The Peabody Hotel has a marble fountain in the Grand Lobby that is home to five mallard ducks.
Each morning, promptly at 11 a.m., five North American mallard ducks, four hens and one drake, descend from their $100,000 penthouse, the Royal Duck Palace, in a special elevator. When the elevator doors open, The Peabody Ducks, accompanied by the Duck Master, take up their positions on a plush red carpet and begin The March of The Peabody Orlando Ducks to the rousing tones of John Philip Sousa's King Cotton March. Once the ducks reach the marble orchid topped fountain in the Grand Lobby, they mount three red-carpeted steps and splash into the fountain's water. At 5 p.m., the procession is reversed, and they march back to their special elevator and return to their Royal Duck Palace for dinner and a quiet evening together.
During our stay at The Peabody, my grandson, Declan had the honor of becoming an honorary Duck Master, and he loved it!
|Declan meets with the Duck Master for instructions about |
the 5 p.m. procession back to the Royal Duck Palace.
|The official duck cane.|
|The Duck Mater explains the legend of the ducks to the crowd.|
|The ducks knew it was time to eat and didn't wait for their stairs |
to be put in place. They jumped right out of the marble fountain.
|The ducks marched along the red carpet towards the elevator.|
|It was a long walk to the elevators.|
|This is the ducks private elevator.|
|Sign reads: Reserved for The Peabody Ducks.|
|A quick trip up to the Royal Duck Palace.|
|The Royal Duck Palace cost 100,000 dollars to build.|
|These lucky ducks swim around in a fountain that is made of imported marble.|
|Declan was presented with a Peabody rubber duck,|
|and a certificate for being an honorary Duck Master.|
|What a fantastic experience the Peabody Hotel provided for my grandson.|
The Legend of the Ducks
How did the tradition of the ducks in the Peabody Fountain begin?
Back in the 1930's Frank Schutt, General Manger of The Peabody and a friend Chip Barwick returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Tennessee sippin' whiskey and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoy (it was legal then for hunter to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody Fountain.
Three small English call ducks were selected as "guinea pigs" and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. That began the Peabody tradition that has become internationally famous.
The Peabody Hotel has locations in Memphis, Tennessee, Orlando, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas. I have had the pleasure of visiting the Tennessee and Florida locations and hope someday to visit the Little Rock, Arkansas location.