Flashback: Floridaland, 1960

A "rootin’, tootin’"tourist attraction once thrived on the site of Southbay Yacht & Racquet Club.

By Ilene Denton April 29, 2020


The Wild West "shootout" that took place daily for Floridaland tourists.

How many communities can claim they were once home to a thriving tourist attraction complete with an Indian village, cancan dancers and a dolphin show? That’s right. Southbay Yacht & Racquet Club, an upscale subdivision of 360 residences on the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Blackburn Point Road in Osprey, was the home of Floridaland from 1964 to 1971. The dolphin show took place daily in what is now a private 175-slip deepwater marina for the use of homeowners only.

Floridaland failed right around the time Disney World became the center of the tourism universe, but souvenirs from the homespun attraction—Floridaland tea cups, postcards, an advertising brochure—are on display in the Southbay clubhouse.

This photo shows the Wild West “shootout” that took place every day in front of Digger Long Undertaker’s shop in Floridaland’s Western Ghost Town, just down the street from the Golden Nugget Saloon.

Did any of our readers work there? Let us know on Facebook.

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