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Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room

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Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room is an attraction at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom (where it was originally titled Tropical Serenade). It also ran at Tokyo Disneyland from 1983 to 1999, but is now home to The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai!.

History

The attraction opened on June 23, 1963 and was the first attraction to feature Audio-Animatronics, a WED Enterprises patented invention. The attraction's first commercial sponsor was United Airlines but sponsorship soon passed over to Hawaii's Dole Food Company who remains the sponsor to the present day. The attraction was actually, at first, separated from Disneyland in the fact that Walt Disney personally owned it himself through his own company, WED Enterprises, instead of the rest of Disneyland, which was, and still is, owned by the Walt Disney Company (then Walt Disney Productions). The show was originally going to be a restaurant featuring Audio-Animatronic birds serenading guests as they ate and drank. Testaments to the original design may be seen in the restrooms located on the lanai just outside the entrance to the show itself as well as the central "Magic Fountain," originally intended to be a coffee bar. A commercial kitchen, presently unused and out of sight of guests once served the defunct Tahitian Terrace and would have served the Tiki Room as well.

Since computers have played a central role in the attraction since its inception, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room was also Disneyland's first fully air-conditioned building. The attraction opened in an era when all things Polynesian were popular and was an immediate hit. It houses a Hawaiian-themed musical show "hosted" by four lifelike macaws whose plumage matches their implied countries of origin. "José" is red, white and green and speaks with a Mexican accent, voiced by Wally Boag; "Michael" is white and green with an Irish brogue, voiced by Fulton Burley; "Pierre" is blue, white and red, and has a French accent courtesy of the voice actors of Ernie Newton while red, black and white "Fritz" has a German accent provided by Thurl Ravenscroft, who also voices Hawaiian god "Tangaroa" near the attraction's entrance. The main birds have changed color over the years. In 1965, the four host birds had almost identical plumage of white, green, yellow and blue. The four macaws as well as all the other birds are plumed with real feathers with the exception of chest plumage. The chests are covered in custom-woven cashmere which allows the figures to "breathe" in a lifelike manner. The choice came quite by accident; in a planning meeting, Harriet Burns noticed a cashmere sweater that Walt Disney was wearing which moved at the elbows exactly the way the engineers envisioned. So innovative was the technology by 1963 standards that an Audio-Animatronic talking bird once located near the walkway to beckon visitors inside caused enormous traffic jams of visitors trying to catch a glimpse of it.
Enchanted Tiki Room en el Parque Disneyland (Español)12:55

Enchanted Tiki Room en el Parque Disneyland (Español)

While waiting outside in a lanai area for the show to start, visitors are serenaded by songs from the album Steel Guitar Magic - Hawaiian Style. Hawaiian gods are represented as well around the perimeter of the lanai and each has a story to tell via Audio-Animatronics. A brief documentary of the history of the pineapple is presented as well. The story, filmed in the early 1960s and updated at the end with a Macromedia Flash presentation of a parade of Dole products, is shown on a rear-projection screen on the rear of the roof of the Dole snack bar at the entrance to the lanai. Other than the removal of a minor musical number set to the "Barcarolle" from Jacques Offenbach's opera Tales of Hoffmann, the removal of a verse of In The Tiki Room and a whistled opening of Let's All Sing Like The Birdies Sing which included José's introduction of the song as the Tiki Room's "national anthem," the show has remained the same since its 1963 inception and as such is arguably dated. One chorus of Let's All Sing Like The Birdies Sing has José crooning like Bing Crosby, Fritz scat-singing in a gravelly voice like that of Louis Armstrong and Pierre singing like Maurice Chevalier. Still, the attraction remains among the park's most popular.

The show re-opened in March 2005 to standing-room-only crowds after a seven-month refurbishment, commissioned by new Disneyland management in a bid to restore the park to its former glory for its Happiest Homecoming on Earth. Previous park management had let standards all over the park (and in fact the entire resort) slip; feathers were regularly falling out of the Audio-Animatronics, the thatched roof of the building was breaking away in broad daylight, and the movements of the Audio-Animatronics were noisy and slow. After the renovation, virtually all of the original show and storyline remained but with a digitally remastered audio track mixed by the same person who remastered sounds of Disneyland for a special golden anniversary commemoration set. The attraction also received a new sound system both indoors and out and completely new Audio-Animatronics; they look identical to the previous ones, but have state-of-the art equipment inside. Updates in technology allowed Walt Disney Imagineering to create a show for the heightened expectations of 21st Century audiences while retaining the elements of the classic presentation.

My Disney Experience Official Description

Tropical birds, tiki gods and colorful flowers come to life in a swinging 10 minute South Seas musical celebration.

Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland

The Tiki Room would be one of the opening day attractions at the Magic Kingdom, debuting on October 1, 1971. Here it would be retitled Tropical Serenade and feature a different preshow featuring two toucans named Clyde and Claude voiced by Dallas McKennon and Sebastian Cabot. After introducing themselves, they begin telling a story of how they found the Sunshine Pavilion and Tiki Room within when escaping from various animals on the Jungle Cruise. A castmember stops their story to tell them the show inside is about to start and guests enter the room for a copy of Disneyland's show. This template was used for Tokyo Disneyland's Tiki Room.

However, by the 1990s, plummeting attendance, often resulting from people leaving during the Offenbach sequence, lead to a complete overhaul of the attraction in the form of The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management, hosted by Iago and Zazu. The old version closed on September 1, 1997 and re-opened as the new show on April 5, 1998. The attraction was criticized for it's weak attempts at being hip and relevant and the general cynicism Iago's inclusion resulted in, but the attraction would not be altered until 2011 when a fire broke out in the attraction's attic. The attraction would be transformed into a version of the original, trimmed down for pacing and not including the Enchanted Fountain, which was removed for the Under New Management version and opened on August 14. The original preshow would also make a return.

The Tokyo Disneyland version of the Tiki Room would go under a contemporary overhaul as well in 1999, with The Enchanted Tiki Room: Get the Fever!, utilizing new hosts and music with a story of waking the long dormant Tiki Gods with a party. This version would be replaced by The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai! on July 25, 2008, incorporating Stitch and music from the film and television series into the show.

Soundtrack

Attraction facts

  • Grand opening: June 23, 1963
  • Designer: WED Enterprises
  • Total birds: 225
    • Singing birds: 120
  • Show length: 17:28 (Original)
    • Pre-show: 10:00
  • Presentation: Theater presentation with Audio-Animatronics

Audio-Animatronics

According to the book Disneyland Detective by Kendra Trahan, the "cast list" breaks down as follows:

  • 54 singing orchids
  • 4 totem poles
  • 12 tiki drummers
  • 24 singing masks
  • 7 birds of paradise (the plant variety)
  • 8 macaws
  • 12 toucans
  • 9 forktail birds
  • 6 cockatoos
  • 20 assorted tropical birds

The frozen soft-serve Dole Whip dessert served on the lanai is available in only one other place in the world other than Disneyland or The Magic Kingdom, namely Dole Foods in Hawaii. No other Disney theme parks serves the snack.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The main birds all have distinct nationalities: Jose is Mexican, Pierre is French, Michael is Irish and Fritz is German.
    • This fact can be proved not only by the birds' accents, but by the colors of their feathers as well. (i.e. Jose is red, white, and green like the Mexican flag)

See also

References


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Adventureland

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye | Jungle Cruise | Tarzan's Treehouse

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbitor | Autopia | Space Mountain | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Disneyland Monorail | Innoventions | Starcade | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue | Push the Talking Trash Can

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New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion | Pirates of the Caribbean

Resorts

Disneyland Hotel

Former Attractions and Entertainment

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Other

List of Disneyland attractions


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Walt Disney World Railroad | Main Street Vehicles | Dapper Dans | Disney's Electrical Parade | Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire | Night of Joy | Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party

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Cinderella Castle | It's a Small World | Peter Pan's Flight | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Dream Along With Mickey | Prince Charming Regal Carrousel | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Mad Tea Party | The Great Goofini | Cinderella's Royal Table | Pinocchio Village Haus | Sword in the Stone | Seven Dwarfs Mine Train | Ariel's Grotto | Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid | Be Our Guest Restaurant | Enchanted Tales with Belle | Princess Fairytale Hall | Pete's Silly Sideshow | The Barnstormer | Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station

Adventureland

Swiss Family Treehouse | The Magic Carpets of Aladdin | Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room | Jungle Cruise | Pirates of the Caribbean | Pirates League

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland Speedway | Space Mountain | Astro Orbiter | Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover | Carousel of Progress | Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin | Stitch's Great Escape! | Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor | Push the Talking Trash Can

Frontierland

Splash Mountain | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Tom Sawyer Island | Country Bear Jamboree | Frontierland Shootin' Arcade

Liberty Square

The Hall of Presidents | Liberty Square Riverboat | The Haunted Mansion | Memento Mori | The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History

Resorts

Disney's Contemporary Resort | Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa | Disney's Polynesian Resort | Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Former Attractions and Entertainment

The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | Mike Fink Keel Boats | Mickey Mouse Revue | Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party | Mr. Toad's Wild Ride | Skyway | Snow White's Scary Adventures | 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | If You Had Wings | Delta Dreamflight | The Timekeeper | Magic Journeys | The Legend of the Lion King | Mission to Mars | ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter | The Walt Disney Story | Mickey's Birthdayland | Mickey's Starland | Mickey's Toontown Fair | Flight to the Moon | Donald's Boat | Mickey's House and Meet Mickey | Minnie's House | Pixie Hollow | Toon Park | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown | Fantasy in the Sky | Plaza Swan Boats | Dream Along with Mickey | Penny Arcade | Tropical Serenade | Shrunken Ned's Junior Jungle Boats | Diamond Horseshoe Revue | America the Beautiful | American Journeys | Magic Carpet Round the World | Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade | Celebrate the Magic | Circle-Vision 360 | Disney's Magical Moments Parade | It's Good to Be Bad Villainous | Magic, Music and Mayhem | Mickey's Twas the Night Before Christmas | Pooh's Playful Spot | SpectroMagic | The Character Parade | The Magic, the Memories and You | Villains Mix and Mingle | Villains Sinister Soiree

Other

List of Magic Kingdom attractions | Virtual Magic Kingdom


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The Disney Gallery | Omnibus

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Adventureland

Swiss Family Treehouse | Western River Railroad | Jungle Cruise | Pirates of the Caribbean | The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai!

Tomorrowland

Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek | Space Mountain | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Star Jets | Grand Circuit Raceway | Stitch Encounter | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue | Push the Talking Trash Can

Toontown

Mickey's House & Movie Barn | Minnie's House | Goofy's Bounce House | Donald's Boat | Chip 'n' Dale's Treehouse | Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin | Gadget's Go Coaster | Toon Park

Westernland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Mark Twain Riverboat | Country Bear Theater | Tom Sawyer Island | Westernland Shooting Gallery

Critter Country

Splash Mountain | Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown

Resorts

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel | Disney's Ambassador Hotel

Former Attractions

Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour | Mickey Mouse Revue | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Skyway | Magic Journeys | Disney's Party Express | One Man's Dream | Star Tours | The Party Gras Parade | Fantasy in the Sky

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