Animal Places to Go in Orlando

by Kimberly Caines Google

Tourists, families with children and animal lovers of all ages can enjoy the wide range of animal-themed attractions that Orlando, Florida, has to offer. Whether you want to observe the animals, pet and feed the animals or enjoy an animal show, Orlando has a park for it.

SeaWorld Orlando

Visiting SeaWorld in Orlando is like entering an underwater world to spy on the residents. Stingrays, sharks, tropical fish, penguins and sea lions can be observed in the park's many exhibits. SeaWorld, which encompasses 200 acres, offers a variety of animal shows where you can encounter the larger sea population, including Shamu, the famous killer whale. Both kids and those young at heart can enjoy the thrill rides or visit the arcade and game hall on the premises. When hunger sets in, there is no need to leave the park. Whether you want a quick snack or a full sit-down dinner, the park's dining establishments offer everything from pizza and hot dogs to pasta and seafood.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

The 1,700 animals that call Disney's Animal Kingdom home are from 250 different species. The 500 acres that make up this family-friendly park are divided into seven areas. Throughout the park, you can encounter or meet and greet animals, while taking time out to enjoy rides along the way. Visit the petting zoo to interact with sheep, goats, llamas and chickens; go back to prehistoric times to take a picture with Dino Sue, a replica of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found; or observe wild animals, including lions, rhinos, giraffes and zebras, in their natural habitat during the safari tour. Be sure to take a picture with Mickey Mouse during your visit.

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

With its 400 animal residents, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is entertaining and educational for people of all ages. Kids can meet, feed and greet the animals in the petting zoo. Birds, mammals, insects, felines, reptiles and amphibians can all be observed in different areas of the zoo. Kids can enjoy the zoo's playground and water park. Birthday parties, educational sleepovers and camping adventures can all be organized by the zoo.


Gatorland is a family-owned wildlife preserve and theme park rolled into one. The 110 acres that make up this park feature a petting zoo, observation tower and water park. Young and old can enjoy the various reptilian shows, which have crocodiles and alligators as the leading stars. Various tours are available, including a nighttime tour that takes you over a wooden walkway while surrounded by hundreds of alligators in the breeding marsh. Daredevils can attempt to zip across crocodile and alligator-filled waters on one of five zip lines suspended 1,200 feet in the air.

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