It’s a rite of passage for most attractions: getting your very own page on the official Disney Parks websites. Earlier today, the latest to receive this honor was none other than ‘Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room’ located in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Not too much is revealed on the new page, which you can visit here, but one interesting thing to note is a meld of the old and the new. The show, according to the site, ‘pays tribute to the original Disneyland show, maintaining the original intent created by Walt Disney and his original team of Imagineers. At the same time, it features some modern technology—a state-of-the-art show-control system, remastered audio, and a new versatile and energy-efficient lighting system.’
Although the page has promised the attraction has already re-opened in August, 2011, Walt Disney World has made it very clear that the announced official re-opening date of August 15 is tentative as crews continue to work around the clock to help make that happen.
The Sunshine Pavilion, featuring a show variously known as “Tropical Serenade” and “The Enchanted Tiki Birds,” debuted on Oct. 1, 1971, in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. In 1998, following substantial refurbishment, it re-launched as The Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management, with two famous Disney birds – Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King – taking control and trying to spruce up the show.
Now the “new management” has been let go and the future of the Adventureland landmark is in the wings and wit of José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre – four crooning parrot hosts who have been entertaining guests at California’s Disneyland since 1963 in The Enchanted Tiki Room. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, as the Magic Kingdom attraction now will be called, is being prepared for the premiere (tentatively on Aug. 15, 2011) of a show that will pay tribute to the Disneyland original – notable in theme park history for ushering in sophisticated Audio-Animatronics technology.
Prior to 1963, Walt Disney’s creative team had produced movable figures, but none had the sophistication of the bird-brained cast of the Tiki Room. José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre produce movements when solenoid coils hidden inside receive signals recorded onto magnetic tape and are regarded as the first “true” Audio-Animatronics figures.
They introduce a musical presentation by more than 200 birds, flowers and tikis. Even the audience gets into the act, joining in during the musical ditty “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing.”
While the show is steeped in tradition and maintains the original intent created by Walt Disney and his original team of Imagineers, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room will feature the latest in technology – a state of the art show-control system, remastered audio, and a new versatile and energy efficient lighting system.
The attraction has shows throughout Magic Kingdom operating hours.
Scheduled to open beginning April 1, we have your first look inside the room for the FASTPASS-enabled Magician Mickey Mouse meet and greet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Tucked away inside Exposition Hall, Magician Mickey invites fans to meet him ‘backstage’ where he’ll have a few tricks of his own including interactive posters, more than likely in the same vein as the enchanted art found aboard the Disney Dream.
Provided by a friend of Stitch Kingdom, the photos show some of the heavy detail that has gone into the space which includes representation of the parks (the books are stacked to form the shape of Cinderella Castle, the Sorcerer’s Hat, Madame Leota’s crystal ball, etc., as well as port of call stickers from Hong Kong and Tokyo on Mickey’s trunk).
The new space in Exposition Hall will also be co-inhabited by the Disney Princesses who are currently meeting inside the Adventureland Veranda until the new space opens later this week. We are also told that following the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends will be flying back to the Magic Kingdom and also be offering meet & greets in the new space. Initial plans called for Tink to be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but we hear John Lasseter was adamant about Tink remaining inside the Magic Kingdom, so there she will return. Tink was even scheduled to appear at Disney’s Hollywood Studios between the closure of Mickey’s Toontown Fair and the start of the Flower and Garden Festival, but she was immediately moved to Epcot early, skipping the Studios altogether.
Lastly, and music to your ears, we are certain, we have been sitting on reports that when it re-opens, the Enchanted Tiki Room will no longer be under new management and will instead be returned to its original glory. Perhaps even more gratifying to many, sources have told us that Iago will find himself relocated to an Audio Animatronics graveyard located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where he will become fodder for Imagineers looking to hone their skills. The attraction currently has no known re-opening date, although it’s assumed to be July 1, 2011 at this time as the official site has it listed as closed through June 30.
UPDATE #1 – 3/29/11 – In regards to the fairies return to Magic Kingdom, it may have been stated in haste that they will join the others in Exposition Hall. Although it was reported to us that they will be returning to the Magic Kingdom, the details were a bit hazy. The likely new (and also likely temporary) home (which comes with some accredited validation) of Pixie Hollow is the Adventureland Veranda whose interior has remained dormant for the better part of several years save for hosting the Disney Princesses following the closure of Mickey’s Toontown Country Fair. This also places the fairies within spitting distance of their sworn nemeses: pirates.