Orlando is one of the world’s entertainment capitals — especially for family activities. Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios may be the big draws, but hidden gems like Wild Florida are also scattered throughout the area.
A Wild Retreat in the Middle of the Sunshine State
If you thought the only place to go on safari was Africa, think again! Right outside of Orlando sits Wild Florida, a must-see attraction for any animal lover.
Airboats are an iconic symbol of life in the Everglades. The flat-bottom vessels with giant propeller fans safely carry guests through the backwaters of the park, where hundreds of native and exotic animals have made their home. Mainly used in the swamps and wetlands of the southeastern United States, airboat rides are a unique experience that gives you a front-row seat to the Sunshine State’s swampy wildlife.
Sure, Botswana may be the best place in the world to go on safari, but if you don’t want to schlep all the way to southern Africa, the park’s safari may be the perfect alternative. Over 100 exotic and native animals roam freely on 85 acres. Giraffes, zebras, eland antelopes, scimitar oryxes, American bison, mouflon sheep, and more all live on the reserve.
Guests drive their cars through the safari, but convertibles and soft-top vehicles are not allowed.
Do you want to get up close and personal with an alligator? Or maybe petting a sloth is your thing. Either way, it can all happen at the facility’s Alligator Park, where guests watch shows choreographed by the handlers. In some cases, audience members can touch certain animals under supervision.
More than just alligators — although there are lots of those too — the park is home to red-ruffed lemurs, two-toed sloths, African crested porcupines, and Australian wallabies.
In addition to feeding shows, the park also facilitates up-close-and-personal experiences with certain species at the park. Guests can cuddle up with a sloth at the VIP Sloth Encounter or spend some time in the presence of majestic long-necks at the Giraffe Painting Experience. The more adventurous can book tickets for the Gator Encounter, which pairs groups with a trained handler for a tour behind the scenes of the monster reptile show.
Special Rates and Shows for Florida Residents
The park welcomes guests from around the world — but the owners also take care of their own. As such, state residents enjoy discounted rates and special showings.
The park supports animal education and conservation initiatives, and they’re passionate about promoting and preserving prehistoric Florida. So if you’re in search of things to do around Orlando, consider heading to Wild Florida!