Wild Florida – Our First Airboat Ride Experience

As you may have noticed, I love Florida and Orlando in particular. I’ve been there seven times now and before my most recent trip I was asked by more than one person “why do you keep going back to the same place?” The answer for me is simple; It’s because there is so much to see and do in Orlando that I can never do it all. Not only that but it is ever-changing, which means I always have something new to see. On our most recent trip we did so many things for the very first time. We visited theme parks and restaurants that we had never been to before and rode rides that we had never ridden before. One of my highlights of the holiday has to be the airboat ride at Wild Florida that we did.

 

This is a collaborative post with Ocean Florida who provided us with tickets to Wild Florida in exchange for an honest review.

 

It took us about 45 minutes to drive to Wild Florida and it was very easy to find. Check-in for our airboat ride only took a few minutes, as we were a bit early we bought some snacks and waited for our time-slot. There was a lovely area just next to the shop that was full of rocking chairs and overlooking the lake, so we sat there and ate our snacks and were joined by lots of peacocks!

 

The Airboat Ride

Before our airboat ride started we had a short safety briefing, then we put on our ear defenders and were on our way. I’ve always been a bit wary about doing an airboat ride. I was worried that they were dangerous and that it would be easy to fall off or have a gator try and eat us, but in reality we were perfectly safe and it was so much fun.

Our captain took us out to the far side of the lake and as we sped along birds would fly up out of the greenery ahead of us. The lake is covered in vegetation and I thought it was actually land until we got closer and I could see that it was just floating on the water. It was so hot out on the lake and I was glad that we had put extra sunscreen on before we left.

 

The view from an airboat at Wild Florida. The sunlight makes the water look dark and the vegetation bright green. Rows of trees can be seen in the distance.

 

The airboat was stopped at various places around the lake and the captain would point out alligator nests (we saw two mummy alligators guarding their nests) and other wildlife, such as eagles. He also took us into a shadier area and showed us the Cypress trees that were growing right out of the lake.

We were out on the lake for about an hour whizzing around. We did get a little wet from the spray of the water, but it was like a very fine mist and we didn’t mind at all because it cooled us down. It was so much fun and I definitely want to go back and do another one. Next time I think we will go in a cooler month because there are likely to be more gators.

 

Back On Dry Land

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Wild Florida, other than an airboat ride, but it turns out there was loads to see!

We started off by having a wander along the boardwalks that are suspended above the Hawk Swamp. I didn’t see any wildlife in the swamp, but that was mainly because I was constantly looking to make sure no frogs or snakes came anywhere near me. (It’s completely safe, but it’s a natural swamp in Florida so there is always a chance that you might see some wildlife)

Opposite the swamp there is a huge lake that is full of the biggest alligators I have ever seen!! I spent ages on the pontoon watching them swim about. It made me laugh how they just shove other gators out of their way to get what they want.

As well as the gators we saw sloths, birds, tortoises, lemurs, zebras and so much more. The kids’ favourite was the petting area where they got to cuddle goats (I think they would have brought one home with them if they could have!)

We didn’t watch any of the animal shows because I don’t like that sort of thing, but there were plenty of shows throughout the day for those that do.

 

A macaw with blue feathers on his head and wings and yellow feathers on his chest. He is sitting on a perch surrounded by greenery and with an umbrella above him for shade.

 

Our Verdict

We had a great day out at Wild Florida. We all agree that the airboat ride was the highlight (but the goats came a close second for the kids!). It was nice to spend some time away from the theme parks and noise of Orlando and I really enjoyed seeing a bit more of the ‘real’ Florida. We will definitely visit Wild Florida again on one of our future trips.

Thank you to Ocean Florida for hooking us up with tickets and thank you to Wild Florida for showing us a great time!

 

Ocean Florida have years of experience in booking dream holidays to Florida and beyond. Whether you’re looking for an action packed vacation in amongst all the theme parks of Orlando or Las Vegas, or a more laid back beach holiday in the Caribbean, Ocean Florida can take care of it for you. 

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