I'm posting this a couple of days later than the event, I've barely been home since then – but I wanted to share some photos of the Orange Bird now at the Sunshine Tree Terrace! We attended a D23 Tweetup where he was first debuted, alongside new merchandise for fans.
Check out our video from the event!
We met the group at the bridge to Adventureland before 8:30am.
Disney Archivist Steven Vagnini met everyone:
On the way in, we noticed Orange Bird shirts and an art print. We'd seen one of the Orange Bird shirts a week or two ago, but it was quickly pulled. The shirts are supposed to be limited, and possibly available through May – I have no idea if more would be made if they prove to be popular. We each now own a green Orange Bird shirt!
It was funny, just a few days ago I asked a friend why Disney would just put the Orange Bird on the back of the sign. I am glad to see him on the front now!
David Hoffman, Art Director at Walt Disney World Imagineering, talked both about the Orange Bird and the extensive Sunshine Tree Terrace refurbishment. You can see the entire talk on our video!
The last couple of years have brought a tremendous amount of interest in nostalgia, and Imagineer Jason Grandt was instrumental in bringing the Orange Bird back. Apparently, the original figure was sitting in a drawer in Glendale, and needed just a little touching up!
The Orange Bird now sits in the Sunshine Tree Terrace, with a sign that refers to Horizons ("Loranges") and says it's "Grown and Packed by WED Enterprises". I like all the little touches!
Casey Jones and Monty Maldovan from the Disney Design Group show off the different merchandise items for sale:
The Orange Bird Ears are not yet for sale:
Melody Dale from the Disney Archives:
Casey Jones showed us the hat, and let Jeff wear it for a photo. We talked to Casey Jones a bit about the merchandise that is geared more for fans than for the average park guest. I was suprised to see the "Paging Mr. Morrow" t-shirts that excited everyone a few months back now at the outlet. That was one of Casey's designs, and I let him know how much we liked that shirt (and bought it). I'm glad Disney makes specific merchandise for fans, even though the items don't generally sell as well as other types of shirts – like Dole Whip and Turkey Leg shirts, which have a more popular appeal. The new Turkey Leg shirts were also designed by Casey!
Posing at the Sunshine Tree Terrace:
There are new Orange Bird posters under the Main Street Train Station:
And while at the tweetup, we received Citrus Swirl samples, oranges, a button and Citra Sipper. I remember the Citrus Sippers from the 70's, but I'm not sure I've ever used one. I know Jeff did use them on his Walt Disney World trips.
Jeff has many more childhood memories at the Sunshine Tree Terrace than I do. My family almost always went to Tomorrowland for frozen yogurt, which hadn't yet caught on where we lived (it is hard to believe that was a hard-to-find treat in the 70's and early 80's!) I am a fan of the Orange Bird, and hope he catches on with park guests! Thank you to D23 for the great event.