Spotlight: Weeki Wachee

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are sorry to inform our readers that the Weeki Wachee attraction is closed.

Weeki Wachee is one of Florida’s most unique and oldest attractions.  For over 60 years, the family-oriented park has been famous for its beautiful mermaid show, but they offer much more.  The name “Weeki Wachee” actually comes from the Seminole Indians and means “little spring” or “winding river”.  The spring is so deep that the bottom has never been found!  And, the current is so strong in some areas that it can take a scuba mask right off!  It is actually quite a feat for the mermaids to do their show in such a current.  A theater was built info the limestone 6 feet below the surface of the spring so viewers could see the natural beauty of the spring, as well as the mermaid show.  Back in 1947, U.S. 19 was a small two-lane road, and all the other nearby roads were dirt.  The area was populated with more wildlife than humans, and cars were few.  The ladies actually went out to the road to beckon people into the park to see their show whenever they heard a car coming.  But by the 1950s, Weeki Wachee was one of the most popular tourist stops, visited by celebrities including Elvis Presley, Don Knotts, Esther Williams, and Arthur Godfry.

You can still see the mermaid shows as well as river boat cruises, animal shows, canoeing and kayaking, and the Buccaneer Bay water park (seasonal).  The river boat cruise will guide you along the pristine waters where you may see natural wildlife of the area.  The animal encounters showcase some of Florida’s native wildlife including alligators, snakes, turtles, and more.  You can also rent canoes or kayaks (or bring your own), or go diving in the springs (must register through a dive shop, no individual diving permitted).   Weeki Wachee also offers camps, group reservations, corporate picnics, and weddings.

Buccaneer Bay Water Park is also a great way to cool off with thrilling flume rides including the Pirates Plunge, The Cannonball, The Thunderbolt, and more!    (Seasonal, check website for dates.)

This ‘old Florida’ attraction is approximately 80 miles from the Orlando area.

For more information about Weeki Wachee, visit their website, or type in ‘Weeki Wachee’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Weeki Wachee and share your tips and experience!

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