I have made it no secret that my favorite snack at Disney is the world famous Pineapple Dole whip. I love the float version that includes pineapple juice, but more recently they have been experimenting with some other flavors and you know I’ve tried them all. There has been raspberry, key lime, lemon, coconut, strawberry, watermelon, cherry, pistachio and quite a few more. All of them were great but the original pineapple is my absolute favorite.1
Sometimes however I’m in the mood for something a little different and out of all these other flavors my next top choice is the Citrus Swirl. Now first I’ll mention there are two very similar options that are sometimes mixed up. One is the Orange Cream which is Orange dole whip twisted with vanilla ice cream basically a pretty standard creamsicle flavor. The second option is the Citrus Swirl which is a frozen orange juice twisted with vanilla soft-serve, it’s much more tart and in my opinion more refreshing and amazing. Now why am I brining all this up, well first I love talking about dole whip and Disney snacks but for the main purposes of this post it has to do with a special character that has become synonymous with this citrus swirl treat.
Who is this character you may ask. Well it’s the cute little Orange Bird that you may have seen all around the Florida Disney parks. He has shown up on all sorts of merchandise but it doesn’t stop there, our friend and fellow collector Don Cade has created many fantastic elongated coins including a special Orange Bird design. But first let’s review a bit of history.
Back in 1969 Disney was looking for corporate sponsors to help pay for the construction of their new park Walt Disney World. The Florida Citrus Commission was eager to be involved and Disney encourage them to sponsor the Tropical Serenade attraction that would eventually be renamed the Enchanted Tiki Room. For $3 million dollars and a 10 year commitment they would sponsor the attraction along with a connected juice bar that would sell orange juice and there snacks. The juice bar would be called the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Once caveat the Citrus commission required was some kind of character identifier they could use, and that’s when Disney came up with the Orange Bird.
The partnership continued until 1987 when the Florida Citrus commission decided not to renew the sponsorship, and with that loss the orange bird went absent from the parks for 17 years. Then in 2004 in the Japan parks the Orange Bird made a come back with some specialized merchandise and guests loved it. Anticipation was mounting for his return to Florida and eventually in 2012 he officially came back as the icon for Sunshine Tree Terrace once again.
Now it’s location can be a bit confusion. Originally it was located next to the Enchanted Tiki Room and Aloha Isle offering the Pineapple dole whip was near the Swiss Family Treehouse. Then in 2015 these locations switched places. So if you are in the mood for a Citrus Swirl be sure to head towards the big Treehouse.
To celebrate this piece of Walt Disney World history Don Cade created these amazing pressed coins. I saw these listed online and had to reach out to get a set for my collection.
I’ve mentioned in the past about the TEC Facebook group and all it’s benefits. This is one place that Don makes his designs available to other collectors. No membership needed, but the information that all the members share and offers for custom coins like these are just too good to pass up. Stay tuned for more privately designed coin designs, there are just so many out there and I can’t wait to share them with you.