The all-new Screamin' Gator Zip Line at Gatorland will take you on a breathtaking journey along 1,200 feet of high flying adventure over some of the world's most feared predators.
The 110 acre alligator theme park in Orlando will open it's new attraction in summer 2011. (expected June 2011).
Plans for the new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line have made a few jaws drop when they mentioned they would be zipping directly over the alligator breeding marsh, jumping crocs, and through the parks’ bird rookery. The zip line tower tops out at 75 feet high, and park officials are excited that this new addition will allow people to really see some diverse animal habitats. if you can keep your eyes open!
From the Orlando Sentinel....
Gatorland guests will be zipping over jumping crocodiles, the alligator breeding marsh and through the park’s bird rookery by June, park officials said Thursday.
Details of the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, announced during groundbreaking for the attraction, create some wide-eyed expressions.
“Our bankers and insurance guys went ‘What’? ” said Mark McHugh, Gatorland’s president and CEO.
The project has been 15 months in the making, a period that included a tour of other zip lines and getting proper permits for the zip line’s tower, which top out at 75 feet. (The current observation tower at Gatorland is 48 feet.)
What Gatorland officials noticed while visiting other zips was a lack of animals, something in ample supply at the South Orange Blossom Trail park, which opened in 1949.
“That’s probably one of the most diverse animal habitats you’re going to see on any zip line in the United States — I would suggest anywhere outside of Costa Rica, as far as the animal experience on the zip ride,” McHugh said.
“That’s going to be the hook for us,” he said. “That’s what’s going to make us different.”
They worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commision and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to make sure the plans were safe.
The first tower will be located by the Gatorland train station. The first stretch of zip will be over the crococile exhibit. The second one will be over the ”jumping Cuban crocodiles,” McHugh said.
“The crocodiles can jump — they can’t jump 40 feet,” McHugh said.
The third zip goes over the giant Nile crocodiles and near the saltwater crocodiles.
The fourth leg, almost 600 feet long, zips through pine trees and comes out across the south end of the breeding marsh and ends near the gator wrestling arena.
Next will be a swinging bridge over the main walkway of the park. And the final stretch will be a dual zip line where folks can race. It will be parallel to the parking lot and visible from Orange Blossom Trail.
“You want something that people driving by can see,” McHugh said.
It’s the first ride ever at Gatorland, not counting the train that skirts the property.
“This is our sweet spot. This zip line is Gatorland. It’s quiet, it’s eco-friendly, it takes you through some of our most beautiful ecological assets out there. We really think we’ve hit a home run,” McHugh said.
Pricing has not been settled yet, he said, but he expects the zip experience to be between $60 and $70, and that would include admission to the rest of the park. Regular admission will not change. Maximum capacity for the zip line will be about 200 people a day, McHugh said.
Cost of the project is $1.5 million. Gatorland expects to create 15-20 full-time and part-time jobs via the zip line.
McHugh said the park had done “very, very well” during the recession.