Tim DawsonDigital Designer

Nesting Orange Birds

April 9th, 2019 | Blog
Drawing of Orange Birds in a Bowl

Any true Walt Disney World fan will know who Orange Bird is.

Well, that’s a rather snobby thing to say, as I honestly didn’t know who Orange Bird was a few years ago. Largely, that is due to the fact that Orange Bird, as a character, disappeared from Walt Disney World for many years.

First introduced in the 1970s, Orange Bird was created by Disney in partnership with the Florida Citrus Commission (who sponsored several Magic Kingdom attractions). [Wikipedia]

As is usually bound to happen, characters and entities find themselves disappearing from Disney use over time. It appears Orange Bird was introduced to Tokyo Disneyland in 2004, and the fans fell in love with him all over again. Due to the success overseas, Orange Bird was reintroduced to the Magic Kingdom in 2012.

[And, yes, Disney has gendered the iconic Orange Bird. Pronouns to describe the lovable citron-avian are “he”.]

Given his resurgence since 2012, it thus makes sense I’ve only become to know the character intimately over the past few years. And, in those past few years, Orange Bird merchandise showers the house at levels that rival Figment (from EPCOT Center).

In a recent conversation with some friends, I posed a question about Orange Bird’s up-bringing: Are orange birds hatched, or do they grow on trees?

Since his head is an orange, and his wings, crest, and tail feathers are leaves, this was a valid question. As he is part-orange, do orange birds live in nests, or citrus bowls?

I could not let this go and began to ponder. While I was not able to determine the orange bird reproductive cycle, I did at least decide that they ‘nest’ in citrus bowls – fun yellow ones with an apropos orange blossom pattern. Each brood has multiple chicks, and yes – females do exist! Thinking of Orange Bird as a one-of-a-kind can be a bit depressing, so in this design I decided to show that he is not. There are sibling orange birds out and about, living their life to it’s sweetest potential.

An Orange Birdies enamel pin is available for purchase. As of this writing, they have just begun production and should be available to ship in May 2019.