Attraction Member Spotlight - Gatorland

January 03, 2024 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The FAA isn’t the only one celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024. Gatorland opened its door in 1949 and has welcomed millions of visitors since then. Like many of our more seasoned FAA members, Gatorland’s humble beginnings blossomed over the years. It’s founder, Owen Godwin and his wife Pearl bought a parcel of land on the Orange Blossom Trail near Kissimmee and opened the Florida Wildlife Institute. The park was later named Gatorland and that brand has grown to international recognition over the decades.

The privately-owned park is unique as four generations of the Godwin/McHugh family have poured their lives into making Gatorland stand up in the competitive central Florida tourism marketplace. Over the years, as Florida tourism boomed, the attraction has added to the numerous attractions and exhibits guest can enjoy including the historic Gatorland Railroad, Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, Stompin’ Gator Swamp buggy rides, swamp walks, Gator Jumparoo show and more.

Guests experience a folksy, downhome vibe when visiting Gatorland, reminiscent of a bygone era of Florida culture. The attraction is led by President and CEO Mark McHugh who served as Chairman of the FAA from 2008 until 2010. Gatorland’s Senior Director of Sales, Jennifer Gallagher currently serves on the FAA Board.

Gatorland is a testament to the timeless appeal of Florida’s original roadside attractions. Through the determination and vision of family, the spirit of Owen Godwin lives on in this venerable FAA member attraction.

Congratulations to our friends and FAA member Gatorland – the Alligator Capitol of the World!

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