Florida's Weeki Wachee attraction seeks new mermaids


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/29/floridas-weeki-wachee-attrac.html


#2

does that beat naked photoshoots in zero temperatures


#3

To be honest $10 an hour there isn’t terrible. Cost of living is below the national average mostly driven by lower rents in the Spring Hill area.


#4

I’m so glad Weeki Wachee Springs is still there and still has mermaids. I saw the show when I was about six, and even then was kind of amazed that it was still as busy as it was, what with all the other stuff nearby.


#5

I was maybe ten when I saw it, back in the 70s when there were a ton of crappy little tourist attractions everywhere in Florida. I have fond memories of many of those crappy little attractions, but Weeki Wachee wasn’t crappy at all; it was awesome.


#6

It would’ve been '83 or '84 when I saw it, and it was indeed awesome. I think I remember a waterski show with a pyramid of people but that may have been somewhere else. My only regret from that time in Florida was not getting to see Xanadu, Home of the Future.


#7

I heard about this because there was a Jeopardy! contestant sometime in the last year that was from around that way. Her interview segment was about her time as a mermaid there. Pretty cool.

It’s not unusual for non-degree type work here in high(er)-cost-of-living Atlanta. Before my current unemployment I was making $12/hr as a prep cook, and prior to that I was salaried but something like $15/hr for 40hrs except I worked plenty of overtime. I started that salaried job, and the job prior to it, at $9/hr. I’d have much rather been a mermaid.


#8

74 is not too bad if you’re actively swimming. Might be a bigger problem for the mermaids with a low BMI.

Will say, 74 is definitely a lot colder than it sounds… It brings to mind a beautiful spring day, but jumping into 70 degree water sure doesn’t feel like spring!


#9

Went a few years ago, desperate for something to do while visiting wintering relatives. The show’s a bit kitschy, but the skill and fortitude involved is impressive. Outside of the show, the state park itself is really nice. You can swim and snorkel around yourself, and manatees crowd in there during colder weather for the constant temperature water. Manatees were mating while I was snorkling, and it was amazing/scary. There’s a naturalist-led boat tour down the river as well that’s quite good. Very much worth a stop if you happen to be around there.


#10

74 farenheit? in florida? wow. That is 23.3 celcius which around here is sweaty short/t-shirt weather.
Though I suppose water conducts away body heat pretty quickly, so maybe it’s different when swimming.


#11

You are precisely correct. 74 degree F water feels much colder than 74 degree F air. For the exact reason you cite.


#12

i also saw this show a couple of years ago and it was awesome.

do highly recommend.

also recommend Homosassa Springs which is nearby so you can make a day of it.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Homosassa-Springs


#13

Oh noes! Running out of mermaids??

I visited there long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it!


#14

Your body loses heat in 25°C warm water approximately at the same rate as in 5°C “warm” air.


#15

If they advertise it as “looking for unicorns,” they’ll get their mermaids.


#16

That was probably Cypress Gardens near Winter Haven. It was known in its heyday as the Water Ski Capital of the World (yee haw). After changing ownership several times, it is now LegoLand. As a child I went with my family went to Cypress Gardens every summer and the best part was the ski shows.


#17

I’m headed to Florida tomorrow, in fact. I’ll try and check it out! Thx


#18

Yes! You’re completely, right, thank you. I remember going to Weeki Watchee one day and Cypress Gardens the next, but was getting them mixed up. The only things I remember from Cypress Gardens were the ski show and having a parrot on my arm.


#19


#20

For anyone with more interest in this topic, check out the short documentary ‘The Spring’ (13 mins, free on Amazon Prime).

https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Delaney-Buffett/dp/B076HWCRP1