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November 23, 2013

Magic Kingdom - Enchanted Tiki Room


After my first visit to Walt Disney World, two very vivid memories remained exceptionally clear about the Magic Kingdom: Main Street was AMAZING at Christmastime, and the Tiki Room was the coolest thing I had ever seen! Ironic twist? Birds scare the bejeezus out of me. Take a moment to process that one. I'm still trying to make sense of it myself. But I digress...



The Enchanted Tiki Room is noteworthy on so many levels. Let me run through the short list of top reasons to adore this engaging little show...
  • It's an opening day original.
  • It was the first fully audio-animatronic based attraction.
  • FUN, upbeat musical numbers.
  • Over 15 minutes in a cool, indoor tropical theater.
  • TIKIS!!!
California's Disneyland is home to the original Enchanted Tiki Room. A replica show debuted in Florida when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, renamed as Tropical Serenade. In 1998, a renovation gave birth to The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) - an altered tiki show including Aladdin's Iago and 'Lion King' Simba's morally proper pal, Zazu. After a minor fire prompted another refurbishment in 2011, Disney loyalists were thrilled to welcome back the original version of the Tiki Room show. Sayonara, Iago and Zazu!



Before you're seated in the Tiki Room, you'll get a kick out of the four minute pre-show just outside. Standing room only, but you do have a nice shaded area to appreciate here. When you enter the main theater, seating will be in the round, in the form of benches (no backs, hard seats, but it is indoors).  As the song says, "Welcome to our tropical hideaway"... indeed it is! Realistic window scenes and animated walls add to the Polynesian vibe of the show. You're essentially just surrounded in the elements of an island paradise, complete with the abrupt arrival of a tropical storm.



I've read from some guests that they found the stormy aspects of the show to be a bit much - even scary and "intense". I hate to sound insensitive, but I cannot imagine that. Truth be told (although this may ruffle a feather or two), I attribute that to overly nervous people who like to complain. As a mother of two children who have each been going to this attraction since birth, I never saw the slightest traumatic or upset reaction from our party or any other we shared space with at the Tiki Room. Yes, it's dark and yes, a storm is simulated. However, none of this even ranks a level three on the everyday, average, real-life storm scare-o-meter in my 30+ years in Texas and Florida.


I sincerely believe that the charm, wit and beauty of the 300+ singing and dancing birds and tikis command enough attention and awe that you can't help but fall in love with this show. Various tropical species of feathered friends keep appearing from all points above to amuse and amaze their human guests below with delightful sing-alongs and quick wisecracks. How can you not love that?

Learn a little more about Walt's beloved Tiki Room here:


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