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Yakitori House Restaurant at Epcot

Found Photo: Orange Bird Visits Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park, 1971

posted on March 25th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


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?

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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:

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Filed: Disney History, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Rare Time-Lapse Video Shows Disneyland Park Construction

posted on March 24th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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:

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Days of Past: Downtown Disney Marks a Milestone

posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


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.

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Disney History, Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World Resort

A Look Back: Launching Mission to Mars at Disneyland Park

posted on March 20th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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.

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Blog Time Capsule: March 2013

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


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

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.

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Under Construction in January 1997

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.

“Opening

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.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: National Goof Off Day

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


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.

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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.

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

A Look Back: Sneak Peek Celebration of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 17th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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?

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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.

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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.

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Disney Parks Blog!

posted on March 17th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Disney Parks Blog team!

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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.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Days of Past: Marching on Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 12th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


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.

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Who do you look forward to seeing perform when you visit Magic Kingdom Park? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Caption This: Scuba Mickey Mischief at Epcot

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s image was shot at The Seas With Nemo & Friends years ago, back when it was known as The Living Seas.

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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!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort