Weeki Wachee Springs State park is an amusement park located in the tiny city of Weeki Wachee, Florida about an hour north of Tampa. It lies between Spring Hill to the south and Homomassa Springs to the north.
The amusement park has been entertaining guests since 1947 but it was the American broadcast company ABC which was responsible for it taking off in a big way when it purchased the amusement park back in 1959.
The amusement park is famous for being the ‘City of Live Mermaids’ which you can watch from its underwater theatre which seats 500 people and whichwas actually built by ABC. It’s a fascinating spectacle featuring not only mermaid shows but also manatees and turtles and other underwater life and where spectacular shows such as Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz are actually played out underwater by the mermaids themselves.
The mermaids have always been popular at the amusement park but back in the 1960s, such was the desire to become one that applicants were drawn from all over the world, some coming from as far away as Japan. Even Elvis Presley once came to the amusement park to see the mermaids all for himself!
In 1982, a water slide amusement park called Buccaneer Bay became an additional attraction to Weeki Wachee and features several water slides such as the Cannonball and the Thunderbolt as well as a beautiful white sandy beach. The Animal Encounter at the amusement park also contains turtles, manatees, fish, otters and the amusement park even permits the odd alligator to swim with the mermaids.
The amusement park certainly transports you into a world of peace, beauty and tranquillity where peacocks roam around the grounds.
Nevertheless, for all of its various attractions, the mermaids are definitely the heartbeat of this amusement park. There is even an annual summer children’s Mermaid Camp where youngsters can try to fulfil their dreams by becoming a little mermaid or mer-‘man’ and former mermaids are forever coming back to the park to visit with their motto being ‘once a mermaid, always a mermaid’.
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