Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Triumphant return to Tiki tradition! Iago to go go!

Every longtime fan of the Disney parks has seen thing go away that they wish would come back (top of my list: The Adventurers Club and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea). It's sad to see a beloved attraction disappear, sometimes not even leaving a trace behind.

It can be worse, on the other hand, to see a once-beloved attraction mutate into something unbearable. That's what happened to the once quaint and loveable Enchanted Tiki Room Tropical Serenade in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. In 1998, the old show shut down as opened up as The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management. The old birds and fountains and tiki gods were all still there, but the show was dominated by the addition of two birds from animated features, Zazu from The Lion King and Iago from Aladdin. The new show was predominantly about Iago screaming and trying to make the square old show more hip.

It was unbearable. It was assaultive. I only saw it once, and that was way too many times.

Iago with a bullhorn. Great.

Then, earlier this year, fate intervened. A fire broke out in the Tiki room, damaging the Iago figure beyond repair (ironically, there were two Iago figures in the attraction. One of which is supposed to appear singed by lightening. It was the other one that burned).

This weekend, Disney announced they were doing what everyone hoped - kicking out the "new" management and when the attraction reopens it will be "a version reminiscent of the original show." Now that word "reminiscent" is a little worrisome, but educated guesses suggest Florida will be getting a show like the one currently playing in Disneyland: that is the original show minus just one number (the Offenbach).

That would be excellent. And even if it's not that, even if it's a new show that's genuinely reminiscent of the original, well that will still be a huge improvement over The Iago Screaming Show.

I'm looking forward to how it turns out, and grateful that on my next visit to Walt Disney World I'll be able to return to "where the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room!"

Now can we have the Adventurers Club back too?

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