This week I spent an hour and a half quacking my way around Branson and it was a blast.
Branson’s Ride the Ducks is what I’m referring to and if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out!
This attraction isn’t just for kids, although the majority of passengers on my tour were under the age of ten — and let me tell you, they were really getting into those quackers. But it’s a fantastic way to enjoy a guided tour of some of Branson’s most scenic areas and Table Rock Lake.
Ride the Ducks is a national attraction, with duck tours departing daily in Branson, Philadelphia, San Francisco and several other locations around the country. The “ducks” are actually amphibious vehicles based on the DUKW vehicles used during WWII. Each duck captain is certified by the United States Coast Guard and the ones in Branson really know what they’re doing after about 40 years of duck tours.
The quackers I mentioned are available for purchase when you buy your tickets either at the Highway 76 location, next to Wal-Mart or the Branson Landing location next to Arvest Bank. If you don’t know what they are, quackers are little whistles that look like duck beaks and make duck sounds. Conveniently, they come strung on a lanyard so you can hang it around your neck and wear it all over Branson. Some restaurants and local businesses will even give you discounts if they see you wearing one! But parents, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into because you’ll be hearing quacks every five seconds for the rest of your Branson vacation.
Once you get your tickets and quackers, you’ll be escorted through the line and have the opportunity to take a professional family photo before you board the duck.
Choose your seats wisely once you’re on the duck. The back seats are what my captain referred to as the “soggy bottom seats” because the splash down into Table Rock Lake leaves some feeling a little more soggy than others. (Did I mention the captains all have a great sense of humor?)
My duck captain was a very friendly fellow and as soon as we hit the road he began pointing out Branson landmarks on the left and right, all accompanied with interesting stories. You can tell these guys really know their stuff when it comes to the city of Branson!
The ride was windy and a nice relief on a hot and sticky August day. We rode past too many interesting landmarks to mention in one blog post but some of my personal favorites were the Table Rock Dam and Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, the gorgeous view from the lake and the trip to the top of Baird Mountain. Your duck captain will even give you permission to quack at unsuspecting golfers all around Branson, so make sure you take full advantage of that.
A special section of this tour honors veterans with a display of historic military vehicles (including the DUKWs) at the top of Baird Mountain. It’s the only time during the tour when quacking isn’t allowed. The patriotic silence narrated by an explanation of the display truly makes you thankful to those who have served or are currently serving.
Once you make it back down the mountain, your captain will be en route to the lake where you’ll experience the fun splash down into the cool, deep waters of Table Rock. Luckily, I was able to avoid the soggy bottom seats and only got a little bit wet, but the few drops of moisture felt nice on a hot day.
Being on the water had to be my favorite part of the tour. It was wonderful to just sit back, relax and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Ozark Mountains from the water. Plus, you get the chance to drive the duck! The kids all really enjoy that part.
You’re on the water for about 15 minutes and it’s almost sad when you reach land once more and make the ten minute drive back into town. The Ride the Ducks tour is about 75 minutes long, but in my opinion, it’s over to quickly.
After the ride I was sporting a nice, fashionable windswept look or a “ducky-do,” as my duck captain called it and I’m sure you can plan on modeling the same look when you’re done, which I’d love to see! So hop on a duck tour, enjoy the sights and the wind and snap a quick selfie so those of us at Branson Shows can see how much fun you had!
For tickets or more information visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyRidetheDucksBransonTickets.cfm.