I recall the day Disney artist Casey Jones asked if he could show me something cool. Knowing Casey’s involvement with other cool things (I’m looking at you, Dole Whip shirt), I immediately made time for him. When Casey arrived with concept art for new Orange Bird merchandise, I almost burst into song! He said these new items were being developed because the Orange Bird was returning to the Sunshine Tree Terrace at Magic Kingdom Park. We discussed how “The Florida Project” event last September served as inspiration for new merchandise.
“The Orange Bird played a key part of ‘The Florida Project,’ since the event was a salute to the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort,” explained Casey. “We created Orange Bird pins and Vinylmation, and featured him in the event décor. At that time, we were unaware that Walt Disney Imagineering had plans of bringing the Orange Bird back to Walt Disney World Resort the following spring! We eventually worked with Imagineering to brainstorm new merchandise to commemorate his return!”
Casey explained that partnerships with Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt and Steven Vagnini from the Walt Disney Archives were instrumental in creating these new items.
“Jason and Steven were outstanding partners,” continued Casey. “Jason actually provided the artwork for the two tee-shirts and a deluxe print, and Steven provided a tremendous amount of reference material about the Orange Bird when we visited him in California.”
The deluxe print Casey mentions is one of my favorite items. Jason combined the original concept artwork for the Sunshine Pavilion that was created by Richard Hebner in 1969 with original Orange Bird art he created for Walt Disney World Resort’s newest attraction poster!
Casey also developed his very first ear hat, which is arriving this summer. It reminds me of the Figment ear hat we released last fall.
Jason shared his thoughts around the new Orange Bird merchandise.
“We wanted to add an extra layer of magic for guests visiting the Sunshine Tree Terrace,” said Jason. “With the new merchandise, guests can now see the Orange Bird and take home a little memory of their visit.”
With all this talk of the Orange Bird, I’m craving a citrus swirl! Who wants to join me?
Read these posts for more Walt Disney World Resort merchandise news:
Cant wait to get there in September to celebrate EPCOT Center’s birthday to see Orange Bird and have a much needed Whip (it will be 2 years since our list visit)!!
I am hoping for Orange Bird playing cards and postcards (both of which we collect). As the song says, See you in September!!
When the orange juice comes in the plastic oranges with the green plastic top and straw… call me.
I made an inhuman squeaking noise when I read this post. Even though I’m only 18 I have loved Orange Bird since I heard about him – he’s my favourite color AND he is adorable!! Not to mention he approves of delicious ice cream. 😉 What’s not to love?
Hi, Steven. On the after 40 years topic…Epcot’s 40th Anniversary is this October. Are you able to give little tidbits on what’s in the works or just stay tuned in for news of it later? Maybe some new Figment merchandise? Or maybe, me and countless other fans can only hope, the return of the original show with Dreamfinder? =D
@Jennie – I love Arizona! Such a beautiful state for a photographer (especially loved Sedona). Next trip out there, I’ll have to bring you one … that is if it doesn’t melt or I don’t eat it before I land. 🙂
@Celeste – I have not heard of plans to carry Orange Bird merchandise at Disneyland. Sorry. The cup is a food and beverage created item and is unfortunately not sold via our mail order team. But more imporant, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing your story as it’s reading stories like yours that remind me why I work for Disney. I’m glad you liked the pins – which I’m guessing were Hidden Mickey pins. If so, those were some of the last Hidden Mickey pins I developed in a previous role.
@Paul – Unfortunately, the cup is not available via mail order as it was developed by our food and beverage team.
@Cheryl – Please stay tuned as there will be some additional articles. I had a few additional softlines items shared with me earlier this week; they literally knocked my socks off!! Incredible designs that capture the spirit of World Showcase perfectly. Awesome, awesome, awesome! 🙂
Just went to get one…… The mug is filled with SODA…… No orange juice available at all…… Disney really disappoiinted us
Bringing Orange Bird back is so great! Any chance the sippy cups might also be available from WDW Merchandise mail order?
On the D23 website, the are pictures of the MeloD23 Singers rerecording the songs.
Oh, and Figment ear hat? Why did nobody tell me this until now?!
HI Steven…will any of Orange Bird merchandise be available in Disneyland? And also, do you have an item number for the Orange Bird Sippy? My family and I were in Disney World last April. My Dad had passed away in March, so this was a bittersweet trip, as he had taken us there in 1972! I noticed a Cast Member with an Orange Bird pin, and when I went back to ask her to trade, she said she was so sorry, but she had already traded it away. Near tears I explained how my Dad had always called me his “Bird”, and that Orange Bird had a special meaning to me. She called a few Cast Members to see if they had any Orange Bird pins…no luck. She saw how sad it made me to be leaving without an Orange Bird pin and said she’d take my name and address just in case she could turn up one. A week later a large envelope showed up in my mail…with a full set of Orange Bird pins. Your special Cast Member found other Cast Members, shared by “Daddy” story, and they were only too happy to part with their pins! The Orange Bird set and the accompanying note are displayed in my house! 🙂
You got a story, and all I wanted was to ask a question! 🙂
Oh oh additional thought does this mean we can ask for the recipe of the Orange Whip like with The Dole Whip? ^.^ *goes looking for her soft serve machine*
Welcome home Orange Bird~~! It makes me want to book a trip out to Florida right now! You are awesome for posting the item codes! Now who wants to bring me an orange whip to the Arizona Desert? Lol
Ps Yes! Next Dreamfinder!
What brand orange juice do the Disney Parks use?
Big Kudos to all the folks who love WDW history and helped this piece of WDW return to its place in Adventureland. Let’s hope that other lost pieces of the Magic Kingdom like the Penny Arcade or Main Street Cinema see similar revivals. They still exist at Disneyland, why not at Disney World?!
As for the Orange Bird, is there any chance we will get a three dimensional sculpt of any kind for collectors? A Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture or something from Kevin and Jody would be ideal.
@Michelle and Gregory – I know I would be first in line for a figurine like that! I haven’t heard of plans at this time. A figurine like that would look awesome next to my small but mighty Orange Bird collection.
I love love love all the new merchandise!!!! It would be SUPER if they did a Walt Disney Classics Collection Orange Bird sculpt!!!! It would be awesome! Thanks for bringing back the Orange Bird to WDW, you can’t help but smile when you look at him.
Thanks to all the Imagineers who made this happen!!!
This makes me so happy! My Grandmother gave me Orange Bird goodies when I was little and I loved him. So excited to see his face again.
I’m so glad this happened while I’m here visiting this week! Bought the juice cup for my WDW collection, but my 2 yr old already claimed it for himself.
Would really enjoy some Orange Bird merchandise that had a slight citrus scent.
I can smell it now!
The merch is great and all, but is there any chance we’ll see a re-release of the Orange Bird album that the Sherman Brothers did? Mostly I’m looking to get a copy of the Orange Bird theme song.
@Chris and Christie – I’m happy to hear you are delighted about the Orange Bird’s return. I haven’t heard of plans yet to re-release the song. But I too would love to have a copy!
THANK YOU for bringing back this lost piece of THE MAGIC. Lil’ Orange bird has always been a favorite for me as well as everyone I know who visited The Magic Kingdom before 1987! This is fantastic. The only way it could be better is…
…have the Orange Bird REALLY return, that is, bring back the full-sized costumed character that once roamed around The Sunshine Tree and greeted guests as they relaxed with their Orange Swirls!
…and, perhaps a new, restored version of the Orange Bird LP with that great Sherman Bros music! A re-issue would help introduce a whole new generation to the back story of the little guy to those great Sherman tunes. Could be a re-issue along the lines of what you guys did to the original Haunted Mansion LP a few years back. Would be great to have new liner notes by Richard and perhaps dedicate the LP to Robert now that he’s left us.
Anyway, thanks again for still thinking ORANGE THOUGHTS after 40 years!
Next — DREAMFINDER…
I would love to see an Orange Bird plush and a desktop wallpaper version of the poster at the top of this post!
Steven-Any way to order the ear hat? Thanks!
@Travis – Mahalo! I’m glad you liked the items. That deluxe print looks incredible!!
@Lori – Thank you for the feedback. I will share with the development team.
@Cheryl – The ear hat won’t be released until the summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have an exact date or item number at this time. You would most likely be able to order it via Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Merchandise Guest Services once released. Here is their contact information: 1-877-560-6477 or send an email to: email@example.com
Please, Please, Pleasssssssssseeeeeee make these T-shirts larger the xxl. We Pooh and Baloo-sized folks are missing out on the fun.
I am so glad to see the Orange Bird back in the sunshine tree! I had the opportunity to go to the D23 event this morning and picked myself up a shirt and can’t wait for the Mickey ears. I would love to see a plush of the Orange Bird I think both kids and adults would like something like that.
Hmm…. And maybe return the Peter Pan hats to Disney world 😉
I really hope we can see an antenna topper. I’ve already talked with some other people who would love to see one! As for the current merchandise, I already purchased both shirts and the new poster. Absolutely incredible designs by Jason & Casey! I can’t wait for the ears and future merchandise (a plush perhaps?). 🙂
A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine… 🙂
Not only do I actually REMEMBER the Orange Bird (back when he was the partner ad icon for Florida Orange Growers), I still remember, from that first trip in the 70’s, those little bird-head sippy cups from the Sunshine Terrace–That was the one little packed item to beat the heat, before we discovered the joys of pineapple at Aloha Isle.
Love the Orange Bird!!! I have downloaded the wallpaper to my computers and iphone. Thank you for making it available.
I second the atenna toppers – great idea. I can’t wait to get my son one of the orange cups during our trip this summer. It is just too cute! Counting the days until our return… 🙂
Jason Grandt and Steven Vagnini – YOU ROCK!! So glad to see some “old glory” return to the MK!
Hi Steven: Sorry it is off topic, but just excited to know if by chance any of the merchandise for the upcoming Star Wars Weekends in the form of Pins and Vinylmations if any might be available soon for all us Star Wars Fans 🙂
@Tina – The Orange Bird was created for the Florida Citrus Growers when they signed to sponsor the Tropical Serendae in the Magic Kingdom. And I would love a glass of orange juice right now – one of the best things about living in Florida 🙂
@Paul – Thank you for the feedback! I’m beyond thrilled too. By the way, if you do win, let’s meet up for a citrus swirl.
@Beverley-Anne-Elaine – I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for the comment.
@Dana – Funny you should ask … I’ve been editing the overview article about Star Wars Weekends. You should see something within the next week or so. The pins and new open edition figures will be released when Star Wars Weekends begins on May 18 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Hi Steven: Thanks for the update 🙂 What great news!!! LOVE the Orange Bird…..
I was super excited to see a familiar face from my childhood days…….it’s funny how a memory or place can always bring back so MANY wonderful memories that were made when we were children visiting the Magic Kingdom when the park first opened- kinda like seeing the old break-away tickets that were used back in the good ‘ol days when the park first opened!!! Disney will ALWAYS hold a “special” place in my heart and tat of my entire family- GREAT JOB DISNEY, for bringing our childhood days back once more!!
I LOVE the Orange Bird! The only thing that would make this even more exciting is an Orange Bird meet and greet! I know that the orange bird used to meet in Adventureland and I, for one, would love to see him make his triumphant return!
This is such awesome news. When you throw in the sippy cup that’s just been released, it’s great to see that you guys have given due respect to one of the most treasured characters in the park. I love the re-embracing of the park’s history and just how important and cool it really is. From the re-emergence of the original logo to Mr. Bird I’m a very happy camper. Now, I just need to win the Florida Lottery to buy all this merch. 🙂
This morning’s @DisneyD23 tweetup was a LOT of fun 🙂 The new Ear hat is *SO* cute and I can’t wait to own one. Now, we just need to get the Orange Bird walkaround back so we can have a meet & greet!! 🙂
I remember Orange Bird! Am I mistaken or wasn’t he used to promote Florida Orange Juice in the 70’s as well? Looking forward to spotting him in WDW on my upcoming trip!
i LOVE the Orange Bird!! i was hoping to find some merch when i was there in Dec 2011 but i had no luck. maybe i can order the green tee and the pin and the ears online :> that would be so awesome! this is a great addition to the cool and unique merch already available at WDW. Thanks for bringing this little guy back.
@Pamela – There is actually a design created for an antenna topper. No definite plans yet to introduce it but I’m glad to know you’d be interested.
@Melissa – You’re welcome! I’m just as thrilled 🙂 There are no plans to carry these items via the Disney Parks Online store yet you can contact our Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Merchandise Guest Services at 1-877-560-6477 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference these items numbers for the shirts, pin and deluxe print. The ear hat won’t arrive until summer.
Small – 400006540010
Medium – 400006540027
Large – 400006540034
X-Large – 400006540041
2X-Large – 400006540058
Small – 400006540065
Medium – 400006540072
Large – 400006540089
X-Large – 400006540096
2X-Large – 400006540102
Pin – 400000479095
Deluxe Print – 400006726476
Love the return of the Orange Bird, but we need a Citrus Swirl T-shirt, ala Dole Whip. If we can dream it we can do it.
Love the Orange Bird mouse ears! We need an Orange Bird antenna topper.
I love seeing the Orange Bird back again. I loved him back when the park first opened. I may just have to get me a pair of those ears!