Today is a wonderful report from long time fellow Woody Boater Rick Gambino from the Boathouse restaurant at Disney Take it way Rick.
My wife and I are at that second honeymoon stage in that the kids are grown but we don’t have grandchildren yet so off time is our own.
Because of that though I figured it would be a while before I got a chance to check out the Boathouse Restaurant and the Amphicars at Disney. To my pleasant surprise my wife Kathy had a conference at a hotel on the Disney property the weekend before
Thanksgiving, so after work on Friday I flew down to be with her for a whirlwind weekend. Saturday morning right after we located the nearest Starbucks (for Kathy not me) we headed for the Amphicars. At $125 for a 20 minute ride in the 8 foot deep lake it’s a little pricey but how often does the opportunity present itself. Some internet research at Amphicar.com informs that 3878 were made in Germany from 1961-1968 and cost $2800-$3300.
Disney has a fleet of 8 and uses a turntable to face them back down the ramp after each use. Once we drove down the ramp and gained buoyancy the drivetrain was disengaged and the twin propellers started. When asked, the Captain re-engaged the wheels to show that they have absolutely no ability to independently drive the car through the water. The ride is with the top and windows down which was fine until we went over, actually more under, the smallest pontoon boat wake.
Warning, all videos were taken with my iPhone, shaky, sometimes blurry and with lots of views of my thumb. Best to keep the audio off also to avoid how stupid I sound.
Water came over the hood, around the windshield, into the driver’s side window and thoroughly soaked our personable captain. No open water for these cars, although I do remember seeing a couple fishing on the Great South Bay of Long Island as a kid. Wonder if they made it back to shore? The Amphicar is not especially watertight as 3 times in 20 minutes the bilge pump came on and a copious amount of water was expelled straight up from the right rear quarter panel.
The ride brought us around the Boathouse Restaurant with its static display of classic boats on what appears to be adjustable cradles holding them above the for the water. The rest of the ride has much less to see other than some egrets and ducks. Driving back onto land involved cruising up to the ramp, disengaging the props, re-engaging the drive train and up we drove.
After the Amphicar ride it was still too early for the Boatyard Restaurant to be open, and you can’t view the boats until it is, no matter how many times you try to sneak around to the docks.
We walked around for a couple of hours looking at all the merchandise future grandchildren will want and then headed back. A table outside on the dock, surrounded by woodies, acceptable food and a decent margarita made for a delightful lunch.
Thank Rick for sharing this with us all. It’s a;ways cool to get a real look at a place. I really get a true feel of what the Boathouse is all about.