Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Enchanted Tiki Room No Longer Under New Management

If true, this is welcome news indeed. I absolutely loathed the crass, soulless "update" that had been given to the Enchanted Tiki Room ( or Tropical Serenade as it was rechristened when it debuted in Florida in 1971)  at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The original incarnation of the Enchanted Tiki Room had simple charm, with playful interaction between individualistic characters, and a catchy tune, and importantly in terms of Disney history, was, at Disneyland, the first attraction to feature audio animatronic characters which would grow in sophistication as developed for other attractions over the years. In contrast, the updated attraction which opened in 1998 is crass and mean spirited. The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management features the grating obnoxious parrot, Iago from Aladdin and Zazu, the hornbill major domo to Mufassa in The Lion King as new managers of the Tiki Room.  The new birds interrupt the original show declaring it to be boring and out of step with the times and then sing an insipid, cynical song about how boring the original attraction was and how things are now improved with them in charge.  Really, what it does is draw attention to how the upgrade is anything but an improvement. Even my own kids, who'd never experienced the original show in person, didn't like it and felt it was mean.

The attraction was closed down after a January 12th fire which damaged the new animatronic stars of the show. Now the attraction is allegedly being returned to something close to its original incarnation and will open later this summer. For a full report read this story at Boing Boing. I hope this proves to be true. I can still recall my first time experiencing the Enchanted Tiki Room as a child. I had no knowledge of what was going to occur when I was inside, but was completely taken in my the talking, singing performing birds, and then the magic of the  inanimate objects joining in. Even the windows displaying weather and scenery not true to what was actually outside the attraction convinced me that I was transported some place magical. It has remained a favorite of mine to this day.

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