Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Adventures in Brandcation 2010: Kissimmee, FL: Bloggy Creek Airboat Rides & Gatorland

Can you find me in this "gators attack" photo?  lol... (click to enlarge)
I hope you are not scared of gators because there are lots of them in Kissimmee...

Today I will continue with my new travel review series called My Adventures in Brandcation: Kissimmee where I am reviewing my recent trip to Kissimmee Florida to attend Brandcation 2010.

Monday, I told you about the beautiful gated vacation home community where I stayed called Global Resort Homes. Tuesday, I wrote about one of the blogger excursions that we took to the Florida EcoSafaries for Indiana Jones type zipling through the Florida wilderness.

Now, I want to tell you about alligators - yes GATORS!  Florida is full of gators and we bloggers saw a ton of them on our second full day as part of Brandcation 2010 Kissimmee.

Our Bloggy Creek Airboat
Our day started out very early in the morning with our excursion to Bloggy Creek AirBoat Rides.  An airboat ride is the best way to see the Florida Everglades up close and personal and Bloggy Creek AirBoat Rides has been in operation since 1994 with 8 seventeen passenger airboats.

Blankets and noice cancelling headphones were a must...
On my last trip to Florida, it was unseasonably cold and this trip was no exception.  We boarded the airboat and covered up with blankets provided by Bloggy Creek.  After we put on our headphones to lessen the noise from the airboat, we were off for our adventure.  Our caption sped through the everglades and stops numerous times to tell us about the native animals and plants.

It was a little too cold and too wet for me to get many photos or video, but I did manage a few shots here and there and a video of us returning to the port.

After the ride, we all posed for our gator photos (I was very glad that the gator's mouth was taped shut) and our "gator attack photo" that you see at the beginning of this post.  I have to say that taking that photo was a boat load of fun and it turned out great!

Gatorland was Great!
After our fun at Bloggy Creek Airboat Rides, we traveled on to the ultimate gator experience - Gatorland. Now I will be honest in saying that I started out with some not so kind preconceived notions of Gatorland.  I did not understand why anyone would want to go to an attraction built solely around alligators, but I ended up having a fantastic time and even calling home while still at Gatorland to tell my son about the experience!

Gatorland has some exciting attractions!
I experienced two things at Gatorland that I still cannot believe that I did - I feed raw chicken to a group of giant gators that were only two feet away from me and not inside of any protective enclosures and I sat on the back of a huge gator. But I am getting ahead of myself...

Me feeding raw chicken to the gators while at Gatorland!  Oh my...
Hungry Gators - Do Not Enter!!!
We bloggers got to experience a private gator feeding while at Gatorland. I was in the first group of bloggers to get to fed the gators. The handler opened the gate and let eleven of us in at a time - and then shut and locked the gate behind us! The gators actually acted like trained animals. The handler had a stick which he used to draw a line in the sand. He then called the gators and they came out of the water and stopped at the line - I could not believe it. We then took turns tossing raw chicken to the gators. I was scared and excited like I was riding a roller coaster at Cedar Point. I could not believe that I did it. The gators stayed at the line while the next groups of bloggers fed them and then they turned and went back into the water...

Alligator Wrestling???
After I fed those hungry gators, I was pretty much game for anything, including our next activity - Alligator Wrestling! Gatorland has a stage and arena seating setup just for alligator wrestling. It is a full show where the handlers give fun facts about the gators and even includes some slap-stick comedy routines.

But of course the main attraction is the wrestling where the handler asks a cute kid from the audience to pick a gator from the water. The handler then proceeds to tell us all ton of gator facts and jokes all while wrestling the gator. My mouth was open in shock the entire time.

After the show, the audience can then take their own photos with the alligators. I cannot believe that I did it. When I told my son, he said that I was a super mom! NOTE: No gators were harmed in the wrestling. This one walked back into the water to live happily ever after.

As you can see, day two of my Brandcation trip was totally exciting and I was glad when we were able to go back to our luxury condos at Global Resort Homes to rest up. I am now getting down to the end of my Brandcation experience so watch for my last review in this series where I will tell all about our night time activities in Kissimmee, Florida as part of Brandcation 2010 Kissimmee.

Click here is see all the posts in the Brandcation 2010 Kissimmee series.


Disclosure: I paid for my own airfare and received all Brandcation related lodging and activities at a substantially discounted price.

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