Monday, May 13, 2013

Tiki Garden gods

Here are two more selections from a batch of vintage snapshots, this time from The Enchanted Tiki Room's pre-show area.

First we see Hina Kaluua, the Goddess of rain. Her sign (not visible here) says, "In island world there is no gloom, for Hina's mists make orchids bloom. And when this Goddess is at play, a magic rainbow ends each day". She likes to hang out with her BFF, Tangaroa-Ru, the Goddess of the East wind.  

I find it interesting that this tiki has been changed at some point, and appears to be wearing a representation of a woven hat with a wide brim instead of the "hard hat" style chapeau seen here. Perhaps they needed to move the "rain" a bit further away from the tiki due to water damage.

"I am Pele, Goddess of Fire of Volcanoes. Some say I torment poor Ngendei, the Earth Balancer, for when my violent temper rises, the Earth trembles on its foundation!". She is cool because she looks fierce and has frickin' fire shooting out of her head!


Chiana_Chat said...

Whew! She sure is hot tempered.

What a richly themed spot. Love Tiki and am so glad it's still there!

K. Martinez said...

So corny and vintage Disney, this is probably my favorite pre-show spot in Disneyland. I love it!

Tom said...

The best pre-show queue ever.

Didn't know that Hina got a millinery makeover... truth be told, I never noticed that she rained. Guess I need to go back and hang around the tiki garden a little more. With the large sized Dole whip.

Nanook said...

I'm afraid Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room has lost a bit of its charm for me over the years - although at almost 50 years old (June 23, 1963) I think it's a winning formula that continues to entertain many folks. But I remember with great fondness the first time I experienced the pre-show, right after it opened in 1963 - and how great it was. I clearly recall the lack of guests, so much so, one could move from one tiki god to another with ease, when each one had its turn "in the spotlight". Talk about a perfect moment in the perfect setting.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, like many things at the park, I appreciate the Tiki Room more now than I used to. And it has been fairly crowded, which presumably means that it is earning its keep.

K. Martinez, it IS corny, but in such a charming way.

Tom, I'd have to agree with you. Love how they keep you entertained for a few minutes before actually viewing the show!

Nanook, a big part of the appeal for me is the music and the arrangements, which are so evocative of the early 1960's (and of the Disney studio). To me, it plays right into what makes the whole tiki craze so much fun.

Nancy said...

I always liked this show, did not like when at WDW they changed it from Tikis hosting to cartoon characters.

It always saddens me when people leave in the middle of the show and even how there are so many less people there to begin with.

Glad however that it is still there. Always see it at least once during our visits. :D

Anonymous said...

An interesting aspect of the Tiki Room to me is the overtly religious aspect of the story and backdrops.

There really isn't any way to tell the kind of story they are trying to tell without reference to the native religions, but it is contrary to the careful lack of reference to any religion anywhere else in the Park.

Even in the Haunted Mansion, not only are there no crosses, but no symbols of other religions either, no church in Rainbow Ridge or Main Street, and the lost temples in the Jungle river are so anonymous as to defy description. Hanuman with his giant gem is as overt as it gets.

But the tiki gods are the small gods, the home gods, the lares and penates of the party animals, and as such are exempt. How odd.

I wonder if, today in the age of being professionally offended, there have been complaints of the characterizations in this attraction?

My first visit had to have been when the attraction was brand new, but I can't remember a date. I do recall the barker bird, a tremendous line and boring wait, but once inside the enclosure, how fascinating to watch the idols do their schtick.

Mom and Dad didn't care much for it, and we rarely returned until I was in High School and made my own decisions what to do and see. By then, the story and the vibe were passe, the line was short and I was not appreciative. Now, with the perspective of age, everything old is new again and I can see the show in the context of time. I love it.

I had an experience much like Nanook on a recent visit. In the evening, almost no one around, walking from idol to idol, hearing their voices mingling with the voices of the past in my head, being a kid again. So very cool.

Thank you, Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I never really thought about it, but it does seem like the use of a culture's deities could be cause for offense these days. Thank goodness that never happened here. I can't recall, are there any graveyard crosses in the Haunted Mansion? I also thought there was a chapel with a belfry in Rainbow Ridge, but maybe it was actually a school house. Anyway. you make some good points.

The show definitely benefits from having a large crowd with you... unlike most attractions, the Tiki Room shouldn't be seen when mostly empty!

Snow White Archive said...

Can't get enough of Tiki pics. Fire-head Pele just rocks!