How Disney Engineers Built a Giant Orange Bird For Local Community Food Bank

Disney Engineering cast members are playing with their food for a good cause! Before donating around 11,000 orange cups, provided by DOLE, to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, they turned them into an Orange Bird sculpture that soars 8-feet-tall at Orlando’s annual CANstruction Orlando event. Now, they’re walking us through the step-by-step process of how they created this citrus marvel.

Step 1: Choose the Subject

This year’s CANstruction theme is “ICANic Central Florida,” featuring works of non-perishable food art from several Florida-based companies to raise awareness and resources for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Disney engineers chose Orange Bird for Walt Disney World’s contribution as the perfect symbol for Disney’s longstanding history in the region. The character was created by Disney in 1970 as the mascot for the Central Florida Citrus Commission and has since become a popular Disney and Central Florida icon.

“It’s a beloved piece of Disney history and culture that represents the company’s roots in Central Florida, which is the spirit of why we come to this event,” said Jeremy Rumph, a Disney architect.

Step 2: Design the Model

The team used the popular Orange Bird sipper as the prototype for the sculpture. Then, using their architectural expertise, they built a digital 3D model on computer software. This helps them scale the model and determine how many cans they will need.

“We are using the software and tools we use daily for our architectural needs at Walt Disney World, but it’s obviously a different challenge when you’re working with oddly shaped food items instead of traditional materials,” said Jeremy.

Step 3: BUILD!

Now it’s time for the fun part. Over the span of eight hours, Disney VoluntEARS and their families put the sculpture together one can at a time, or in this year’s case, cup by cup.

Step 4: Donate!

After being displayed for a few days, the VoluntEARS deconstruct the sculpture and donate the non-perishable food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, an organization Disney has worked with for more than 30 years. Our cast members spend time personally volunteering with Second Harvest and many other organizations across the state through our Disney VoluntEARS program. So far this year, cast have spent more than 115,000 hours giving back to the place where we live, work, and play!

Congratulations to this group of engineering cast member VoluntEARS on yet another great work of art that benefits the Central Florida community!

To read more about ongoing efforts in the state, visit