October 23, 2014

Caution! There’s a Huge Gator Backstage!

This is the last in a series of three posts about Gator’s work with amusement parks. Each post features stories from Jon Fleischman, general manager and part owner of GatorDock.  In case you missed them, here are Part 1 (“Orlando: A Gator Haven!”) and Part 2 (“Yep, That Was a Gator You Walked On!”)


For Part 3, we asked Jon to name his favorite theme park project. And of course, it was something unusual. It’s not a bridge. It’s not a dock.  It’s a boat! More specifically, the project is a replica of a 1776 Continental Sloop in Orlando’s most famous theme park.

This park’s fantasy land allows visitors to travel the world in a day. One of its main stages, located on the water near the American continent, is back-dropped by the ship replica.

Few would guess that this beautiful replica is made of aluminum—so that it won’t rot and will remain rust-free forever, of course.  We built the ship frame in the early 1990’s on a foundation of Gator’s aluminum full float design, which uses a polyurethane floatation system. The ship’s original purpose was to hide the back side of the stage from park visitors.

It’s a monstrous structure! When we shipped it, it looked like an aluminum dinosaur skeleton on the back of a truck. The ship frame was delivered to be shaped and painted like the Continental Sloop park-goers see today.

If you want to see the ship up close, travel across one of the floating GatorDocks to board the inter-park ferry. As the boat travels past country after country, you can get an up-close view of the historic ship as your vessel travels past the Americas. 

Gator has had a field day working with theme park clients. Tens of millions of people a year travel on Gator structures. We are chosen over and over again to be the manufacturer for these high-traffic transportation structures because of the long-term safety and durably we consistently design and fabricate.  We want our unusual past projects be an inspiration to make your future bridge or dock more than just a structure. 


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