Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disney World 1953 re-visited

When I was a child, Florida had few "tourist attractions."  If Walt Disney dreamed of building castles to the sky in the heart of Florida's wilderness, he hadn't told anyone.

The one tourist attraction I remember best is miraculously close to what I experienced in that time of innocence: Silver Springs.  The springs pump out 550 million gallons of sparkling-clear water a day. Enough to supply the entire city of New York. And I'm talking 99.8% pure water as you see by the photo here. 

Three different river cruises (included in the admission price) in glass-bottomed boats still give the best view of the ancient river-bed beneath pretty much as it was seen 70 million years ago.  
Glass bottomed boats let you see the springs

Many species of fish, turtles, alligators, clams, crawfish, shrimp, and snails swim past as you sit shaded from the sun watching the wonder below.

The water is a constant 72 degrees year around.  

Many movies (Creature from the Black Lagoon is one) and TV series (Sea Hunt most notably) were filmed here.

In addition to a carousel and a few other rides that even toddlers can enjoy, there are wildlife exhibits and nature shows given on a regular schedule. 

And of course there is a petting zoo. Watch out for the llamas though. They spit!

This was my first time seeing a Kodiak bear. The Pooh-like creatures are startlingly large and fascinating to watch. 

Kodiak bear over 1,000 lbs.

And, have you ever seen a white alligator? A look into their pink eyes is said to bring luck for the next year.  There were panthers and giraffes as well as crocodiles, cayman, tortoises, snakes, spiders, birds and monkeys.   
The best part of all this is that the animals are kept in as natural a habitat as possible and you are kept safe on an elevated walk-way or by distance and moats between you and the wildlife.

Since it was early October the weather was delightful. But even in summer there are huge shade trees throughout the park and all the riverboat cruises are covered to keep you cool and comfortable. 

What a great day we had in the park. I hope you will visit next time you are in Florida. This is the REAL Florida.

Wearing my PowerSellingMom shirt at Silver Springs, FL

1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

This looks like a much more relaxing place to visit than one of the major theme parks!