The Peabody Ducks (1)

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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

The Peabody Ducks (1)

When you have exhausted all the attractions of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, enjoyed all the thrills in the water parks, shopped until you dropped, relaxed in your home from home villa, what other activities can you do or see in Orlando?

Apart from golf, mini golf, horse riding, hot air ballooning and a hundred and one other activities this “show” is one of the most unique sights of all and is absolutely free! If you happen to be around the International Drive area mid morning or late afternoon it is definitely worth paying a visit to the Peabody Hotel.

This may seem an unusual choice, and perhaps would be, except for the March of the Orlando Ducks, which has become a daily ritual in the hotel and a popular tourist attraction with holidaymakers and business travellers alike.

Every morning at 11am a special elevator descends from a penthouse suite aptly named the Royal Duck Palace (which was built at a reported cost of one hundred thousand dollars). As the doors slide open on the ground floor, out step the Peabody Orlando Ducks comprising four hens and one drake together with their ‘Duck Master’ in his resplendent red and gold braided jacket. They take up their positions on the plush red carpet and then, to the stirring music of John Philip Souza’s “King Cotton March”, the March of the Ducks begins.

They waddle in set formation across the hotel’s atrium lobby to the delight of the onlookers watching this amazing spectacle. When they reach the centrepiece of the atrium, a magnificent ornate fountain, the ducks climb three steps before splashing into the cool water. Usually at this point tumultuous applause rings out throughout the lobby and standing ovations are not uncommon.

If, for some reason, you are unable to make the 11am performance the full procession is reversed at 5. 00pm with the ducks marching back along the red carpet to the elevator and up to the Royal Duck Palace for dinner and a well-earned rest.

The March of the Ducks originated in the Memphis Peabody as a joke. The hotel manager thought that it would be very comical if he were to arrange for some live ducks to swim in the hotel’s fountain. The hotel guests thought it was wonderful and so when the Peabody opened its doors for the first time in Orlando they continued the tradition and installed the ducks as an attraction.

There are actually three teams of ducks, which rotate between resting at a local duck farm and being on duty at the hotel.

So go along and view the March of the Ducks. You’d be “quackers” if you missed this unique and very special attraction!

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