Monday, August 15, 2011

A new day dawns at the sunshine pavilion: return of The Enchanted Tiki Room!

Fans of Disney parks are always bemoaning the loss of beloved park attractions that have been replaced. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has long been sunk, Horizons disappeared over the edge of the Earth, and the Skyway has flown the coop. But in a way, the change of the Walt Disney World Version of the Enchanted Tiki Room (or Tropical Serenade) to the Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management was even more painful: the building, the birds, and the tikis were all still there, but the content and spirit of the show had been completely destroyed. It was hard to stop mourning the loss while the corpse was still in plain sight.

But today - a miracle! The incredibly rare Disney attraction resurrection. Following a fire earlier this year that damaged the Tiki Room and particularly some of the New Management elements, management made the wise decision to return the show to its roots. By all reports, it's not exactly the show that it once was - the slow Offenbach number has been excised, the sing-along portion of "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing" has been cut (surprisingly, given how much interactivity is a big buzz word in the parks lately), and (worst of all) the enchanted fountain no longer rises up from the floor to join the show.

But these are minor quibbles, and therefore a huge improvement over the New Management version which was downright difficult to sit through. Gone is Iago, gone is the snarkiness, gone are the painfully unhip attempts to be more hip. The full theme song is back, the quint entertainment is restored, the birds have returned to roost. I can't wait for my next trip to Florida (whenever that may be). It'll be the first time in many a year when I won't skip the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Here's a video released by Disney with a behind-the-scenes look at the returned attraction:

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