Throwback ThursdayThrowback Thursday Update 8/22/2013: In the years since I've written this piece it's been my absolutely pleasure to see the Orange Bird make a return to the Magic Kingdom! Though there's no costumed bird running around the park, my favorite little guy has returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace, and in various merchandise! I grab up every Orange Bird thing I can find these days from pins to antenna balls to t-shirts and ear hats. I still love the Orange Bird! I guess I was just ahead of the curve when I posted this back in 2010.
I know that the trendy thing, for at least the past 15-20 years has been the Dole Whip. I dare say that it's even created it's own cult following amongst Disney goers. Sweet soft serve pineapple sorbet swirled with ice cream, guests seem willing to wait in long lines to get their tasty treat. I'm not a Dole Whip girl, I tried to like them so that I was "in" but the pineapple just isn't my thing. I long for the days of the Orange Bird.
"Little Orange Bird in the Sunshine Tree
Won't you think of something sunny just for me?
Think funny thoughts or sunny words
That will make me happy, little Orange Bird"
~ Sherman Brothers Lyrics
As a child the friendly Orange Bird always greeted us to Walt Disney World. The Sunshine Terrance located directly next to the Tiki Room was our traditional first stop year after year. Created by Disney for the Florida Citrus Growers the sunny little bird could be found on merchandise and billboards throughout the State of Florida. That was a time when tourists were good, but the citrus grove was the life blood of Florida and the Orange Bird was it's Ambassador to the world. Since 1986 the Florida Orange Growers sponsorship demised, the Sunshine Tree Terrace is only open seasonally and it's just not the same.
It was the Citrus Swirl that always marked our arrival in Disney. Florida Orange juice frozen into a icy smooth concoction bursting with sunshine. It was the best thing ever, this tangy juicy goodness could be swirled with soft serve vanilla ice cream, but my beloved was the straight orange juice version. Alas The Sunshine Pavillion or Sunshine Tree Terrace no longer serves my fruity delicious dessert of choice. It's been replaced with an orangy sherbert type vanilla soft serve that's high in sugar and low in the natural goodness of Florida Oranges. So please, enjoy your Dole Whip, but for myself, I'll long for the days of the Orange Bird.
For more information visit these great site and their stories on the original Sunshine Pavillion.
What Happened to my Adventureland Treat?
Disney Food Blog's Is This Place Ever Open?
Widen Your World's Sunshine Tree Terrace
Mouse Planet's Thoughts of an Orange Bird