Willie’s Swamp Shack


In the heart of the Aquarium’s renovated Seven Rivers Gallery, among the black water, cypress trees and Spanish moss, Willie’s Swamp Shack is a treat for Aquarium visitors. Motion-activated sensors bring us “Willie,” an onscreen storyteller from nearby Buffalo City who appears to stand in the shack doorway to warn visitors about snakes and gators, and interpret the cultural and natural history of the region.

Buffalo City was a booming mill town carved out of the swamp forest near the Alligator River in the late 1800s. During prohibition, it became a moonshine capital for the East Coast.

The Seven Rivers Gallery is an immersive space where visitors weave through life-like cypress trees to explore displays of snakes, alligators and freshwater fishes and turtles.

  • The Seven Rivers Gallery is the first aquarium gallery visitors encounter upon arrival.

  • The Swamp Shack’s main feature is a short video of “Willie” standing in the doorway, teaching visitors about the local region.

  • The Shack is themed to represent what might be found along the Alligator River.

  • The video was produced by award-winning theme creators Cortina Productions.

  • Nearby exhibits feature young alligators, snakes, fish and turtles.

Sponsorship of this exhibit has a term of ten years. The sponsor will be recognized with appropriate signage at the exhibit and on permanent displays at all three NC Aquariums.

Sponsorship is

available for:


Contact Us for Sponsorship Details