply have to know what you are looking for.
Tips for spotting alligators in the wild
When you are visiting Florida you will be able to see alligators in many bodies of water. Many people may not even realize they are looking right at an alligator. Alligators have habits that can hide them from the naked eye. There are a few tricks to spotting alligators that should help you out. Check out these tips for spotting alligators in the wild.
- Best to try in the morning. – As the day gets hotter alligators will move to the bottom of the body of water. It is cooler on the floor of the lake or body of water. During hotter parts of the day, they will only come up to get a breath of fresh air before going back to the bottom of the lake/body of water. If you hope to see alligators in the wild, the morning may be the better option for you.
- Watch the shores. – Along the shore, you can see alligators sunbathing as well as marks of where an alligator may have recently been on the shore. (Stay away from the shore as alligators can move quickly.)
- You won’t always see full bodies in the water. – When alligators are in the water, their bodies will mainly float underneath the surface. Depending on the depth of the water, you may only see their heads and small portions of their tails or body. The image above shows more of the alligator because the area is shallow.
How to be safe around alligators
There are many stories in the news about humans and animals having bad encounters with alligators. While these do happen, they do not happen as much as you might think. With only 24 fatal alligator attacks since 1974 (according to Florida Fish and Wildlife) it is not as common as you might expect. That said, there are some ways to make sure you are safe when going out to see alligators in Florida. Here are a few ways to protect yourself.
- Don’t feed alligators in the wild. – Not only will this teach alligators you are a food source, but it will also make that alligator more likely to attack in the future. Feeding alligators is unsafe for you and for others as well.
- Listen for hissing when close to bodies of water. – Alligators have a very distinct hissing sound they will make when you are in their habitat. This is a clear warning to back up and move somewhere else. You may not see them, but that hissing means they see you and want you to move elsewhere.
- What if they cross your path? – If you are out on a walking trail and an alligator crosses your path, the best thing you can do is stand still and wait for them to cross to where they are trying to go. This might mean you are camped out for a while if they decide that’s their place to sun themselves.
- Heed warning signs and barriers. – Warning signs and barriers are typically in place for a reason. Make sure to pay attention to warning signs that suggest not swimming, walking down a certain path, or avoiding certain areas. Alligators are extra aggressive during the breeding season and some paths will be closed off to accommodate this.