Orlando Signature Magazine
Mermaid Camp (for adults) at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Appearing in Disney’s animated film and on Starbuck’s coffee cups, mermaids are way more real than you might think. And if you want to be one, we’ll tell you how to make that happen.
I’m staring into the magical and mystical. The 74-degree water of Weeki Wachee Springs is crystal clear, like air. Eight of us anxiously await our cue to plunge in, a baptism of sorts that will transform us from mere mortal women to mermaids with shimmering turquoise tails. We will be born of the water, swimming alongside Weeki Wachee’s legendary mermaids who ruled the springs in the 1960s and ’70s, performing underwater shows that have delighted hundreds of thousands of visitors for exactly 70 years.
For the next two days, these women are dedicated to fulfilling mermaid dreams during the Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. They volunteer to train guppies like me, eager to share their love of mermaid culture and the magic of the water. Hidden behind a gate warning “staff only” is our haven and a backstage pass to the changing cast of princes, princesses and a merwitch or two, drenched upon taking their final bows. The performers are applauded by the sirens who understand the athleticism, poise and sheer bravado that goes into the making of a mermaid.
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