Characters From the Past – Orangebird

In this week’s Fastpass to History, hosted by the Frontierland Station Blog, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite Disney characters from the past.  This character was one of the original characters present at Walt Disney World on opening day but went on a long hiatus a few years later.  I’m talking about the one and only….ORANGEBIRD!

photo courtesy of Disney vinyl mania
photo courtesy of Disney vinyl mania

Orangebird never starred in any Disney movies nor did it appear in any Wonderful World of Disney shows.  Orangebird wasn’t even created by Disney.  It was created by the Florida Citrus Commission who sponsored the Tropical Serenade attraction when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.  The adorable little bird appeared in two TV ads and had one album which was narrated by Anita Bryant who told the character’s story.  Orangebird communicated only through thought bubbles.

Photo courtesy of imagineering Disney
Photo courtesy of imagineering Disney

Orangebird was since intermittently in the parks through the 70s and slowly started to disappear in the 80s.  Then, the character disappeared completely after 1987 when Disney ended its relationship with the Florida Citrus Commission.

photo courtesy of omniluxe
photo courtesy of omniluxe

Orangebird made a triumphant return to the parks when the character was chosen to be the “spokesbird” for the Sunshine Tree Terrace and the Citrus Swirl.  Disney now uses Orangebird in print advertising again and in a collectible pin set.

photo courtesy of Disney dreaming
photo courtesy of Disney dreaming
photo courtesy of inside the magic
photo courtesy of inside the magic

Thanks for joining me in this week’s trip back in Disney history.  I’ll be back tomorrow with my usual posting and will be posting again in next week’s Fastpass to History. Thanks for reading!

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