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Imagineers Go Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

What better way to celebrate today’s official reopening of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park than by taking a behind-the-scenes look at the attraction, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI).

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park

In the video below, Imagineers Eric Jacobson, Dave Hoffman, Eric Swapp and others offer a look at what’s new at this Adventureland attraction and also share their thoughts on what has kept it a guest favorite over the years.

The attraction, which originally debuted at Magic Kingdom Park as The Tropical Serenade in 1971, was one of the first attractions to ever prominently feature Audio-Animatronics figures as the stars of the show. This latest reimagined version can be described as a tribute to the original show with enhancements that include re-mastered audio, new lighting and the debut of an elaborate new centerpiece.

Is it me, or have these birds gotten brighter and more beautiful since the last time we saw them? See for yourself in the gallery below.

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom Park


  • We never miss the Enchanted Tiki Room. It will be nice to get it back to the original. Zazu and Lago were just okay, but I like the original. It’s like “It’s a Small World” you walk around the park for hours singing “In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki Tiki Room……” :o)

  • I went in the 70’s and it was a joy to see then. Although I have been back to WDW several times it will be exciting to see it refreshed. Looking forward to the next visit.

  • I don’t remember ever seeing it at WDW but the one at Disneyland brings me great childhood memories!

  • I will definitely visit this refurbishged attraction-It was always on my list-it’s something that every one an do together and it’s air-conditioned.

  • i looooooooove the enchanted tiki room i remember going there with my best friend at like 10 pm (after being at the parks since opening) and she fell asleep 🙂 but i enjoyed every minute of it the song is pretty catchy!

  • Chloe, though it is not confirmed, Ghirardelli is said to open a chocolate factory tour in the same location. Mmmmmmmm, CHOCOLATE!

  • jen thanks for sharing…We are californians and been to disneyland hundreds of times. in 2009 we took our kids to WDW and my kids were actually upset at the changes that were under new management. I can now tell them that its back under old management and we will have to come see it now!! although my kids love the magic fountain in d land:) thanks for sharing!! any updates on the dumbo changes or the new castles?

  • This will be our 6th year in a row visiting WDW when we arrive in less than a month! I am excited to see a different show in the Tiki Room, I was pretty tired of the bickering between Zazu and Lago — and the Tiki Room is one of my family’s favorite attractions!

  • My sister is terrified of birds, so we have never been to the Tiki Room. As a Disney geek, I would LOVE to experience it one day.

    • Well, they don’t leave their perches, it that helps!

  • Yahooooo!!!! This news is bringing major excitement for our family. We love Walt – His spirit lives on in the Enchanted Tikiroom once again -as it should be. This attraction, like several others, have a way of making you feel like you are transported into Walt’s heart, soul and imagination -The only word I can think to describe this is Walt -its very Walt, one of a kind, pure joy, and enduring.
    A “Walt” change to the imagination ride at Epcot would be fantastic -Call it Journey into Walt’s imagination or imagine you are Walt Disney -the sky is the limit!
    Can I help?

  • Jennifer, Thanks fo sharing this blog as a HUGE walt fan I LOVE the tiki room benn going to Disneyland more than the magic Kingdom so i can see the classics. brining the classic back means that the folks that most likley would not travel to anahiem can now see what Walt envisioned it to be and appreciate his creativity, Hey JOSE!! Time to wake up!!

    • So happy you’re excited, Scot!

  • I watched WDW’s Tiki Room show on Youtube;

    Its great that WDW has a show that more closely resembles the original from Disneyland.

    I always thought that the Under New Management show was interesting, but only because the original was still available Disneyland.

    I’m so glad that Disneyland’s Tiki Room is still around, the original show, with the enchanted fountain and everything!

  • Quick Question. I discovered on a recent trip to Disneyland that they closed the Mission Tortilla Factory. Does anyone know what will be there next??? Thanks so much

  • So glad this new version will be like the old one! The ‘new management’ show seemed too rude for my kids. We will definately have to go back!

  • We will be at WDW on Friday night to see the renewed Tiki room and then after the show…..Dole Whip!!!!

  • I am thrilled to see the classics that WDW has brought back. It’s wonderful to see new generations enjoying the Main Street Electrical Parade, as I did when I was much younger. I’m also very happy to see the reincarnation of the Tiki Room as it is my original favorite from childhood. My first memory of the Tiki Room is my mom swiftly taking my brother out when he became afraid during the “thunderstorm.” I hope that nearly 30 years later he won’t be scared. 😀

  • So excited to hear about the Classic Tiki Room brought back. I can now show it off to my husband and nieces. Thanks. When will 20,000 Leagues under the Sea be back?

  • This makes me SO happy. I will be visiting Walt Disney World in September. Magic Kingdom will be the first park I visit, and now, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room will be the first attraction I see. Thank you!!!

  • Stephen, I was told the plumbing had to be removed to put in Uhoa during my training there.

  • Thank you Disney for putting the Tiki Room back “Under Old Management” :)!

    I am very excited to see this next time I’m in WDW and glad that the birdies got the TLC they needed!

  • I had been to the Disneyland Tiki room a ton of times, and when I went to WDW on my honeymoon I was so excited to show the Tiki Room to my new hubby. I was sad by the Zazu and Iago bits — I thought they ruined the show. Now that it’s restored to it’s classic version, I cannot wait to go again & show my hubby the awesomeness of the Enchanted Tiki Room!!

  • Salvador–
    Yes, I remember that the Tiki Room was rebuilt. But I really think that Disneyland’s Tiki Room would benefit from more technologically-advanced audio-animatrinics, and perhaps some new special effects. Attractions can always benefit from a little sprucing up.

    I’m glad that Disneyland’s is still the original show. In the mid-90’s some little snippets were removed for time and pacing, but its still basically the original show.

    I have to say, its a shame that WDW’s version doesn’t have the magic fountain.

    • If you check out the video, there are new special effects involved – but I don’t want to give that away here. See for yourself.

  • I went Sunday and they had the soft opening of the Tiki room in the afternoon. It was amazing and I am so glad that they brought back the original show. It gave me goose bumps. Bring back more original Disney to the parks.

    • Glad to hear it!

  • @ Lauren – Just so you know, it wasn’t “Gilbert’s faux pas”, it was an accidental fire that hit the WDW attraction, requiring the needed rehab in more ways than one.
    (Or maybe it was the goddess Uh-Oa who delivered the “accidental” bit of karma, on behalf of the Birds and the fans?) 🙂

  • Where’s the “Magic Fountain”?

    • It’s not in this version of the attraction – only in the Disneyland version.

  • Disneyland fans are forgetting that the original tiki room was fully enhanced and restored from the ground up not too long ago. The WDW one that opened today still doesn’t have all the elements of the Disneyland show. The enchanted fountain and the sing a long portions, for example, are not in Florida.

    Still, it’s nice to seem something in the spirit of the original on WDW. I still think Disneyland’s is still a richer experience.

  • I leave for WDW in 38 days, and I cannot wait to see this beloved show again. So excited!!!

  • i think zazu and lago were great!!!!

  • Tiki Room is the first attraction I get in line for every time I go to Disneyland. So glad they spruced up DWorld’s version.

  • Loved the original show when I saw it with my kids AND loved the new one when I saw it last year with my grand daughter. Both great fun but now Dakota will have a chance to see the show her mommy did.

  • Too funny -I predicted once Gilbert Gottfried had his faux pas that not only would AFLAC get rid of him, but that the Tiki Room would get rid of him as Iago too. High five, Disney! Love going back to the classics.

  • FINALLY! The real Tiki show is back!

    • I’m happy you’re excited!!

  • I’m really happy to hear Lago and Zazu got their transfer assignment from one Tiki House to anouther or should we say Tiki Bar. Disneyland Hotel’s Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar will play host to it’s 2 new managers Lago and Zazu, who will interact with the guests and bartenders.

  • I agree with Jon.

    I certainly hope that Walt Disney’s original Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland will get some TLC very soon. They show is still great as it is, but I would not mind if the show at Disneyland got some enhancements. Perhaps some new lighting or effects to spruce it up.

    So imagineers, PLEASE do not forget about Walt Disney’s original Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland!

  • I was a CM at the Tiki Room from’98-’02. I am so looking forward to seeing this version on my next trip. I’m obviously a little biased, but I liked the Under New Management version, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the classic better. I just hope WDI left a nice tribute to Phil Hartman in there somewhere.

  • I love that they are keeping the classic show I am not a fan of the under new management version. The Tiki Room is always one of the attractions I have to see twice every time I go to Disneyland.

  • I know my family is in the minority on this (or at least it appears we are), but we were not fans of the original. We would do it once a trip just to say we’d done it, but as a little kid, I always found it boring. We loved the energy of the Under New Management version. I will say that I am excited to give the original another chance…Who knows how my grown up self will feel? But I know I’m going to miss the birds singing “Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s out the door you go. We hope you all enjoyed the show, Hi-ho, Hi-ho.”

  • So glad to see the updates to the Tiki room show. I am especially glad to hear they have remastered the audio and improved the lighting. The old soundtrack was very dated sounding, and even though it added a little to the retro charm, it needed to be brought into this century! Can’t wait to see the new show.

  • I have only seen the Tiki Room show at Disneyland in CA and I love it. I wish that they would enhance and brighten it up like the Walt Disney World show.

  • I loved the original Enchanted Tiki Room show from the first time I saw it. I’m SO happy it has been updated. I think it is much more kid friendly than the previous show. THANK YOU !!!!! I also enjoy the original Main Street Electrical parade !!! It is the one my kids first saw, as well as myself. Now I am taking grandchildren and to see this parade at the end of a long fun-filled day has become a family tradition. I love tradition and I hope it stays for a long time at the Magic Kingdom !!!!!!!!!!

  • I am very much looking forward to seeing this! I am very excited. I was dying to see it last week when I was in WDW. but it will be on the top of my “to do” list come October!!!

  • It’s nice to see the original Tiki Room restored. I didn’t mind the addition of Iago and Zazu, but I’m glad the original can be brought back and restored for new generations to appreciate how it was meant to be seen. It would be fun if Iago and Zazu could still be involved somehow though, maybe as something to see or interact with while waiting in line, or in front of the entrance. It’s a shame to see stuff, especially characters from the animated films, go to waste. Plus, it’s always nice to have something to do or look at, while waiting in lines at the parks.

  • This was one of our favorite attractions until Iago was added, so glad to see the classic version brought back. We will be looking forward to seeing it soon.

  • I’m glad the original Tiki Room show is back. I loved the original show as a child, but my daughters never saw the original show and it will be great for them to experience it for the first time when we come again.

    • I don’t remember the original, so I’ll be excited to see this re-imagined version!

  • I am glad the Tiki gods (finally) destroyed the Iago animatronic. 😉

  • As many times as I have been in that area of WDW, I have never visited the enchanted tiki room.

  • This was definately one of the first memories I have as a child visiting WDW in Florida. I was absolutely mesmerized by the Tiki Room and love it to this day. Thank you for bringing back the retro version! Awesome!!!

    • It looks like a great refresh – the birds look so vibrant and beautiful!

  • My family and I have been at Disneyworld and enjoyed the Enchanted Tiki Room in 2003 and again in 2006. I pray that someday my family can be reunited to go back together to this amazing place.

  • Do you mean it was one of the first shows at MAGIC KINGDOM to feature AA figures as a star of the show? At Disneyland, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room all opened before the Orlando version…

  • Glad this attraction is re-opening and definitely glad Zazu and Lago are gone this was the way it was suppose to be Classic Disney for a new Generation 🙂

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