The first image that comes to mind when anyone mentions Tiki to me, is the famous Walt Disney Enchanted Tiki Room. There are three such rooms. One is located in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and the other is located at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, and the third is located in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
With the bright colors and exotic birds in the Tiki room, the Room is a tropical paradise. If you want a definition of Tiki, just look around at The Walt Disney Enchanted Tiki Room! Bright aqua, orange, different shades of green, pink, pops of red and lots of exotic birds are all in the Tiki Room to greet guests as they enter.
The first Tiki Room in Disneyland was an animatronic achievement in the industry. The talking birds are all robotics and when they were introduced in 1963, this was incredibly novel. Of course now, in our advancement to graphics and computer technology, the Tiki Room is a still fun tradition. And it has been improved with added technology. Still full of music and color, Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room offers fun entertainment adults and kids enjoy to this day.
One of the fun features of the Tiki Room are the carved totem poles that represent island gods. These totem poles sporadically spring to life and introduce themselves to people waiting on the patio before the show. Also nearby, are Pineapple Dole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar, located outside as well.
If you see pineapple, torches, Island totem poles, grass skirts, and bright colors, you are looking at all things Tiki. Exotic food, flavors, and loud music also let you know you are in a Tiki environment. All these characteristics are the amenities Walt Disney designed to the very small detail to give visitors to the park a sample of Tiki culture without having to travel to the islands. The idea was to bring the island worlds to this small room and give someone from say, Kansas, a chance to imagine they are somewhere far away, in Polynesia, Hawaii, or Bali. What a wonderful gift to give to people who maybe will never travel past the North American continent!
By the mid 90s the Enchanted Tiki Room was remodeled and improved. Modern speakers were installed throughout the room and a clear sound was able to ring out from every corner. The instruments were stronger, and so were the talking birds. This added more entertainment and further attraction going into the turn of the century. Kids young and old continue to love the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Lively music and catchy songs people expect to hear from the islands help enhance the Tiki Experience. As visitors sit in the air conditioned Tiki Room, they can’t help but believe they are in the island atmosphere with the lights, sounds and colors.
Whether it’s the bright pink, the aqua shades, the thatched roofs, or the whimsical totem poles, the Tiki style and the Tiki culture are here to stay. In many ways, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room introduced millions of people in the 60s and 70s to an island culture and a form of entertainment that has since become a mainland culture, and a current decorating style.