On our recent visit to Orlando, we made sure to experience one of Florida’s most exhilarating attractions – a stint in the self-driven amphibious vehicles known as Mucky Ducks!
About 30 minutes drive from Orlando and set in around 240 acres of woodland, swamps, sand trails and lakes, the Mucky Duck experience is one of the few places in the world that you can drive an amphibious vehicle (meaning it can be driven on land or across water!)
So why the name Mucky Ducks? Well said Kevin Jowett, the owner of the off-road centre, the experience goes through a lot of natural terrain and there are some areas which can get very mucky – the name just seemed very appropriate.
Kevin and his wife, Audrey, moved from England to Florida about 10 years ago with a vision to create the Mucky Duck experience – and spent the next few years finding the ideal location. Its clear that they still get a great thrill out of watching their guests having fun on the Mucky Ducks!
So how easy are they to drive? If you have a driving license, you can drive a Mucky Duck. Kevin confirmed. They’re relatively easy to steer and the best bit is you don’t need to worry about traffic. If you do hit traffic, you can just splash into the lake!
After a short safety briefing, we learnt how to drive the Mucky Duck in a specially designed training area. Once we felt confident with the manoeuvres (which didn’t take long) we set out with our guide, Tim. He was driving in his own Mucky Duck and made sure that we got close-up to lots of the local wildlife – we even saw a wild deer just a few metres away as we drove along a sand trail.
The scariest part of the experience? When you first drive your Mucky Duck into the lake – we were half expecting the vehicle to start slowly filling with water, like the amphibious vehicles on Top Gear did! But the Mucky Ducks are made of stronger stuff and before long we were happily gliding across the lake and through the reeds on the lookout for gators!
Our Mucky Duck experience lasted for about 75 minutes and was definitely a highlight of the visit to Florida. Kevin and Audrey have created an amazing location that’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.
And in case you’re wondering – we didn’t even get too mucky!
See a Mucky Duck in full amphibious action in this video!