Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

In January of this year, a small fire broke out in the attic of “Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management”. The sprinkler system was activated and guests were evacuated. No one was hurt and the blaze was quickly brought under control by the Reedy Creek Fire Department. However, the Iago AudioAnimatronics figure was badly damaged by the fire and other portions of the attraction sustained water damage. The show had to be closed indefinitely until repairs could be made.

Enchanted Tiki Room - Under New Management

The attraction officially reopens on Monday, August 15, 2011, but today (August 14), the attraction held a soft-opening – in other words, a dress rehearsal. As you might expect, I was the first person in line to see the show. However, “Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management” has been retired. It has been replaced by “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” This show is a close approximation the original “Tropical Serenade” as seen on opening day of the Magic Kingdom.

I thoroughly enjoyed the revival of this classic, even if it is an abridged version of the original. At 11 minutes, I think it’s the right length to entertain, but not bore guests. The sound and acoustics are great and gone are the clicking noises made by some of the older AA figures. Disney has even restored the original “nationality” feather colors. Here are a few pictures I snapped today.

Entrance

Preshow

Preshow

Jose

Tiki Bird

Bird-Mobile

Singing Flowers

Drummer Tikis

Flowers and Chanters

For all of you who are only familiar with “Under New Management,” I strongly encourage you to see this new/old version of “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” It’s not nearly as exciting as many other Disney attractions, but it is a classic and it’s historic. Its AA figures were the beginning of so many other wonderful attractions to follow. It’s a charming show that Walt personally supervised its creation. Only the most jaded guest would not be captivated by its simple humor, wonderful melodies, and fantastic characters.

If you are familiar with the original show, please come back and see it again. You’ll be glad you did – and you’ll be singing “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” song all day – which really isn’t a bad thing.

In many ways, “The Enchanted Tiki Room” opened the door to other Disney classics like “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” “Carousel of Progress,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” as the Imagineers were able to use what they had learned with the Tiki birds to build on their success.

In my next blog, I share with you the history of the Enchanted Tiki Room!

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56 Replies to “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room”

  1. Welcome back! Your loyal fans are happy to see your blogs again.
    Thank you!

    The first time I saw the TIKI ROOM was in Disneyland when I was about 10 yrs old(about 40 yrs ago or so!)I used to go to the original at DisneyWorld for a while, rejected it as a young adult then fell in love with it again as an older person. I did not really like the UNM one and am glad the original is back in some form, however the Disneyland version will always be my favorite.

    It is still a great place to get out of the hustle and heat of the day and have a Dole Whip while waiting for the show to begin.MMMMMMM

  2. Somehow, I totally missed all the Tiki Room drama, didn’t know there had been a fire.

    But in light of all the blogs written lately by yourself and Mike regarding things you would like to see changed or updated… (which I have greatly enjoyed by the way…) I find it fascinating that that the Enchanted Tiki Room, which I think needed some work, got a major overhaul thanks to a fire!!! A freak accident! Wow, I just hope we can get a facelift of Imagination without going through a fire.

    A.D. Johnson
    -Littleton, CO

  3. We saw the show the day after it opened this week. My family of five, including 3 children starting at age 5 and up, thought it was TERRIBLE!! My kids said it was the worst show they’ve ever seen. They even starting using the work “tiki” in place of the word stupid. What a disappointment!

  4. We went down in December, 2010. At the start of the show, I watched my 5-year-old daughter’s face, which was all lit up in the wonder of the beautiful birds singing such a lovely song. Then, Iago/Gilbert’s ugly, shrieky voice shattered the magic. I watched her face instantly go from “pure bliss” to “confused and disappointed” in two seconds. she hated the show. I felt so sad because I knew she would have loved it the old way. Now we are planning another trip and just yesterday my husband and I were lamenting the loss of the original version. I am SO thrilled to learn just tonight about the fire (well not thrilled for that) and reinstatement of the original show. I’m glad my daughter will be able to enjoy the Tiki Room in it’s original glory while she’s still young!

  5. While I’m soooooooooo happy that they’ve gone back to the original Tiki Room format (even if shortened)…we were in the Magic Kingdom on the 14th. The 3 times we went by the Tiki Room it was listed as closed and my husband overheard a cast member telling people it was ready for a soft opening but nobody had been trained to do it. It kills me that just later that day it reopened. Of course, now we’re home and it will probably be at least a year before we go back. It’s especially sad since I denied my kids the “Under New Mgmt” version back in Dec 2010 and they LOVE the original Tiki Room music. Oh well- next trip.

  6. I’m thrilled they’ve gotten rid of the “under new mgmt” part of the show! I’ve always disliked Gilbert Gottfried’s voice & he ruined Aladdin for me. The Tiki Room was one of my family’s favorite attractions when I was a kid. We’re going back in January & I’m so looking forward to see the new show.

  7. We did see the new old show opening day. It was a good show. But, I will admit my entire family, who saw the original many times before it was replaced by “under new management”, prefer the UNM version. I know I will be in the minority here, but that is the one we prefer.

    We brought relatives that had never been to WDW before. They have two boys 5 and 6. Neither of them enjoyed it. They thought it was boring. Undoubtedly too young to get the humor. For us older people, it was a good show. I very much appreciate it for it’s nostalgia, and the fact that it is true to what Walt wanted. But, to the non Disney fanatic, many may prefer the UNM version.

  8. I can’t wait to see the classic! It will bring back some childhood memories. Thanks for the blog Jack!

    “The Disney Fanatic”

  9. Jack your back!! YAYY

    I can’t wait to see the new/old version again!! I never saw the “new management” b/c i felt it totally ruined the attraction. Thanks for the always positive posts 🙂 Hope you’re doing well.

  10. Did the bring back Orange Bird!
    He was the only character I wanted to see my first trip to Disney in 1972. I miss the Orange Bird!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Other than being seen on a few nostalgic t-shirts being marketed for Walt Disney World 40th anniversary, Orange Bird is still a character of the past.

  11. INTERESTING that the Iago AudioAnimatronics figure was badly damaged by the fire. Fate or a good dose of irony no doubt!! Seems the Tiki Gods got their way after all :)Glad to see the new/old show back! Can’t wait to see it!!! I’m just wondering if Iago will eventually show back up with a partial mask covering his face, like the Phantom of the Opera:) Now that might be a show worth seeing 🙂

  12. Hi Jack,
    My wife and I will be going next week to WDW. I just heard of the original Tiki room version coming back. I have one word for that—GREAT!!! We have been going to WDW since our honeymoon back in 1976. When we first seen the Tiki room, the song just stuck in your mind. We have seen the newer version, but was not impressed. Old Walt would be happy to see his Tiki’s back, just like us.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  13. “The fountain rising up to the Bird-Mobile was cut.”

    Oh, man…

    I loved that part. 🙁

    *Sigh*

    Jack’s Comment: I miss it too.

  14. I am so excited to see that the original Enchanted Tiki Room is back in WDW. Unfortunately I had no interest in seeing the Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management because I loved the original so much. I remember watching the show with my grandmother as a small child, rest her soul, there were so many memories made then. I can’t wait to share those same memories with my own children when we head back there in January.

  15. YAAAAAY!!! Never really “got into” Under New Management. And missed the Tiki Room song. Can’t wait for my daughter to see the “real”show. Thank you so much for your great blog and pictures…..Helps when i am having WDW withdrawal–which is anytime I am not there!

  16. So very glad to have the original back! Even if it is modified.
    Great pictures Jack (even in the dark room) Keep up the great writing and Pics
    This will always be a family tradition, but I never warmed to the “Under new management” version.

  17. I am very happy to know that the ‘original’ Tiki Room is back! I passed the ‘under new management’ one on a few trips – I found it very annoying – so will be happy to see it on my next trip. You wrote that the ‘clicking’ noises are gone – THAT is what I hear in my head when I think of this attraction – along with the song, of course! Thank you for the photos as well.

  18. I love the original show and the song! I remember when I was little and my parents were prepping my sister and me for our first WDW trip–we had a cassette tape with the “Tiki Tiki Room” song on it and it was one of my favorite songs to sing! When we finally got to Disney World my favorite attractions were Kitchen Kaberet and the Tropical Serenade…and I added a new song to my repertoire, “veggie veggie, fruit fruit.” I was so devastated when they were both “updated” (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Soarin’, but surely there’s room somewhere in the World for a small kitchen…kitchenette?) I’m so glad to have a closer version of the original show back, and I will definitely visit the tikis more than once the next time I visit

    …now, how can we convince Bonnie Appetite and the gang to come back?

  19. I’m SOOOO excited the original (or as close as we can get) version is being re-instated. Each time we go to WDW, we’ve avoided the “under new management” show and hoped that the “Disneyland” version would come back! Dreams really DO Come True 🙂 I can barely wait until our April trip to see the show….I’ll be singing “In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki room” all day! Thanks Jack – no really, I mean it 🙂

  20. We loved the original show and when we went back 4 yrs. ago we looked forward to seeing it again but we hated the “Under New Management”. So glad to hear the improved orginal is back.

  21. I am so excited to see this version when I return in September! Thanks for the blog and pictures (and yes, I am singing the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki room in my head now).

  22. Hi Jack! This was my absolute FAVORITE attraction as a kid. I could sit and watch the show over and over again. When it was redone to feature Zazu and Iago, I fell out of love. It just seemed too commercial. It was lacking something. I’m glad to see it will again feature the original charm I once found so special. Can’t wait to see it!!!

  23. We were down in July and I was so sad that we couldn’t go to the Tiki Room. Although I was never a fan of the new show it at least gave me a glimpse back. We are heading back in October and I am so excited that it will be open and back to what I remember and love. My kids and husband have never seen the original. I can’t wait for them to see it as I remember it…yay for bringing back the classics (or at least an abbreviated classic).

  24. You don’t have to be on a high speed thrill ride to enjoy the creativity that Walt Disney World has to offer! I am so glad Tiki Room is now back to the original (Irish, Mexican and German birds) At my first visit in 1991, I clearly remember seeing small children delight in the show- thinking the birds were real! ‘Can hardly wait until my September trip! BTW, Jack, I enjoy all your wonderful blogs, especially the sites you describe that are often overlooked by many.

  25. I previously commented on this blog regarding getting rid of Iago for possible reasons other than there being a fire…that being said, I am thrilled that we are being treated, once again, to the original version of this much loved classic attraction! So many people I speak with bypass the Tiki Room in search of newer, bigger and “better” but a lot can be said for the smaller attractions of years gone by. I introduced my children (now 16 and 15) to the Tiki Room on our first trip as a family 12 years ago and they want to go back every visit for the same reason I go back every year–to revisit the memories it stirs up! Disney has a magical way of doing just that and the original Tiki Room is one of my favorite ways of working that special “Disney magic”.

    Thanks Jack (and Walt) for the memories!

  26. cant wait to see this i am going in sept so i will be sure to stop in an see the tiki room i have been going once a year since 1999 an havent missed a year

  27. I am so glad to hear the original is back! I really hated the “Under New Management” theme and I would avoid it every time I visited Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, each time I am lucky enough to visit Disneyland in CA, I *always* visited the Tiki Room and I always wondered why they didn’t keep the original in Orlando. I can’t wait to see it again on my next trip to the world!

  28. Although I do wish they had retained the singalong (who doesn’t love a good singalong?) it looks and sounds so lovely I really can’t complain! Tropical Serenade was one of my favorite attractions as a kid in the 1980’s.

  29. So glad to hear they restored the Tiki room. It has always been one of my family favorites. I am thrilled to hear it is more like the original and the Tiki room song is back. One of our favorites. Thanks for the review. We are heading down in November and will stop by as always to visit our feathered friends.

  30. It’s a great to read a new blog entry from you, Jack! You’ve been missed!

    I’ll be heading to the World in just over a month and I’m looking forward to the new classic Tiki Room most of all.

    I didn’t hate the “Under New Management” version, but there was definitely a feeling of sadness when Iago cut off the iconic song and the beginning.

    I know there’s a Dole Whip and a song in my future real soon! It’s a great feeling. =)

  31. Great report as always. I’m glad it’s back to what it was meant to be. As far as the Tiki song goes…I’d rather be singing that than It’s A small World all day!

  32. Dear Jack,

    So VERY GLAD to see this post from you. Hope you are doing well, and also happy for the return of the original AA attraction. I never got used to Under New Management. Can’t wait to see it in November, but very happy to have your preview; it made me look forward to my trip even more!

  33. Excellent! Thanks for always being on the forefront of the goings on in WDW! Bringing those of us “the world” while we are far from the magic!

  34. Just wondering if getting rid of Iago had anything to do with the “publicity” of the person who did his voice…just curious??

    Jack’s Take:

    There had been no “official” announcement about closing the Tiki Room until the fire. But I’m sure the Disney executive discussed Mr. Gottfried’s comments behind closed doors.

  35. Since it is back to the original, do you get a sample of OJ? 🙂 Think it was Tropicana?

    Jack’s Answer:

    It was the Florida Citrus Growers.

  36. Two wonderful Disney icons are back…. Jack and the Tiki Room! You are like a moth to the flame, with your talented writing style and love for Disney you just can’t stay away!
    P.S. I am very glad! Thanks for the last few articles, top notch as always.

  37. Hi Jack! Glad to see it finally reopening tomorrow! Can’t wait to be there in person in November. We just remodeled our bathroom like The Enchanted Tiki Room-complete with a grass ceiling and bamboo! If only we could figure out a way to get “In the tiki, tiki, tiki room” to play when you flush the toliet? Your blog gets me excited to see the new/old version. Thanks!

  38. hey jack
    so glad the original tiki room is back. I can’t wait to see it again since i only remember a little bit of the original. The under new management had a good run but i say stick to the original. can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

  39. Hi Jack…I always look forward to your blogs and I am so glad you came out and took pictures….I booked a night at AS Music just so I can be there early tomorrow….I have no idea if they are going to do anything in the Morning for the Official Re-Opening…But I plan on opening the park and want to take some pictures too. I am heading out to MK for extra magic hours,as soon as my camer finishes charging…

  40. Jack, We are glad to see a few new blogs. You always do such a good job. We miss them on a regular basis but know life must go on.

  41. I come down to the World on Tuesday and it will be nice to see the changes…..

    However more welcomed is the return, whether it be short or for long of our favorite blogger Jack.
    Unfortunately for me D23 events are unattainable so blogs here lately have me in the dark.

  42. Jack, thank you for reporting on this. I am so excited to get the “original” attraction back. You said that they cut the show down to 11 minutes (from about 15 if I recall correctly). I’m curious as to what got trimmed. Do you know?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Being a purist, I wish the show was the original length, but I also need to be a realist. The original show was 17 minutes long. Disney cut 6 minutes from the show. I know this seems horrifying, but it was necessary. I original show was very slow moving by today’s standards. People were literally walking out of the production before New Management came along.

    In this revised production, the Offenbach musical number was cut. This alone was two and a half minutes long. The fountain rising up to the Bird-Mobile was cut. And dialogue was cut.

  43. I am so excited to see it. I never was a big fan of “Under New Management”. I always felt it took away some of the “Disney Magic”. I am so happy they went towards the original.

  44. Very excited to see the return of the original Tiki Room–I have a soft spot for this attraction even though it tends to bore others. I’ve heard a couple of different reasons why they’ve gone back to the original version–any idea if was it because of the amount of damage done to the Iago character or were they planning on going back to original one sometime soon? just curious 🙂

    Kait

    PS-> Glad to see all these new blogs–it’s like Disney Christmas!! Hope all is well

    Jack’s Answer:

    Read tomorrow’s blog about the history of the attraction and all of your questions will be answered.

  45. Loved the blog, glad to see they brought back the original. I have one question though, did they keep the original voices? Like Jerry Orbach as Pierre, love Jerry Broach, would be very sad to see such a great man be replaced.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Ernie Newton was the original voice of Pierre. Although I don’t know for sure, I believe Disney has returned to his voice for this version of the show. Jerry Orbach voiced Pierre for “Under New Management.”

  46. Thanks fir the review! Did they bring back the storm, and chanting tikis, at the end? That was my favorite part of the original Tiki Room.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Yes, the chanting Tikis and the storm are still part of the show.

  47. I loved the old Tiki Room and am glad they are bringing it back in whatever incarnation they can. Can’t wait to see it. Thanks for sharing!!!