The Enchanted Tiki Room Revisited as an Adult

 

I do not have a visual memory of the Enchanted Tiki Room from my first visit to the Magic Kingdom in 1977.  I was only seven.  However the song, Tiki Tiki Tiki Room still gets caught in my head to this day.  On all other visits with my parents to WDW I never saw those singing birds.  My mom hated it and always made fun of it when we would walk by the pavilion.  Actually there is only one thing she likes in Adventureland, but that is for another day.  She would mock the show with a bad rendition of the song and laughingly say, "you don't want to go in there."  Secretly I did.  Fortunately I did get to visit in 1995 on my honeymoon, before it was refurbished.  I miss that version, but still enjoy this guilty pleasure.  The songs, the birds and the tikis all make me smile.  I think this is what started my love for all things tiki.

 

A little history of the Enchanted Tiki Room.  The original attraction opened in 1963 at Disneyland.  It was the first fully auto-animatronic show at Disney.  The concept was worked on personally by Walt Disney.  Upon returning from a trip to New Orleans with a little mechanical bird, Mr. Disney became determined to improve on the bird and to build a show around it.  After settling on a tropical island theme, the dining show was to be placed in Adventureland.  That is right, the Tiki Room was suppose to be a restaurant, with the animatronic birds performing while you dined.  A few weeks before opening the restaurant was turned into an attraction.  I could not find the reason for this change, if anyone knows please share.  The attraction was a success. 


On October 1, 1971 the Enchanted Tiki Room - Tropical Serenade" opened at the Magic Kingdom Orlando.  The show was the same except for the opening.  The original version featured a waterfall that parted to introduce you to Clyde & Claude, a wonderful feathered pair.  The songs and dialogue were the same as the California version.  An almost forgotten fact about the WDW version is the orange bird.  The original sponsor for the attraction was the Florida Citrus Growers.  The pavilion that houses the birds was called the Sunshine Tree Pavilion. You would even be greeted by the mascot. 
 
The show itself was a marvel of birds singing some great lyrics.  It really was impressive to see, knowing that this were not just puppets.  With waning crowds and what some thought to be a corny show the Tropical Sernade was closed in 1997 for renovation. It did reopen in 1998 with the addition of Zazu from the Lion King and Iago from Aladdin, as the new management.  These additions have not been well received.  


I enjoy the new show, but long for the old.  There are lots of rumors of changes to come soon for the Tiki birds.  I hope it returns to the classic.

If  you want to here my favorite song just click: The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room

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