Florida State Parks Weeki Wachee Mermaids: Behind the Scenes at the Georgia Aquarium

Weeki Wachee Mermaid swimming at the Georgia Aquarium

Weeki Wachee Mermaid swimming at the Georgia Aquarium


We joined the Florida State Parks Weeki Wachee mermaids at the Georgia Aquarium for their first performance of the season. This is the mermaids’ fourth year performing in the Aquarium’s special holiday shows–this year’s theme is “Festival of the SEAson.” Performers are joined by their manager, Deena Groves, who was herself a mermaid for 15 years. All in all, mermaids Tara Spaid, Stayce McConnell, Chelsea Stewart and Deidra Rodgers  are representing Florida State Parks in “high-tailed” fashion

The day starts early with a flight from Florida.

11:45 am- Mermaids arrive in Atlanta and are whisked away for hotel check-in and a quick bite to eat. Even though they’re not in dress, the ladies introduce themselves as “the mermaids.” Once a mermaid, always a mermaid.

2pm- Mermaids tour the Aquarium, checking out their flapping-tailed cousins: a tankful of dolphins.

3:30 pm- Mermaids go through orientation for the upcoming performance. Since they will be swimming in a dolphin tank, they learn about dolphin safety and are asked to limit interaction with the mammals.

4:30 pm- The mermaids get changed into costume and makeup and get ready for rehearsals. They can’t walk with their tales on, so they carry them on their shoulders.

5-8 pm- Into the tank the mermaids go, rehearsing choreography to classic holiday tunes including, “Let it Snow.” Projected snowflakes bounce off the walls while the mermaids dance and swim.

8 pm- Out of the tank to call it a night. They’ll be back tomorrow for performances and media photo ops.

The mermaids will complete nine performances at the Aquarium between now and Sunday. They’ll smile, take photos with children and their parents. They’ll create a new crop of lifelong fans, and leave some of their Florida State Parks Weeki Wachee mermaid magic just in time for the holidays.

Mermaid Deidra Rodgers after performance.

Mermaid Deidra Rodgers after performance.

About Weeki Wachee Springs State Park:

The mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs have delighted visitors since 1947. Today, visitors can still witness the magic of the mermaids, take a river boat cruise and canoe or kayak on the Weeki Wachee River. The 538-acre park features a first magnitude spring and a 400-seat submerged theatre for watching the live mermaid show.

Buccaneer Bay offers a fun-filled flume ride for thrill seekers of all ages. Our white sandy beach area and covered picnic pavilions provide a relaxing day for your entire family. Weeki Wachee’s animal shows provide audiences with an entertaining and educational look at domesticated birds and reptiles. Located on U.S. 19 at the intersection of State Road 50, just north of Spring Hill and south of Homosassa Springs.

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