Category Archive: Airboat Rides Orlando

Did you know? We have a classically-trained chef at Wild Florida

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What could be better than barbecue?

When the barbecue is prepared by a classically-trained chef and you can enjoy it on a covered deck on the shores of Lake Cypress. Yes, that is better than just plain ol’ BBQ.

Pulled-Pork-SandwichYou know Wild Florida for the 200 animals in our Wildlife Park or the airboat rides on Lake Cypress, but you might not know about the great barbecue being cooked up in our Chomp House Grill.

The Chomp House Grill is more than just a place to get a quick sandwich, drink or ice cream. Executive Chef Ramon Ayala is firing up the smoker with apple, cherry, mesquite and hickory wood to bring out real down-home flavor in the barbecue chicken and pork.

If you are up for a taste of old Florida, try our Swamp Sampler – Gator, Turtle, Catfish or Frog Legs.

Ramon is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and has more than 18 years experience in the restaurant business. Prior to coming to Wild Florida in June of last year, Ramon was restaurant manager for DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando and worked at T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

Executive Chef Ramon Ayala (531x800)Ramon may be at home putting a Latin twist on the barbecue being served up at the Chomp House Grill, but he isn’t afraid to show his true culinary colors for a special event at Wild Florida.

You may come to Wild Florida for the animals and the airboat rides, but we host a lot of birthday parties, weddings, business meetings and other special events.

One of Ramon’s signature dishes is a pan-seared duck breast with wasabi mashed potatoes. But, if you would like something a little more traditional, Ramon can do that too.

Recently he fired up the grill and cooked 600 burgers and 375 hot dogs over an open fire for an event at Wild Florida that attracted 1,000 people.

If you want an Italian menu or something more All-American, Ramon can do that too. Ramon loves being able to reach into his culinary bag of tricks to deliver. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gator-shaped cake for a birthday party or an elegant dinner for a wedding.

IMG_6477 (800x772)We will let you in on a little secret Ramon has cooked up for the Chomp House Grill. On the menu is something called the Chef’s Special — a grilled burger topped with pulled pork served with steak fries.

He’s always working on something new so he can make your visit to Wild Florida a little extra special.

Glad to See Our Love of Bears is Shared

black-bear-80637_1280Everyone at Wild Florida airboats cares about the black bears here and we are happy to report that as part of its efforts to assist local law enforcement agencies participating in its black bear training program, The Humane Society of the United States has donated 24 black bear hazing kits to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These kits will help teams learn how to effectively haze bears that may have entered residential areas looking for food or just exploring the neighborhood. These materials are being delivered free of cost to support non-lethal methods of keeping bears away from human contact.

Black Bear Hazing Kits in Florida

The black bear training program is designed for Florida law enforcement agencies. According to The Humane Society website, the kits contain, “a can of pepper spray that works to deter bears, a holster for the bear spray and 10 rounds of bean bag ammunition for hazing black bears.” The Humane Society received the bean bag ammunition at a reduced cost from Amtec Less-Lethal, a Florida-based ammunition manufacturer that is in full support of the project.

Protecting Black Bears in Florida

We are pleased to see larger agencies taking steps to protect black bears in Florida with non-lethal methods of control. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, bears that are given access to food sources, such as garbage bins or barbecue grills in area neighborhoods, adapt quickly and may not be shy to contact humans as a result. This can put people at risk of an attack and bears are not afraid to travel long distances to track down food — including crossing bridges and roadways. This is why it is so important for residents to keep garbage away from bears by securing trash receptacles with a bear-resistant container or by protecting a garden by putting up an electric fence.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also encourages homeowners associations and local government agencies to institute ordinances that reduce the risk of attracting wildlife. See black bears on your next Wild Florida Airboat tour! Book your tour by calling 866-532-7167 today or send us a message online.

Want to Provide an Amazing Activity at a Party? Hire a Gator Handler

Gator_smallerAre you planning a party for a large group this season? Keep everyone entertained by hiring a professional gator handler from Wild Florida airboat tours! We love introducing people to the world of Orlando alligators, snakes, and other critters that roam the Florida Everglades and can send a professional gator handler to your next event to provide a hands-on experience like no other!

Keep the Crowd Entertained with a Gator Experience

Not many people have the chance to encounter a Florida alligator during their lifetime and at most, will catch a glimpse of a gator swimming in a swamp or trekking through the marshland. Give kids and adults of all ages a chance to learn about alligators and even touch an alligator safely with the help of one of our gator handlers. Our trained professionals can come to your home, office, convention center, school, or other event venue and set up a hands-on experience with a real alligator. Whether your guests want to hold a gator or just learn more about the life of a gator, everyone will have a chance to try something new with our unique gator experience.

Booking a Gator Handler for Your Next Event

Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, social gathering, or sporting event, choose from one of several exciting packages we have available to really make your event one worth remembering! We have a team of trained gator handlers on staff ready to introduce you and your guests to alligators and share some valuable information and facts about the Florida gator. This can be a fun and educational experience for all event attendees and offers plenty of photo opportunities.

Consider booking your own Orlando alligator experience with one of our gator handlers at your next event. Contact Wild Florida Airboat tours today to book your package.

The Wild Boar Gets a Bad Rap

boar-284685_1280Wild boars are medium-sized animals and a close relative of the domestic pig. They are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, but you will find them in the Florida wild or at a zoo. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the wild boar (also known as the wild pig or wild hog) can be found in all of Florida’s 67 counties in a variety of habitats, something you will probably see on your Florida airboat ride. Some tend to flock to pine flat woods and freshwater marshes, while others settle in to palm hammocks and sloughs around the region. The wild boar usually travels alone or in a small group and feeds on all types of animals and plants.

Wild Boar Hunting in Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that wild pigs are the second-most popular large animal hunted in Florida. Hunting and trapping of wild pigs is permitted on private property with landowner permission and hunters can use rifles, shotguns, bows, pistols, and shotguns. Florida’s Limited Entry/Quota Hunt Programs do provide a number of public hunting opportunities and helps to prevent overcrowding. Hogs can be taken during most hunting seasons except during the spring turkey hunting season.

Interesting Facts About the Wild Boar

The wild boar is an interesting species and can survive in a variety of habitats. They prefer to live in deciduous forests but you can find them in many tropical rainforests, grasslands, and taiga as well. They are not yet listed on the endangered species list but do have a lot of enemies in the wild, including tigers, bears, leopards, lynx, and of course, humans during hunting season. They feed off of seeds, fruits, leaves, berries, eggs, worms, snakes, and other small animals. Males tend to live a very solitary life except during mating season which runs from November through January. Mothers typically take care of the babies on their own and young wild boars depend on their mother for the first several months of their lives.

Catch a glimpse of the Wild Boar on your next Wild Florida tour or Florida airboat ride! Book your tour by calling 866-532-7167 today or send us a message online.

What Exactly Hides in the Water and Weeds in Florida’s Fresh Water?

On a Florida airboat tour, you will see a ton of Florida wildlife, but have you ever wondered what exactly hides in the water and weeds in Florida’s fresh water? Unless you’ve had a chance to explore the Florida waters on a snorkeling expedition, it’s unlikely that you’ve been able to see the vast array of underwater species and the secret world of fish, alligators and turtles. A University of Florida graduate student, who has been working on a camera to peer through the dark waters, discovered a variety of bass, alligators, turtles, and gar in their private moments.

A Closer Look at the Florida Freshwater

The camera was originally designed to assess fish populations in the freshwaters of Florida but has managed to capture ‘surreal grottos of hydrilla in a big lake not far from Orlando’, according to a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel. The student stated that very few people have ever even seen what lives in hydrilla, and it was interesting to discover such a diversity of animals in the waters. The structure of hydrilla is much like a dense forest for fish and other underwater species, making it an attractive environment for the mating game.

Aquatic Plants in Florida’s Freshwater

According to FloridaLakefront.com, Florida’s native freshwater aquatic plants include a variety of native grasses and pondweed that are submerged in both the shallower and deeper areas. Tape Grass, Sago Pondweed, Florida Bladderwort, and Coontail are a few of the most common plants found in the waters. Free-floating and floating-leaved plants such as water meal, the smallest flowering plant on earth, is found in Florida’s rivers, ponds, lakes, and sloughs. You might also discover a variety of grasses, sedges, and rushs, including Maidencane, that can grow up to six feet long and serves as protection for wildlife nests and is also a source of food. Soft rush is found in several clumps around Florida’s fresh and saltwater wetlands.

To learn more about Florida’s precious ecosystem, call us today to reserve your airboat ride at 866-532-7167 or stop by and check out our Wildlife Park. We promise that Wild Florida Airboats will renew your appreciation for nature and Florida itself!

 

A wild Spring Break staycation at Wild Florida

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The kids are going to be home from school for Spring Break in about a week and you haven’t the vaguest idea of what to do for fun without breaking the bank.

newHow about a Spring Break on the wild side?

You can get an airboat ride on Lake Cypress and a visit to a Nature Park with more than 200 animals for less than $20 per child.

What’s even better? Wild Florida offers a 20 percent discount for groups of 12 where admission for adults is $21.25 and kids is $18.40 for a half-hour airboat ride and visit to our nature park. That means, gather up a few of your friends and their kids and you are all set for this group discount.
alligator

We can already hear the kids practicing their rendition of the Dad or Mom is Great song.

If that wasn’t enough to get you off the couch to plan your Spring Break at Wild Florida, we’ve come up with 7 great things you can only do at Wild Florida.

  • Want to see, feed or hold a wild alligator? We’ve got 4 places where you can do that. And, nothing says spring break like a #selfie with a wild alligator.
  • And, speaking of selfie, your friends can’t top a #SlothSelfie with our sloths Guy and Ana, who can really strike a pose.
  • Have a birthday party on the wild side.  Admission to our Nature Park, lunch and a hands-on alligator demonstration for only $12 per child and $15 per adult.

Ready for a wild time? Get in touch with our party planner.

We Love Alligators at Wild Florida: More on the Alligator in the Sewer Story

Alligators are a mainstay of the Florida landscape and we love our Orlando alligators here at Wild Florida. You may come across a few alligators on our airboat tour through the Florida Everglades or may catch them roaming free in just about all marshy and swamp terrain around the Sunshine State. We’ve seen alligators making appearances in the news with local stories of alligator sightings on roadways, in parks, and other public areas. But not all alligator reports and stories are based on fact.

Urban Legends About Alligators

One popular gator urban legend about alligators continues to circulate around the web. Legend has it that 80 years ago, a teenager by the name of Salvatore Condulucci was shoveling snow into a manhole near the Harlem River and discovered an alligator thrashing about trying to break free. The New York Times even reported this ‘incident’ in February 1935, describing how Condulucci and his friends tried to lasso the alligator out of the sewer to drag it out. The New York Times article describes how the boys, “dangled the noose in the sewer, and after several tantalizing near-catches, looped it about the gators neck.” The animal was allegedly dragged out from the sewer and made an attempt to attack the group, at which the gang then pummeled the alligator to death. You’ll find more about this story on amny.com

So why do some think this story is a hoax? According to experts, there were no photographs of this incident and there was no record of the alligator carcass anywhere. Also according to some, the alligator had managed to hop aboard a steamer from the Florida Everglades and made it all the way to New York before falling into a sewer. It’s a crazy tale and just one of many alligator stories that have been circulating around the web in recent years.

Wildlife Florida welcomes you to come and learn more about our Orlando alligators and other wildlife native to Florida. Please call (866) 532-7167 or click here to buy tickets for our airboat rides or our Wildlife and Nature Park.

Let Us Introduce You to the Many Animals You’ll Encounter During Your Wild Florida Experience

two-toed-sloth-bigBook yourself a Wild Florida experience and you can look forward to seeing a variety of native animals up close. Our Orlando airboat tours are a great way to experience the wilderness from a fresh perspective and will give you a chance to trek through a nature preserve that’s home to a number of animals and plants that make up the Florida Everglades ecosystem. From alligators to soft-shell turtles, be prepared for some animal encounters like no other!

Here is a quick look at some of the animals you will encounter during your Wild Florida experience:

American Alligator

Alligators live in the freshwater rivers, swamps, and lakes around the southeastern United States and it’s likely that you’ll run in to an alligator or two on your Wild Florida adventure. They may not be the friendliest creatures but you can get up close and personal on one of our airboat tours.

American Coot

It looks like a duck but you’ll find these birds in a variety of colors. They feed on aquatic plants,fish, and amphibians in the Florida waters.

Apple Snail

These are about the size of an apple and have round shells that are either shaded yellow or brown. They are very slow-moving and found in the freshwaters of Florida.

Bald Eagle

A bald eagle sighting is one of the highlights of our tours. This is the prestigious national bird of the United States and is recognizable with its white feathers and tail.

Great White Egret

You can’t miss this long-necked white bird that tends to settle around the wetlands, streams, tidal flats, and ponds of the region. These birds also have very sharp bills.

Sandhill Crane

These are the most common types of cranes in the world and you’ll find them scattered around North America. Most of these birds live in freshwater wetlands and tend to flock to the South during the winter months.

Other animals you may see on one of our Orlando airboat tours include the Florida hippo, glossy ibis, limpkins, and the Osceola Turkey. Please call (866) 532-7167 or click here to buy tickets for our airboat rides and experience Florida’s wildlife for yourself.

Airboats to the Rescue: Orange Company Contributes Airboats to Stop Montana Oil Leak

Our Orlando airboats rides not only allows you to be up close and personal with Florida’s nature, but they can also be used to help the environment and rescue people. American Airboats of Orange has volunteered several boats and recruited operators to send boats out to a Yellowstone River leak site to help contain the leak. Water testing results showed elevated levels of benzene in the water since the leak occurred and the company is now committing resources to help contain a leak of more than 50,000 gallons of oil.

Airboats as Rescue Boats

Airboats continue to serve multiple purposes and American Airboats played an instrumental role for the tsunami recovery efforts in Thailand, as well as assisting with mudslide recovery efforts in Washington State. Airboats were used to help rescue missions after Hurricane Katrina hit the south in 2005 and are now being used across the country for similar rescue efforts. The sturdy and versatile construction of these boats make them an ideal vehicle and mode of transportation in all types of environments, including across water, on ice, and in snowy areas.

Outside of rescue missions, airboats are used to provide tours in wet and dry areas across the United States. From Florida to Wisconsin, travelers can enjoy a guided tour of the wilderness, swamps, and lakes with an airboat ride.

About the Montana Oil Spill

The oil spill in Montana occurred after a part of Bridger’s Pipeline broke near Glendive, Montana. It is the second largest oil spill in the Yellowstone River in less than four years and raised many concerns about the construction of the eroding pipeline. This spill has prompted many to encourage the Obama administration to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf, according to the Associated Press. The spill did affect the drinking water resources for residents in Glendive but benzene levels in the water have since been reduced, allowing Glendive residents the chance to go back to their drinking water.
When it comes to Orlando airboat rides, there is simply no comparison to Wild Florida. From private excursions to ones that have plenty of room for guests, experience Florida’s beautiful landscape from the comfort of an airboat.

Crazy Animals in Florida

Florida’s wilderness and swamplands serve as the home for many animal species, soemthing you would see on our Orlando eco tour, but some are a little more wild than others. The Sunshine State has been the source of several news reports about bear attacks, python sightings, and shark attacks. Several coastal destinations around Florida have been named the ‘shark bite capital of the world’ and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has had to step in numerous times to set guidelines for Florida residents to steer clear of animal encounters.

The Case of the Burmese Python

Most recently, Florida wildlife officials have coordinated civilian ‘python patrols’ to train locals on how to capture the Burmese python. The Burmese python population is out of control with an estimated 150,000 pythons occupying the southern half of the state. These snakes were first spotted in the ‘70s and have become one of the top predators in the Everglades. The Burmese python is capable of eating whole alligators and other species.

Bear Attacks in Florida

Florida has made headlines news several times for black bear attacks across the state. According to the National Geographic Society, the number of black bear attacks is on the rise in Florida because the population is growing quickly and more people are encountering black bears in their neighborhood. People that get into the habit of feeding wildlife only exacerbate the problem because black bears are more likely to keep returning to the area where they have been fed. Experts say this is dangerous when the animal becomes desensitized to human contact and may end up hurting someone as a result.

Florida is currently dealing with a snake and bear problem but is also home to a number of wild and weird animals. The SunSentinel has rounded up some of the strangest animals and critters around the Sunshine State, putting the spotlight on the Frankenfish, Man-O-War, anole (a very fast lizard) and the iguana. Check out the complete list here.

For more information on Florida’s crazy wildlife, the animal pros at Wild Florida are more than happy to talk with you. During our Orlando eco tour, we provide a ton of information on Florida’s wildlife and want you to walk away feeling a little bit closer to the nature here.

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