If you grew up in the ’70s, have you ever taken a visit to the Sunshine Tree Terrace, or have ever walked around in Adventureland? Chances are, you may have noticed the Florida Orange Bird a time or two. But do you really know the story about the Orange Bird?
A Little Backstory…
In 1941, the first partnership between the Walt Disney Company and Florida’s Natural growers evolved. The first deal featured Walt Disney World’s very own Donald Duck selling their Orange Juice. Then as some time went on, The Orange Bird was born. The Orange Bird is a small bird that looks like an orange for the head, has a body of a bird, and wings made out of leaves. Do you remember him yet?
Nearly 3 Decades later…
In 1969, a deal was made and the Florida Citrus Commission sponsorship was in full swing for the Sunshine Pavilion. The Tropical Serenade Show was hosted there. (The Enchanted Tiki Room.) They also sponsored the Sunshine Tree Terrace (snack location.) Maybe you have seen the Orange Bird there?
Then in 1970, The Orange Bird became the official mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) due to the sponsoring of the Tiki Room attraction at Magic Kingdom! In a way, this has helped the making of Magic Kingdom for its first decade of operation.
In the last couple of decades…
The Orange Bird went on to become a prominent figure in the early years of Walt Disney World. It was an icon that was created to celebrate nearly 80 years of partnership between the Walt Disney Company and the Florida Citrus Commission.
Even though you may not see the old Donald Duck orange juices, the Orange Bird’s Nutrition/Educational Programs, or commercials, the Orange Bird made a huge comeback in 2004 Tokyo Japan Disneyland. Because the Japanese celebrate their Orange Day every year, naturally they fell in love with him! Soon you see merchandise everywhere and can even get a glimpse of him strolling up and down the street in the Terrace!
However, unlike all of the other characters Disney has created, the Orange bird has never appeared in a film, play, or musical like the others. It does not have the classic fairy tale character traits as well. When you walk around Magic Kingdom and explore the rides, you will notice that the Orange Bird is not featured in any of the attractions throughout the park. Did you notice that too now that you've had a chance to think about it?
To Be Continued…..
Who would have thought that the deal made 75 years ago today, would still exist? In fact, it is one of the longest-standing American marketing partnerships in history!! I hope you enjoyed learning about the Orange Bird. Look for him the next time you visit! Take a picture with our feathered friend and post it on our website!