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Explore the Everglades with Wild Florida

wild florida airboat rides

The great outdoors in Florida can be a little scary, between the alligators, super sized snakes, and the humongous mosquitoes. So, when you’re ready to explore the Everglades, its better to turn to an expert for wild florida airboat rides like the folks at Wild FloridaI recently put my life in their hands as I toured the 4,200 acres of untouched nature preserve on an airboat. (seriously, did you know airboats don’t have brakes!?!?)

Before we hopped on the airboat, we had a chance to check out the shop and all the interesting keepsakes available to purchase.

wild florida airboat rides

wild florida airboat rides

Wild Florida is Orlando’s only Everglades Airboat Tour and Wildlife Park Experience, located only 45 minutes from Disney and 30 minutes from the Orlando Airport. Their swamp is 100% pure Florida wilderness, inhabited by Florida hippos (cows), alligators, soft shell turtles, blue herons, bald eagles, wood ducks and more. Their tours include a knowledgeable captain that provides you with detailed information about the wildlife you encounter. Not only are these captains familiar with the Everglades, but they’re passionate about their job!

During the ride, I had my trusty Samsung Galaxy Camera on hand to capture this great shot of a beautiful purple gallinule bird

wild florida airboat rides

and these baby american alligators we found in the weeds.

wild florida airboat rides

Fun facts about airboats:

  • Airboats can be used on almost any type of terrain including: swamps, wetlands, dry land, ice, mud, and tall vegetation.
  • Racing airboats can go in excess of 130 miles per hour
  • The engine and propeller are enclosed in a protective metal cage to prevents objects like tree limbs, clothing, passengers, or wildlife, from coming in contact with the whirling propeller
  • Airboats don’t have brakes and will not travel in reverse
  • The first airboat was built in 1905 and named the Ugly Duckling
  • Airboats are frequently used by the military, Coast Guard and law enforcement for search and rescue missions on ice and in flooded areas like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

wild florida airboat rides

Tour choices include: ½ Hour Orlando Airboat Tour,1 Hour Orlando Airboat Tour, 1 Hour Private Airboat Tour, or a 1 Hour Night Tour. You definitely want to remember to bring: your camera, bottle of water bottle to stay hydrated, sunscreen (an essential when outdoors in FL), a hat, a poncho (rain showers often pop up unexpectedly), and sunglasses. I also HIGHLY recommend bringing a jacket and blanket – especially for the kids.

wild florida airboat rides

 

While Kas (Southern Bellas Ways to Save) and I were taking a time out for a friendly photo, we had forgotten that it can be easily get about 15 degrees cooler and very windy on the airboats.

wild florida airboat rides

 

So bring those jackets and blankets folks and remember the best time to see active alligators on the tour is to come when it’s warm out (but not in the middle of a summer day – thats too hot) or during a nice summer evening.

wild florida airboat rides

For an added treat, after your airboat ride you can get an up close encounter with a resident alligator. This guy’s name was Hercules and just about as sweet as they come!

wild florida airboat rides

Aside from the airboat rides, Wild Florida also has a great Wildlife Park! Having always been a fan of animals, I thought I had already seen/heard them all. Not true. Have you ever heard of a Zorse, Zonkey or Zedonk? Well you can learn the difference and see them live here!

wild florida airboat rides

They also had an adorable rare baby white water buffalo,

wild florida airboat rides

whose mother was super friendly and liked a little head nuzzling.

wild florida airboat rides

I was also introduced to this Miniature Zebu – the smallest breed of cattle in the world,

wild florida airboat rides

 

and had a chance to chat with a curious Emu.

wild florida airboat rides

 

While we all got a kick out of the fun signs posted around the Alligator enclosure,

wild florida airboat rides

 

in all seriousness – do keep an eye on your kids. This guy means business.

wild florida airboat rides

Cost:

  • 1/2 hour: Adults-$25, Kids-$22
  • 1 hour: Adults-$45, Kids-$35
  • Night Tour: $60 per person
  • Wildlife Park Admission: Adults-$9.35, Kids-$7.48

Hours: Daily 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Location: 3301 Lake Cypress Rd., Kenansville, FL 34739
Contact: 407-957-3135

Experience Kissimmee paid for my travel expenses to experience Wild Florida in person. No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are original.

Jeana S

Jeana S

Research lab rat turned travel mom, Jeana S writes about gadgets, tech, entertainment, weddings and of course, travel. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and playing robots with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in Ben's underwear drawer.

18 Comments

  1. Janet W.
    March 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    There is nothing cooler than seeing an alligator in person! How fun!

  2. addibrae
    March 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    Those pictures are so great.

  3. July 17, 2013 at 11:46 am — Reply

    We were happy to have you! Thanks for posting great photos!

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