Arguably one of the most beautiful attractions in Central Florida, Wild Florida brings together the natural splendor of the Florida wetlands, a 13-acre wildlife park, various animal experiences and delicious dining. Owned and operated by a native Floridian pioneer family, the organization truly reflects the spirit of its name, bringing you up close and personal with all the Wild there is in Florida!
The premier attraction at Wild Florida are the airboat rides, conducted at different times of the day for a variety of guest adventures. US Coast Guard certified captains will pilot you into 100,000 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that provide the habitat for a wide range of wild animals, including gators, birds, fish, and more. It’s also a great opportunity to observe the many trees and forms of plant life native to Florida. You and your family or friends may want to experiment with a half-hour tour, full hour tour, or even a private tour! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you might want to take a night tour and see the swamp come alive after dark. For an added bonus, airboat tour tickets include free admission to the Wildlife Park and the hands-on alligator demonstration.
The Wildlife Park is a 13 acre experience of both native Florida animals and impressive African animals that thrive in the warm Florida climate. The Park includes a 500 foot sightseeing dock which also serves as a pier for the airboats, an exotic bird aviary, many animal exhibits, and Hawk Swamp- a cypress swamp walk that gives you a glimpse of what Florida looked like 1,000 years ago! As you arrive, the first thing you see is the tortoise exhibit, an opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle animals. Also close to the entrance to the Park is the exotic bird aviary, with exquisite tropical birds and hands-on demonstrations from park staff. In the center of the park is the Monster Alligator Pond, home to monster 13 foot gators, now with a viewing platform to get you even closer. Some of the other amazing animals include natives like whitetail deer and wild pigs, and exotic imports like emus, zebras, water buffalos and watusi.
In addition to the exhibits in the Wildlife Park, Wild Florida offers a variety of interactive animal experiences. We were able to meet some lemurs, playful monkeys from Madagascar. When they place their hands on yours, it feels like a little human hand. Of course, everyone wants to meet and hold a real live alligator! Demonstrations happen after every airboat ride, providing photo opportunities as well as wonder at being able to get so close to a gator. Within the park also, you can interact with some of the wild animals as guided by staff.
One of the new additions to Wild Florida is Pete & Peg’s Silver Platter Bar B-Q, an outdoor restaurant serving real Florida Bar B-Q, including pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs, and even some old settler favorites like gator tail and frog legs! For the less adventurous, there are other choices like hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken tenders. Guests can dine on the delicious Florida fare lakeside, and drink in the scenery while they sip on sweet tea or lemonade.
Not to be overlooked is the Swamp Store, a source for Wild Florida gear and souvenirs from your visit. They have everything from t-shirts to authentic gator heads, stuffed animals to gator tooth necklaces. It’s a perfect place to find a little piece of Florida wild to take home.