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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Adventureland (12)


THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 2]


Florida Orange Bird [Part 2]

Just under a month ago we posted some never-before-shared images of the fan-favorite Florida Orange Bird. It was said that we doubled the number of Orange Bird photos on the web. Even if that were true, today all of that changed. Not only has Disney been generous enough to share lots of un-seen history... they returned the original Orange Bird figure to its home in Magic Kingdom's Sunshine Tree Terrace!

Photo courtesy of Chief and Fresh Roasted Corn.

A D23 mini-event was held this morning and fans were not disappointed. Disney could have released a plastic Orange Bird button and we fans would have been pleased. But they went much further. SADLY none of us here were able to attend. We invited friend of the blog Chief to go in our place. Great images and details from Chief are found over at Fresh Roasted Corn. Something to note: The word "Florida" doesn't seem to be used anymore as part of the "Orange Bird" title.

To add to the killer merchandise and beautiful new Sunshine Tree Terrace decor, a great video was released about how the return of all this orange goodness came about. From this "D23 Presents Armchair Archivists: The Orange Bird" video (watch below), we bring you the following images.

Video of the costumed Orange Bird interacting with guest... EATING CITRUS SWIRL.

Look in the background!! A shot of the animatronic bird. Until hours ago only one other photo existed online. 

How wonderful is this old photo of a Sunshine Tree Terrace cast member. Check out the Orange Bird cups and those great old cash registers. Is that a Florida Orange Juice logo on his shirt?? The same one seen on the sticker above? Fun.

Oh those wonderful yellow and orange umbrellas, tables, and chairs. Hey Baloo. Who's that on the far left? King Louie? Check out the "Traders of Timbuktu" sign on the right.

The animatronic Orange Bird!!! In speaking with my pal Hoot Gibson a number of times in the last couple of days I learned a many things about this. Apparently the original 1971 figure was static but stood on a moving swing. This is the same figure restored and reinstalled as part of today's event. Shortly after, a robotic version on a "perch" (below) replaced the swinging bird. This version moved his little leaf wings and his head. Soooo... could there be another Orange Bird out there collecting dust?? Let's hope Hoot shares more on the subject. (Did you know Hoot is largely responsible for increased Orange Bird awareness in recent years? Along with Mike Lee of Widen Your World).

Our Twitter pal Jason Grandt played a huge part in the whole project. Here he shares a little about the restoration of that cute little 1971 original Orange Bird figure which was discovered in a drawer at WDI Glendale!

I believe Kevin Kidney found these shots of the original sculpt. How great is this??

And some behind-the-scenes scenic work. Looks like the scenic shop at the Hollywood Studios backlot.

Even legend Richard Sherman joined in on the action, helping the "MeloD23 Singers" sing a couple of Orange Bird songs that he and his late brother wrote. He also shares some history.

Thanks Melody Dale for hosting. Thanks Steven Vagnini for the history lessons.

Hooray for Becky Cline (Walt Disney Archives Director).

Special contributors the the video include: Richard Sherman, Kevin Kidney, Walt Disney Imagineering, Diego Parras, Jason Grant, Dave Hoffman, the MeloD23 Singers, Jim Wilber, Marshall Bowen, and others. Thanks gang.

Sticker image from Sam Howzit. 

Video footage of today's event by Lou Mongello can be found here.

Images ©Disney.


Related posts:

Florida Orange Bir [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 1]
Frito Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!
Frito Kid Mysteries Continue
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Magic Kingdom at Night
Magic Kingdom Map Found in a Main Street Wall



Florida Orange Bird


Take a look some never-before-posted photos of the Florida Orange Bird. Join us in our hunt for additional photos. We know they’re out there!

We’ve had a blast looking at all the great photos people have sent in as part of our Photo Hunt. We were thrilled to receive the following three photos of the Orange Bird costumed character in Adventureland. Notice the two different costumes. One with a smooth head and one with a fur-covered head.

An air vent?

Jennifer Jones submitted this wonderful shot from 1979. And look at that old “Exit Only” Tropical Serenade sign in the background.

When was the costume changed? Or were there always two? Or more? I am led to believe the first lasted until some point between 1974 and 1977, based on the few photographs that exist on the web. It was probably replaced at that point with the second costume– the one with the fur-covered head and the shiny yellow feat. This second version very well could have been a modified version of the original costume.

Meanwhile, the Florida Orange Bird spread his wings in places other than Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. An additional Orange Bird costume, which most-likely never set foot in Walt Disney World, attended special citrus-related events.

Miss Florida Citrus 1984, Lori Schirard Grubb, was kind enough to send us the following two fantastic photos of herself with the Orange Bird.

Here Lori poses with an inflatable Orange Bird.

Miss Florida Citrus 1986, Rosemarie Payne, sent us this great photo of herself with the same Orange Bird costumed character. Was this taken at a county fair perhaps? Maybe some sort of citrus fair?

Back in Adventureland the Orange Bird and Florida Citrus Queen 1977, Lisa Maile, enjoy the Sunshine Pavilion. Look at that cool Orange Bird lapel pin. "Disney World Plans Citrus Celebration". Do we know anything about that??

Lisa poses with... wait, is that the same inflatable Orange Bird? 7 years earlier?

A big thanks to LuAnn Mims, College Archivist, Florida Souther College and Brenda Eubanks Burnette, Executive Director, Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and everyone who shared photos.

For a comprehensive history of the Florida Orange Bird at Walt Disney World read the Sunshine Tree Terrace page over at the unparalleled Widen Your World.

As indicated above, go find your old Orange Bird photos and send them our way. We promise to make great use of them and share them with lots of fans like yourself. If you find photos of the animatronic version of the Orange Bird you get extra special props. Only one photo of the little robotic bird has ever surfaced on the internet. Read about it on the Widen Your World link above. It's from Ed Barlow who happens to be a fan of this blog too. Hi Ed! 

And remember to stop by the Sunshine Tree Terrace and enjoy the recent return of the delicious Citus Swirl.

[Part 2] now available.


Related posts:

Florida Orange Bird [Part 2]
 Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!
Frito Kid Mysteries Continue
WDW Before Opening Day 1971
THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 1]
What Disney Characters Love
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Photo Hunt Update