Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room Celebrates 50 Years at Disneyland

Celebrating its golden anniversary, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room has been delighting crowds of the original Magic Kingdom since it’s debut on June 23, 1963.   Initially planned as a restaurant, it was the first attraction to feature WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) patented audio-animatronic technology.  With birds that sing words and flowers that croon, it paved the way for many attractions in all of the Disney theme parks worldwide, such as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Carousel of Progress, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours, and even Radiator Springs Racers, just to name a few.  While ticket books were in use at the park during the time the attraction opened, the Tiki Room was actually owned by Walt Disney by way of WED Enterprises and not by Disneyland (aka The Walt Disney Company), therefore a separate admission was required – a mere $0.75 (equal to $5.66 today).  The show has proven to be a fan favorite, and the attraction is also featured in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, as well as Tokyo Disneyland.

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland

Disneyland’s version of the attraction features a beautiful Enchanted Tiki Garden, “where fantasy and legend walk hand in hand with tiki talk”.   The whimsical and lush space is full of signature touches by Imagineer and Disney Legend Rolly Crump.  The area serves as the pre-show for the theater, and with its relaxing Hawaiian music and tiki’s that come to life, it’s definitely not to be missed.

Tangaroa - Father of all gods & goddesses who takes shape in the form of a tree.

Just a few of the tiki gods represented in the garden

 

Arguably an attraction in itself, the Enchanted Tiki Garden is home to one of the park’s most popular snacks, the Dole Whip!

Dole Whip, anyone?

 

Once inside the theater you’re greeted by air conditioning (yes, please) and Jose, the main macaw emcee voiced by Disney Legend Wally Boag, who awakens the other birds, including: Fritz, voice of Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft, Pierre voiced by Ernie Newton, and Michael voiced by Fulton Burley, also a Disney Legend.  Their notorious theme song, “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” was penned by Walt’s “boys” and Disney Legends, Richard and Robert Sherman.  Also featured is the “Hawaiian War Chant” and “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing”.

Macaw Jose welcomes their guests to the show

To commemorate the anniversary from June 23 – 27, Disneyland is giving their annual passholders a special treat as part of the Limited Time Magic campaign; a replica of the original souvenir booklet handed out to guests during the Tiki Room’s inaugural debut.  It even includes a message from Walt Disney!  This is possibly one of the best Limited Time Magic offerings at Disneyland since the Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue back in January (at least for passholders).  Over the summer, there will also be special merchandise available to all guests for sale in the park.

A peek at the replica souvenir booklet given to Disneyland annual passholders

Whether you enjoy the attraction for its entertainment, the air conditioning, or the opportunity to take a quick 15 minute snoozer, the Enchanted Tiki Room is truly a charming piece of Disney history.  Here’s to (at least) another 50 years!

And if you’re now wishing you could take a visit to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, check out the video below by John Saccheri (BigFatPanda.com) of Walt Disney World’s version.  It’s the next best thing to being there (except there’s no Dole Whip).

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About Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.