If you are going to Magic Kingdom, be sure to stop at Marsh Landing Adventures because that is where the real magic is. People come to Orlando to see all the Disney parks but leave out one the most outstanding features of Florida, the Everglades. Marsh Landing Adventures offers tours from 1 hour all the way up to 4 hours. My mom and I took the 120 minute tour which I strongly recommend opting for, it makes all the difference. If you are going to do this, do it right and get the full experience. It seems like a long time but it goes by very quickly and is well worth it. The 2 hour Airboat Tour "takes you where most airboat tours can't take you because of time limitations. This tour is an excellent opportunity for photographers and nature lovers. Deeper into the Swamps in Central Florida, you will get to view things most airboat tours never see. More Florida Alligators, more Florida wildlife and more nature and environment than any other airboat tour or ride in Central Florida."
We are assigned to Capt. Scott for the tour. His knowledge and passion for the Everglades was outstanding. There wasn't a question left unanswered. He makes you feel right at home and keeps you laughing with his quirky remarks.
Also, there were beer and margaritas available to sip on while he packed our brains with information and pointed out animals we never would have noticed.
We saw large alligators that I couldn't help but want to touch (obviously that wasn't an option). We even saw one that was 1,100 pounds! The gator in the photo below is Little John, he is 12.5 feet and 750 pounds.
Out in the pasture, we picked up speed where Capt. Scott did some air boat drifting, spins and fun maneuvers that had us cheering with excitement. There were cows walking around freely on the dry areas, enjoying the grass and the sunshine. He brought us to a spot where the water was shallow and told us we could get out if we wanted to. I thought he was joking but he was completely serious. There are no alligators or anything dangerous in the pasture, it is just a flooded grass area. My mom got out without hesitation and I followed after freaking out for a little bit. The water was ice cold but it was awesome to say I got to stand in the Everglades.
Besides all of the excitement, the tour is also calming and leaves you in awe of how beautiful untouched nature is. The wind in your hair, the warm sun on your skin and the scent of natures pure air is euphoric.
We got to see some very rare birds including the Everglade Snail Kite (1 of 800 left) and the American Purple Gallinule (1 of 3000).
Along with the rare birds, we also got to see the common ones which were just as beautiful. There were Egrets, American White Ibis, American Coots and many others. There were Coots everywhere, they would move out of our way as we drove towards them, skimming across the water and flying away. It seemed as though we were running some them over but Capt. Scott assured me that they dove under the water to get out of the way and none were harmed.
Getting out of my seat and laying on the front of the boat to get an up close view of the landscape and plants while we were moving at a slow pace was one of the favorite things. Looking down into the water, I could see the plants making their way to the surface.
Deeper into the tour, we arrived at Shingle Creek. The trees that lined the creek were draped with Spanish Moss which gave it a mysterious vibe.
The water was so still, it acted as a mirror. The journey down Shingle Creek was undeniably peaceful. Once the boat fan cut out, it was total silence. I was able to yell out and hear my voice echo back to me.
Capt. Scott told us stories and taught us about the plants that filled the creek. We pulled off to a beach area that had a rope swing, campfire pit and allowed us to walk around for a few minutes. We put our toes in the water and took in the tranquility of area. If you don't take at least the 120 minute tour, you will miss out on getting to go down Shingle Creek and believe me, that would be a huge mistake.
Overall, I do not see how this tour could have gone any better. The time flew by and the memories are unforgettable. If time had not been an issue, I would have the done 4 hour tour for sure. I can't help but wonder what I didn't get to see. Below is the link to their website, the address and contact info. I hope you will visit Marsh Landing Adventures and have the same extraordinary experience that my mom and I shared.
Marsh Landing Adventures
2830A Neptune Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34744