03 May 2018

The Caviar of Citrus

When you are in Walt Disney World there are lots of names and references to try and puzzle out. There are the obvious ones that drop film or character names in bright, bold lettering. There are those that are tucked away and reference a year or tertiary character in a clever way. There are even those times when Imaginers and other Disney staff members are given nods that you may not ever be able to suss out. Then there are those unique details that blend the real and imaginary worlds so well, it’s hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. The produce signs that are mounted along the outside of Dockside Margaritas in Disney Springs are a perfect example of this last category.

We’ll start with the easiest pair of signs to discuss, which means those placards that feature oranges and limes. These are both attributed to Springs brand, or The Springs Citrus Growers Association, in other words Disney Springs. As the Springs are located in the real world place known as Orange County, that also happens to be where the produce is said to have come from. It is worth noting that the citrus fruits tied to Springs Brand, limes and oranges, also just happen to be the same as the designations of the parking structures at Disney Springs.

The next sign is a little tougher to sort out. Big Spender is the farm where tangerines come from. They’re promoted as the caviar of citrus, and if either this or the name Big Spender is supposed to ring any bells as it relates to Disney, I’m drawing a blank. What I can tell you is that Yeehaw Junction, where the tangerines are supposed to have originated, is a real place. Yeehaw Juction is the home of The Desert Inn, a tourist destination now it was a trading post and restaurant in the Florida wilderness once upon a time. In addition to cattle and lumber moving through the trading post, I’m willing to bet citrus made its way through the trading post too.

If Orange Bird Brand from the Sunshine Tree Citrus Groves doesn’t immediately conjure up images of a little cartoon bird with an orange for a head and leafs for wings, then I’m not sure where you’ve been for the past several years. The Orange Bird was once the mascot for the Florida Citrus Growers (or Commission, depending on where you are) and made appearances in Adventureland near the Sunshine Tree Terrace. As the Sunshine Tree is where the Orange Bird calls home, is it any wonder that is where the Orange Bird Brand Citrus calls home as well?

The last two move us away from citrus and towards strawberries, with the brand known as Red Ruby. The Wells Fruit Company is perhaps a nod to former Disney President, Frank Wells, as there is no Wells Fruit Company in Plant City, Florida. While the state is known for its citrus, Plant City, and other towns in Hillsborough County, is known worldwide for its strawberries. While many places argue over who is the Strawberry Capital of the World, Plant City is definitely the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, with the county producing 15% of the countries strawberries, and almost all of the strawberries that are available in the winter months. I should know, I spent most of my toddler years wobbling through the strawberry fields in Plant City.

A little bit of truth and a sprinkling of Disney magic make the signage around Dockside Margarita something to take note of when you’re grabbing a cocktail or two and taking in the views of Disney Springs. Whether you’re looking for oranges, limes, tangerines, or strawberries, this waterside shack knows where to get the best produce!

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