As a part of my job I occasionally get to spend some time sorting through our photo archives here at Walt Disney World Resort, and every time I do, I seem to stumble upon something I just have to share with you Disney history fans. Such was the case when I came upon this rare photo of Orange Bird at Magic Kingdom Park. Over the years, we’ve released several pictures of Orange Bird in his native environment of Adventureland (and during his brief stint at Downtown Disney), but what’s unique about this photo is that it was snapped on June 11, 1971 – several months before the park’s October 1 opening. You can see that construction on Tropical Serenade (now Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room) was still underway in the background. Maybe he was looking for the perfect place to build his own birdhouse?
After the park opened, Orange Bird greeted families near Sunshine Tree Terrace for several years, where guests could also buy citrus drinks and Orange Bird merchandise. Orange Bird also once had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature a tune called “The Orange Bird Song” that was composed by the Sherman Brothers (of “Mary Poppins” fame).
Orange Bird returned to Magic Kingdom Park in April 2012, when an Orange Bird statue was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California and returned to the land’s Sunshine Tree Terrace. Today, guests can still find Orange Bird cups and merchandise at Magic Kingdom Park.
For more Orange Bird, check out the posts below:
As we prepare to celebrate 60 years of memories and magic during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we’ve been looking back at key moments in our history – times when Disneyland pushed the limits of what was possible and created new, innovative experiences for our guests. Searching our archives, we came across this amazing time lapse footage of Disneyland construction. Blink and you might miss some amazing moments!
My favorite parts are the clock tower on the Main Street Train Station being lifted into place and the first guests flowing through the turnstiles. What are yours?
See more about the construction of Disneyland park in George’s “Building the Dream” series:
Downtown Disney turns 40 today. Guests visiting today have quite a different experience than the shopping experience back in 1975 when the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opened.
Home to shops like the Pottery Chalet, Posh Pets Etc., Toys Fantastique, and Gourmet Pantry (yep, it’s 40 years old too!), the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village was made up of shops in what we know today as the Marketplace. Pleasure Island didn’t welcome guests until 1989 and the West Side didn’t open until 1997.
Even at 40, Downtown Disney continues to transform and grow at Walt Disney World Resort. Through 2016, the property will welcome over 75 new venues as it undergoes its largest ever expansion, transforming into Disney Springs.
On March 21, 1975, six years after man first set foot on the moon, the Flight to the Moon attraction at Disneyland park was relaunched with a new destination.
The new Mission to Mars attraction still featured a visit to Mission Control. I can still remember thinking what a cool job Mr. Johnson had.
According to NASA, robotic missions to Mars currently take approximately eight months to travel to the red planet. So, when Mission to Mars completed its final journey on November 2, 1992, it would only have had time for 13 roundtrips from Earth were it not for a little Disney magic powered by imagination.
Two years ago this month, we were looking forward to exciting things at Disney Parks, but we were also looking back at some memorable milestones. Take a look at these three trips back in time that we took our readers on in March 2013.
Today in Disney History: Journey Into Imagination Opens at Epcot
Jennifer took us back to March 5, 1983, for the opening of Journey Into Imagination at Epcot.
Vintage Walt Disney World: Building an Animal Kingdom
Nate took us back in time for a look at the construction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
A Look Back: 1958 Opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama at Disneyland Park
George shared these rare photos of Walt Disney at the 1958 opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama.
Public service announcement: this Sunday is National Goof Off Day. Do not let the opportunity to act silly pass you by! In its honor, I offer this photograph of Goofy from 1984 at the Tomorrowland Speedway.
But just like Goofy, no matter how silly you may be, safety first! He’s even buckling up for his race around the speedway. He’s one smart guy.
On March 17, 2005, students from Green Elementary School joined Green Army Men and Buzz Lightyear for a special sneak peek of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Did I mention it was St. Patrick’s Day?
Following a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., Buzz led the kids to the Tomorrowland entrance of his new attraction where they were among the first to enter the Gamma Quadrant to battle Evil Emperor Zurg.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters would not officially open for another few weeks, on the eve of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, with Tim Allen on hand for the opening ceremony.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Disney Parks Blog team!
This photo, snapped in 1978 at Magic Kingdom Park, shows Mickey Mouse getting into the spirit of the holiday. Will you celebrate the day at a Disney park? Tell us in the comments section below.
It’s March. Feels like a great month to share a photograph of one of the best marching bands to march in Florida (see what I did there?) – The World Band! (Seen here with the Kids of the Kingdom.) Here they are marching down Main Street, U.S.A. in January 1983 with Bandleader Mickey leading the way.
Who do you look forward to seeing perform when you visit Magic Kingdom Park? Tell us in the comments section below.
This week’s image was shot at The Seas With Nemo & Friends years ago, back when it was known as The Living Seas.
Looks like Mickey has caused a surprise in the pavilion’s Sea Base Alpha. What’s their reaction? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” photo!