A trip to Weeki Wachee State Park is a trip back in time to old, authentic Florida. Weeki Wachee is known for its famous mermaid show, one of Florida’s oldest attractions. For nearly 70 years (since 1947), the mermaid show has been drawing visitors to Weeki Wachee springs. But the charming mermaid show is not all that Weeki Wachee has to offer. You can also take a river boat cruise, rent canoes and kayaks, or have some family fun at the Buccaneer Bay water park area.
Recently, my friend Melinda, along with her husband, Eddie, and their toddler, were vacationing in Florida. Their young daughter had a new fascination for mermaids! We made some last minute plans to meet Melinda and her family at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Sean and I loaded up Sean’s kids on a Saturday morning and made our way to Spring Hill, Florida.
Welcome to Weeki Wachee
The entrance to Weeki Wachee still has the original charm, with a ticket kiosk and a large water fountain at the front. The grounds are landscaped well, with statues of mermaids tucked into the flowering shrubs. We purchased our tickets into the park. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $8 for kids. This includes entrance to the park, the mermaid show, the river cruise, and Buccaneer Bay water park. This is a good deal for families who are looking for a nice day outside!
Once we were inside, we headed straight to the mermaid show, as it was starting in only a few moments. The mermaid theater is below ground level, with a giant glass window wall (there were curtains covering it). This allows an excellent view into the crystal clear spring water. We found some seats (the theater fills up fast, so it’s recommended to arrive early for the show), and waited for the show to begin. The curtains were drawn and the show began!
The mermaids appear in the spring water just beyond the glass wall. With air hoses located throughout the spring, the mermaids are able to stay under water during the whole show. The mermaids re-enacted The Little Mermaid story, complete with synchronized music and voice overs inside the theater. It’s neat to see how a theatrical performance is done entirely underwater. All the kids in the theater love seeing their favorite mermaid characters live in front of them!
Weeki Wachee Wildlife
After the show, we opted to walk around the grounds of Weeki Wachee. There are a few paths and trails that lead through forested areas with plants, wildlife, and views of the river. The river really is crystal clear, so we all liked watching for fish from the dock. Unfortunately the river cruise was not running the day we attended. I would have liked seeing a lot more of the river.
The park is not large, so it does not take long to see all that it has to offer and then make your way over to the water park area. The Buccaneer water park is a roped off section of the springs that allows swimming, tubing, and also has some water slides. There were a lot of families taking advantage of the hot day and cooling off in the 72 degree spring water.
Kayaking and Canoeing are a separate admission from the park. There is an area to rent them in the same parking lot. Weeki Wachee may not be a large theme park, but instead, it is a state park with the nostalgia for the old Florida roadside attractions. The preserved wilderness areas and clear spring waters give the park a relaxing and tranquil feel. For more information on visiting Weeki Wachee, visit their website.