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Fun Spot America and Gatorland, two of Central Florida’s most beloved attractions, are teaming up to open Gator Spot, a new attraction that will bring some of Gatorland’s world famous animals to the International Drive tourism district in Orlando.

Here are highlights from the ground breaking ceremony

Gator Spot will be 15,000 square feet of unique central Florida fun. It will features the rarest of white alligators, the leucistic gator (not albino), along with pools of Florida Alligators and Crocodiles. As at the original Gatorland, there will be up-close encounters and photo opportunities as well.

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“The Gator Spot at Fun Spot America Theme Parks is estimated to cost more than $1 million and will be the only location on I-Drive to showcase alligators up to 12 feet,” said a statement. Those are some of Gatorland’s largest gators.

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I did something last week that I haven’t done in fifteen years: I went to Gatorland. Now, I know it’s not Disney World and I’ll be honest, you usually have to drag me kicking and screaming from Disney property, but I was part of a group that was invited for a private tour so how could I turn that down? It didn’t hurt that my boss took me there in this sweet ride.

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Yes, it’s that car. But in fairness, I was coaxed off of property with the promise of barbeque as well, so it’s not like I could say no.  I take barbeque very seriously.

Disclaimer: My wife is an employee of Gatorland, however we attended as part of the media for this story, and her employee status has not changed our editorial review of the attraction.

When visiting Orlando, don’t forget to schedule a day for some of the minor amusement attractions. Gatorland has just zipped out their newest attraction, which could move them to the top of many a traveler’s must do list. The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line is an exciting outdoor adventure that covers 1,200 feet of high flying thrills in an experience that lasts over two-hours. It opens officially June 16th, but is currently taking reservations based on availability starting this week.

“We spent a tremendous amount of time designing this incredible experience that combines the most modern safety features available in a zip line with the raw beauty and excitement of Gatorland’s natural exhibits and majestic animals,” says Mark McHugh, Gatorland’s president & CEO

The journey begins at the “Screamin’ Gator Adventure Depot” where participants receive their gear and meet their adventure guide for a short safety orientation. The “Gator Grunt Run” is an introductory zip line with speeds topping 15-mph. Named after the sound made by baby gators, this 247-ft. line launches from a 45-ft. platform and promises to provide participants with experience and confidence as they prepare for the thrills ahead.

Read about the whole experience below the jump:

  • OSHA report contradicts Disney World story on death of cast member at Primeval Whirl in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Fines have been levied for infractions related to the death and other incidents.
  • Want to become a Toy Story Midway Mania Master? Then head on over to Kevin Yee’s Ultimate Orlando Blog where Kevin has posted a series of spoilers on how to get to some of the higher point score targets.
  • The OC Register has video and photos of the Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Disneyland. Very nice, wish I could be there myself. (Although shouldn’t Indy be a bit older?)
  • Here’s a nice trip report from Mary who was bringing her family to Disneyland for the first time. Definitely a different perspective. (She’s also from Portland and I remember making those Disneyland trips yearly.)
  • I wanted to make sure I pointed out this song covering “That’s How You Know” from Disney’s Enchanted by Demi Lovato. Lovato is rumored to be in the process of being groomed by Disney to replace Miley Cyrus should she ever depart the Mouse House. Btw, the Covering The Mouse blog continues to impress.
  • Today marked the grand re-opening of Gatorland’s new gift shop and administration building. The park’s iconic Jaws survived a devastating fire 18 months ago. I wish I had made it over there, but the Orlando Sentinel did and has pictures of the Gator Jaws and a report on the re-opening.
  • If there is one thing I love as much as Disney, it’s food. So when the two combine I am extra happy. This June the Food Network will air a Cake Challenge episode where four professional cake artists compete to create the best Pixar-themed cake. I’m just guessing, but I bet WALL-E will figure in some how. Set your reminders now.
  • Also check out the Disney Movie Surfer’s look at the making of Pixar’s WALL-E.

Finally, as today’s Video Bonus Round click below the cut to check out this rare 1979 commercial advertising Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.