Observe majestic animals and explore beautiful landscapes at Orlando’s zoos and wildlife preserves, including Gatorland (pictured).

Embark on wild adventures at Orlando’s many zoos and wildlife centers. With animals from all over the world, these phenomenal destinations connect you to nature in thrilling and interactive ways.

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Home to a variety of exotic birds, reptiles, capybaras and of course, alligators, Gatorland is a perfect spot for animal-lovers. Its unique attractions and experiences allow you to get up close and personal with many of Gatorland’s animal residents. These include the specially ticketed Screamin’ Gator Zipline and the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure. New to the park is the Croc Rock Adventure, which involves a climbing wall, a thrilling bridge and a zipline.

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Any photographers and birders in your group will enjoy the Gatorland Photographer Pass, which allows you to enter the park’s bird rookery before it opens to the public and stay later in the afternoon on select days March through May. Their rookery is one of the largest and most accessible bird rookeries in Florida.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Located in Sanford, about 30 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to more than 400 animals including both local and exotic species. From mammals and reptiles to unique native plants and insects, the zoo has plenty to see.

Discover: Things to Do at the Central Florida Zoo

Gain a whole new perspective on the zoo’s wildlife from above on the specially ticketed Seminole Aerial Adventures — Zipline Course. For younger visitors, make sure to stop by the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Pad. And for guests of all ages, take a ride on The Champion Miniature Train for a full-circle tour of the zoo’s scenic grounds.

Discover: Train Rides in Orlando

Wild Florida

Step into a natural landscape filled with over 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife at Wild Florida. Take an exhilarating airboat ride on the Headwaters of the Florida Everglades and keep an eye out for alligators, ospreys, eagles and more. You can see even more alligators and other animals, such as a two-toed sloth, red-ruffed lemur and Australian wallabies at Wild Florida’s Gator Park, included with your tour.

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Ready for more wild adventures? Take your own car on a drive-thru safari and see free-roaming animals from all over the world including zebra, bison and white-tailed deer. You can also stop along the paved path and feed the giraffes for an unforgettable experience.

Brevard Zoo

In Melbourne on Florida’s east coast, about an hour from downtown Orlando, you can explore Brevard Zoo. Home to many types of animals, this is the only zoo in the country that invites you to take a guided kayak tour of the animal exhibits.

Discover: Wild Animal Encounters in Orlando

You can also feed giraffes, pet baby alligators, and experience a behind-the-scenes, up-close look at some of their animals, including rhinos. If you’re brave enough to conquer heights, you can also partake in their Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures that include multiple ziplines and ropes courses.

Discover: Zip-Line Adventures in Orlando

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

On Florida’s west coast, you can visit several different themed areas featuring animals from all over the world, from Africa to Asia to local Florida wildlife. Gain behind-the-scenes insight into how the animals are cared for at locations like the David A. Straz Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center.

Discover: Where to See Manatees in Orlando

ZooTampa also features several attractions including a carousel, a family water ride and a wild African safari.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

While not technically a zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort is a fantastic spot to see a wide variety of animals through various attractions, walking trails and special experiences. A must-see attraction on your visit is Kilimanjaro Safaris®, which takes you on an 18-minute narrated safari ride where you can see a variety of African animals in their recreated natural habitats. If you want to get even closer to the animals, you can book a Wild Africa Trek, a VIP tour that gives you a closer look at several of the animals on the reserve.

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There are also multiple walking paths filled with observation lookout points to spot your favorite animals including The Oasis, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek. You can learn more about animal care at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which includes an animal hospital, family-friendly activities on conservation, and a petting zoo.

Giraffe Ranch


Fans of giraffes have plenty of opportunities to see these majestic animals at Giraffe Ranch, located a little over an hour northwest of Orlando’s main tourism districts in Dade City. You can pick how you want to explore the 47-acre wildlife preserve, from safari vehicle rides to camelback safari tours and Segway safari tours. All experiences are interactive and give you the opportunity to learn about each of their animals and how they are cared for.

Discover: Orlando Ecotourism

Map of Orlando’s Zoos

Use this interactive map to track down all the Orlando-area zoos featured in this blog.

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