Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL, USA
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Spring Hill Reviews
Home of the 'Mermaids' Feb 08, 2014
We decided to celebrate New Year's Eve 2013 by going to Weeki Wachee Springs which is about a two hour drive away from Orlando. Unlike the usual eating, drinking and merry making associated with New Year's Eve parties, it turned out to be one of the best celebrations I've had in a very long time!
As one of Florida's original roadside attractions, I was told that the 'mermaids' of Weeki Wachee Springs have entertained visitors/tourists since 1947. The 538 acre park features a 400-seat submerged theater for watching the live mermaid show, and this was the highlight of our visit.
We arrived at the park around 11:30 am, and as the first show (there are two shows daily) had already started we went to see the reptile show at the Riverside Theater which is presented by a lady and a young man. Although I have a mild aversion to reptiles and crawling creatures, the two hosts presented the show in a fun and entertaining manner, and we had a first hand glimpse of some of Florida's native wildlife. They showed us snakes, turtles and a baby alligator which we were allowed to touch.
As the second mermaid show was only at 1:30 pm we walked around the park, snapping photos of peacocks that were freely roaming around the property. To pass the time we took a river boat cruise (included in the entrance fee of $13) and had a tranquil view of the Weeki Wachee River. The cruise lasts about 35 minutes and this ride down the pristine waterway gives you the chance to discover Florida's natural wildlife. The experienced boat captain gave us a running commentary about various points of interest along the river, and the different types of fauna. We saw a bald eagle, turtles and many species of birds and fishes. I had hoped to see some manatees too, but I guess they were somewhere else.
As mentioned above, the mermaid show was the main reason to visit this place, and it did not disappoint. It was magical, and really something to see, four or five pretty girls swimming and performing some wonderful underwater feats to music and an announcer. The first part of the program was called FISH TALES which included the Deep Dive, along with several musical numbers. The second part was the mermaids performing their version of Hans Christian Andersen's THE LITTLE MERMAID. We thoroughly enjoyed both programs. Surely, anyone would enjoy it, but if you have children, it's a must!
There is also a small children's playground, a nature trail, a snack shop and restaurant, and yes, restrooms too, plus a gift shop near the entrance where you can pick up free brochures and maps. The admission fee of $13 per person is definitely worth it, as the ticket price includes the animal show, boat ride on the river and the marvelous mermaid show.
If you happen to be in the Tampa (Florida) area I would highly recommend a visit to Weeki Wachee Springs....a great place to take the family and spend a fun-filled day!
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