A Jolly Holiday with Penguins


The lobby of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa may not be on the same scale of the resort’s massive main lobby, but it does feature an ornate centerpiece can only be described as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. While this fountain is an elegant decoration in and of itself, what makes it really special is seven bronze sculptures resembling the animated Penguin Waiters from Walt Disney’s 1964 classic “Mary Poppins” that adorn it. In the film, Mary Poppins and Bert encountered four of these eager-to-please waiters when they stopped for tea during the “Jolly Holiday” sequence, which found the live action stars exploring an animated English countryside after jumping into a chalk drawing.

While not the only animated characters Mary Poppins and Bert encounter, it’s fair to say that the Penguin Waiters were definitely the most memorable. In particular, the segment in which the Penguins, animated by Disney Legend Frank Thomas, seamlessly dance alongside Dick Van Dyke serves as one of the movie’s true highlights. The group has proven so iconic that they’ve even appeared waiting tables in other Disney productions over the years. Most notably, they’ve been seen serving drinks at the “Ink and Paint Club” in the 1988 live action/ animated film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and working alongside headwaiter Goofy at the title establishment of the 2001 television series “Disney’s House of Mouse.”

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