Let’s All Sing Like The Birdies Sing - Part I and Part II

wdwmagic

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By Scott Shindeldecker, Aug 02, 2016
WDWMAGIC Contributor

If you’re a first time visitor to Walt Disney World, it can be easy to miss. The building itself is large, highly stylized, and still almost completely blocked from view by a giant spitting camel and a ride identical to the classic Dumbo attraction. It wasn’t always this way. You’ll hear some of those that grew up on the pre-millennium parks grumble about the carpet ride “ruining the theme” of Adventureland. What was once themed around mysterious jungles, recalling those in Polynesia and Africa, now sports an odd Middle-Eastern section smack-dab in the middle of the land. The merits of this attraction and theming can be discussed another day.

What lies in that building that towers over the carpets is descendant from one of the most important attractions ever built. One could argue that without it, the parks as we know them today would not exist. While designing and building this cheerful little show, the Imagineering department needed to step outside of anything that they’d ever built before. They needed more than just the slight movements that were still stunning crowds over at The Jungle Cruise, and Uncle Walt pushed them to create something new, something with realistic movements synched to sound, what would become known as Audio-Animatronics. Bringing the birds, flowers, and Tikis to life created a whole new technology, one that would set the standard for Disney Parks moving forward.

But why? Why Tiki? With a park filled with Davy Crocket, Snow White, and Mickey Mouse, why a tropical revue? What was it that led Walt and his team to create this classic attraction? The answer to that will bring us back over a hundred years, take us halfway across the globe, involve famous explorers, the Great Depression, World War II, Clark Gable, and a whole lot of rum.

Continue reading at http://www.wdwmagic.com/articles/29jul2016-let's-all-sing-like-the-birdies-sing---part-i.htm
 
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wdwmagic

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Let's All Sing Like The Birdies Sing - Part II

By Scott Shindeldecker, Aug 10, 2016
WDWMAGIC Contributor

In the previous article, I discussed the beginnings of the United State’s fascination with all things Tiki, looking into how the culture grew and exploded. Today we’ll look into the Enchanted Tiki Room itself, from its beginnings through today. At the end, I’ll take a deeper look into why it has remained as important now as it ever was.

Continue reading at http://www.wdwmagic.com/articles/10aug2016-let's-all-sing-like-the-birdies-sing---part-ii.htm
 

xdan0920

Think for yourselfer
The thing that stood out most to me, reading this, is that it had a bunch of tidbits of information I never knew. 98.65% of the Disney history articles I read are rehashes of things I already know. It's so rare to gleam anything new. So, great job Scott, you've taught me more about WDW history this morning then I had picked up in the previous couple of years.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
General comment: Since these are WDWMagic produced articles, maybe add a link for "Articles" in the top blue bar?
 

Victaman

Active Member
Thank you for the article, really enjoyed reading it. I took note of the part where you mention the hostesses were required to monitor the attraction at all times and report any deviation in show quality such as the audio not being in sync. Problems were noted, and fixed, immediately. Sometimes I wonder if that exists any longer. Makes me a little sad to worry that it does not.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Thank you for the article, really enjoyed reading it. I took note of the part where you mention the hostesses were required to monitor the attraction at all times and report any deviation in show quality such as the audio not being in sync. Problems were noted, and fixed, immediately. Sometimes I wonder if that exists any longer. Makes me a little sad to worry that it does not.
The way I understood when I was researching this is that there were some folks actively monitoring the show control system, and if something was off, they had a way of correcting it fairly quickly.

I pulled that information from the following interview with Diana Lai, one of the original hostesses:
http://www.imagineeringdisney.com/b...original-enchanted-tiki-room-vip-hostess.html
During the shows, we watched carefully for any animation that was not perfectly in sync with the sound track and immediately reported this information to the engineers in the basement.

Not too versed in the current show control system, but imagining it's in some ways more complex.

It's likely a computer driven system that would require some sort of code changes to make a modification, and even if the control software is fairly dynamic, there are probably more checks and procedures involved in tweaking something in the show. With the system being fairly basic in the beginning, it was likely a bit easier to tweak on the fly.
Also, the fact that they were still inventing and improving the technology gave them a bit of a license to experiment and change things than they have today.

That being said, I'd imagine that today's system is far less likely to have some of the sync issues that the original system had, and if/when they do, it's likely being monitored and alerted by the control system with much more accurate measurements to show issues. They probably could be notified if an AA is moving a quarter inch less than it should. The issue likely is that even with that degree of awareness of some of the issues going on, making the fix is likely more complex, and with more visitors today than the original designers likely ever dreamed of, it likely requires more managerial oversight on when you can bring an attraction down to make a fix. Early 60's Disneyland was basically inventing a whole new definition of what an amusement park was, so guests were likely a bit more forgiving in an attraction went down. Today, with people analyzing almost every guest and up to the minute capacity, the decision to make a modification to the show likely requires so many more levels of approvals that things tend to sit longer before being brought down.
 
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Bob

Currently under Marshall Law
Premium Member
The way I understood when I was researching this is that there were some folks actively monitoring the show control system, and if something was off, they had a way of correcting it fairly quickly.

I pulled that information from the following interview with Diana Lai, one of the original hostesses:
http://www.imagineeringdisney.com/b...original-enchanted-tiki-room-vip-hostess.html


Not too versed in the current show control system, but imagining it's in some ways more complex.

It's likely a computer driven system that would require some sort of code changes to make a modification, and even if the control software is fairly dynamic, there are probably more checks and procedures involved in tweaking something in the show. With the system being fairly basic in the beginning, it was likely a bit easier to tweak on the fly.
Also, the fact that they were still inventing and improving the technology gave them a bit of a license to experiment and change things than they have today.

That being said, I'd imagine that today's system is far less likely to have some of the sync issues that the original system had, and if/when they do, it's likely being monitored and alerted by the control system with much more accurate measurements to show issues. They probably could be notified if an AA is moving a quarter inch less than it should. The issue likely is that even with that degree of awareness of some of the issues going on, making the fix is likely more complex, and with more visitors today than the original designers likely ever dreamed of, it likely requires more managerial oversight on when you can bring an attraction down to make a fix. Early 60's Disneyland was basically inventing a whole new definition of what an amusement park was, so guests were likely a bit more forgiving in an attraction went down. Today, with people analyzing almost every guest and up to the minute capacity, the decision to make a modification to the show likely requires so many more levels of approvals that things tend to sit longer before being brought down.
I bet that @marni1971 knows or knows someone who does know the current show control system.
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
I bet that @marni1971 knows or knows someone who does know the current show control system.
Like most attractions, if something small but noticeable goes wrong during the day it is reported, logged, and fixed if possible.

Depending on the attraction, if it means downtime then that decision needs to be taken. What is it, how long would it take, can it be fixed etc.

There's also a Management decision to be made that balances need of fixing and how bad something is vs attraction popularity, what else may be closed at the time and how busy the park is. Minor fixes, both onstage and off, can usually be made within the hour or less.

If one bird is out of sync or one flower doesn't move it'll be logged and hopefully fixed overnight. If Iago is hanging off his perch with no head then it's likely no more guests will be admitted until it's fixed.
 

trampdog

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the article on my favorite Disney attraction of all time! I only wear my Tiki Room collector Hawaiian shirt once a year and only for a few hours multiple times in the MK tiki room. I'm getting ready to take it out of the vacuum storage bag in October. Woo hoo!
 

bennyw01

Active Member
I just wanted to say thanks for the article, I am also a huge fan of the original attractions and particularly the Enchanted Tiki Room! it was also nice to see a features writer that I felt I had a lot in common with writing an article about something I love. I went further and checked out your blog - I had no idea! anyway back to Analytics - which I also do for a living!
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Thanks for the article on my favorite Disney attraction of all time! I only wear my Tiki Room collector Hawaiian shirt once a year and only for a few hours multiple times in the MK tiki room. I'm getting ready to take it out of the vacuum storage bag in October. Woo hoo!
Umm.... I like the sound of this Hawaiian shirt. I have a few myself (ok, 10-15 various Hawaiian shirts) and am wearing one right now. I don't have a Tiki Room Hawaiian shirt!

My "uniform" that I've realized I wear every time on my first MK day is similar. I wear my Dole Whip t-shirt and an "Enchanted Tiki Room" button down shortsleeve I got from Zara probably a decade ago. It was only looking back at pictures that I realized that I wear the same thing each time, and am now trying to break myself of the habit.

Tiki Room Hawaiian shirt though? To eBay!!!
 

trampdog

Well-Known Member
View media item 1431
Umm.... I like the sound of this Hawaiian shirt. I have a few myself (ok, 10-15 various Hawaiian shirts) and am wearing one right now. I don't have a Tiki Room Hawaiian shirt!

My "uniform" that I've realized I wear every time on my first MK day is similar. I wear my Dole Whip t-shirt and an "Enchanted Tiki Room" button down shortsleeve I got from Zara probably a decade ago. It was only looking back at pictures that I realized that I wear the same thing each time, and am now trying to break myself of the habit.

Tiki Room Hawaiian shirt though? To eBay!!!

Ok. Here it is. I saw a similar (different color) on eBay for $349. It's not as nice as this one.
 

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