Adventureland, June 23, 1963: Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened at Disneyland.
Significant for several reasons, the first being this is being written on the 50th anniversary of the opening. Secondly, this is the first attraction in Disneyland to use Audio-Animatronics, created by Disney’s Imagineering department. The 225 birds, tiki torches and masks, singing flowers are the first use of intricate moving figures that “wows” the crowds.
The main birds of the Tiki Room are Jose, voiced by Wally Boag; Michael (Fulton Burley), and Fritz (Thurl Ravenscroft). In 1964 the Tiki Room became sponsored by United Airlines, a deal that lasted until 1973. In 1976, Dole Pineapple began sponsoring the Enchanted Tiki Room, which lead to the creation of one of the more popular Disneyland treat, the Dole Whip.
As most know, the Tiki Birds are here everyday, so I also want to focus on another entity that recently celebrated its anniversary. On June 22, 1970, Dave Smith was hired by Roy Disney as the Walt Disney Company’s first archivist. As a result, the Walt Disney Archives were founded.
The purpose of the archives, of course, is to preserve the Disney legacy and its history. It is the true Vault Disney, with it also being a Disney fan’s holy grail, as it is intended for use by the Walt Disney Company and not the general public.
My hope is that it will be accessible to the public at one point in the near future. As I’ve stated before, I believe the materials in the archives, specifically the long lost shows, deserve to be shared with the public and the airwaves, to have the artwork put on display on museum walls.
Although this has yet to happen, I still wish the archives a happy anniversary, and the same wishes to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
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