Is there anything else to do when visiting Orlando besides the theme parks?

What else is there to do in the Orlando area besides visit Disney World, Universal Studios and Lego Land?  Plenty!

One of our favorites spots to send people who are renting one of our Disney area vacation homes is an airboat ride to see alligators.  We always send them to Midway, which is about midway 🙂 between Orlando and Cocoa Beach or Cape Canaveral (two other great places to visit after your airboat ride).

airboat

We like Midway because you are really are out in “wild” Florida, and nothing is scripted.  Its just a fun ride through the central Florida waterways (mostly the St. Johns river).

If you are brave enough, you can hold a baby alligator before or after your airboat ride!  Either way, you will be treated to a fun ride and be able to view LOTS of large alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the river or in high spots on the marshes.

So pack the sunscreen and a good camera and head out for a morning or afternoon of fun!  Be sure and call ahead to make reservations to avoid any wait times, but if you are curious you can always stop in on your way to or from Cocoa or Cape Canaveral.

Have fun!

 

Alligators freak me out – should I consider an Orlando vacation?

Well the good news, my friend, is that humans are not on the list of alligators favorite foods.  In fact, alligators don’t hunt humans at all!

That said, I wouldn’t lay quietly in the middle of a deserted marshy area on a hot summer evening.  Alligators, while not incredibly bright, are opportunistic diners.  So if your pet Labradoodle walks too close to a hungry gator, he might become a snack.  In fact, one of our Orlando vacation home rental communities just posted a sign on their nature trail to beware of gators, because someone did report a small dog gone missing, possibly to a gator’s stomach.

So while you shouldn’t be afraid of gators, you should be conscientious when you enter their habitat.  They were here first, after all!

gator

A few tips – alligators like to hide in marshy areas, waiting for a meal such as a small bird or fish to come along.  They will also actively hunt at night.  Normally only for something bite-sized, not a whole human!

Alligators that have been fed by humans begin to associate humans with food, which of course is a bad idea.  When you see a big one, you might want to keep your distance since you don’t know that particular gator’s history.  And if for some reason they mistake your arm for small prey (did I mention they are not too bright?!) you will be headed to the hospital for stitches.  Probably not worth the story to tell your grandkids!

Don’t let your small children or small pets wander off into marshy areas, of course, but you will be fine anywhere there is lots of human activity (all of our inhabited lakes, for instance).  Our water ski jumper friends say that alligators like to sun themselves on the jump ramp, so they have to chase them off before they get their training under way.  And to this day no jumper has been eaten, even after a big crash!

Oh, and don’t forget to take an air boat ride while you are here to see them in their natural habitat – after all, the more you know about this cool native beast the better!

Beware of Florida Alligators!

Mention the word alligator and many people become frozen in fear!  Unlike its cousin the crocodile, however, there is really no reason to be afraid of alligators.  They usually only feed at night, are by nature afraid of humans and only eat small critters that wander too close to them!  A few of our communities are near small lakes that should have alligators in them.  If you can find them, they are not one of the shy ones, meaning they may have been fed by humans, thereby associating humans with food.  This is of course a bad idea, and you want to stay away from any alligator who seems to have an interest in you!  Especially the ones that are your size or larger!
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