Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Tiki Room Pre-Show, July 1970

Way back in 2013, I posted the very same photos that you will see in today's post. The difference is that those examples were scanned from vintage photo prints. Not long ago, good ol' Mr. X found the slides that were used to make those prints! While the new scans look nice, I am a bit surprised that the difference is not as huge as I'd expected. Still... they're worth another look. I hope you agree.

There's Hina Kaluua, the goddess of rain (notice the rain pouring from her hat). To our right is Tangaroa Ru, the goddess of the East Wind.

Pele looks pretty fierce, with those freaky red eyes and razor sharp shark's teeth. Flames spout from her head - that can't be pleasant. If you look at current-day photos of this same figure, the paint scheme is considerably less colorful - which is strange, considering the trend toward more color in the rest of the park.

To the left we can just see Ngendei, the balancer of the world!


Nanook said...


Love the 'beefed-up' colors of these new scans. I certainly wish I could take Hina Kaluua to a party. You can just imagine all the attention. Definitely a total laugh riot-!

Thanks, Major, for the "do-over".

TokyoMagic! said...

Don't Hina Kaluua and Tangaroa Ru often travel together?

Pele's teeth remind me of the teeth on the little fetish doll that stalks Karen Black in "Trilogy of Terror."

I love these photos, Major. They were definitely worth re-posting!

Patrick Devlin said...

Nicely done. I got to see some of the developmental art for these and other tikis at the Rolly Crump exhibition in Oceanside a few weeks ago so your slide scans provide a pleasant bookend to that experience, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, lucky for us, Mr. X found more Instamatics (or the negatives, anyway), so we’ll be seeing more in the future.

TokyoMagic!, Hina Kaluua and Tangaroa Ru do travel together, but mostly because they split the costs of hotel rooms. It’s so funny that you mentioned “Trilogy of Terror”, since I was just reading about Karen Black (and how she regretted the fact that “ToT” forever doomed her to be in low-budget horror stuff).

Patrick Devlin, oh cool, I’m glad you saw the Rolly Crump exhibit. I would love to go but Oceanside is a pretty long drive…

Anonymous said...

A little bit of CM trivia of the time. While in the pre-show 'holding' area, guests would throw in some change in the pool under one of the 'Gods' (whose name escapes me). The opening CM usually would 'salt' the pool with a few coins. By the end of the day, the closing CM would scoop up the loot. Much of it went to sponsor the Banana Ball or other impromptu after-hour gatherings. KS

Matthew said...

Beautiful post today. Always enjoy spending times with my ol' friends, the Tiki gods. @KS - that is too funny. The god you speak of was Maui "The Mighty One" http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/search?q=maui.

We once used Maui as a "hot tub" in the Lost Safari production, "Love Shack" that we showed at the Adventureland/Frontierland Banquet (the late 80's version of the Banana Ball... management wanted a little more control over these things thanks in part to your groups shenanigans!) ;-)

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

JG said...

I love the Tiki Room so much.

One of the best things about discovering GDB and Daveland blogs was confirmation that there once was a Barker Bird and he wasn't a figment of my imagination. That childhood memory was so clear, and yet every trip as an older person seemed to refute it.

Thank you for re-posting these, Major.


Melissa said...

Same here, JG! I remembered my sister and I listening to the Barker Bird at WDW, but I thought I might have mixed it up with the PotC Barker Bird, who gets more mention in the fan community.

Chuck said...

The Tiki Room is one of my earliest (and fondest) Disneyland memories, like from my first trip when I was 2½. All I remember from that visit was sitting close to the front and singing along with my mother or grandmother to "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing."

I remember a later visit in the fall of 1976 where we were able to enjoy the uncrowded pre-show in the dark, and my sister and I wandered from tiki god to tiki god to hear each segment. My wife and I were able to do that again as late as 1995. Is that still possible, or do they just stack people in there like cordwood these days?

Thanks for sharing these higher-fidelity images, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, I need to do an intensive study on why people can’t resist throwing their coins into water!

Matthew, what is this “Lost Safari production” you speak of? As an outsider, I feel like there is something going on that I am not getting.

JG, yes, now that the Barker Bird has been gone for many decades, it probably fades into the “legend” category - a story repeated over and over until nobody knows if it bears any relation to reality.

Melissa, do you have any idea how long the Barker Bird was used in Florida? Did it cause the same backups that became problems at Disneyland?

Chuck, I love the Tiki Room, in part because it is such a blast from the past. Instead of being cheesy, I find it incredibly charming. I’m so glad that it is still there! I believe that you can still walk from tiki god to tiki god, just like in 1976.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm glad Karen Black filmed Airport '75 (one of the best movies ever made!) prior to being type cast in horror films.

Melissa, the last several times that I went to see the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Tiki Gardens were packed with people. That was mostly due to them having a second queue and counter for serving Dole Whips and that counter and queue happen to be in the Tiki Garden. The queue winds around and takes up a good chunk of the space. It's unfortunate. Who knows, maybe it brings people into the show that would not have gone in otherwise? But then again, those could be the very same people that leave halfway through the show.

Melissa said...

The Tropical Serenade Barker Bird was there until 1991.

I just checked on the Pirates bird, and apparently he lasted till 2006.

GRSshoes said...

Nice post.

JG said...

thanks Melissa for the info on the Barker Bird, I had no idea there was one in POC in WDW. There's a parrot in the Disneyland POC pre-show, but I don't recall him talking, he's just inside the entrance sitting on the treasure chest.

@Chuck, I have similar early memories of the Tiki Room. I don't clearly recall an Adventureland without it, but I do recall my parents exclaiming that they wanted to see the new Tiki Room and the wait queue stretching out to Coke Corner.

It's always been a favorite since then, I credit it with my lifelong love of tiki music and later, tiki cocktails.

The last couple of times I've visited, the pre-show area was uncrowded. I order my Dole Whip and wander from idol to idol enjoying the their speeches. It's a really cool idea and it works best when you have room to move around. I've been there many times when it was stuffed so tight you could only hear the speeches close to you, takes away a lot of the fun.

"George just lucky I guess".

I sure hope that no WDI marketing rocket scientist decides to change the Tiki Room Maui to the Moana Maui, you know, to "plus" the attraction. I'm hoping it's safe because of the direct connection to Walt.


Dean Finder said...

It seems that WDW's Tiki Room may be invaded by Moana, but I haven't heard the same for Disneyland's

Major Pepperidge said...

Dean Finder, oh I hate that news. "Moana" was fine - just fine - but the songs were not memorable in my opinion, and won't fit in with the Sherman Brothers music that's been there forever. Oh well, nothing I can do about it...