Monthly Archives: April 2017

Mark B. McHugh President & CEO, Gatorland

Mark B. McHugh President & CEO, Gatorland He stands beside the murky water. Suddenly, a crocodile explodes from the deep and chases him on the shore, hoping to make him lunch. Not your typical staff meeting, but this isn’t your typical corporate executive either. Mark McHugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, knows that most of the residents at Gatorland would just as soon eat him as look at him. At the age of 36, McHugh took over the reins at Gatorland and has since introduced over 35 new attractions and exhibits at Orlando’s only attraction with bite and attitude. They range from one of the world’s largest collection of giant white alligators to free-flying lorikeets, new shows, animal encounters, and the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. Each is a typical Mark McHugh project: exciting, entertaining, and unprecedented! McHugh’s goal is to provide an up-close, personalized [...]

Mark B. McHugh President & CEO, Gatorland2017-07-19T13:11:36-04:00

Gatorland Breaks Ground For $2.5 Million Park Expansion, Largest Since Opening in 1949

Gatorland Breaks Ground For $2.5 Million Park Expansion, Largest Since Opening in 1949 New Gator Joe's Adventure Outpost and Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure To Open Fall 2017 ORLANDO, Florida (April 19, 2017) – Complete with swamp dust, fireworks and fanfare,Gatorland®, the "Alligator Capital of the World," officially broke ground today for a $2.5 million park expansion, the largest since opening in 1949. The brand-new Gator Joe's Adventure Outpost and Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure are slated to open in early Fall 2017. Making an entrance on one of the 12-foot high, custom-made, off-road monster vehicles for the new Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure, Gatorland President & CEO, Mark McHugh, exclaimed, "You haven't seen nothing yet. Get ready for even more adventure at Gatorland." He then led media and VIPs for a special opportunity to board one of the off-road vehicles for a sample adventure. Also on [...]

Gatorland Breaks Ground For $2.5 Million Park Expansion, Largest Since Opening in 19492017-07-19T14:37:38-04:00

Property Fact Sheet

Property Fact Sheet Overview Gatorland is a 110 - acre theme park and wildlife preserve, combining “Old Florida” charm with exciting new exhibits and entertainment. The park opened as a roadside attraction in 1949. Today, it provides affordably-priced family fun featuring thousands of alligators, crocodiles, native and endangered birds, a free flight aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature trails, a train ride, award-winning dining, a splash park, exceptional entertainment including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo, and the ‘Up-Close Encounter’ shows, the thrilling Screamin’ Gator Zip Line featuring over 1,200-feet of high flying thrills with five intense zip lines, some of which glide over the alligator breeding marsh and the Gator Gauntlet Accessible Zip Line. Gatorland also contains the largest collection of leucistic “white” alligators in the world. Established December 1949 Location The theme park is located on Highway 441/South Orange [...]

Property Fact Sheet2019-03-22T00:09:30-04:00

Historical Time Line

From Tails to Tales Stalking a Dream 1905 Owen Godwin Sr. is born and spends his youth on the homestead of his Uncle Lije at Rattlesnake Hammock, located on the Kissimmee River east of Sebring, Florida. Part of a ranching community known as Kissimmee Island, they were serviced by the steamers that carried supplies and tourists to Palm Beach from the railhead at Kissimmee. The kids could get an occasional tip by showing snakes and alligators to the passengers while their parents shopped. 1930’s Owen Godwin, Sr., builds an alligator pit in the backyard of his Sebring home, just south of Sebring, Florida. The pit is a sideline to Godwin’s other jobs as butcher and postmaster. His wife, Pearl, sells gator products – key chains, belts and the like – out of her kitchen. After making their purchases, customers step outside and stare in [...]

Historical Time Line2018-07-16T15:41:10-04:00