Is it a car? Or a boat? Well it is both.

The Amphicars at Downtown Disney are certainly drawing a crowd now. There is nothing like watching a car drive down a ramp and into a lake and after surviving that then motor round and drive back out again without sinking and keeping the passengers dry.



So what makes this so special? For one thing you don't see this being offered anywhere else. You can get a ride in a car/boat with your own Captain right in the heart of Downtown Disney.



So what do you get?

For $125 you can have a trip around the lake with up to three passengers. This comes complete with a Chauffeur or Captain and lasts around 20 or 30 minutes.



They actually run 9 Amphicars in total with around 5 or 6 in use per day. The others are rotated through the shop to keep them in tip top condition.

As you can imagine these boat cars do require a lot of maintenance.



Off you go down the ramp with an impressive splash. You might get a few drops on you but certainly not wet.

In fact in the whole trip around the lake you remain dry. It can get hot out there so remember the sun screen ( note to self for next time )



If you have never seen an Amphicar before then here is a little info and history.

They were built in Germany in the 60s. They were designed and sold for the US market with around 4,000 produced between 1961 and 1965 when the company went bust. They did have a stock of them so some were registered as late as 1968.

They are powered by the old Triumph Herald 1147cc engine situated in the back of the vehicle with a 4 speed transmission powering the rear wheels.

There is a second gear lever powering the twin propellers under the rear bumper. This provides forward and reverse and the main gearbox can be left in neutral while in the water.



As you enter the lake you can see the amphibious tank they can use to rescue any cars that break down. This tank, complete with tracks, can haul a car right up the ramp if needed.



The Captain will give you a guided tour of the lake and answer any questions about the Amphicars too.

As I have always loved the Amphicars I asked about the changes they had made to them.

Basically they are stock Amphicars with upgraded bilge pumps to keep the water out. Plus the standard carburettor has been replaced with modern fuel injection for smoother running, reliability and it is better for the environment.



Selfie time.



Some general shots of the trip around the lake. As you can imagine people tend to wave at you a lot on your voyage. It is quite novel and attracts a lot of attention.


















Coming in to land.



You drive onto a turntable where they rotate the car ready for the next guests.

So what did I think? Well actually it was a lot better than I was expecting. I have always admired Amphicars for their novelty value. A restored Amphicar would set you back around $60,000 - $100,000 dollars to buy and they do require a lot of maintenance. So the $125 price tag is actually quite reasonable. If there are 3 of you that works out to only 27 each. So yes that is well worth it for the experience alone.


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