Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Adventureland Tiki, March 1959

I'm always happy to see this particular carved tiki figure - he seems to have lived in Adventureland for the first few years, apparently disappearing in the early 1960's. There's nothing more spooky than a vanishing tiki! I think he was acquired at Oceanic Arts in Whittier (it's still there after all these years). 

You'll see our buddy Nanook standing next to a similar tiki HERE; I thought it was the same exact one, but if you look closely, there are definite differences, which is kind of surprising - this is the first time that I've realized that there were two of these at the park. Plus there was a mini version in the Jungle Cruise, visible in one of the pictures at THIS POST.

Aaaaannnnddd.... here's a fairly unremarkable picture of a boat as it is about to vanish into the steamy jungle. Will they ever come back?!


Nanook said...


Well, that tiki god is certainly my favorite. i do believe the fella with the fine flattop has a Kodak Duaflex II camera strung around his neck.

Thanks, Major.

Budblade said...

It looks to me like no one is smiling in these pictures. Don’t they know they are in the happiest place on earth?
Are they scared of the Tiki god?

K. Martinez said...

The boy with the camera who looks a lot like Johnny Crawford is in the wrong land. He should be in Frontierland with his father Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors).

Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Major, maybe this Tiki was repositioned in Adventureland, engulfed in tropical foliage, then forgotten. In Sven Kirsten's super "Book of Tiki", the author describes expeditions to apartments and elsewhere to uncover long-buried idols. I remember a Tiki-themed apartment block in Playa del Rey, California (which is featured in Kirsten's book), and in next door Westchester there is still a full-on Tiki home, impeccably maintained and unchanged since the Tiki heyday.

K. Martinez, now I look at that kid and hear "Cindy's Birthday".

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s a good Tiki, and I hope that it graces somebody’s backyard to this day. It would look perfect next to a pool!

Budblade, those people are sad because Star Wars Land won’t be open for another 60 years. Also, Tiki gods are mischievous, so I would be nervous around one for sure.

K. Martinez, there’s nothing worse than being in the wrong land! I’d like to believe that Johnny Crawford would know just how to survive in the wilds of Adventureland.

Stefano, I was actually thinking that it is possible that one tiki became too weathered, which is why it was replaced with a second, very similar example. It’s just a theory though. I wish I’d bought that “Book of Tiki”, for some reason I never did, and now it is way too pricey.

JC Shannon said...

Tikis are dangerous, everyone knows that. Mom knows, and has donned a protective babushka, smart. I'm afraid the boys are oblivious to the danger, and will pay the price with poor grades next semester. Same with dad, he will lose his shirt playing the market, and end up a pixie duster in a traveling carnival. Fedora guy knows and is staying a healthy distance from the idol. Not really, I made all that up, but one thing is for sure, I need a hobby. Perhaps Tiki collecting? Thanks Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

If someone were to be so bold as to suggest that mother loosen the knot on her Babushka she might start a chain reaction of smiles throughout the family. They could all be Russian spies and the guy in the straw hat a CIA spook sent to shadow them.

@K.Martinez-Good call on the Johnny Crawford reference I saw that too. I have a dvd of the Mickey Mouse Club that has a young Johnny Crawford (and his brother fencing) on "anything can happen day". We sometimes forget he was an early Meese-ka-teer.

Chuck said...

I wonder if this tiki has a Cousin Oliver?

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, You may be onto something. It's very possible that the tiki pictured here is the cousin of Professor Hubert Whitehead's favorite Tiki "Oliver". Ironic thing is that near the end, Cousin Oliver came to stay with the Brady family. Now, please pass the tabu.

Chuck said...

Crap. I hope that doesn't mean GDB will be cancelled in five episodes...

K. Martinez said...

I have a tiki story and it's a true story too. Way, way back over half a century ago, me, my mom and my sister went down south to visit Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, San Diego and Mexico. I was at my bad boy age of four years old. Anyway, we were staying at this motel in San Diego while visiting the San Diego Zoo and and the then brand new SeaWorld.

The motel we stayed at featured this tropical pool with a waterfall and stone tiki statue. My mom went to check us out of the motel room and told me and my older sister to wait outside by the tiki pool. We did that.

To make a long story short, I was curious about that tiki and climbed onto the waterfall rock work and grabbed the stone Tiki statue. Down it came tumbling. SPLASH!! CRASH!!! CRUNCH!! The stone tiki ended up in several pieces in the pool and me wet all over.

So my mom and sister (they were wearing dresses) took off their shoes, waded into the pool and tried to reassemble the stone tiki as best they could without being caught. Quickly after that, my mom got us into the car and we drove off to Mexico. End of story.

BTW, we never went back to that motel.

Nanook said...

@ Alonzo P Hawk-

Somewhere in my 45 record collection is a picture sleeve with both Johnny & his older brother Bobby, performing as the Crawford brothers, singing the forgettable song "Good Buddies", on the Del-Fi label - from 1962.

JG said...

@Ken, that is a great story. Tiki karma is inescapable, you must give them a wide berth after that, or they will haunt you.

The Harbor Hut in Morro Bay has a splendid tall tiki at the restaurant entry. Harbor Hut is a fun place where tiki never went out of style, so it never had to come back. I've been going there for years and years.,-120.8567792,3a,90y,1.96h,76.53t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipP9qMxea30GA8Fzqv69MzJiUyD1lZDbB66GoFUf!2e10!3e11!!7i7744!8i3872!4m5!3m4!1s0x80ece198b84c8697:0xd71d9f05949a6b1b!8m2!3d35.3703989!4d-120.8567792?hl=en

I want it, or one like it, in my garden, but my wife will not permit it. In fairness, I can't blame her, because it's (I'm) weird.

In recompense, I have several small ones from various Hawaii trips on my desk.

Major, this enigmatic tiki is one of the mysteries of Adventureland. Thanks for posting this rare photo.

I'm still mildly surprised that the marketing geniuses at Disney haven't tried selling replicas of these and other Adventureland idols, as well as the Cigar Store Indian. If they can offer a life-size Darth Vader for $5000 at the Star Wars Launch Bay, this seems like a natural followup. I'm sure there would be collectors somewhere willing to ante up.


Melissa said...

@K. Martinez I love family stories that end with fleeing to Mexico!

With the green "mustache" and raised eyebrows, I think the tiki bears a resemblance to Walt himself.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

Depending on who you ask, the so-called "marketing genius'" are anything but. Clearly, Disney has created many winners in the souvenir arena over the years, but so many missed opportunities have gone by the wayside, as those "genius'" are clueless as to what's really great, and merely focus on the obvious in terms of 'immediate return', no matter how horrible.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I hope that mom’s babushka is lined with tin foil, just like my hat. It keeps out those pesky radio waves that the Russkies are sending to my brain! Most of the time it is playing “Yackety Sax”, which, believe it or not, gets old after a while.

Alonzo, aha! I see that you know all about the Russian spies too! They are everywhere. And yet… nowhere. The “boy” in the blue shirt is clearly a Russian circus performer (real age: 42). The other “boy’s” camera actually fires darts with knockout juice.

Chuck, you mean mini-John Denver?

K. Martinez, I see you are as big a fan of that documentary about Professor Whitehead as I am. What an astonishing film!

Chuck, wow, was “The Brady Bunch” cancelled after just five episodes with Cousin Oliver? Poor kid, he never had a chance.

K. Martinez, ha ha, that’s an awesome story. Somehow you managed to avoid a tiki curse! Maybe it knew that you were just a kid and didn’t mean any harm? I also love that your mom and sister tried to cover it up. Do you remember if the tiki looked sort of OK by the time it was reassembled? Maybe the cracked look just added to its charm.

Nanook, sadly we got rid of most of our old 45s (we had boxes and boxes of them), but I have a few, including one that I cut from the back of a cereal box. I think it is “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies (for real)! Greatest. Song. Ever.

JG, I am familiar with the Harbor Hut! I walked right past it just a few weeks ago. I love the Embarcadero in Morro Bay - when I was looking after my niece and nephew, they were in school during the day, so I would go for a nice hike somewhere, and then have lunch at one of the many restaurants along the water. Fried clams, fish and chips, a nice squidburger (yum!). So great. All this tiki talk is inspiring me to scan a few non-Disney tiki photos that I have. And I agree, until recently, I guess Disney didn’t realize how much people loved those Tiki Room figures.

Melissa, Ken left out the part where his mom yelled “You’ll never take us alive!”, while dad floored the gas pedal, and the whole family fired their guns into the air. Good times. Hmmmm, I’m trying and trying to see Walt in that tiki’s face, but I guess I’m just too unimaginative.

Nanook, I like JG’s idea a lot, and have thought of so many things that Disneyland could have sold over the years. I guess they can now sell them as expensive collector’s pieces, so it all works out for them.

JG said...

@Nanook, going forward, you can put "ironic quotes" around any of my references to current Disney management.

They were born on third base and think they hit a triple.


JG said...

@Major, I am sincerely heartened by the recent Tropical Hideaway opened in the old Tahitian Terrace. At least it sounds like they won't put ewoks in the Tiki Room (yet).

I figured you would know the Harbor Hut. I love Morro Bay and that whole general area. It has been a family getaway destination for my whole life.

I just read an article in Daveland about how the old cigar indians found new homes. I'd like one of those too.


Chuck said...

Major, Cousin Oliver was actually in six episodes, but I figured if today was Tiki Oliver's cousin's debut appearance, you only had five episodes left.

Just noticed that the "s" in "Rest Rooms" is backwards in the first picture. Looks like Tom & Huck were subcontracted to do the signage here on the Frontierland-Adventureland border.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

By this point, I was expecting some sort of mutiny from the GDB faithful - or however bloggers show displeasure with repetition. As most of you know, I'm quite fond of using hyphens, parenthesis, brackets, both single & double quotes, and the not-used-often-enough - semi-colon. Clearly, an editor's nightmare-! (Except, I'm IT-!)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I will just have to acknowledge that the things that are going on at Disneyland today are not aimed at people like me. I mean, really, what if one thinks that “Star Wars” is fun, but it didn’t define their whole childhood? Tough luck I guess.

JG II, here’s how out of touch I am; I didn’t know that the Tropical Hideaway had even opened yet. My favorite thing about Morro Bay is seeing the otters - if you go out near the rock, otters will definitely be there. Which is pretty neat.

Chuck, I was shocked to see (on Wikipedia) that The Brady Bunch only lasted 5 seasons. In my memory it was around for longer than that. 10 seasons at least! I demand a Cousin Oliver origin story, directed by Michael Bay. And I noticed that backwards “S” too!

Nanook, as you have probably noticed, I use too many exclamation points, followed by too many ellipses. Thank goodness I don’t have a teacher grading my use of grammar, sentence construction, etc. I’m sure I would get a “C” at best.