Duck's Eye View
Ride The Ducks is the nation's largest amphibious tour operator and amphibious vehicle manufacturer. Our mission is to "create Quack-tastic℠ memories worth repeating" by offering our guests an entertainment sightseeing experience that is fun, informative and engaging.
Our fleet exceeds 90 vehicles, carrying over 1,200,000 guests each year around the United States.
Ride The Ducks is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and is headquartered just outside Atlanta in Norcross, Georgia.
We hatched this business in 1977 in Branson, Missouri when local entrepreneur Bob McDowell acquired a small sightseeing business and quickly adopted the mission to build a better guest experience.
- 1977 - The McDowell's launch Ride The Ducks in Branson, MO
- 1994 - Ride The Ducks agrees to provide vehicles to Boston Duck Tours, a relationship that continues today
- 1999 - RTD subsidiary Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing receives USCG approval for patented "Stretch Duck," significantly improving the classic WWII DUKW
- 2001 - Ride The Ducks partners with Herschend Family Entertainment in pursuit of national and international expansion
- 2003 - Ride The Ducks of Philadelphia opens
- 2003 - Ride The Ducks of Stone Mountain Park (Georgia) opens
- 2004 - Herschend Family Entertainment becomes sole owner of Ride The Ducks
- 2006 - Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing receives USCG approval for patented "Truck Duck," an entirely new and modern design based on nearly 30 years of operating experience
- 2008 - Ride The Ducks launches in San Francisco and Newport, KY (across the river from Cincinnati)
Herschend Family Entertainment
Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation (HFE) owns, operates or partners in 21 properties in 9 states. Properties include Branson, Missouri’s Silver Dollar City theme park, Showboat Branson Belle lake attraction, White Water water park, Talking Rocks Cavern and The Wilderness at Silver Dollar City campground.
HFE is an operating partner with Dolly Parton in the Dollywood Company, which owns the Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, both in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Dollywood Company is also the largest shareholder in the Dixie Stampede dinner attractions located in Branson, Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
In Georgia, HFE operates Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park in conjunction with the state of Georgia, and owns Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta.
HFE owns and/or licenses Ride The Ducks amphibious tours in Branson, Philadelphia, Stone Mountain Park, Newport KY (at Newport Aquarium), and San Francisco; also in San Francisco, HFE operates Classic Cable Car Sightseeing, the oldest land-based sightseeing company in the Bay Area.
HFE also owns and operates two aquariums: Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, across the river from downtown Cincinnati, and Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, across the river from downtown Philadelphia.
Since the company was founded in the early 1960s, the many properties have been internationally awarded numerous times for excellence in theme, presentation and operations, including the worldwide Applause Award for excellence and the THEA Award (Themed Entertainment Association).