It’s a boat, it’s a car … it’s the Amphicar! If you’ve been to Disney Springs, I know you’ve seen them. They are eye-catching, to say the least. The Disney Springs Amphicar Tour is a 20-minute guided tour on the waters of Lake Buena Vista in a vintage amphibious vehicle that can both drive on land and float on water. And a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have my first Disney Springs Amphicar experience and report back on whether or not it’s an attraction worthy of your time, and your hard-earned dollar.
What is an Amphicar? Are they rare?
An Amphicar is a vehicle that can both drive on land and float in the water. Amphicars are rear-engined and use a 4-cylinder British-built motor. These unique amphibious vehicles can achieve 7 knots (8 mph) in the water and up to 70 mph on land. All amphibious cars are convertibles. And yes, Amphicars are considered to be quite rare. According to The BOATHOUSE website, less than 4,000 were produced in Germany in the 1960s. Roughly 3,000 were later imported into the United States. And less than 400 exist worldwide today.
They were manufactured in just four colors: Beach White, Regatta Red, Lagoon Blue and Fjord Green (Aqua). Today, Walt Disney World boasts to be the only place in the entire world that offers captain-guided Amphicar tours. Disney Springs’ fleet of Amphicars was purchased from private collections.
How much are Amphicars worth today?
Today, these rare cars typically go for around $100,000-$140,000. During our tour, our captain told us a story about the time they sold one of the cars in their fleet to a private collector. He said that a private collector went on to sink the amphibious car on its first private voyage on the water because he forgot the plug. Whether or not that’s a tall tale I may never know. But if it’s true, I suppose there are now 399 Amphicars left in existence today.
What is it like to ride in an Amphicar?
Touring Disney Springs in an Amphicar, in my humble opinion, was a blast.
Tickets & reservations
We made our reservation and purchased our tickets on-site at the BOATHOUSE’S BOATIQUE next door. They texted me about 45 minutes later to let me know our car was ready.
We began with a quick photo session in and out of the vehicle. Photos can be purchased from a staff photographer or, pro-tip, you can just ask the captain to take some freebies with your phone or camera as we did. I highly recommend putting on some sunscreen and/or a hat before boarding. Twenty minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s long enough to burn on a hot day with no shade at low speeds in Lake Buena Vista. Life jackets are available – which you may want to consider for the little kids – but are not required. This portion of the lake is only about 5 feet deep.
Each Amphicar holds up to 3-4 people not including the captain. I chose the back seat which I felt offered better views. My husband chose the front seat. However, I noticed I could barely hear what the captain was saying from the rear of the vehicle throughout the tour – something to keep in mind.
The actual tour
The initial splash down into the water from the ramp was a thrill. I was surprised at just how low to the ground – er, water – you get in an Amphicar. It’s a unique perspective you’d never quite get on a boat. Once we hit the lake the captain began his loop around the Springs. The tour itself lasted about 20 minutes. On the tour, we learned about Disney Springs and the history of Amphicars.
Before we knew it, we were ready to ascend back onto the Amphicar launch dock and back out of the water. We were asked to stay seated as the car circled back around via a rotating turntable platform in preparation for the next guest. Finally, we tipped our driver (recommended) and thanked him for an excellent tour.
How much does Amphicar cost? Are there discounts available?
At the time of this writing, Amphicar tours run $125 per vehicle and can accommodate up to four guests. But, if you’re lucky, you may be able to get it for just $100. At various times throughout the year, you can score a $25 discount on Amphicar tours by spending at least $50 at The BOATHOUSE restaurant or BOATIQUE next door (with proof of receipt).
The BOATHOUSE is my favorite restaurant at Disney Springs, so I don’t need an excuse to chow down on – what is in my opinion – the best lobster roll on Disney property. And somehow, on our Amphicar tour day, knowing that buttery roll was also going to save me money made it taste even sweeter. Check current offers on the Disney Springs website. Amphicar tours at Disney Springs run from 10 am-10 pm, weather permitting.
Is the Amphicar worth it?
I thought for roughly $25-$33 per person that the Amphicar was well worth it. It was a great way to cool off on a hot day and see Disney Springs from a whole new angle. I’m not sure it would be worth repeating the adventure every time I visit Disney Springs as $100-$125 for a 20-minute tour is a tad bit steep. But it’s worth doing once if your budget allows it.
Have you taken an Amphicar tour in Disney Springs? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.