Let the birdies sing…

June 2, 2011

the way they were supposed to…

And yes, rumors sometimes are true…

So it appears that one unfortunate accident, and an idiots comments about a grave tragedy, have combined to give us back an original version (or at least something that will be close) of a classic Disney attraction.

The Tropical Serenade, as the Tiki Room was called, was an original attraction at Disneyworld in 1971. It was a recreation of the classic Disneyland attraction – historic as the birds in the show are considered to be the first  Audio-Animatronics created by Disney.

Sadly (to some “purists” at least, and to yours truly as well), the attraction underwent a refurb in the late 90’s, reopening as the Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management). This version inserted Zazu from the Lion King and Iago from Aladdin (voiced by the ever-irritating Gilbert Gottfried, more on this moron later) as the new owners of the Tiki Room.

Zazu

Iago

The addition of the characters was an attempt to make the “quaint” attraction into something more relevant to the newer generations reared on the more recent Disney films. I’ll editorialize a bit on this as we get to the end (I’m sure you can’t wait…).

So the aforementioned unfortunate accident was a small fire that damaged the Tiki Room in January of 2011 causing it to be closed for repairs.

Ironically (as we shall see) the figure of Iago was reported to have suffered the most severe damage during the fire.

Now let’s move ahead to March of the same year – there was a severe earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan tragically causing the loss of many, many lives and the disruption of life in general there – the results will be felt for years to come…

So what does the idiot Gilbert Gottfried do in the days after? He decides it’s the time to make some less-than-tasteless jokes on Twitter referencing the tragedy… now I’m generally considered less than “politically correct”, and I can understand a comedian trying to be “edgy” or whatever, but give me a freaking break…

I’ll leave it to you to look up the comments if you so desire… but this wasn’t the first time Gottfried has pulled something like this, as he decided that just three weeks after the attacks on the Twin Towers it was the proper time to make 9/11 jokes…

Probably best known as the voice of the Aflac Duck, the idiot Gottfried got himself fired from probably the easiest gig in the world due to his Japan comments… I’m now searching the Thesaurus for a synonym for moron…

So now what does all this have to do with the return of an original version of an attraction? After the “Gottfried Incident” (as I have now decided to call it), the refurb time for the Tiki Room was quietly extended… rumors began swirling around that the characters from the “New Management” version would exit the attraction, and thus the voice of Gottfried would disappear from the park and Disney could distance themselves from him without the attention that was paid to his Aflac firing.

And so the rumors were verified… at the D23 Destination D event in May of 2011 (and concurrently on the Disney Parks Blog) it was officially announced that the attraction would be turned into “a version reminiscent of the original show” (to quote the blog).

As the logo was flashed on the screen, much cheering and rejoicing ensued…

Now to comment and editorialize… I know the parks are supposed to change and develop, I’m not the purist that says things should stay the same (“as Walt intended” some may say…)… but the changes should be for the good… like the refurb a few years ago to my beloved Haunted Mansion (as well as the more recent additions there) – the changes were superb! But don’t get me started on Stitch replacing the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter…

But the original Tiki Room is so iconic and important (or at least as important as a theme park attraction can be) that a version that’s at least similar to what Walt envisioned really should be in the parks. I experienced the original in the Anaheim park as a child (and that was before the parks in Florida existed – yes I’m old…) and I have vivid memories of the Tiki Room to this day – I can’t imagine that this attraction, even an attraction without high-tech 3D computer graphics or turn-me-upside-down thrills, won’t still have the same effect on todays seven-year-olds – when the thunder started and the rain on the windows started falling I truly believed there was a storm going on outside – and when the Tiki Gods on the poles start their reverie I was truly terrified… I hope the youth of today aren’t already too sophisticated in grade school that they can’t be enraptured by the same effects that mesmerized me oh so many years ago… and that their parents and grandparents as well can appreciate Walt’s Enchanted Tiki Room along with me… see you at the opening…

2 Responses to “Let the birdies sing…”

  1. sambycat Says:

    in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room
    in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room
    the birds sing words and the flowers croon
    in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room!!!

    Like

  2. gaylin Says:

    No more Grating Gottfried, the Tiki Room is safe to return to! The last time I went in there, my traveling partner thought I must be mad at him to make him suffer through it . . .

    Like


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