Like Cypress Gardens and Silver Spring, this attraction almost closed several times. It has been taken over by the state and is relatively cheap, with a water park, boat ride and of course, the mermaids. The girls really are the reason for coming, and well, worth an afternoon and an 1-1/2 hr ride from Orlando. I had never been there.
Daily admission for Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
- Adult: $13.00
- Child (Ages 6 – 12): $8.00
- Children 5 and under: FREE
The plaque (left) was found on a tree not far from the shallow river, where the boat is docked. I never read it, as I had no glasses on. The tale that the Timucuans were found by the Spanish along the narrow bank is atypical of their bad luck. An interesting contrast, the shallow pristine river made a great little water park addition several centuries later (right).
The peacocks walk around wild and sit and poop wherever they want. An interesting bunch–ah, nature!
The boat ride was run by these two and it was wonderful. They did a nice job considering it was a short ride.
Many birds to see, and of course, the original “mermaids.” It is said that drunk sailors spotted manatees and thought they were the dates of their dreams. I am sure a little disappointment came over them upon closer inspection.
These illusive, docile creatures have a relationship like the Timucuan and the Spanish, except for manatees it is motorboats. Both Silver Spring and Weeki advocate guards on motors which would save these gentle creatures from horrible cuts that they suffer each year, from idiots who forget that the wildlife here was here long before them!
But in the end, it is the mermaids you have come forBut in the end, it is the mermaids you have come for. There were two shows. They are young kids, good athelets, who seem to have have fun and be proud of a certain tradition. Recently, I was talking to someone, and she said, “oh, I was a mermaid one summer.” The mayor of the town, is actually a former mermaid, this thing has been going on for over 60 years.
The girls are not just sitting around, sucking on an airpipe. They are choreographed, and the dive the girl in the black and white above did involved going 100+ feet into the spring and holding her breath for almost 3 minutes! Wow!
The second show was the Little Mermaid, and had many of the same girls, except the main character, and one male, the Prince. They have more than one job, and he was kind of like a greeter/guard when we went back into the auditorium. Some of the girls pose for shots after the show. These mermaids go through costume changes and are in and out. A great feat, considering they are submerged in 74 degree water. I am wondering how they can see, I wonder if they wear an eyeguard, like a contact.
This is a great way to spend an afternoon, keep an old tradition alive (no matter how hokey you think it is) and get a better look at some wildlife close up! Please visit Weeki Wachee down the road on 50.