Update — Storybook Circus and Sunshine Tree Terrace


I promised that I would make regular trips to the Magic Kingdom to keep you informed of any new additions and updates to Storybook Circus. Well I visited a couple of days ago (April 23, 2012) and nothing new has been opened in this area. Sigh. However, I do have some additional information to share with you.

First, I snapped a couple of pictures of the new “Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station” currently under construction. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this water play area will be situated on a train turntable located beside the roundhouse/restrooms. As you can see, construction is well underway.

Casey Jr. Construction

Casey Jr. Engine

Casey Jr. Camel Car

Camel Heads

I asked a Barnstormer cast member if she had any idea when this area would be opening. She told me that Disney is hoping for June, but as with any project, this date is subject to change.

I also asked the cast member if The Barnstormer would eventually be outfitted with FastPass. She confirmed that it would.

The Barnstormer

As you might know, anytime Disney replaces an old attraction with something new, they honor the outgoing ride with some sort of remembrance. For example, inside “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” attraction is a portrait of Mr. Toad handing over the deed to Owl.

Well even though “The Barnstormer” is not technically a new ride, but just a retheming of an old attraction, “The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm” has been honored with a remembrance. If you look behind “The Barnstormer” sign that graces the entrance, you can see the jumbled letters that once read “Wiseacre Farm.”

Salute to Wiseacre Farm

Since I had nothing new to report and Storybook Circus was not crowded, I decided to use this opportunity to videotape the rethemed “The Barnstormer.” Watching this three minute video might be the shortest you’ll ever wait to experience this attraction. Enjoy.

While I was at the Magic Kingdom, I ventured over to Adventureland to check out the recently reopened Sunshine Tree Terrace – and its new/old mascot.

Sunshine Tree Terrace

In 1969, the Florida Citrus Commission became one of the first sponsors to associate itself with a Magic Kingdom attraction: The Sunshine Pavilion which included the Sunshine Tree Terrace and the Enchanted Tiki Room. To help promote citrus products nationwide and a frozen beverage known as the Citrus Swirl sold at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, publicity art designer Don MacLaughlin created the Orange Bird. Although this character only appeared in “live” form at the Magic Kingdom, the Orange Bird became famous nationwide as he appeared on billboards and television ads across the country promoting citrus products. In addition, the Sherman Brothers penned a tune, “The Orange Bird Song” which was recorded by Anita Bryant.

The Florida Citrus Commission ended their sponsorship in 1986 and the Orange Bird slipped into Disney history. However, this character had a resurgence at Tokyo Disneyland in 2004 to coincide with Japan’s annual Orange Day celebration held on April 14th.

Orange Bird

Orange Bird

But this character of yesteryear has been brought back to the Magic Kingdom — well sort of. When the Sunshine Tree Terrace reopened last week, our little friend was added to the refreshment stand’s sign. He can also be seen perched at the back of the restaurant with a crate of oranges. According to a recent blog by Kevin Kidney, this Orange Bird is an original artifact from 1971 that had been lost for years and only recently uncovered. In addition, the Citrus Swirl (orange slush with vanilla soft-serve ice cream) has been brought back and added to the menu. To see the complete offerings of the Sunshine Tree Terrace, click here.

Sunshine Tree Terrace Sign

Orange Bird

Orange Bird Mugs

Two Orange Bird t-shirts and a pin can be found at the nearby shop. As the months continue, additional Orange Bird souvenirs will be offered.

Orange Bird t-shirt

Orange Bird t-shirt

Orange Bird Pin

That’s it for this update. Even though my regular blogs are posted on Mondays, you never know what you might find from me during the rest of the week. So check in occasionally.

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21 Replies to “Update — Storybook Circus and Sunshine Tree Terrace”

  1. Oh dear me. Hopefully someone will be chucking orange bird memorabillia over the internet sooner rather than later. I’d hate to get down there and have them be out. And the citrus swirl back is great.

    Mind you, I spend half my time in the tiki room when I’m at Disney anyway.. or at least singing the song afterward.

    It seems like Fantasyland is expanding so slowly. I’m sure it’s really not, but man I can’t wait for the Be Our Guest restaurant to open.

  2. I visited the Sunshine Tree Terrace the other day and got my Orange Bird sippy cup. I was a little put out that Orange Juice was not an option for filling the $6.99 cup–it had to be a soft drink! Sadly the Citrus Swirl machine was down, but I can’t wait to get my hands on one! I was so glad to see the Orange Bird return even if I can’t get orange juice in my Orange Bird cup. I’m wearing my Orange Bird T shirt right now! I hope he sticks around.

  3. Hi Jack!
    I Have a question, Have the folks at Disney brought back the Orange Bird Song? I am a big fan of the Sherman Brothers and Listen to some of their songs daily on my iPhone. It would be great to hear the song as I never heard it originally as I am only 14.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I know that Disney has recently rerecorded the Orange Bird Song. However, I don’t know what plans they have for it.

    If you check out this page and scroll down a ways, you can find a link to the song.


  4. Hi Jack!

    We missed you by two days (we went wed.)
    Upon entering the MK we went straight to Storybook Circus to ride The Barnstormer and this is when I noticed the Casey Jr. train and all the animals beyond the fence. Of course…the anticipation of this attraction doesn’t hold much excitement for me as I usually don’t make it a habit of running around in my diaper at a splashy play area. Well…at least not at WDW.
    I just love the new train station; it’s the nicest one I’ve ever seen. I love the nice touch of the restrooms being housed inside the roundhouse.

    Thanks for the blog & video and hope to see ya at Disney. Bye! ~ Johnny

  5. hey jack
    always enjoy the hearing about the updates for story book circus. I was so thrilled when i first heard that the barnstormer would still be a part of the new land. It is still one of my favorite roller coasters and I still ride it from time to time even though im in college. It always puts a smile on my face. I was also glad to hear that they brought back the orange bird. can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

  6. Hey Jack,

    I sure hope the Orange Bird is here to stay. I’ll be in WDW in June and want to see the bird! I have not seen him since i was a kid!

    Jack’s Comment:

    I want to make sure that I didn’t mislead you with my blog. The “live” Orange Bird character that once walked around Adventureland has NOT returned. Only his likeness at the Sunshine Tree Pavilion and on souvenirs. I would hate to get your hopes up only to later be disappointed.

  7. Hi Jack! I have always loved visiting Sunshine Tree Terrace for a refreshing drink. I totally remember the Citrus Swirl from when I was a kid. I also LOVED the orange drinks in the plastic oranges!! Ahh, memories…

  8. I have a question about the new expansion, will it include Mickey and Minnie’s house? Magic kingdom, wouldn’t be the same If they got rid of it! We were there in march and were able to ridw the new goofy ride. The detail in this new area is just incredible! Disney-Riffic! Thanks for the updates!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Mickey and Minnie’s house are now a part of Magic Kingdom history. If you want to visit their houses, you need to go to Disneyland in California or Tokyo Disneyland.

  9. Hey Jack,
    Thanks for the great update on the new Magic Kingdom expansion. The last time we were over there was in January last year and you couldn’t see much! One question: at about second 42 of your video you see Goofy riding a rocket named Dolores. What is the significance of Dolores?
    Also loved your update of The Sunshine Tree Terrace. That is one of our favorite spots to stop and take a break before heading into Frontierland. My wife will get an ice cream something (next time it will be a Citrus Swirl), and my favorite is a caffeine kick from and a double espresso.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Dolores is an elephant in need of a bath in the 1948 Goofy short “The Big Wash.” Dolores also appeared in the 1953 Donald Duck short, “Working for Peanuts.”

  10. I have to agree, Storybook Land cast member costumes are rather…..unfortunate.

    Jack, did you sample any of the new food offerings at the Sunshine Tree Terrace?

    Jack’s Answer:

    It was around 10am when I visited the Sunshine Tree Terrace. I was neither hungry or thirsty.

  11. Jack,

    Nice writing, thanks for the Casey’s pics! You may or may not know about the cult following the little Orange Bird has on twitter… you also may be delighted to know about the hashtag #cultofcitrus – people who dedicate their lives to the experience of Citrus Swirls.

    I’m going to tweet this article now… 🙂


  12. Yay! A bonus Jack blog! Thanks for keeping a watchful eye on the updates and passing them along. I love it!

  13. Nary a typo to be found. 😉

    My only concern with the fantasy land upgrade is that it is going to be so spectacular that the place will constantly be THRONGED with people, and therefore losing some of its charm. Kind of like how Mainstreet USA loses it ambience when packed just after Wishes.

    Too much of a good thing?

  14. No need for “apologies” as to when your regular blogs are posted…..

    I probably speak for many when I say I check 4 or 5 times daily for any updates that can be shared. For us many that can only make it down once or twice a year, I for one love it!

  15. Jack!

    You are spoiling us with all these new blogs (but I’m not complaining!) I don’t remember the Wise Acre farm version having Fast Pass–is there additional interest in this attraction because of its location near Dumbo?

    They were rehabing the Sunshine Terrace when we were there in November–very cool that they “retro-ed” (for lack of a word in English) the Sunshine Terrace to fit with the new-old Tiki Room look!

    Jack’s Answer:

    You are correct. Wiseacre Farm did not have FastPass. However, this has always been a low capacity attraction. I suspect the Imagineers belive that this area will only become more crowded with the new theming.

  16. Thanks for the info! My son is going to love the new Casey splash area since he loves trains. Hopefully it’ll be open by January 2013 when we go.

  17. Initially I was not pleased to hear that this area would be re-themed into Storybook Circus, but now that I’ve seen a lot of it coming together I have to admit that it really is beautiful. It’ll be awhile before I’m back at the World but I am excited to see it all in person.

    I’ll still always miss Mickey & Minnie’s house though.

  18. Jack,
    I’ve liked everything I’ve seen concerning the new Storybook Circus section (thanks for the informative blog posts) except for the “capri- pants” uniform. Nitpicky of me, I know. They just look, um, unfinished. But I digress… The new circus-themed splash pad area looks like it will be wonderfully detailed. Just what we’ve come to expect from Disney! Do you know if they’ll be done with the expansion by next January?

    Jack’s Comment:

    I believe (this is just my opinion) that the “capri-pants” were designed with cast member comfort in mind. In reality, these pants should be full-length to fit the circus theme. But it’s hot in Florida. Shorts would not have looked right at all. So 3/4 length was chosen.