Thankfully the Orange Bird has returned to Disney and we can’t get enough of it! I remember when the Orange Bird Funko Pop was released at Disney Springs a few years back and texting ALL my friends to see if someone could grab me one. The line was long for the limited edition Orange Bird Funko pop and it sold out quickly before the entire line got through the World of Disney Store! A close friend snagged one for me and I remember how big of a deal it was. Why is the Orange Bird so important to me and to the Disney community? Why is the Orange Bird so popular?
Let’s start with some Orange Bird history
The Orange Bird debuted in 1970 as the mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission, the same company that sponsored the Enchanted Tiki Room at the Magic Kingdom. When the sponsorship ended, the popular Orange Bird disappeared overnight. The Orange Bird, which was the official icon for Sunshine Tree Terrace, at the Magic Kingdom, left in the mid-90s leaving many long term Disney goers sad. While I wasn’t old enough to see it, the Orange Bird actually walked around the Magic Kingdom and was available for photo opportunities, making it the only character not based on a Disney film or classic fairy tale creature. That alone is quite the rarity! I can’t imagine a character meeting that involves something not connected to a movie or popular classic tale.
For me, the Orange Bird represents Florida’s citrus industry AND is a Disney icon. Put those two together and this Floridian has a high level of love for the Orange Bird! While for many it’s a Disney icon, I find that it has a special place in many Floridians hearts. I grew up around Florida Orange Juice marketing, commercials, and signage so the involvement of the Florida Citrus Industry with the Orange Bird mascot is a combination I respect and appreciate. Floridian or not, the Orange Bird was a Disney mascot that was at the Magic Kingdom during the grand opening making it an icon.
The Orange Bird made a surprise visit to Tokyo Disneyland in the early 2000s and it surprised long term Disney goers. It’s safe to say the Orange Bird’s popularity quickly rebooted after this reprise! The Orange Bird then returned “home” to Adventureland in 2012 and the crowd went wild.
Where to Find the Orange Bird
The Orange Bird resides at the Magic Kingdom but the merchandise can be found through Disney World. Getting your hands on Orange Bird Disney merchandise is now a fun exciting experience since its official return. Icon merchandise will never go out of style and the Orange Bird history makes it something that will continue to thrive at Disney World! The “lost” mascot is back and can be found on a variety of types of merchandise including pins, hats, plush items, and much more.
Sunshine Tree Terrace
The most notable of spots to find the Orange Bird is the Sunshine Tree Terrace at the Magic Kingdom. This is the spot of the cult classic, the citrus swirl. It’s similar to a dole whip but instead of Pineapple, it is orange in flavor.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
During the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, the Orange Bird made a special appearance with his own custom sipper cup. This, of course, drew long lines and one very quick sellout. Thankfully these did return back in stock midway through the festival.
If you are traveling elsewhere in Florida be on the lookout. I was shocked on a trip to the Cracker Barrel to find none other than the Orange Bird hanging on the wall behind the rocking chairs out front! You just never know where this little guy is going to pop up.
Awesome Orange Bird Merchandise
A dose of history, the uniqueness of the Orange Bird mascot, and the connection to Florida’s Citrus Industry is what makes the Orange Bird so popular. Next time you’re in the parks or the Disney Springs shopping district be sure to be on the lookout for exclusive Orange Bird merchandise. Here’s a few of my favorite Orange Bird merch to hurry and get your hands on:
Alex & Ani Orange Bird Bangle – one of my fave pieces of jewelry is this bangle and having a tiny Orange Bird on one is too cute!
When Loungefly collaborates with Disney it’s always a win, and the Orange Bird Loungefly wallet and bag are no exception and too cute!
The adorable cell phone case deserves a mention too. If only I could have gotten my hands on the Flower and Garden Orange Bird sipper….
You can find me pushing a double stroller through the magic most days.
I’m a toddler boy mom that has a passion for Florida living and all things Disney! As a Florida native and self proclaimed Disney staycation pro, I look forward to guiding you through the magic.