Too often in the modern era the role of a Disney observer is to chronicle the slow loss of special things, as the parks’ offerings are pared down in service of cutbacks and streamlining. It’s a slow, depressing process that columnist Kevin Yee has termed “declining by degrees”.
Every now and then, though, we win one. And when the restored aspect is a personal favorite, it’s that much more… delicious.
THE CITRUS SWIRL HAS RETURNED.
This flavorful treat was once a staple of the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. We’ve talked about the large slate of citrus-based offerings once presented in this beloved location, but over the years all were lost except the Citrus Swirl.
What is a Citrus Swirl? It’s frozen orange slush, swirled with vanilla soft-serve. Because the orange half uses real juice, it’s nice and tart compared to the sweetness of the ice cream. It’s yummy. And for several years now, it’s been missing.
The Citrus Swirl was always “my” treat. Like some park-goers feel about the fabled Dole Whip, so did I feel about the Swirl. The Sunshine Tree Terrace was always a mandatory stop at least once per vacation, so it was a shock several years ago when I paid my money for the Swirl and discovered that the orange slush had been replaced by a neon-orange sherbet-ish soft serve. My treat was gone, and Mickey didn’t get my $5. I noticed on my last trip that the Swirl was gone entirely, and the Sunshine Tree Terrace – once a bastion of juicy goodness – was only selling vanilla and chocolate soft-serve. This unique location was now just selling the same stuff you can find everywhere else in the resort, and the homogenization of the Disney experience continued.
I’m thrilled to report that a team of dedicated geniuses have striven in secrecy to restore this glistening golden goodness and today, March 1st, 2012, the Citrus Swirl has returned to the jungles of Adventureland. Look at it. Isn’t it awesome?
Look, not every win can be a billion-dollar rehab or a new World Showcase pavilion. Sometimes the changes that need to take place to return Walt Disney World to its former glory will come in a tasty cake cone or plastic bowl. The million little details that once made up the Disney experience are these silly things that you don’t think about until they’re gone, and then we rarely – if ever – get them back. But we won this one.
So, what can you do? Reward the efforts of the Food and Beverage team and pick up a Citrus Swirl the next time you’re in the park. Have two, or three – it’s juice, after all, which means it’s health food. Only if we show that positive changes will be rewarded will we get more, so head over to the Sunshine Tree Terrace posthaste for some frozen Florida sunshine.
The Orange Bird will approve.