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The Orange Bird is Back!

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Published: April 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I was excited with the hidden tribute to the Orange Bird behind the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Now I'm freaking out with the return of the ORIGINAL restored Orange Bird.

The Orange Bird was an character that was made specifically for WDW to promote the Florida Citrus Growers Commission. He was the mascot for the Enchanted Tiki room for a decade as well as fresh oranges from Florida. Would sit and swing on the Sunshine Tree and could only think orange thoughts. You could meet him too, around the Sunshine Tree Terrace, and he might steal your Citrus Swirl! There was even an album featuring songs written by the Sherman brothers telling the story of the adorable bird.

Here's the link to the Armchair Archivist episode covering the cute little bird. I've also had the pleasure to work with Steve a few times on the Jungle Cruise before he landed his amazing job at the archives.

On another note, the torches above the counter at the Sunshine Tree Terrace are working again! This too makes me very happy. Could they be bringing back all the amazing torches that filled the land with real firelight at night? At this point, I might believe it.

Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on April 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I read this a few hours ago. It's pretty exciting that we're getting a return of a classic character and not some flop Disney introduced *cough*Duffy*cough*.
From Skipper Adam on April 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Duffy isn't really a flop. To assume that Duffy taking off like he did in Tokyo was an unfair comparison. It would be a flop if Disney lost money on it, and I'm pretty sure there has been profit. Nonetheless, I am more excited to see the Orange Bird than Duffy. But the Orange Bird might suffer the same problems as Duffy, in that most visitors will have no idea who he is or what is back story is.
From Jay R. on April 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM
Who exactly is Duffy? I've seen it at DCA, but I'm not familiar with any film or series the character has been in.
I know it's a bear, but that's it.
From Skipper Adam on April 17, 2012 at 5:29 PM
Duffy is a character created for the Tokyo Disney resort. The story of Duffy is that since Mickey is such an international star and travels a lot between parks, he was getting lonely. So Minnie decided to hand sew a teddy bear to keep him company on his travels. Mickey named him Duffy and took him all over the world. Duffy works well at Epcot (where you can buy international outfits for him), but I could see why on the West Coast he didn't fit in. The Orange Bird will only be at WDW.
From Jay R. on April 17, 2012 at 6:07 PM
Thanks Skipper, yeah, that's a little starnge. But it makes sense of why it doesnt work as well in DLR as to TokyoSea
From Robert Niles on April 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM
I can't emphasize enough how popular Duffy is in Tokyo. Pretty much all the merchandise available at Tokyo DisneySea is Duffy. (See my December 2011 reports from the park for photos and detail.)

Visitors in Tokyo have different merchandise preferences than visitors in the US. There are no pins or pin trading there. I saw only a couple, very uninspired T-shirts for sale. But Duffy apparently hits the sweet spot for what Japanese Disney fans want in souvenirs.

Stateside Disney fans with long memories also might recall that "Duffy" is just a new name for what was once sold as "My First Disney Bear," a no-name Disneyfied teddy bear. I think undercuts Duffy's appeal a bit, too.

I say, keep Duffy solely in Tokyo and make it that resort's thing. Let Orange Bird be a Florida thing. I like seeing some uniqueness among the resorts' souvenir offerings. It gives dedicated fans another reason to follow what's happening at the other resorts worldwide.

From Jay R. on April 18, 2012 at 2:59 PM
If WDW gets the orange bird, & DTS gets Duffy, it might be a good idea to develope exclusive characters for the other parks as well.

Duffy just feels out of place a DCA (which has a super "Pixar"ish vibe to it)

I had no idea who Duffy was. I have nothing against the charcater, but the backstory fits perfectly with TokyoSea.
Perhaps if there was a "California based" character exclusively for DLR resort.......

From Skipper Adam on April 19, 2012 at 8:19 AM
I like the idea of each resort having their own character, but I think Duffy is all right in Epcot. He seems to be doing okay there.
From Anon Mouse on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM
Nobody can outdo Disney in merchandising. This is amazing. For myself, it is quite boring. The whole thing is a public service advertising gimmick. Who cares really? It is similar to the California Happy Cows milk advertising gimmick here, but thankfully, there is no association with Disney and no merchandising.
From Skipper Adam on April 19, 2012 at 9:21 PM
No one doubts that most things Disney do are motivated by money. However, selling merchandise of a long forgotten, virtually unknown character has more nostalgia and a sense of restoration to former glory in the mix than say gimmicks like Vinylmation or pin trading.

But hey, people grew up with the Orange Bird, and if they love that he is back, let them buy the orange sippy cup and be happy.

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