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4.0
128 votes

Weeki Wachee Springs

6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, Florida 34606 USA

$
$$$$
Budget
Closed Now
Opens Wed 9a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
Add to Trip

“underwater mermaid show”

If you thought mermaids were just the lively imaginings of lonely sailors, think again -- and come to Weeki Wachee Springs, the City of Live Mermaids, on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Located about an hour north of Tampa at the crossroads of U.S. 19 and State Road 50, Weeki Wachee is more than just a mark on a road map. Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring -- the only one of its kind in the world -- and one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions. For almost 60 years, the fun, family oriented park has lured in visitors with beautiful mermaids who swim in the cool, clear spring waters. Weeki Wachee Springs is a magical entrance into a mysterious blue underwater world of mermaids, manatees, turtles and bubbles. Sitting in the Mermaid Theater, visitors feel like they are inside the flowing spring, and are transported back to simpler times, before super theme parks and super highways appeared. So come to Weeki Wachee Springs and see a splendid side of Florida lore, where dreams really do come true. 
Home of the world famous mermaids, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is one of Florida's original roadside attractions. We encourage all fans and mermaids from the past six decades to reconnect and share their memories. 

Since 1947, millions of visitors have been amazed and charmed by the world famous mermaids who inhabit the spring. In addition to live mermaid shows, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park offers a river boat cruise, animal shows and Florida's only spring-fed water park, Buccaneer Bay.

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. Deep in the spring, the surge of the current is so strong that it can knock a scuba diver’s mask off. The basin of the spring is 100 feet wide with limestone sides and there, where the mermaids swim, 16 to 20 feet below the surface, the current runs a strong five miles an hour. It’s quite a feat for a mermaid to stay in one place in such a current.

The Weeki Wachee River winds its way 12 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1946, Newton Perry, an avid swimmer and dive instructor, scouted out Weeki Wachee as a good site for a new business. At the time, U.S. 19 was a small two-lane road. All the other roads were dirt; there were no gas stations, no groceries, and no movie theaters. More alligators and black bears lived in the area than humans. The spring was full of old rusted refrigerators and abandoned cars. The junk was cleared out and Newt experimented with underwater breathing hoses and invented a method of breathing underwater from a free-flowing air hose supplying oxygen from an air compressor, rather than from a tank strapped onto the back. With the air hose, humans could give the appearance of thriving twenty feet underwater with no breathing apparatus.

Weeki Wachee’s heyday began in 1959, when the spring was purchased by the American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) and was heavily promoted. ABC built the current theater, which seats 500 and is embedded in the side of the spring 16 feet below the surface. ABC also developed themes for the underwater shows, with elaborate props, lifts, music, and story lines such as Underwater Circus, the Mermaids and the Pirates, and Underwater Follies. The mermaids performed Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Snow White, and Peter Pan.

Today, the tiny city of Weeki Wachee is one of the nation’s smallest cities, with a population of four, including the mayor of Weeki Wachee who, you guessed it, is a former mermaid. Who better to bring the dream back to life? Fresh coats of paint adorn the walls of the Mermaid Villa, the gift shop is stocked with fanciful and functional mermaid souvenirs, and the mermaid theater is being restored to its former glory. Recently, carpeting on the walls was pulled back to reveal original ceramic tiles in Florida colors: teal, pink and aqua. Visitors can swim at Buccaneer Bay, see the animal/reptile show, or take a riverboat ride down the Weeki Wachee River and into Old Florida. A family of peacocks roams the grounds. Turtles, fish, manatees, otters and even an occasional alligator swim in the spring with the mermaids, amusing both children and adults. Visitors can pose with mermaids. Children can attend the summer Mermaid Camp and fulfill their dreams of becoming a little mermaid or a merman.

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Reviewed by
joleneduck

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
February 16, 2015
Rated 4.0

My kids and I loved it. Great mermaid shows, animal show was fun, and the boat trip was a relaxing ride. We tried the water park but the water is from the springs and was cold when we went. Overall we spent about 3 hours there and had a good time.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Bryan

  • Road Warrior
  • 74 Reviews
  • 69 Helpful
December 03, 2014
Rated 4.0

Pure Americana - expect to spend 2-3 hours here - getting a bit old but that is the fun of it too... There is a water park nearby and a nice boat trip with crystal clear water. I call this a must see when in the area. Also - don't miss the Manatee preserve a short distance away - expect to spend 3 hours there.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
masatro

  • 11 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
May 21, 2014

The facilities are looking dated and run down; however, that doesn't make this park any less fun to go visit. The mermaid shows are one-of-a-kind and impressive for both kids and adults.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
mindygaillardtank

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 15, 2017
Rated 5.0

It is an awesome experience! I took 5 kids and it is very family friendly and for the price you can't beat all that it includes!!!

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Reviewed by
Faran

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 19, 2016

Really amazing fun in the water with dreamy characters that you have imagined before visit you loved to visit Haqhomes. com

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Reviewed by
TaylorAustin1

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 26, 2015
Rated 5.0

So much fun! This place is beautiful and is state owned so if you have a Fl state park pass you can get in for free. Support your state parks.

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Reviewed by
St.Nick

  • 13 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
September 10, 2015
Rated 5.0

Sweet show! Swimming in the spring is great and canoe trips.

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 315 Reviews
  • 321 Helpful
September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

This place has certainly seen better days, but it's still as fun as ever to see "real" mermaids perform shows underwater. Kids get a kick out of it, and you're not bound to see anything else like it.

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Reviewed by
carmen.bernard.58

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
November 22, 2013

I have been there before. I loved it!

1 person found this review helpful

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Weeki Wachee Springs

6131 Commercial Way
Weeki Wachee, Florida
34606 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Parking
  • RV Parking
  • Free Parking

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