VIDEO: New swamp buggy ride now open at Gatorland

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017, 4:58 PM EST

Gatorland's newest attraction is now officially open.

Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure is a one-of-a-kind (and bumpy!) experience. We were one of the firsts to experience the new buggy ride during soft opening.

With original storytelling, authentic and meticulously-detailed props and actors who obviously love their jobs, it's a 15-minute uniquely Florida experience.

Guests board one of three monster-truck-like buggies from the new Gator Joe's Adventure Outpost. The building serves as the park's home base of reserving and purchasing all separately-ticketed park adventures, including the Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure, Screamin' Gator Zip Line, Adventure Hour, Gator Night Shine and Trainer For A Day.

Ride in gator-infested water in new buggy ride

A major highlight of the buggy ride is going into a gator-infested pond. Seventy gators were relocated there, and it's now their permanent home. 

We were there last month as fearless gator wranglers transported the five remaining alligators into a 2-acre habitat.

"We're going to work with them and train them, so when there's buggies coming along, you move out of the way," said Mark McHugh, Gatorland president and CEO. "You know, that's kind of the climax of the ride. Of course, you've got to go through alligators at Gatorland."

As far as getting the gators (safely!) into their new pond, Gatorland staff tapes the gators' mouths closed and covers their eyes with black tape. That's to keep them as calm as possible during the transition. A seasoned "wrangler" then carries one of the big guys to the shore, straddles it to hold it down and removes the tape. The wrangler then jumps back quite quickly, standing behind the gator, which eventually splashes into the water.

Check out our VIDEO below -- at 2:15, one of the gators scared the daylights out of us when it thought our camera was threatening.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: How to move a gator to a new attraction