Some little girls and not-so-little girls (and occasionally not-so-little boys, too!) would LOVE to be a real-life mermaid (or merman). Well, grown-up merfolk wannabes, you CAN, because on the west coast of Florida, there’s a bona fide mermaid camp for adults! But you gotta be quick because registration is going to open. any day now! Here’s more about it…
From Wikipedia: “Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida (population: 12), where underwater performances by mermaids (women wearing fish tails as well as other fanciful outfits) can be viewed in an aquarium-like setting in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River. A water park, Buccaneer Bay, and boat rides are also part of the attraction.
“The attraction was created in 1947 by stunt swimmer and attraction promoter Newt Perry, who based the show on underwater air hose breathing techniques. First an 18-seat theater, then later a newer theater with a capacity of 50, were embedded in the lime rock of the spring with viewing windows below the surface of the water, to allow visitors to watch the mermaids perform in the spring. In 1982, Buccaneer Bay was opened with water slides, a lazy river, and a white sand beach for visitors to enjoy alongside the theater with the mermaid shows.
“Guests to the park have included Elvis Presley, Don Knotts, Esther Williams, Arthur Godfrey, Kevin Smith, and Larry the Cable Guy. Hollywood has occasionally used the attraction and its mermaids in the filming of movies such as Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948), Neptune’s Daughter (1949), and many television shows. At one point, the attraction was owned by broadcast network ABC, and this led to an increase in publicity for the attraction. Currently, the park is owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and is a member of the Florida State Park System.”
About the camp
Sirens of The Deep Mermaid Camp is a 2-day camp run by Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (a volunteer-run organization dedicated to preserving the park’s natural beauty and running the camp) and as a participant, you get to experience what’s like to be an underwater performer at Weeki Wachee Springs. Each day of the weekend camp, you can participate in underwater ballet training sessions and learn the basic ballet moves that the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee must learn before they perform shows. You also get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on an underwater show and be exposed to the daily responsibilities of being a mermaid. And get this – you learn to become a mermaid from those who know, because all mermaid camp trainers are previous Weeki Wachee Mermaids who volunteer their time for this camp!
You also receive two daily admission tickets to the park that are good for the scheduled weekend of your camp, so your friends/family can enjoy the fun of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park while you bring your exciting mermaid dream to life!
Lunch is provided daily and at Sunday’s lunch, mermaids are presented with a Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp certificate of completion.
Camp sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and there’s a maximum of eight participants for each camp. Minimum age for camp participants is 30 and although the vast majority of available dates are for women only, one weekend is co-ed for you merman wannabes ;-).
If you’re interested in participating, click here to go to Weeki Wachee’s Sirens of The Deep Mermaid Camp’s webpage. Heads up that once registration opens, they sell out FAST! From their website: “Dates will be released sometime in late January/early February. We highly suggest following the park on one of the social media platforms for date announcements. They are filled on a first-call basis. In order to reserve a date, please have payment ready.” And they don’t do wait lists for next year or for cancellations. So if you REALLY want to be a mermaid or a merman, check their website and be ready with your credit card as SOON as they announce spots are open for 2019! (start checking NOW!)
Meanwhile, if you’d like a taste of what the camp is like, a reporter at the Orlando Sentinel went to the camp a couple of years ago and reported her experiences. Click here to read it. And here’s some video provided by Weeki Wachee:
Just keep swimming…
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary