Gatorland#7 in Best Things To Do in Orlando-Walt Disney World
Let's face it: Orlando is not the place for a cheap getaway with the kiddies. But this 110-acre preserve of alligators, crocodiles, snakes, toads, turtles and more offers an affordable break from some of the city's more expensive amusements and recent visitors say it's a great park and a great value. Watch more than 20 species of birds soar through the sky in the free-flight rookery or watch as handlers wrestle one of the scaly creatures that call Gatorland home in the Legends of the Swamp Arena.
Prior travelers said visiting White Gator Swamp is a must: It's home to some of the largest white alligators in the world. For an additional $10, you can pose with a gator at the Meet-the-Gator experience near the arena. Just be sure to allot enough time for this attraction. Many previous visitors suggest staying two to four hours to see the bulk of the property.
Gatorland, which sits 17 miles south of the city center, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but animal show times may vary by season, so consult the park's website before your visit. LYNX's No. 108 bus stops next to the property, or visitors can drive and park for free in the on-site lot. Compared to the fees charged at other area attractions, tickets here are relatively cheap: Adults ages 13 and older pay an entrance fee of $29.99 per person, while tickets for children (ages 3 to 12) are $19.99 each. If you book online, you'll get a $3 discount. Once inside the park, travelers have access to restrooms, multiple eateries, a zip line, two playgrounds, a gift shop and various animal exhibits. Additional charges apply for food and souvenir purchases, select experiences and stroller and wheelchair rentals.
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#1 Walt Disney World Resort
Excessive, exhausting and expensive, Walt Disney World Resort is above all else enchanting. Composed of four theme parks (the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach), more than two dozen hotels and the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment complex, this sprawling property features iconic sights and rides like Cinderella Castle, "it's a small world," Spaceship Earth, Toy Story Land and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Even Anaheim's Disneyland can't compete, according to some.
Of course, there is one major drawback. Walt Disney World park tickets are expensive, regardless of whether you're visiting for just a day (single-day tickets for kids and adults ages 10 and older start at $109). Meanwhile, one-day water park tickets start at $64 for adults 10 and older. Most suggest you visit this expansive property over the course of several days to justify the high entrance fees. If you have limited time, consider skipping the parks in favor of exploring Disney Springs, which is free to visit.
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