Weeki Wachee Springs and Underwater Theater
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Brief history of Weeki Wachee
Did you know the deepest freshwater cave system in the U.S. is just 60 miles north of St. Pete? Newton Perry scouted the land in 1946, believing it was perfect for a new business. He made quick work, as the first show at his new Weeki Wachee Springs underwater theater opened in 1947. Fast forward to 1982, ‘Buccaneer Bay’ was added to the park with a couple waterslides and white sand beach, giving us what we have today.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is an icon of the ‘yesteryear’ of Florida tourism, with the mermaids performing ever since 1946. Many famous stars have visited the park and the aquatic goddesses themselves have starred in multiple movies.
Weeki Wachee Today
It’s easy to see why Mr. Perry originally staked his claim. Hard to imagine anyone stumbling across this land with crystal clear flowing water and saying “that’s nice, but let’s find another spot”. While it appears you’re pulling up to a water park (tall slides), we had to remind ourselves that the park is built around natural springs. It’s not Six Flags plunging you into a chlorinated pool. Each day, 170 million gallons of 72-74 degree water flow from the subterranean cavern through the park and on into the Gulf. Very unique.
The key is to arrive early if you’re visiting on the weekend (by 9am). These days, once capacity is reached, the gates close. Same with the mermaid show, as only the first certain number of people thru the gates receive tickets to the show (at no additional cost). We arrived at 10:30am, so Colt was unable to flirt with the gals. Next time. In fact, even all the beach chairs were taken. But that’s fine, as we enjoyed simply exploring the park and the entertaining animal show. Speaking of animals, Peacocks roam freely, keep an eye out on fences and roofs!
Next door to the waterpark you can rent kayaks & canoes to drift/paddle the beautiful river! The park recommends reserving 1-2 weeks in advance. You can bring your own, though still need to reserve a launch time as they stagger launches for crowd management.
– Park Entry Fee: Adults are $13, Children ages 6-12 are $8, Free for 5 and under.
– The Wilderness River Cruise is not available currently
– Park Open: 9am-5:30pm Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
– 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee FL
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Address: 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee FL
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