Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tahitian Terrace, September 1962

Here is a series of slides (with more to come!) showing the wonderful Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland! Stouffers sponsored several restaurants throughout Disneyland, including the Red Wagon Inn and the Plantation House. In June of 1962, a new restaurant opened capatalizing on the popularity of all things Polynesian. It would be another year until "The Enchanted Tiki Room" debuted, making Disneyland a prime destination for tiki freaks!

In this first photo, we get a fine look at the entrance, with all of that wonderful signage. What I wouldn't give for a chunk of that façade! I believe that the Stouffers sign did not stay there very long, but I could be wrong.


Smile for the camera! Alright, don't, see if I care. There's the waterfall that would part, allowing performers to emerge...


Now that's more like it! Waitresses are rushing to and fro, and lovely dancers in grass skirts and flowered leis dance and sway hypnotically. Just visible to the right is a sliver of the Jungle Cruise loading dock.


Looks like this solo dancer is doing something quite a bit more engergetic than the graceful hula dance. I can almost hear the pounding of the drums!


I have a few more photos from the series, which you'll see in a few days.

17 comments:

yellow_sub said...

ahhh ok so this is where the aladin place is/was. Heard of this but never seen such detailed pics. thanks for these! :D

Chiana said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Maj. You made my day. Week? Month maybe. (Would that be optimistic or pessimistic?)

I love the Tahitian Terrace! Fond memories of going there in younger daze.

When you made it to the front of the queue, you'd get a free necklace. They might've had plastic flower type ones, seem to remember that for some reason, but to this day I still have a few of the long, (genuine) little tan and white shell necklaces from the fam's trips there.

Then you'd walk from the bustle of the main Adventureland area and over a little "bamboo" bridge to a tiki themed restaurant. The seating was terraced, thus the name. Terraces faced a little stage and a big tree made kinda like the Swiss Family Treehouse at the front. You could see the Jungle Cruise river, where the boats are finishing the cruise, even hear the boats.

Also I still have a little menu that you could take with you. Don't remember the food, not sure that was a high point anyway. I remember terriyaki chicken. Oh! and if you ordered ice cream, it came literally on fire! The atmosphere was all. Surprisingly convincing jungle din yet a bit of relative tranquility.

For a brief idea of the show, one can catch glimpses in the vintage TV special Disneyland After Dark. Some parts of that show are special for the program, but the Tahitian Terrace parts are the real show. It was still just like that when I went.

Chiana said...

Now that I've related the experience a bit I beg forgiveness for a rant.

I consider its destruction and replacement by the on again, off again but never as thriving Aladdin deal to be so much of a bungle in the jungle.

I believe that they should restore the Terrace. If they want an Aladdin attraction, and that's still an excellent notion, then make a fresh new Aladdin attraction elsewhere. The current situation was suggestive of a lack of financial confidence in their properties and lack of creative vision that's been allowed to drag out for over a decade now. It doesn't make the best of either the Adventureland or Aladdin properties. The very same thing applies, to a lesser extent, to the Treehouse.

Quote me. A Bungle in the Jungle!

'kay I'm done :p

Pegleg Pete said...

Bring back the Terrace!

Thufer said...

what Chiana said...... the terrace was so well themed to Adventureland. with the change away from 'service' eateries at the park, we the guest, lost an amazing opportunity to be away from the real world and experience something magical.

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree....bring this gem back!!!! It was a crime that they ever took it out in the first place! Tokyo still has theirs, but it's called Polynesian Terrace.

Katella Gate said...

I remember the last time I ate in the T. Terrace. That was a long time ago...

Debbie V. said...

I believe I was around 13 (1964) when I experienced the Tahitian Terrace for the first, and only, time. I had a wonderful time and it is one of my favorite Disneyland memories. It was early evening, still light around the edges. At the time, it was the nicest restaurant I had ever eaten in. I had something "teriyaki" for the first time.
I loved the atmosphere of Adventureland then. Some years later (late 1960's)I bought my first little box of real incense (made in Japan) at the Bazaar. I believe it was Sandalwood. Then the items for sale really were Asian and quite unique and affordable.

Hannibal8 said...

Here's a little detail on the ice cream... I worked as a Punchie back in 1979/1980. It was a back bar type of job where I'd make tall, purple fruit punch drinks and the ice cream dessert. The ice cream scoop was supposed to be volcano shaped. Earlier in the day, I'd take a loaf of bread and cut it up into small croutons. Those would be spread out on several large cooking sheets and toasted. I'd keep them in a container near my station. When someone would order ice cream, I'd scoop it out (vanilla or pineapple where the two choices) and then top it with one of the croutons soaked in alcohol. The fun part was lighting the crouton on fire when the waitresses came to pick up their order. It did make for a nice presentation, especially at night. I tried to eat of the alcohol infused croutons once.... big mistake. My mouth instantly filled up with fumes. I thought I was going to lose my voice that day...

Chiana said...

Thanks for the memories Debbie & the ice cream info Hannibal. Now I know what to use the alcohol soaked croutons on! ;)

Chiana said...

For those that never saw it, think I might explain it a bit better. Someone familiar can correct me if I'm wrong or describing wrong.

Swing into Adventureland past the Tiki Room. On the left before you make the bazaar, where "Aladdins" whatever it now is or isn't now stands, you'd find the queue. After getting your necklace from a tiki babe ;), you'd go left again, to go over a "bamboo" bridge over a small stream that runs to the Jungle Cruise. If you stopped at the end of this bridge you'd see, vaguely:

left: the Adventureland side of the Plaza inn etc, highest terraces of the tahitian terrace. waterfall and jungle at the back most. It's a bit over a half circle. Arranged so it's curving to your right as it extends back.
ahead: terraced seating, curving to the right as it goes back. Instead of the terraces facing a central lowest level however, the place terraces down facing mid way back to your right.
right: lowest levels of the terraces, a small stage area for the shows, a big artificial Treehouse-like tree extending over some of the seating (some kind of weaved thatch covered most of the rest of the seating, remember it's a jungle out there hehe) and finally a smidgin of jungle bordering the Jungle Cruise river.

Tables were dark with a brass like metal rim and a little oil wick lamp at every table, lit at dinner time. Waitress had a pretty tropical flower in her hair. The dinner show was fun. Although it always seemed a little noisy from the park, jungle, waterfall etc the atmosphere was still comfortable and the show wasn't loud at all, just right.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments, especially Hannibal8 who actually worked there (cool!). And Chiana, who clearly loved the Tahitian Terrace and the show! There will be some more photos (five of 'em), similar to what's already been posted, but hey; more is better, isn't it?

Chiana said...

It is. ;)

Nancy said...

yay....Adventureland! i love these in particular because there doesnt seem to be many photos of this restaurant and show

thanks to all above for their wonderful stories and descriptions. maybe someday i WILL get to see it.

the times we have been there the Aladdin thing was always closed...what a waste :(

looking forward to the next installment!

Kevin Kidney said...

Glorious! Who--HOO!!

Glenn said...

I dined at the Tahitian Terrace and can say that it was a great place to eat and see a fantastic show. I wish Disney would bring it back and forget about Aladdin's Oasis.

http://disneylandobsession.com/

Furious Stylz said...

I was a cook at the Tahitian Terrace my last year of high school and the first couple years of college, from about 86 to 89 or so. I had hoped one day to take a family to see where dad grew up, but I guess it's not to be. I still tell everyone it was the absolute best job I ever had.