Gatorama is One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions, Palmdale, Fla., Aug. 10, 2019
Gatorama is One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions, Palmdale, Fla., Aug. 10, 2019.
The last two weeks of August is the Hatching Festival, an opportunity to hatch a baby alligator from an egg in the palm of your hands!
Gatorama, a Slice of Old Florida
Back in the 1950s, many Floridians believed Yankees from the North drove to the Sunshine State for three things, to see a beach, to see an orange grove, and to see an alligator. Mr. Cecil Clemons made it easy for those tourists to see an alligator, he opened Gatorama in 1957 on U.S. 27, then a two-lane road in Palmdale, Fla.
When Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, there were about 70 roadside attractions in Florida. Today, there are less than a dozen of those original attractions operating with Gatorama and Crocodile Adventures being one, thanks to Patty and Allen Register, the current owners. Patty’s father David Thielen purchased Gatorama in 1987 from Mr. Clemons and the Registers joined the business in 1989.
Over the decades, it has evolved from a basic roadside attraction to a working alligator farm, American crocodile breeding facility, and popular attraction with hands-on activities and entertain generations of families. Gatorama’s goal is to educate the role of alligators and crocodiles in the environment.
Co-owner Patty Register said Gatorama has a “reputation of being the most hands-on alligator farm in the state because we offer so many opportunities with an alligator with your hands.”