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VIDEO: All You Need to Know About the Orange Bird, But Were Afraid to Ask.

VIDEO: All You Need to Know About the Orange Bird, But Were Afraid to Ask.

D23 representatives announced the return of the historic Orange Bird character live in Adventureland before a small group of D23 members.

In case you aren’t familiar, Orange Bird was a character who was developed specifically for Magic Kingdom Park in the 1970s. This cheerful bird originally greeted families at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, where guests could also enjoy citrus drinks and buy Orange Bird gifts. At one time, the character even had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature “The Orange Bird Song” – a tune penned by the Sherman Brothers (composers of the songs in “Mary Poppins” and “The Jungle Book”).

Beginning today, Orange Bird will return to Sunshine Tree Terrace signage and quirky drink cups, and a new line of Orange Bird merchandise has already appeared on the shelves! Also, an Orange Bird statue that was on display at Sunshine Tree Terrace in the 1970s was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California, and is now on display.



I recall the day Disney artist Casey Jones asked if he could show me something cool. Knowing Casey’s involvement with other cool things (I’m looking at you, Dole Whip shirt), I immediately made time for him. When Casey arrived with concept art for new Orange Bird merchandise, I almost burst into song! He said these new items were being developed because the Orange Bird was returning to the Sunshine Tree Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park. We discussed how “The Florida Project” event last September served as inspiration for new merchandise.

“The Orange Bird played a key part of ‘The Florida Project,’ since the event was a salute to the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort,” explained Casey. “We created Orange Bird pins and Vinylmation, and featured him in the event décor. At that time, we were unaware that Walt Disney Imagineering had plans of bringing the Orange Bird back to Walt Disney World Resort the following spring! We eventually worked with Imagineering to brainstorm new merchandise to commemorate his return!”


Casey explained that partnerships with Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt and Steven Vagnini from the Walt Disney Archives were instrumental in creating these new items.

“Jason and Steven were outstanding partners,” continued Casey. “Jason actually provided the artwork for the two tee-shirts and a deluxe print, and Steven provided a tremendous amount of reference material about the Orange Bird when we visited him in California.”


The deluxe print Casey mentions is one of my favorite items. Jason combined the original concept artwork for the Sunshine Pavilion that was created by Richard Hebner in 1969 with original Orange Bird art he created for Walt Disney World Resort’s newest attraction poster!


Casey also developed his very first ear hat, which is arriving this summer. It reminds me of the Figment ear hat we released last fall.

Jason shared his thoughts around the new Orange Bird merchandise.
“We wanted to add an extra layer of magic for guests visiting the Sunshine Tree Terrace,” said Jason. “With the new merchandise, guests can now see the Orange Bird and take home a little memory of their visit.”

With all this talk of the Orange Bird, I’m craving a citrus swirl! Who wants to join me?

The Swirl is back

With this week’s happy announcement of the return of the Orange Bird to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Magic Kingdom Park, the original Citrus Swirl makes its official comeback too. Gone for more than a quarter of a century, it’s nice to have them back where they belong for the 40th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World Resort.


Who remembers that icy swirl of frozen orange and soft-serve vanilla ice cream, a duo of delish in the heat of summertime? There was a knock-off for a while at Aloha Isle, but this swirl is the original recipe, a sweet-tart tower in a cone or cup ($3.19 and on the Disney Dining Plan).


And check out the adorable orange bird sipper cup – for kids of all ages. Oh, Orange Bird and Citrus Swirl, welcome home!


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