Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
12:38 am EST
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Sumter County’s new GatorWorld Park home to more than 400 alligators

Sumter County’s newest tourist attraction, GatorWorld Parks of Florida, is a drive-thru scenic trail where visitors can see more than 400 alligators in their natural Florida habitat.

The 15-acre park on State Road 44 near 1-75 celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning. County officials joined in the celebration.

“We’re thrilled to open this unique adventure park that we’ve specifically designed to showcase one of Florida’s unique wonders—that of seeing and engaging with alligators in a real-life setting,” GatorWorld Parks of Florida developer Don Buckner said in a press release. “In addition to the entertainment aspect of our park, we’re proud to serve as a rescue and relocation facility for alligators.”

Entering GatorWorld Parks of Florida through the main gateway, visitors drive on a gravel roadway winding through the park, which provides a close view of alligators of all sizes lounging in pools behind protective fencing. The specially-constructed pools are surrounded by common areas for the gators to wander, simulating their natural environment.

At the end of the drive-thru course, visitors can feed young alligators from a raised platform, dangling specially designed poles with treats. The feeding opportunity allows visitors to experience a live gator encounter with a member of one of nature’s oldest reptilian species.

Other family-friendly activities at the park include safely holding a gator and exploring the petting zoo, where visitors can feed and interact with the animals, including Elvis, the goat, and Biscuit, one of the bunnies.

The entry fee to drive through the park is $9 per adult, with various discounts for veterans, children and seniors. For complete pricing details and information about package rates, visit the website at GatorWorldParks.com.

Park hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday in the winter and up to 7 p.m. in summer. GatorWorld Parks of Florida is closed Sundays.

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