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Updated: Nov 3, 2023

The Orange Bird is a character created by Disney for the Florida Citrus Commission as a mascot and has been closely associated with the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Here's a brief overview of the Orange Bird and its history with Disney Parks:

Origins: The Orange Bird was developed in 1970 as a promotional mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission in exchange for them sponsoring the Tiki Room attraction at Magic Kingdom. Unlike many Disney characters, the Orange Bird does not have the ability to speak or sing; instead, it communicates with thoughts that are visually depicted in a trail of smoke-like puffs emanating from its head.

Physical Appearance: The character is, as the name implies, a small, orange bird, with leaves for wings and an orange blossom for a bow.

Initial Presence in Disney Parks: The character was once a staple at the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, where guests could purchase citrus-based treats, most notably the "Orange Swirl", which is similar to the popular Dole Whip.

Decline and Resurgence: In the 1980s, the character's prominence decreased, and it largely disappeared from the park and promotional materials. However, there was a renewed interest in the Orange Bird in the 2010s. This resurgence led to new merchandise, appearances in parades, and a return to the Sunshine Tree Terrace, along with the reintroduction of the citrus treats associated with the character.

Cultural Significance: While the Orange Bird may not be as globally recognized as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, it has become a beloved icon for many Disney Parks enthusiasts, particularly those with an affinity for the history of Walt Disney World and its unique characters. Its retro appeal and sunny, optimistic demeanor have contributed to its staying power among fans.

Merchandise and Media: Over the years, the Orange Bird has been featured in various forms of media, including record albums and comic strips. With its resurgence, a plethora of new merchandise items such as pins, T-shirts, cups, and more featuring the Orange Bird have been produced and can often be found in shops around Walt Disney World.

In essence, while the Orange Bird started as a simple promotional mascot, its charm, unique design, and connection to the early days of the Magic Kingdom have solidified its status as a classic Disney Parks character.


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