23 June 2010

Vintage Disney | Enchanted TIki Room of the Sixties

The Enchanted Tiki Room was the first Audio-Animatronic attraction to cost over $1 million and first opened on June 23, 1963. United Airlines was the first commercial sponsor, but it soon changed to Dole (try a delicious Dole Whip at the snack bar!) and was to be a restaurant featuring birds serenading guests as they dined. Since ownership was separate from the rest of the park, a small admission of 75¢ was charged. The Tiki Room was also Disneyland’s first fully air-conditioned building.

The attraction was an immediate hit with its Hawaiian-themed musical show hosted by four macaws whose plumage matches their implied countries of origin. José is red, white, & green and speaks with a Mexican accent; Michael is white & green with an Irish brogue; Pierre is red, white, & blue and has a French accent while red, black, & white Fritz has a German accent. The birds have real feathers with the exception of the chest area which is covered in custom-woven cashmere, allowing the figures to “breathe” in a lifelike manner.

225+ talking, singing, and dancing birds, flowers, the magic fountain, tiki drummers and tiki totem poles perform “In The Tiki Room” by the Sherman Brothers and “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing.” The finale has them performing a rousing version of The Hawaiian War Chant. Exit music is an arrangement of Snow White’s “Heigh Ho” with lyrics thanking guests while encouraging them to exit quickly!

Text and photos courtesy of Daveland