Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Celebration

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

50 years ago Disneyland received a revolutionary new attraction. One that would shape the rest of park and parks to come. That attraction was the Enchanted Tiki Room. Originally conceived as a restaurant where robot birds would serenade guests, but quickly turned into a full show where the revolutionary technology of Audio Animatronics would be showed off in all of their glory. Opening on June 23rd 1963 in Adventureland amidst the Hawaiian/ Polynesian craze of the 50s and 60s and was the first attraction ever to feature Audio Animatronics. The Enchanted Tiki Room is a prime example of classic Disney entertainment. In the other parks it has received many changes some interesting (The Stitch themed Tokyo version) and some for the worse (Disney World’s Tiki Room: Under New Management which thankfully has returned to the original format), but the fact is that the Tiki Room has and still entertains audiences to this day. Today, I will celebrate the original attraction from Anaheim.

Façade and Pre-Show

The façade of the attraction is a typical Polynesian Hut and the preshow contains various statues that come to life and represent Hawaiian gods and goddesses and they explain who they are and what they do so there is some culture and education. The show cycle is usually every 15 minutes with possibly some time in between to prepare for the next set of guests. When the doors open there is a fountain in the center with the seats all around. After the Cast Member gives the basic safety instructions and courtesy reminders the show begins where the Master of Ceremonies the Parrot Jose wakes up along with his co-hosts Michael, Pierre, and Fritz.

 

Show

When the 4 hosts wake up the other birds the wonderful opening song by the Sherman Brothers begins! The Tiki Tiki Room is a fantastic opening song that perfectly sets the mood and has clever banter and wordplay between our hosts throughout. It’s the best song in the show and no better beginning to this gem of an attraction. The next section has been cut out of the modern versions of the show for being a little slow, and while I can see that, it was still a pleasant aspect of the show that will be missed. The second section was the musical piece Barcarolle written by Jacques Offenbach performed by the whistling of the birds with the visual accompaniment of the Enchanted Fountain with very pretty lighting and color. The next section is where the ladies of the Tiki Room get their own song and the name is Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing. This is an underrated song that is quite fun. It requests audience participation and is a very easy song to sing so anyone can enjoy it. After that great fun we have a song that is perfectly themed which is the classic Hawaiian War Chant the creative thing about this song is that the flowers that were chosen for the Tiki Room look like they have mouths for example the birds of paradise move their “mouths” which is very creative and greatly enhances the mood. Then the carvings on the pillars join in the chant along with the drummer statues up top and it culminates in a finale that even the rain gods notice. And so the show comes to a close with a well structured finale that uses all the show elements.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While in comparison to the modern attractions and shows this is nothing special, but the atmosphere, charm, simplicity, music, and the revolutionary legacy of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room keep the guests coming back! I love the attraction and here’s hoping it lasts for another 50 years!

 

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