Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wild Florida - Kenansville, FL (psst, it's near Orlando)

When I asked the 6 kids who went to Florida with me (yes I traveled to Florida with 6 kids in tow and lived to tell the tale) what their favourite thing was in Florida, Wild Florida won.  And we did a lot in Florida (including Disney World, Busch Gardens, Kennedy Space Centre, and Clearwater Marina, so that probably tells you all you need to know.
"I'm the Captain now" 
We opted for a the Half Day Adventure Package which wasn't cheap.  It was about $270 USD (so approximately one million dollars Canadian at the moment) for a family of four.  But like I said it was the favourite thing of just about everyone in our party, adults included and it includes lunch.  You can pick different options that will be cheaper and you can bring your own lunch to save money.

A cow.  Just hanging out in a gator infested everglade.  
We started with our one-hour airboat ride which was great.  I feel horrible because I have forgotten our guide's name but he was great.  Very knowledgeable and friendly.  We did see several Alligators while we were out on the boat along with lots of interesting birds and somewhat surprisingly, cows.

Feeding time at the gator pen
I'm going to go ahead and call our guide John for lack of a better name.  John let all the kids (and me!) sit in the captain's chair when the tour was over and even took a picture for us all together.

A serval, one of the many animals they have on display at Wild Florida.  You can tell this guy is thinking, who is that magnificent beast?  Oh right, it's me.  
After our boat tour was over we went and had lunch.  As I said our package included lunch from the Chomp House Grill.  The food was fine.  I don't know that I would make a special trip out there just for lunch or anything but they have burgers and wraps and the like.  They have enough variety that everyone will be able to find something they like.  You can also pay extra and get some alligator nuggets.  They taste like a cross between chicken and fish.

Feeding the birds
Wild Florida also has a great zoo area.  It isn't huge but the animals are all great and they have lots of opportunities to interact with them.  My kids loved feeding the birds.  You buy popsicle sticks with bird seed on them and then stand in the bird enclosure and the birds will come to you.  When they hand you the popsicle sticks you will find yourself thinking "what, I paid $10 for three of these?!?!?!" but they actually last a long time.  We were in the bird enclosure for over 30 minutes feeding the birds. You can also feed alligators and several other animals.  They even have a sloth encounter!  I managed not to pull a full on Kristen Bell upon hearing that but it was close.  My kids loved the animal park, probably as much as the airboat ride.

This cheeky bastard stole my stick!  
Our package also included a photo of each of us with Fluffy, a young alligator as well as a group shot. Again, you can save money by not picking that option but we love our photos and it is the only picture we have from the trip with our whole group.
Fluffy
So, in summary I would highly recommend Wild Florida for a group of any size and/or age.  I was with six kids ranging in age from 5 - 14, boys and girls, and they all loved it.  All four of the adults in our party loved it too.

Things to keep in mind:
  • As the crow flies, Kenansville is about as far from Orlando as Tampa but it takes less time to get there since there is way less traffic.
  • Wild Florida was just about the only place we went to in Florida that wasn't packed.  It wasn't empty but there was no long line ups or worrying about losing your kids in a crowd.  Just to hungry gators. 
  • They have a great gift shop.
  • Along with airboat rides they also offer Ranch Buggy rides.  We didn't do that so I can't say much about it but you can find more information on their website.
  • They were super friendly and helpful.  We had to cancel two people from our party due to illness and they were the only attraction in Florida who did it without any hassle or bother.    

2 comments :

  1. Thanks for visiting our park and for the great review!

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  2. Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.
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