Next up on our California tiki tour was a visit to Anaheim for an especially tiki day out at Disneyland.
It was easy enough getting to Anaheim from our Pasadena hotel. We were there on Labor Day though. So it took some waiting in touch-and-go traffic to actually get in the park once we were near. The place was packed for sure – and I imagine to a far greater degree than usual. But, by making a bee-line to Disneyland’s main attraction, the Enchanted Tiki Room (well, the main attraction for a tiki tour anyway), taking advantage of Fastpass (a time allocation system for queue-free access to rides) and generally just having an easygoing approach to rides and activities, Kemey and I had a blast.
If you’re not familiar with the Enchanted Tiki Room, it’s an all things quirkily tropic musical animatronic attraction that blends together kid-friendly elements of mid century exotica for a silly South Seas show featuring a lineup of (animatronic) parrots and tikis interacting and performing for small audiences in a small, dark, air conditioned theatre.
This was my first time at Disneyland but not my first in an Enchanted Tiki Room. Back when I was four years old, my family took a summer vacation to Orlando. A key part of that trip was, of course, time at Walt Disney World with it’s own Enchanted Tiki Room. The Room, located in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, is still in operation. There’s another Tiki Room at Tokyo Disneyland as well.
The attraction’s moody lighting, cheeky parrots squabbling among themselves and all those tikis kinda blew my little kid mind and scared the living daylights out of me (keep in mind this was 1976 or 77 and technology was a lot less sophisticated than it is now). Disney World’s Tiki Room left an indelible impression on my psyche alongside some of the most vivid memories I have.
As awesome as it was, reliving a childhood memory wasn’t the only tiki reason for Kemey and I drop by Disneyland (and kudos to Kemey for allowing me to indulge in my stroll down memory lane). Before taking off, we had ‘one for the road’ at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
Opened in 2011, this “third wave” tiki and restaurant is located on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. And like anything Disney sanctioned, attention to detail is on vivid jaw dropping display. Yes, that’s right, one of California’s most impressive tiki bars is at Disneyland. Every visible inch of available space is designed to beguile, surprise and delight.
The drinks are fantastic. Service is friendly. Reservations are a smart idea though grownups should be able to sidle up to the bar for a drink without hassle.
After the full day of play with Disney, we zipped back to the coast for a few nights stay in Huntington Beach.
For more about the Enchanted Tiki Room, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, and Disneyland, have a look at disneyland.disney.go.com.
Go to visitcalifornia.co.uk for ideas about designing your own tour of California.
Stay tuned for more in my series of posts about my California tiki tour.