We spent April school vacation in Orlando Florida. Does that make us a family of masochists, or is my husband simply a sadist who likes crowded theme parks? Who knows, and by the way, the crowds weren’t that bad this year. But I digress.
We flew in Friday night, and as I mentioned in a previous post, stayed at the airport Hyatt the first night. An excellent choice for getting the vacation off on a good foot.
We got a slow start the next day. Since we also were trying to connect with my husband’s sister and her family who were joining us on the vacation and didn’t want to waste an admission at a pricey theme park on a half day, we decided to do something simpler. Something quintessentially Florida.
While it’s not cheap. it’s not $50 per day either. A main focus at Gatorland is feeding the hundreds of alligators basking in the park. And the shows. As we walked into the park, one of the shows, Upclose Encounters, was about to start. So we hustled on over to the stage to watch.
The talent is really quite entertaining. As they remind you at all the shows (and we caught them all), it’s amazing what one will do in Florida for minimum wage. 🙂
In Upclose Encounters, they terrified a poor woman in the audience with a scorpion. Then they showed us a native Florida rattler. No audience participation required.
For the final encounter in the 20-minute show, they solicited audience volunteers. When they turned to our side of the stage, they were asking for women “volunteers.” I heard the words: “Well it looks like her family is giving up the lady in the green shirt,” and turned around to see my son pointing at me with both hands, laughing his fool head off. Et tu, Brutus.
Never one to step away from a challenge, I gamely handed my camera over to my husband and presented myself for duty.
Now, if you’ve ever been a “volunteer” in one of these shows, you know they milk the situation like crazy. We were instructed to NOT turn our heads, under any circumstances, while they brought the critter out, but of course we could see the reaction on the faces of the audience.
It was actually a lot of fun, and on the bright side, I got my picture with a python without having to spend an extra $6.00 at the photo booth. 🙂 You can see more pictures of our day at Gatorland on Flickr, including a sequence of me feeding a carrot to some rather large tortoises.
Gatorland, Orlando, Florida