Gatorland to Officially Launch Wheelchair-Accessible Gator Gauntlet Zip Line
Exciting ride is inclusive to people with a variety of mobility challenges
(ORLANDO, Fl.)–Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” is officially launching its newest zip line ride, the Gator Gauntlet, an attraction accessible to park patrons with mobility challenges or other disabilities. The ride, which is wheelchair accessible, allows participants to travel 350 feet down a zip line, soaring over the park and its lake of giant alligators.
To help kick off the launch, the 110-acre park is offering the Gator Gauntlet ride free for several groups during a special three-day promotion. On Thursday, Feb. 4, military veterans with mobility challenges can reserve a free ride on the zip line. On Friday, Feb. 5, free rides are available to Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA) members with mobility challenges. Middle- to high-school age children from Orange and Osceola schools who have mobility challenges can ride free on Saturday Feb 6.
During this three-day launch event, Gatorland will provide each Gator Gauntlet participant with a thumb drive that contains digital images of their ride. In addition, a free lunch will be available for each zip line rider and up to three members of his or her party. Admission into the park is complimentary to these riders and up to three members of their party as well.
Interested Gator Gauntlet riders must meet certain strength, coordination and size requirements to ride the accessible zip line. For more information and to reserve a spot during this special promotion, contact Gatorland at 407-855-5496, ext. 0. Space is limited.
“We’re very excited about the launch of the Gator Gauntlet accessible zip line—we’re not aware of any other place in the Southeast that’s offering this type of experience,” said Gatorland president and CEO, Mark McHugh. “One of the primary objectives at Gatorland is to make our attractions accessible to as many people as possible.”
Gatorland worked closely with the FDOA, which provided consultation on the design and construction of the Gator Gauntlet. The Tallahassee-based nonprofit organization promotes recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.
“It is so important that we allow families to participate in all of our park experiences without anyone being excluded,” said McHugh. “In addition to accessible viewing stations in all of our shows, the park’svery first ride that began tours in 1971, the Gatorland Express Train Ride, was upgraded to allow wheelchair access and security on the train cars in 2001. We are constantly looking for ways to make our park a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our guests regardless of their unique needs.”
In areas inaccessible to wheelchairs, such as a sand pit where patrons can get close to the gators, McHugh said they accommodate people who use wheelchairs by bringing the animals to them for an up-close encounter. “You should see the looks of excitement on their faces,” he said.
“It was a great pleasure to partner with Gatorland on this project,” said David Jones, CEO of the FDOA. “They share our enthusiasm that family and friends of all abilities should recreate together. We were happy to assist them and we hope a lot of people take advantage of this ride.”