Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Birds Are All Right

Well, the moment hardcore WEDHeads dreamed of but scarcely believed they’d live to see has actually come. It came yesterday, actually, when the restored Enchanted Tiki Room opened its doors, forever free of the excerable Iago-and-Zazu overlay that had been inflicted upon it during the Dark Ages of the late 1990s. Before the Internet, those of us who are unable to drop everything and scurry down to Disney World whenever we feel like it would’ve had to rely on secondhand accounts or even worse, Disney marketing-babble, to tell us what the show was like. That being said, thank the Tiki Gods for technology!

Obviously, watching a video is no substitute for experiencing the show in person, but here are my preliminary thoughts:

Imagineering did a good job on this. I admit to being a tad disappointed to lose the “Let’s All Sing Like The Birdies Sing” sing-along, but I think it was a wise omission. Florida, after all, has a greater percentage of first-time visitors than California does, and the sing-along is more geared to repeat customers. I don’t much mind the loss of the Enchanted Fountain, either. The show moves along just fine without it.

Back in January, after the sheer awfulness of the Under New Management Show caused it to spontaneously combust, I was eager for a return of the original show. Still, I wondered if audiences would just get bored and walk out in the middle, the way they were doing in the ‘90s shortly before Iago and Zazu took over. Only time will answer that question, but it looks like the Imagineers have done a great job editing the show down in such a way that maintains its essence without dragging on in a way that would grate on modern attention spans. The average visitor who doesn’t have the original show audio on their iPod won’t even be able to tell where the cuts where made.

I don’t know when I’ll be back in the Magic Kingdom again, but whenever I return, it’ll be nice to know that, instead of scowling at the Under New Management sign as I pass the Sunshine Pavilion, I’ll be able to go inside and enjoy a charming show with no obnoxious interruptions. And since my wife never got to see the original show, it’ll be nice to be able to share this reborn classic with her.

Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be back next week with another post about Tomorrowland.

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