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Snack Series: Citrus Swirl at Magic Kingdom’s Sunshine Tree Terrace

There’s tons of awesomeness in every corner of Walt Disney World, but the Magic Kingdom is where the Florida magic got its start! And we’re headed there today!

As much as I’m loving all the new spots in New Fantasyland, it’s still a joy to come back to old favorites like Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Nestled off the beaten path in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, this spot is home to some great menu items, like the Lemonade with Wild Berry Foam and the Pina Colada Slush.

But its real claim to fame is the snack of legendary proportions that’s recently been restored to its former glory — the Citrus Swirl! And even though we’ve talked about it before…it’s about time to revisit this classic!

Atmosphere

For all the talk about Disney history, this is the real deal. Sunshine Tree Terrace has been a staple of Magic Kingdom since the very first day the park was opened.

Sunshine Tree Terrace at Magic Kingdom

Originally, the spot served as a showcase for one of Adventureland’s biggest sponsors, Florida Citrus Growers (FCG). This was a great spot to get a refreshing glass of orange juice and other treats featuring the flavors of Florida.

Florida Citrus Growers' Orange Bird

Sunshine Tree Terrace was also the home of the Orange Bird. This little guy, created by Disney, became the mascot for FCG and was used in promotions, both inside and outside the park. And guests young and old were delighted to pose for pics with the Orange Bird at a character meet and greet!

Due to a very vocal Disney fan base, the Orange Bird, who had disappeared from this spot in the mid-80s, has now come home to roost once again!

Sunshine Tree Terrace Sign and Roofline

Once you finish jumping up and down about the Orange Bird’s return, take a look around.

Seating for Sunshine Tree Terrace is all outdoors, and bumps up against the queue for Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride.

Seating by Aladdin's Magic Carpets

It’s a nice spot away from the crowds, and you’ll find some of the tables shaded with umbrellas. It also faces Sunshine Tree Terrace, so it’s a great place to take in the details of this historical spot.

The Citrus Swirl

Sunshine Tree Terrace has returned to its roots — at least in part. While the FCG sponsorship is no more, you’ll find orange juice here, along with a wide array of other beverages. If it’s a snack you’re after, they offer soft serve as well as chips and cookies.

There are some real fan favorites on this menu. We’ve already mentioned the lemonade with wild berry foam and the (yum) pina colada slush. This is also a great spot for enjoying a Raspberry Lemonade Slush or a soft serve Root Beer Float.

And many coffee fans make a beeline for the Iced Coffee Float, which is also available over at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tomorrowland. Check out our recent review of their sundae here.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But I was here for a pure shot of delicious nostalgia: the Citrus Swirl! This is one of my favorite Magic Kingdom Snacks!

Citrus Swirl in front of Sunshine Tree Terrace -- Two Classics!

The citrus swirl is a combination of vanilla soft serve and “orange slush” (in other words, frozen orange juice). You can get it in a float as well, but I opted for a cup during my visit.

Citrus Swirl

This, my friends, is a fantastic combination: tart and sweet, creamy and fruity all at once. It is so much better than the faux-version that was available for a time at Aloha Isle, which used an orange sherbet-y concoction alongside the vanilla soft serve.

And don’t forget to pick up your very own Orange Bird Cup while you’re enjoying your citrus swirl! Now, if Orange Bird would just come out of retirement and begin greeting guests out front again, my childhood fantasies will be complete!

Citrus Swirl and Orange Bird Cup

Overall

You guys know how much I love my Dole Whip Floats. But seeing the return of citrus swirl to Sunshine Tree Terrace makes my little Disney food-loving heart pitter pat. This is such a delicious treat, with the flavors of tart-orange juice and creamy vanilla soft serve. It’s also just plain beautiful, and a great reminder of the fact that you aren’t just at Disney, but you’re also in Florida.

I am so happy that Orange Bird and his wonderful little treat have come home. I hope that we all have many years of enjoying Sunshine Tree Terrace and these special touches ahead of us.

Is a trip to Adventureland to see the Orange Bird and to snack on a citrus swirl a Disney must do for you? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!

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13 Comments

  1. Tricia says:

    I think I need to arrange a taste off between a Citrus Swirl and a Dole whip. You know just for the sake of Science.

  2. Joni says:

    My ALL time favorite Disney Treat. Sweet/Sour creamy goodness all for only 3.49
    It was such a shock when I got the faux swirl, just wanted to throw it away. NOT MY SWIRL I cried out loud and the girl at the counter had obviously just started working there as she had no idea what I was taking about when I asked what had happend to my beloved swirl. I then got a cup of vanilla Ice cream and a OJ Slush and made my own. But just not the same.
    It was a happy happy day when I read they brought it back. And the Orange Bird! Bonus.
    Thank you Disney for listening to us.

  3. Sandy says:

    I tried a citrus swirl on my last trip and fell in love! I can’t wait to have one in 26 days!!!

  4. Summer says:

    I finally had one of these earlier this year and fell in love too…two of my favorite flavors in one. I crave it more than Dole Whip now…hope it’s here to stay!

  5. Essie says:

    I feel so disloyal and bad for saying this, but I didn’t like the citrus swirl the one time that I tried it. Yet I love oranges and fresh squeezed OJ.?.? The frozen OJ just doesn’t seem to agree with me. I also love fresh pineapple , but not Dole Whips (and I know that that is Disney World sacrilege also, LOL). I’ll have to stick with my frozen Cokes, water and sodas I guess. But, I AM glad that it’s back for the rest of you who enjoy it so very much.

  6. Nancy says:

    Was so excited to see it open. Last time there it was closed. It was as good ad I remembered. Can’t wait to have another when I go back on December

  7. JL says:

    Will definitely be trying one of these soon!

    If you buy the souvenir orange bird cup, does it come with anything in it? (for $6.99?). Orange juice, perhaps?

  8. Dave says:

    I have ice cream headache just from reading this!! :D

  9. Amy says:

    Love citrus swirl! I’ll be getting it in November for sure.

    Funny Orange Bird character story….When visiting as a young child, my family and I had finished enjoying our snacks and Mom was cleaning up. Orange Bird was out to greet guests and my mother, in her desire to clean up quickly and keep an eye on her four children, mistook Orange Bird’s round head for a garbage can. We all burst out laughing as my Mom tried to jam a food tray into his head!! Luckily, Orange Bird was in pretty good humor and took it well, and we have continued to make fun of my mother for that one through the years. Needless to say, the last time I got to WDW, my mother got a souvenir Orange Bird cup in the mail. (I just filled mine with Coke.) This time I’ll get one for me to take home.

  10. Nancy says:

    We LOVE this!! Looked for one while in Disneyland a few weeks ago and all they have is Dole Whip! Nothing is as refreshing on a hot summer day as a citrus swirl!!

  11. Janna says:

    My #1, all-time favorite Disney snack/treat!!! I have loved the citrus swirl since I was a kid so I was downright giddy when it came back last year. I never miss a chance to have one!

  12. Tracy says:

    My family has been visiting the Sunshine Tree Terrace since MK park opening. My siblings and I grew up eating the deliciousness of the citrus swirl! We are extremely happy to see the return of the original tasty treat and the Orange Bird (merchandise)!

  13. Tanya says:

    It’s been somewhat a family tradition since I was a kid in the 70′s to grab a citrus slushy or swirl at Sunshine Terrace after seeing the Tiki Birds:-). I’m a bit of an Orange Bird addict and was THRILLED when he made his return. Now I’m waiting on Disney to release Orange Bird juice glasses. I mean it’s seems only natural to have Orange Bird juice glasses:).
    T

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