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 historic Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids since 1947, has a bona fide mermaid camp for adults. But you gotta be quick because 2020 registration is going to open soon! 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). 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 learn before they perform in their shows. You also get to see behind-the-scenes of what it takes to put on an underwater show and learn 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 to teach in this camp!
You also receive two daily admission tickets to the park. They’re 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 dreams of becoming a mermaid dream to life!
Lunch is provided each day (let the trainers know if you have any food allergies) 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 of the ten camp weekends. The 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 ;-).
Below are the dates for the 2020 Sirens Camp. They’ll begin taking reservations for these dates starting at 10 AM EST on Saturday, January 18th, 2020.
- Camp 1: April 18-19
- Camp 2: May 2-3
- Camp 3: May 16-17
- Camp 4: June 6-7
- Camp 5: June 20-21
- Camp 6: July 18-19 (co-ed camp)
- Camp 7: August 1-2
- Camp 8: August 15-16
- Camp 9: September 19-20
- Camp 10: October 3-4
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 and they don’t waitlist (or refund) for cancellations.
So if you REALLY want to be a mermaid or a merman, check their website and be ready with your $450 credit card payment as SOON as they announce spots are open for 2020!
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 click here for some YouTube videos (some professionally made, some not) of the camp that have been posted over the years.
Just keep swimming…
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary