Updated July 21, 2020.
In my humble opinion, there is one thing you must do in Memphis. It’s not Graceland, it’s not barbecue, it’s not even walking 10 feet off of Beale. It’s watching the Peabody Duck March! I remember watching them when I was maybe four or five years old, and it delighted me completely. I watched again a few years ago when I went to visit my friend Carol in Memphis, and it delighted me all over again! And just this past December, they delighted my family and me at Christmas time. But there are a few things to know before you go, and a few ways you can make sure you get a glimpse of the world famous Peabody Duck March for yourself!
Timing is Everything
The first thing you need to know is that the ducks march out of the elevator and into the fountain at 11:00am, then they march out of the fountain and back into the elevator at 5:00pm. You will have two opportunities to see them march each day, but you will have a full six hours to admire them in the fountain each day as well!
That said, people start lining up early to get a good view of the ducks. The Duck Master make sure people know where they are allowed to stand and where to keep clear. It sounds like a bit much, but people start to arrive and claim their places about an hour early, so be prepared for that!
Where to Get the Best Views
Get a Table
The best way to get the best view of the ducks is at one of the tables with a clear view of the fountain and the red carpet on which the ducks do their dash. You can reserve the table if you are a hotel guest or if you order something from the bar. Our new mother-daughter friends Michelle and Kailey were kind enough to let my mom and me sit with them at their table because they were much more prepared than we were! You can order something from the bar, including the Rubber Ducky Cocktail, coffee, tea, and more!
At the Red Ropes
If you’re ready and willing to stand for a while, you can stand at the red ropes for viewing.
Kids Get a Front Row Seat
School groups and small children (and their parents if the kids need a bit of restraint!) are allowed to sit in front of the ropes, next to the red carpet.
Try the Mezzanine
Don’t forget you can always get a bird’s eye view from the Mezzanine level! The best views will come from the left or right railings across from the elevators. You can also get a nice view from either side of the Mezzanine, though you may not see them at the elevator. No matter which viewing area you choose, please be mindful of the short people and children!
You can read all about our weekend at the hotel in Staying at the Peabody, and get the full scoop on some of my favorite hotels and accommodations in Legendary Hotels of the World!
Have Your Camera Ready
Those ducks are fast! It’s really more of a “duck dash” if we’re honest. So have your camera ready for it! As soon as the music starts, they come dashing down the red carpet to their beautiful fountain for all to see.
Little-known Facts about Those Duckies
No doubt about it: the Peabody Ducks are the cutest hotel mascot in the country, if not the world! Here are some fun facts about four ladies and a gentleman who make The South’s Grand Hotel the stuff of legends.
- The original Peabody Ducks were English Call Ducks, and there were only three instead of five!
- The five current ducks are North American Mallards.
- Five new ducks are brought in every three months and trained for the duck march. The previous five ducks are taken back to the farm where they were raised and reacclimated to the wild!
- Duck is not and never will be served at any of the Peabody’s restaurants, unless it’s in chocolate or sugar form!
Want a fun treat? Check out What to Eat in Memphis!
Want more all-American adventures? You’ll find them on my United States Page!
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