Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soundtracks For Summer: The Enchanted Tiki Room

I SHOULD be studying for a final that I have, but I will admit something: When I'm stressed under pressures of things like tests & papers, that's when a high level of my inspiration to write comes in order to distract myself to relieve some of the pressure.

This blog, the first in a series, comes from such a distraction.

Since summer is coming up, there are a variety of songs that simply define "Summer." Whether it is cheery, relaxing, or just makes you pretty damn glad you're not in school, they all fit here. This is only the first post of this, I have several more up my sleeve. It sure beats my original intention of gathering them all up in one super-post, but I have too many list posts already. And I don't want to be another one of "those blogs" that only relies on such things. (Not that this is a bad thing, I just can't even fathom competing with a List site like Listverse)

And what better song to start with than Disneyland's classic theme to the Enchanted Tiki Room?

It opened in Disneyland in 1963, with the Magic Kingdom version following in 1971. They just don't make theme park songs so catchy these days. Name any Disney ride that opened after 1990 that has a song from it stuck in your head? Or a song at all?

Your 4 singing hosts are José (Wally Boag), Pierre (Ernie Newton), Fritz (Thurl Ravenscroft) and Michael (Fulton Burley), and they're supported by the other moving objects, flowers, and birds that make up the Glee Club.

It was also the first fully Audio-Animatronic Show made (and certainly not the last) and one of the last attractions conceived by Walt Disney himself. As the theme suggests, the song just makes you feel like you're in a cool, breezy tiki paradise somewhere in Polynesia. To others, the song elicits a strong feeling of nostalgia from going here in childhood, while others that may or may not also belong in the other two groups to consider the show itself 15-minutes of free air-conditioning.

I'm one of those lucky people that belong to all 3 groups, seeing this in the Magic Kingdom ages ago when I was a wee lad. Sadly, in the mid-90s, Micheal Eisner (a man who never heard of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it) decided that the Tiki Room in the Magic Kingdom needed an update. What we have now is hosted by Iago & Zazu trying to make improvements to the show. Apparently, Iago seemed to have mixed up "Tiki Polynesia" with "Latin America." The new show itself compared to the above video is so disappointing and childhood raping that I will not link to it at all as well as never speaking of it here again.

Instead, I leave you with a video of the complete show itself in Disneyland, complete with Tiki God Pre-Show!

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