Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Tahitian Terrace at Hong Kong Disneyland

I love Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. It might even be my favorite attraction at Disneyland. It is the theme, its unique sense of place and comedy. Behind the Tiki Room at Disneyland in the current location of Aladdin's Oasis used to be a wonderful restaurant called the Tahitian Terrace. The Tahitian Terrace was a restaurant with an accompanying dinner show and achieved much the same sense of place as the Tiki Room. IT also had an awesome logo and posters. In one of the Disneyland TV shows that is part of the Walt Disney Treasures set there is a scene featuring the Tahitian Terrace where we see a couple watching a performance by a young scantily clad lady dancing. The man, who is slightly overweight and balding is entranced by both the chicken he is eating and the woman dance, his wife on the other hand who looks like a teacher, wearing thick glasses and a frumpy top is merely staring at her food and looking entirely bored. For some reason this scene helped me fall in love with the Tahitian Terrace. Currently Adventureland in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World are in dire need of more restaurants and so I constantly hope that they will reopen the Tahitian Terrace.

So you can guess I was extremely excited when I saw the Tahitian Terrace on the map in Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland. I'm convinced that my pictures of it have been lost as I could only find two, but remember walking around and taking many of the small details.
Here is the main building that comprises the ordering area and kitchen for the Tahitian Terrace. One of the problems with this restaurant is that there is no Tiki room for it too complement. While it is clear Disney thinks that the Tiki Room in its original form is outdated as they have replaced two out of the three in the world with horrible abominations featuring newer characters shoved in, the truth is Hong Kong Disneyland does not have nearly enough attractions so anything would've done it some good. None the less the Tahitian Terrace plays tribute to the Tiki Room in some fun ways.

Anyone who has ridden the Tiki Room in any of its incarnations should recognize this at the Tiki Gods who line the columns of the Tiki Room and chant with their audio animatronic eyes and mouths. Here they are just decoration sprinkled around the exterior. Here you can see the outdoor seating area for the restaurant. I desperately wanted to eat here so that I could experience a version of the Tahitian Terrace but it was closed throughout my stay. 

Sadly these two pictures are the only ones I can find at this time of the Tahitian Terrace, but on the other side of the Tahitian Terrace the shrubs are lined with Birds of Paradise the followers which are referenced in the Enchanted Tiki Room song and appear as singing animatronics in the original line. While the logo for this Tahitian Terrace is similar to the original it has discarded the exact lines of the early sixties and embraced a more rugged styling albeit reminiscent of the original. 

If you'd like to learn more about The original Tahitian Terrace I highly recommend you check out Warner Weis' wonderful site Yesterland

Alain Littaye's site Disney and More: The Artwork Collection has some great photos of Hong Kong's Tahitian Terrace about mid-way through the page here in his interview with Imagineer Tom Morris.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @mfeige or @GoldenMickeys 

Hopefully I'll be able to dig up more about Hong Kong's Tahitian Terrace in the future

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