ORLANDO, Fla. — More than two weeks after Hurricane Ian caused flooding and other damage to Gatorland, the park is preparing to reopen this weekend—just in time to kick off its popular Halloween event Gators, Ghosts and Goblins.
What You Need To Know
- Gatorland is preparing to reopen its park after flooding from Hurricane Ian
- The reopening comes as the park's Halloween event Gators, Ghosts and Goblins returns
- The daytime event will feature themed areas, characters, animal meet-and-greets and candy
Since the storm, crews have been working around the clock to get the park ready for visitors to return. Some activities like the swamp walk won’t be available at reopening.
“When Hurricane Ian came in, we flooded about 18 inches to two feet of water through the entire park,” Gatorland CEO Mark McHugh said. “We have a long way to go, but we’ve focused on those items that we needed to get the park open so guests can safely come in and enjoy the park.”
As for the gators and other wildlife at the park, they weathered the storm just fine.
“Oh the animals are good,” McHugh said. “All of our animals were safe. We had a team out here 24 hours a day for five straight days, sleeping overnight just to make sure all of the animals in the park were safe.”
Gatorland’s reopening comes as it kicks off Gators, Ghosts and Goblins. The event, now in its fourth year, will start Saturday and run every weekend through the end of the month.
The daytime event will feature a variety of activities and experiences, including themed areas, interactive characters, shows, and animal meet-and-greets.
There will also be candy stations set up at the park so kids (and adults) can trick-or-treat.
A popular offering during the event, Swamp Ghost’s Monster Museum, will return this year in a new location to allow for an expanded experience. The walk-through haunt has been moved into the building that once served as the park’s original train station.
Visitors can learn about infamous monsters such as Dracula with the help of a monster hunter, who will provide a guided tour through the museum. And they might find a few surprises along the way.
“So it’s bigger and its better,” said Brandon Fisher, director of media relations for Gatorland. “It’s scarier. All of the above.”
Gators, Ghosts and Goblins is included with admission to Gatorland.