Walt Disney World's Enchanted Tiki Room has shut down after sprinklers extinguished a fire in its attic last night. It's hard to contain my schadenfreude here: the Disney World version of the Tiki Room (the watershed in audio-animatronics and lineal ancestor of all contemporary themepark robots) was gutted in 1998 and replaced with an indescribably awful, unfunny update featuring the Lion King's Zazu and Aladdin's Iago. I took my two-year-old daughter to the Tiki Room last week and within seconds, she was whimpering and saying, "These are the bad tikis. Don't like them. Where are the real birds?"
In my secret heart, I hope that there's some kind of serious barrier to immediately reopening the Tiki Room and that the refractory period is hijacked by bold Imagineers who come up with something that honors the original show.
For the record, the Tiki Room in Disneyland California is very faithful to the original and remains one of my favorite theme-park attractions of all time.
Fire Reported at Magic Kingdom Tiki Room
(Image: The Enchanted Tiki Room, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from disneyworldsecets's photostream)