“All the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the (tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki) Tiki Room”.
So sayeth the theme song to one of the most beloved attractions in Disneyland, located at the entrance to Adventureland. With over 250 animated birds, flowers, and statues to serenade and delight guests, it isn’t any wonder that people have been flocking to see The Enchanted Tiki Room since 1963.
Back in the day, Walt and company were experimenting with an emerging technology called audio-animatronics. Earlier rides such as the Jungle Cruise utilized primitive forms of this robotic technology but The Enchanted Tiki Room presented a no-holds-barred entertainment extravaganza, the likes of which had never been seen before.
Little has changed over the years. Guests enter a pre-show area where they can delight in a number of pineapple treats, thanks to show sponsor, Dole Foods. As they nibble on pineapple spears or the ultimate pineapple dessert, the famed “Dole Whip”, they are given an introduction to the collection of talking tiki gods that surround them. Once the pre-show has concluded, guests are led into the main showroom and sit in one of four identical sections. Thanks to excellent planning, there isn’t a bad seat to be had in The Enchanted Tiki Room. In the middle of the room stands an ornate fountain acting as the show’s centerpiece.
A smiling Disneyland Cast Member starts the show by tapping on the perch of Jose, the Macaw host of the Tiki Room. Jose is accompanies by three other emcees; Michael, Pierre, and Fritz. Once all of the feathered friends are awake, the place comes alive with singing birds, orchids, and totem poles, in a delightful collection of musical numbers that is sure to delight everyone, especially the youngest visitors. One of the most memorable effects of the show is the surprise thunderstorm, enhanced by water that trickles down the surrounding windows to complete the effect.
Here’s the entire show:
Over the years, more than a few guests have been lulled into a brief slumber during the 17-minute show, thanks to the peaceful music and a very efficient air-conditioning system. It’s hard to resist after a day under the glaring summer sun. Still, the ride offers one of the beautiful glimpses into the imagination of Walt Disney, not to mention the technology that would become common in many of the attractions at Disneyland. Whenever you see a talking animal, or pirate, or ghost at Disneyland (or practically any other theme park, for that matter) it is important to remember that this is how it all started, where “All the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room”.
If you’ve visited The Enchanted Tiki Room, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts about this vintage attraction at Disneyland in our comments section.