Saturday, August 15, 2020

Tiki Time, March 1968

I've had two scans sitting in a folder on my computer for months - maybe years - and finally decided to just go ahead and share them. Fans of old tiki stuff should enjoy these; hopefully the rest of you will too.

So, here's the first one, with a lady standing in front of a sculptural fountain (?) with an Easter Island Moai on top. Next to her is a large and unusual tiki! The whitewash is odd, maybe it was painted to help protect it from the elements. If it belonged to me, I'd be tempted do something that looked like dark wood, highlighted with some vivid hues of red, yellow, blue and green. No purple though!

Then I remembered this matchbook I had from Shelter Island's "Bali Hai". That sure looks like the same tiki. It was featured on cocktail napkins and ashtrays as well.... 

...and yet I can find no other photos of this tiki at Shelter Island, which seems very strange. Does he still exist? Why aren't there lots of pictures of him?

While looking at a Tumblr blog, I found this photo of Kim Novak with a little tiki that looks very much like the one in the photo and on the souvenirs. Relevant? Barely, but hey, it's a photo of Kim Novak.

This next photo is from the same lot as the first, and has the same date stamp; perhaps this lady and that crazy tiki (and upside-down palm trunk) are also from the Bali Hai restaurant. If anybody out there knows, chime in!


Nanook said...


Just as with skulls and flames, the world can't have too many tiki gods-! And isn't it obvious Major, that 'whitewash' tiki is merely camera-shy. You'd be too, after being caressed by Kim Novak-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

In the last pic, it looks like there is a sign to the left of the lady, which reads "Wishing Well for......" The rest of it is blocked by leaves. The brochure she is holding has "Directory" printed on it, but I can't make out the rest of the wording.

Kim Novak looks a little bit strained in that photo. I bet doing a photo shoot with that tiki was NO PICNIC for her!

stu29573 said...

The first picture is actually the Tiki Room overlay for the Snow White Wishing Well. This was done for the ooening of the Tiki Room and lasted from 9:00a.m. till about noon on a Tuesday. Instead of "I'm Wishing," the Tikis sang, "I'm Fishing." The large Tiki was sent to Disney by a fan from Hawaii, and was carved out of soap. The overlay was removed after a surprise rain storm melted him. Now you know!

Chuck said...

This so cool. Still kicking myself we never ate here.

TM!, I am familiar with that Kim Novak photo. She became very dizzy during the shoot and had to lie down due to a sudden attack of vertigo.

K. Martinez said...

Very nice pics, Major. Thanks!

TM! and Chuck! That Tiki Kim Novak was holding came from a set that also included a Bell, Book and Candle.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, considering how prominently displayed the “whitewash tiki” is, I would expect to find photos of it online, but have found NONE. Weird! And Kim Novak in her prime, yowee.

TokyoMagic!, I noticed that sign for the wishing well. Did Shelter Island have a wishing well? Those tikis that are upside-down palm trunks with roots for hair look inauthentic, though I have no idea, maybe some island people really did that. Kim looks pretty relaxed to me (I get the joke though)!

stu29573, I wish Disneyland turned everything TIKI instead of Star Wars! Everybody would be much more on board. In fact the more I think about it the more I like it. “Carved out of soap”… in grade school we learned to whittle by carving bars of ivory soap. I made a Liberty Bell! It looked like a bar of soap with a crack in it.

Chuck, you can still eat there! I hope Kim Novak stays away from bell towers; just sayin’.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I was wondering if that photo was from "Bell, Book and Candle". Ms. Novak was at peak gorgeousness sin that film.

Melissa said...

Stu, I needed that!

You just know that lady was dying to move her had over a couple of inches and grab the tiki’s derrière.

Anonymous said...

You know, I heard a rumor, and it was only a rumor, that the Enchanted Tiki Room was going to be replaced with a Moana show. Some fans speculated that the old Tiki room would be moved to the Polynesian. Of course, none of that was true. But that would be interesting: moving an attraction to a resort from the parks.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Love today's pictures and theme: Sexy tikis and stars!

IS this Bali Hai? If not, I can't believe one of our readers hasn't solved this mystery place yet...I don't recall a post, yet, where someone couldn't solve the location...

With all the hubbub over White Soap Tiki, Kim and "Muppet Beaker" Tiki, that poor little tiki at the top of the waterfall has been forgotten - and he's adorable!!

Thanks for today's fun, Major!

P.S. I still like DrGoat's tiki the best!

zach said...

Andrew: Who's Kim Novak?
The rest of us: Kim Novak, hubba hubba.


Omnispace said...

I've had dinner at Bali Ha'i. I remember there was a tiki figure outside the front entrance, but he's basically a giant head sitting there - sort of a much larger version of the figure up on the roof.

Checking Google Street it's still there, if you can peer past all the delivery trucks. There are other Polynesian style resorts on Shelter Island, Half Moon Inn and the Island Palms, so perhaps these pictures were taken at one of those?

Nice job noticing the similarities of the various tikis in different photos, etc.. Perhaps this particular one was well known at the time - sort of like the Moai? There needs to be a tiki identification website. I used to visit Handford Lemoore's Tiki Room so there might be clues there.

Chuck said...

Major, what I meant was I wished we'd eaten there when we lived in SoCal back in the '90s. Haven't been out that way for 11 years and don't see that changing any time soon. :-(

Omnispace, you mean this guy?

Omnispace said...

That's him - Mr. Bali Ha'i. It's great he was restored. My only regret from dinner was not sucking a Mai Tai from his skull, (the mug, not the giant statue). But that begs the question, why did Bali Ha'i once feature the Major's tiki on their promotional items? The mystery deepens...

Btw, I forgot to comment on the other tiki's. I like the little guy at the top of the fountain - like he's king of the hill. And although the upside-down palm tiki's might not be as authentic, the wild "hair" it creates is really awesome!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

If you look a little closer it appears Ms Novak is showing more than a little Tiki in that photo. ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, who could resist? So squeezable.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, that sounds like a rumor made up by somebody on a forum. The Magic Kingdom already has a Tiki Room, it doesn’t make sense that they would go to the trouble and expense of having another one so close to the other!

Lou and Sue, I’m going with Bali Hai, but certainly hoped that somebody would chime in with a definite answer. Fingers crossed! Somehow that little Moai does look like a Muppet!

zach, I haven’t seen many Kim Novak movies, but her appearance in “Vertigo”, holy Toledo.

Omnispace, the figure you are referring to is still there. In fact, I am reading ahead and see that Chuck has already provided the link that I was going to look for! I have a few vintage slides of Mr. Bali Hai as well, I’ll have to scan those one of these days. There are some other tikis that are labeled as being from Shelter Island too, nothing very distinctive though. I have seen this kind of tiki referred to as “Marquesan”.

Chuck, ah I see what you mean. And thanks for providing that link!

Omnispace, there are Mr. Bali Hai mugs on eBay for only about $20, so you could live the dream if you are willing to shell out a little dough! DO IT. I imagine that little tiki as speaking with a helium voice for some reason. Not that it can speak, of course.

Alonzo, ha ha!

Andrew said...

zach, :-)

Melissa said...

I think my favorite Kim Novak movie is Bell, Book, and Candle. Beatnik witches!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck & Ken, ha, ha!!! Those are the only three movies of hers, that I have seen.

Major, I have Kim Novak's autograph!

Dean Finder said...

I look forward to seeing Stu's comment repeated as fact on some other website in the not-too-distant future.

I also heard about a proposed retheming of the WDW Tiki Room to Moana, but not since a Moana attraction was announced for Epcot. So I hope it's safe for now (with cash flow issues, I don't expect a lot of rethemes to be announced at WDW)

There was also an earlier rumor of a Moana roller coaster at WDW, The description was for a volcano to be placed outside the berm to house the ride, with sightlines to it from Adventureland and the Polynesian. It was probably prohibitively expensive, and I don't think they were interested in another coaster after the 7 Dwarves Mine Train and Tron.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely not the Bali Hai, I've been there many times and that building behind them is nothing like it.

JG said...

I love tikis and Kim Novak, she looks excessively warm in all those clothes.

Major, this reminds me of the giant tiki at the Harbor Hut in Morro Bay, you know the one.

My next trip to San Diego must include a visit to Shelter Island.


Major Pepperidge said...

Andrew, I figure you’re young, but you’re not blind!

Melissa, I haven’t seen that movie for ages, I wish it was readily available to me. Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon… what could be better?

TokyoMagic!, NICE!

Dean Finder, oh boy, I like Moana, but the thought of abandoning the historic and wonderful Tiki Room for a recent IP is heartbreaking. Which is probably why the rumor is most likely true. Perhaps I am a monster, but I would be more at ease if they wanted to replace Mr. Lincoln at this point. Let us keep our Tiki Room! A Moana roller coaster could be fun, I wonder if they could somehow simulate surfing?

Anonymous, finally! I thought that the “great wall” didn’t seem very Bali-Hai-ish (based on what I’ve seen). Well shoot, where is that darn tiki, anyway?

JG, I do know that tiki! Somewhere there is a photo of me with a larger tiki that is outside the Harbor Hut, but I assume you are referring to the smaller one, I think he’s eating a fish? Makes sense, since fish and chips is their thing. I like getting fried clams from the little hut. If you go to Shelter Island, take pix!

Chuck said...

Coming soon to replace Mr. Lincoln - The Post-Walt Disney Story, Featuring Great Moments With Recent IP.

Melissa said...

I’d like to think they learned their lesson with Under New Management.

Chuck said...

Yes - if you mess with one of Walt's classics, you will burn (or, at least, the updated attraction will).

SunnieDaze21 said...

The wall behind the fountain in the first photo (and the fountain style) looks similar to old images from the Tahitian Inn of Tampa. Like in this photo or this photo. It looks like the Tahitian Inn is still there, but it looks VERY different now!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I'm sure I have mentioned this before, but somebody on one of the many Disney forums suggested that they replace Lincoln with an animatronic of Walt. "You could ask him questions and stuff!". Sounds horrible.

Melissa, let's hope so!

Chuck, I don't want to say that the fire was started by a bolt of lightning, but... it WAS!

SunnieDaze21, thank you! Those two photos are very persuasive evidence. The funny thing is that the lady in photo #2 is holding a brochure that looks like one that I had for SoCal attractions - but I couldn't be certain. I'm going to look for more photos of the Tahitian Inn now (without a lot of confidence that there are many out there). THANKS again!