Home: Weeki Wachee and the mermaids

snowmanA snowman warns you not to push the bottom, push it and you get a nosesquirt (left). The mermaids, the real reason for coming (right).

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

4 plaque wholeThe 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).

DSC_0472DSC_0444

The peacocks walk around wild and sit and poop wherever they want. An interesting bunch–ah, nature!

9 14 captain

The boat ride was run by these two and it was wonderful. They did a nice job considering it was a short ride.

8 boats8 manateesMany 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!

9 birds9 duckBut in the end, it is the mermaids you have come for7 new billBut 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.

9 11 mermaidsI had a hard time shooting into the tank retaining color, so some of the shots, I just did away with the cyan and did other things.

2 girlsWhen they are close to the glass, the color remained, but deeper in the tanks, everything was blue, blue.

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!

1 llittle mermaidThe mermaid enters, saves Prince and lets him go.

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.

DSC_09749 13 mermaid and princeAt the end, she gets her legs, get her prince in a dry land dance, and finally they both return to the sea for her voice and some more dance!

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.

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2 Responses to “Home: Weeki Wachee and the mermaids”

  1. dweebcentric Says:

    I’d like to think that even though the drunken sailors were probably disappointed that manatees were not the girls of their dreams, they would have still been fascinated by the very sight of them. I only wish the boat lingered a little longer so we could look a bit more at something I rarely get to see.

    The photos look great!!

  2. Janis Says:

    We went there for Summer vacation this year. I have seen short films of the mermaids. They use to hide the air lines. Wish they still did that. Seeing loses some of the magic, but they are still great to watch.

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