Today we are looking back on a visit we made to an unusual theme park that would be perfect for your next family adventure. Welcome aboard!
W E E K I W A C H E E S P R I N G S
We’ve visited this State Park twice now, and although it isn’t as big as some of its competing roadside attractions, it still offers much to entertain the whole family!
Weeki Wachee Springs is located in Spring Hill, FL at the intersection of S.R. 50 and Hwy. 19 which places it just 45 minutes North of Tampa and 2 hours West of Orlando. The full address is: 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606.
So why should you make the trip to Weeki Wachee Springs?
SPRINGS: The Weeki Wachee River winds its way 12 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. But it starts from a spring. The Seminole Indians named the spring “Weeki Wachee,” which means “little spring” or “winding river.” The spring is so deep that the bottom has never been found. Each day, more than 117 million gallons of clear, fresh 74-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns.
RIVER BOAT CRUISE: Take a ride down the pristine waterway of the Weeki Wachee River as experienced boat captains give you an educational experience about the river and the different types of natural wildlife that might be seen during the trip. This may include manatees! They have swum next to boats and have been known to interrupt the live Mermaid shows (see next entry).
You can also rent canoes and kayaks and make your own way down the river! For more pictures of what you can expect to see, please read the post entitled Florida: Weeki Wachee River found right here on Disney Nouns.
MERMAIDS: There are ‘real’ mermaids swimming and putting on shows for audiences in the Mermaid Theater that seats 500 and is embedded in the side of the spring 16 feet below the surface. The Little Mermaid and Fish Tails are the shows presently in production.
Ariel and her sisters (2008)
This post, and the Peach Loop in general, is to introduce you to family-friendly tourist destinations. So I feel I should put in a word of warning at this point: There be boobies!
Well-endowed Mermaids in bikini tops aren’t the only occurrence of this overt feature of Weeki Wachee Springs. Stone statues are installed throughout the park and there is a whole line of topless sirens-of-the-deep at the entrance (see opening image for reference).
The statues are tasteful and are no worse than what you would see in an art museum, but I just thought forewarned was forearmed. You may want to bring blinders for the little ones… or the husbands.
ANIMAL SHOWS: The animal encounters provide you with a first-hand glimpse of some of Florida’s native wildlife including alligators, snakes, birds, and others.
BUCCANEER BAY: Florida’s only spring-fed water park, the thrilling flume rides empty you into the pristine waters of Buccaneer Bay. Lil’ Mates Caribbean Cove (Kiddie Pool) is an area reserved for kids 6 years of age and younger. A water play area that the kids will enjoy and where Mom and Dad can relax as a trained lifeguard supervises.
Of course, Buccaneer Bay is a seasonal offering. Please visit the official website for more detailed information, directions, and pictures.
To conclude, I’d just like to mention that the park has been used for a backdrop in many films. And Don Knotts once visited the Mermaid Theater to promote his (then) new movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet, and how cool is that?