Since 1947, Weeki Wachee Springs have enthralled and delighted visitors with the mermaid show. The attraction claimed to have “real live mermaids” and still offers shows to this day. Clad in fishy mermaid tails and bikini tops, these beautiful maidens perform a show at the historic 400-seat underwater theater. Buccaneer Bay is a more recent addition, complete with water slides, flume rides and sandy beaches for swimming in the spring’s year round 72 degree water.
Located directly on the corner of US 19 and SR 50 in Weeki Wachee, Florida this antique theme park was originally owned by ABC broadcasting and actually became a city of just 50 people to reap tax benefits and appropriate the surrounding springs.
By the time the 50’s rolled around, the mermaids had become a legend around the world. Women can from as far as Tokyo to tryout for a mermaid position at the show. A giant clamshell theater was constructed in the 60’s to replace the aging 40-seat grandstand, and still serves today as the parks main attraction. Nearly a half million visitors showed up each year, just to see the mermaids in action.
Buccaneer Bay opened up in 1983 to the delight of locals and visitors alike. By the early 80’s decline in sales forced the sale of the park and the opening of the water park. This awesome water park boasts several slides and flumes, kiddies’ area and beach, all for just $26 a day for adults and $12 for kids 6-12 years old.
Boat Tours are included with your ticket price of $13 per adult and $5 per children aged 6-12, in this huge 538-acre state park. This tranquil cruise up the scenic Weeki Wachee River is one of the highlights of the park and is narrated by a park ranger.
If you’re more into self-guided tours of this crystal clear river, you can rent canoes and kayaks at the parks concession. For just $30, you can cruise down this beautiful first magnitude spring and river outflow. While access to the headsprings is limited due to the mermaids, you can still snorkel and swim. Scuba diving is permitted, but only with a licensed operator. Sorry no solo divers!
Concessions, restaurants and gift shops abound throughout this Mother Nature theme park, so bring a few bucks, your kids, your camera and your appetite. For more info on Weeki Wachee State Park visit The Official Weeki Wachee State Park Website fro more details on hours of operation, events and fees.