Wisconsin Dells, WI: Original Wisconsin Ducks

The Original Wisconsin Ducks tours have been taking visitors for a ride for almost 70 years, and they really are pretty unique.  Originally used to transport soldiers during WWII, these amphibious “ducks” take riders on a tour of Wisconsin’s Lake Delton, scenic wilderness, and through the Wisconsin River’s Lower Dells.  The tour takes about an hour and we were pretty lucky since we stayed at the Kalahari Resort and the Original Wisconsin Ducks actually pick you up right outside (no need to drive to the Downtown Dells area!).

Original Wisconsin Ducks

The tour starts off on land and takes you over some hills – my toddler was a little scared of the roller coaster-style drops.  But, amazingly, he fell asleep in my lap almost as soon as the boat hit the water.  Our guide told some pretty cheesy jokes throughout the tour, but she knew a lot about the area and it was nice to learn a little Wisconsin Dells history (albeit in the middle of a corny punch line).

The rock formations along the Wisconsin River were really gorgeous.  The boat travels slowly through the water and the scenery was very peaceful.

Original Wisconsin Ducks Tour

We learned on the tour, however, to not sit in the last two rows of the boat.  The tour makes a quick drop into the water and the last two rows got pretty wet.

Original Wisconsin Ducks Scenery

Towards the end of the tour is an awkward moment where the boat (well, it was on land at this point) stops in the middle of a wooded area to hand out booklets that give a bit more history and information about the duck tour.  (At the time, there were 4 other duck boats stopped in the same area – I thought that this was the time where we’d all get cut up, Halloween-style.  Seriously, it was pretty creepy.)  She then went on to say how she purchased the books herself and was asking for a $5 donation to help her with college tuition to keep the books.  (Mind you, the regular price of the tour is already $25 per person.)  I felt bad for her and would’ve purchased the book if I carried cash on me, but it was more than uncomfortable to have to hand her back the book at the end of the tour after listening to her story.

Awkwardness aside, the picturesque tour was really nice, and my whole family enjoyed the ride…well, all except the two-year-old who slept through most of it.

If you’re planning to take the Original Wisconsin Ducks tour, I’d look online for coupons and specials before I shelled out the $25 per person to ride the ducks.

Have you taken the ducks tour?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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