When you think back to the rides of Disneyland that have come and gone… which one do you miss most? The Sky Buckets? The People Mover? Country Bear Jamboree? And when you think of these rides this thought probably has crossed your mind, “if I had just went on that ride one more time”. That is exactly what I had been thinking for quite some time about the Tiki Room. Do I think it is going anywhere anytime soon? No, but I sure would be upset if I walked through the entrance of Adventureland and it was gone.
It had been a while since I had visited the thatch covered roof attraction for more than just a Dole Whip. Speaking of Dole Whip, this delicious pineapple ice cream did not even become a creation until 1986 even though Dole had been a sponsor since 1976. On any given day, you will see an extensive line of people waiting for this treat. No matter if it is a bright and sunny day or a rainy one, it is hard for me to walk by and not indulge in this yummy treat.
Hina Kuluua the Goddess of Rain, Pele the Goddess of Fire & Volcanos and Tangaroa the Father of all Gods are a few of the Polynesian Gods & Goddesses who will tell you their stories prior to the doors opening. The sponsor, Dole Pineapple treats us to a video that tells the history of the pineapple and why it is the symbol of hospitality. If you happen to grab a float or some ice cream don’t despair if you don’t finish your pineapple treat. This attraction encourages its guests to come on in to enjoy the show and bring your treats with you. Now that’s an attraction I can support.
A couple of fun facts, the Tiki Room one of the first attractions to have Air Conditioning in Disneyland. Another little secret, there is even a small restroom for the guests which makes sense based upon the attractions original plans of being a dinner show. Pretty cool.
Let me take you on my journey of the Tiki Room:
Upon entering the room you are encouraged to take a seat. There really is no bad seat anywhere although some people have a favorite place to sit and enjoy the show. The more you visit, you too will find a favorite spot. I love to sit on a corner, that way my head can twist and turn to see whoever is talking or singing at any moment. There is no flash photography within the Tiki Room, but even without a flash your shots of your favorites should turn out.
There are 4 birds, Jose, Michael, Pierre and Fritz. They are each from a different country and are the MC’s of the show. They squawk amongst themselves, tell some jokes and jump into the first song, “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room”. Most of the guests sing, well at least they sing the chorus. And they will be singing that for the rest of their visit that day and probably many more to come. It truly sticks in your head.
In the middle of the room, an enchanted fountain begins to shoot up and illuminate the center of the room while the lovely ladies descend from the ceiling. Before our eyes is a circular bird mobile in which the cockatoos are perched perfectly and ready to serenade us. The next song “Lets All Sing What the Birdies Sing” was a very interactive one. It was fantastic to look around the room and see all of the different people singing. I didn’t really remember this one, but I must have had it tucked in my memory somewhere because I too was singing along. The kids in the back row were trying their hardest to whistle like the birds were.
As the girls floated back up, the various flowers adorning the room began to sing for our musical luau. This is my favorite part because you see flowers don’t really sing, but everything in the Tiki Room is enchanted, so here they come alive. An interesting sound fills the room and it is not just the music and singing. It is the clickety clack of each animatronic as it sings and moves. You would think this would take away from the experience, but in reality I think it adds to it. Seems somewhat soothing even.
The room has several strategically placed Tiki idols which now begin chanting what sounds like some type of war chant. The drums pound and the idols sing, more like grunts and you feel like you have been transported to an island somewhere else but Disneyland.
As the chanting comes to a close, the lights go out, thunder claps and booms. Flashes of lighting frame the windows and rain is revealed against the glass of the Tiki Room. It seems our celebrating has angered the Gods, but we are reassured there is a silver lining here.
The entire room is illuminated and all parties join together for the grand finale. The girls have floated back down, the tikis in the walls are rolling their eyes, the flowers are clicking, and of course 4 hosts serenade us one last time.
Now the music has stopped and the birds tell us, “Up up. Stand up. We have a magic trick for you. Now that you all are standing, face the door and we are going to make you all disappear”. These are the same corny jokes that have been making me giggle since I was a little girl. No matter how silly they are.
If you hang back a bit and let the guests filter out, you can snap a couple of pictures of the various entertainers around the room. And maybe you can even scope out a new spot for your next visit.
Even though this attraction has been around for 50 plus years, it truly holds a special place in my heart. A few years back, we had brought some kids on this attraction and they looked bored. They could not wait to exit and head to something faster and more visually stimulating. For me… Nostalgia sets in. Remembering rubber snakes and shrunken heads being sold as you exit. Singing the tweet tweets with the other guests. And using the E ticket to gain entrance to the Tiki Room. Simple times in the 70’s.
The next time you are at Disneyland and you cross under the Adventureland sign, I suggest you hop in line, grab a Dole Whip and proceed into Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. It is about 17 minutes of fun, singing and laughter and you will be glad stopped in.
Written by Renee Asolas & Photos by Brett Asolas
Renee lives in a small suburb of Los Angeles with her husband. Each day she crosses the border into Orange County to go to her desk at a large HR outsourcing company. If you catch her in an elevator, she will usually check out your shoes and wonder where you got them. Renee enjoys most things Halloween, taking photos everywhere she goes, bouncing around theme parks and listening to her rock music at very high decibels. FOLLOW @rcsbelle on Twitter FOLLOW her blog: https://rcsbelle.wordpress.com