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The Enchanted Tiki Room opens at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

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Published: August 14, 2011 at 7:22 PM

The Enchanted Tiki Room has reopened at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

After fate struck down the wretched "Under New Management" version earlier this year, Disney's wisely brought the Disneyland version of the show to the Magic Kingdom, allowing Florida visitors to enjoy the abbreviated version of Walt's original Audio Animatronic show that California visitors have been enjoying for years.

Jose at the Enchanted Tiki Room
Jose in the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland

The central fountain's still missing from the Magic Kingdom's tiki room, meaning that the show opening today isn't exactly a duplicate of the version playing at Disneyland. For fans of the Magic Kingdom's first version of the Tiki Room show, "Tropical Serenade," this version also lacks the Offenbach number, the lull in the show that prompted thousands of visitors to flee the theater over the years.

The Magic Kingdom's Enhanted Tiki Room now plays at a tight 10 minutes, with the Sherman Brothers' "The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" kicking off the show, followed by "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing," the luau, the storm and the finale.

Your hosts are the same quartet of ethic stereotypes - Jose, Pierre, Michael and Fritz - spouting the same tired one-liners from the 1963 script. Few under age 50 will catch the vocal references to Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong ad Maurice Chevalier as the birdmobile perfoms.

But who cares? This version of Enchanted Tiki Room restores the earnest charm of Disney showmanship to this corner of Adventureland, replacing the attempt at Universal-like sarcasm that Disney dreadfully failed to pull off in "Under New Management."

Let's all sing like the birdies sing? Sure.

Readers' Opinions

From Rob P on August 15, 2011 at 5:11 AM
Just two words to sum this up :

HOO and RAY

From Dominick D on August 15, 2011 at 6:29 AM
Im glad the (somewhat) original is back! Now hopefully people will come back to the tiki room.
From Anthony Murphy on August 15, 2011 at 6:31 AM
Its a start! I would love to see the DL version back here with the fountain, but hey, Iago and Zazu have finally flown the coop.

Are there any sly references to them, like two chicken dinners? :)

Also, what about the preshow?

From Phil B. on August 15, 2011 at 6:47 AM
Meh, liked New Management better
From Brandon Mendoza on August 15, 2011 at 8:53 AM
Woo hoo! Glad the Universal Studios style sarcasm is gone! Things like that just don't fit in Disney. I love it at the Universal shows, but not at Disney. Glad to hear that the show is streamlined to 10 mins as well! I do wish more was plussed on this attraction, but this is a much better version than the "New Mgmt" one.
From Don Lancaster on August 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM
As much as I love the original (though slightly shortened) version of the show, I really think the only place we need to preserve it is in Disneyland. Part of the charm of the Disneyland show is that it has a real sense of history. You experience the same show (almost) that Walt and his team designed 40 years ago, in the same location where they experienced it. That lends a sort or time travel effect that makes the corny jokes work. For a few minutes, you are transported back to a more innocent time.

Don't get me wrong, I still would still prefer to have the original show at WDW over the Under New Management Version. Under New Management was an honest attempt to make the show more relevant in a place where the historical context is not present. Unfortunately, the inclusion of Iago in the show made it too sarcastic. I also found the musical choices a bit jarring, but thats a matter of personal preference.

If I were handed the task of redesigning The WDW Tiki room, I would take a different approch. I would keep the general format of the show (4 birds hosting a sort of variety show in a Polnesion setting), but I would update jokes to be more current. I would keep the Tiki room opening number, but the rest of the numbers would be more current selections (while still avoiding rock or rap). Of course, doing this well would be much more difficult than it sounds.

All in all, Im just glad they didn't dicide to board the thing up and forget about it. Lets face it, The WDW Tiki Room has not drawn crowds for a long time, and it would be very tempting just to give up on it to save money.

From Sylvain Comeau on August 15, 2011 at 10:21 AM
Good riddance to New Management, but why did they put in an abridged version of the show? Do they really think East Coasters have such small attention spans? The Magic Kingdom already has a reader's digest version of Pirates.
From Robert Niles on August 15, 2011 at 10:42 AM
Trust me, you do not want the Offenbach number back in the show. But it would be nice if Disney World rebuilt the fountain and restored that show trim to the MK version of the show. Make some noise when you visit, and if enough people do, perhaps it can come back at the next refurbishment.
From 216.97.211.140 on August 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM
I sat through this today and everyone in our party was bored to tears. The audio was terrible; it was very difficult to understand what was being said. This attraction is a serious waste of space.
From 72.188.216.88 on August 20, 2011 at 2:16 AM
I have never been a fan. Restoring it has brought some joy to the Disney freaks who want Magic Kingdom to be a museum... but in 2011, this is not the entertainment ANYBODY wants.

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