Orlando Attractions Update – One of Orlando oldest attractions Gatorland has teamed up with a much younger upstart attraction Fun Spot America to create “Gator Spot,” a new, million-dollar reptile oasis just north of the Orlando Eye on I-Drive.
With a ribbon “chomping” ceremony the 15,000-square-foot Gator Spot opened its doors to the public.
“There’s lots to do here,” said Gatorland CEO Mark McHugh. “With all of our alligators here, you can actually hold an alligator and get your picture taken with it.”
The first 500 guests Monday got into Gator Spot for free. The attraction’s $6 admission is not included with regular admission into Fun Spot, but it does put guests pretty close to some toothy grins.
Gator Spot’s resident reptiles include a 13-foot gator named Harvey and a rare, leucistic white alligator named Bouya, one of only 12 of its kind on the planet.
“Very different from the albinos, very beautiful white alligator. In fact, he has blue eyes,” McHugh explained. “Cajun folklore says good fortune comes to those who stare into the blue eyes of a white alligator.”
The scary part is, he’s looking back.
The recent development along I-Drive, including Gator Spot and the Orlando Eye, is a sign of record tourism numbers. According to Visit Orlando, 62 million visitors came to Orlando in 2014 alone.
“Orlando is the most visited destination in the world, and continuing to open new and unique exhibits, attractions and events are part of that equation,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Monday at the Gator Spot grand opening.
That’s something Gatorland and Fun Spot hope will get people chomping at the bits to see some of their gators in person.
Rep. Dan Webster was also on hand for the Gator Spot grand opening Monday, and stopped to take this #jawsome photo.
About 100 alligators call the new Gator Spot home on I-Drive.
We even got to hold this baby alligator at the Gator Spot grand opening.
The first 500 visitors got into Gator Spot for free Monday.