Gatorland hosts Holiday 'Ho Ho Ho-Down' event

Gatorland gave FOX 35 a sneak peek of its new holiday experience, Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down.

“Lots of fun throughout the park,” Gatorland President and CEO Mark McHugh said. “It’s going to be happening on weekends here in December.”

Gatorland is trying something new this year: an event held on weekends with lots of new holiday-themed attractions.

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“Christmas to Gatorland has always been a really big deal and this year, specifically, because it’s some sort of normalcy, right?” Gatorland employee Savannah Boan said. “So, we can have people and families come to see us, spend their holidays with us like they always do.” 

There will be holiday treats, decorations, ‘Gator Claws’ and his snowman pals.

“Snowmen don’t do real well in Florida,” McHugh said. “So, they’re struggling to keep from melting.”

Gatorland got approval to reopen in May. Since then, staff has been practicing safe cleaning procedures for guests. 

“We have cleaning going on throughout the park all day long,” McHugh said. “Handwashing stations, hand sanitizing stations galore, you can’t turn around without running into one out here.”

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Employees said that this year has been tough because of the pandemic.

“There’s not a whole lot of tourists in town from domestic or international right now,” McHugh said. “So, the locals are the ones we love and we’re giving them safe ways to entertain the family on the weekends.”

So, it’s hosting weekend events to draw in locals.

“We’ve been through a lot of crisis at Gatorland over our 71 years and every time it’s the locals that come out and they save us from these bad times that we’re going through,” McHugh said.

The Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down will be held on Saturday and Sunday for the next three weekends. More information can be found here.