Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

entrancce

For residents and visitors of east coast Central Florida like New Smyrna-Daytona Beach area, the question is floating around asking, “Is the almost 3 hour car ride worth driving to see the Mermaid Show at Weeki Wachee?

Well, I have answered that question after visiting with my granddaughter- YES!

Yes, it is worth it.

We left around 8am on a sunny Sunday in early December and arrived at 10:40am, just in time for the 11 o’clock Mermaid Show.

Cost is $13 adult amd $6 children (6-12), 5 and under FREE

mermaident

We walked directly into the theatre and sat right in the front row, center aisle. The show was good.

Not the glitz and glam of Disney, and the sound isn’t the greatest, but it’s unique and *part of Florida history. The use of bubbles as curtains and backdrops and the mere fact that these girls are 20 feet under water performing, it was great!

show

The show lasted 30 minutes and then we exited the theatre and had to walk back to the begining of the park to see the real mermaid, she makes her appearance after show time.

mermaid1

The park has a boat ride,  animal show, playground, picnic tables, an okay food joint, the Tranquility walking trail and lots of statues and photo opportunities, all included in the park entrance fee!!

One of the photo spots in the park

Illana wanted to skip the animal show, so we did and instead took the boat ride. The boat rides are continuous throughout the day and you can check the park schedule for current day shows.

wildcruise

Weeki Wachee State Park is small, but worth it; we visited the whole thing at a slow pace as well as ate lunch in 3 hours.

Weeki Wachee is a nice half day adventure!

So you ask… what do we do with the other half of the day?

I see 2 options:

The first… rent a canoe or kayak from Paddling Adventures.

river

I really wanted to do this but with a 5 year old I thought moving and play would be better for her. Single kayaks go for $32.50 and canoes and tandem kayaks go for $37.50. Not cheap but a inexpensive option would be to rent a canoe if the whole family can fit.

The second… swim at Buccaneer Bay. buccaneerbayThis is FREE and what we choose. I am not crazy about swimming in cold water but I do- I actally make it a point to jump into every major body of water I can. Bucanner Bay was fun and you really do get use to the colder water!!

bucbay

View from Underwater Theatre of Buccaneer Bay

waterstairs

View of stairs from where we swam.

 

After a relaxing time in and near the water we actually watched the last mermaid show of the day from the spring viewing deck, aka backstage above water”, near the Mermaid Theatre entrance. That was around 3:30pm.

backstage

Backstage

We grabbed one more photo opportunity with a different mermaid and also had time to talk with them and ask about their job as a mermaid, training, etc. They were very friendly.

mermiad1

This mermaid is getting scuba certified as part of her mermaid training!


When you leave Weeki Wachee BEFORE you head home here is what you must do.

Take a right out of the parking lot on south 19.

Drive 1.3 miles to Harold’s Auto Care on your right. We visited on a Sunday so we pulled right in the drive, if business is going on you may want to consider that when parking. You probably could pull way over on the side of route 19 out in front, but visit. It’s a cute photo opportunity and I’m sure they like the visitors!

harolds

Harold’s Auto

One more stop… leave there and continue south to F udge Factory USA, Inc., pull in and check out their pink dinosaur in the lot next door.

pinkdino

Now, it’s time to head home.

You are probaly getting hungry, may I suggest if you are eating dinner out at a resturant that you stop at the half way point to eat. For those of us in New Smyrna Beach area that would be in Eustis, FL. It just breaks up the drive.

My granddaughter wanted stuffed crust pizza so we stopped at “Pizza Cut” as she calls it and arrived home around 9:15pm

A fun day and worth the drive!

 

*Weeki Watchee is one of the Original 3. The threee first major visitor attractions in Central Florida were: Weeki Wachee Springs with it’s Mermaids, The Citurs Tower in Cleremont and Cypress Gardens now Legoland Florida.

 

ALSO: RoadSideAmerica.com is a must for any US roadtripper. I use the free web version on my phone but I bet the app which costs between $1.99 – $5.99 is worth it.

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One thought on “Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

  1. Pingback: Classic Florida | the frugal travel mom

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