Monday, July 28, 2008

Disneyland - Tahitian Terrace - Summer 1980 Article

Today's post takes us back to the Summer of 1980 and a brief article about my beloved Tahitian Terrace that appeared as a two-page spread in both the Disneyland Vacationland magazine (Summer 1980, Vol. 24, No. 2---at pages 14-15), published 3 times a year by Walt Disney Productions, Disneyland Division, and in Disney News (the official magazine for the Magic Kingdom Club - Summer 1980, Vol. 15, No. 3---at pages 2-3, shown below)---Note the identical cover photographs; the content of the two publications was not completely identical, however.
The above article ignited my nostalgia. Ah, there was definitely excitement in the air in Adventureland when the drums of the Tahitian Terrace Polynesian Revue began their rythmic rumbling. The smell of chicken teriyaki and pineapple drifted through the foliage as you made your way into Adventureland, just past the Enchanted Tiki Room. The Tahitian Terrace was sponsored by Kikkoman International, Inc. and its famous soy sauce. The article provides a nice one-paragraph history of soy sauce ("undoubtedly man's oldest prepared condiment") for those who need to fill in this blank in their knowledge base.

As for me, I love the photographs, which detail the stage, the dancers and, of course, the food. The fire dancer depicted at the top right of page 1 is a bit smaller than the fellow who was performing in that role at the time of the infamous "black footed rock hopper" incident at the Jungle Cruise, as chronicled earlier in this blog.

Of course, for those of you who long for a taste of the Tahitian Terrace, the article offers us a culinary time machine by providing a recipe for Chicken Teriyaki like that served at the restaurant.

Leafing through the Summer 1980 Vacationland magazine also called to mind a list of places, people and things that aren't here anymore:
  • Wonder Bread
  • Disneyland ticket books (Big 11 - $8.50/adult; Deluxe 15 - $9.25/adult; General Admission - $7.00/adult)
  • Harvey Korman (who starred in Herbie Goes Bananas alongside Cloris Leachman---the movie was released in 1980)
  • Movieland Wax Museum
  • Hanna-Barbera's Marineland
  • the Main Street Electrical Parade---on Main Street (nightly at 8:50 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.)
  • the shops of the old Disneyland Hotel
  • a good portion of the "New York Street" area of Universal Studios' famous back lot (lost to a recent fire)
  • Walt Disney Productions (now known as The Walt Disney Company) and, of course,
  • the Tahitian Terrace itself.
Later, I'll try and post some of the old ads from the magazine---they're a real treat.

As for now, a fond Aloha! to our lost (but never forgotten) friend, the Tahitian Terrace.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome post, I love this stuff! I heard rumors of a return of the Tahitian Terrace when they redid the kitchens last year. Have you heard anything? Keep up the great blog! Thanks!

Mike said...

I haven't heard anything definitive, but it seems to me that bringing back the Terrace would be a wise move and would definitely fit better into the overall theme of that area (what is the Sahara Desert doing in Adventureland anyway? (I understand it's part of Africa, but it's a long way from the Congo!). I am sure that my opinion is clouded by my own experience. However, experience tells me that the Terrace was developed by Walt, appeared to have a long and successful run, and was unwisely discarded for needless kitsch---like so many other Park elements during Eisner's "heyday." (Take Tomorrowland,...please!)

I don't know: give me back the Skyway, America Sings or the Carousel of Progress, the Peoplemover, the Rocket Jets, Circle Vision, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Penny Arcade, Plaza Gardens, the Plaza Pavilion, Cascade Peak, the Keel Boats, the Country Bear Jamboree, the Swiss Family Treehouse, to name but a few.

Anonymous said...

wow, did you ever bring back memories for me, thank you! I remember being infatuated with the people mover, Carousel of Progress, and the moments with Mr. Lincoln; not having a clue (proof that Mr Disney was brilliant beyond his time) that I was being educated at the same time. I also have fond memories of the Tahitian Terrace and the tiki room was absolutely enamored with the Swiss Family tree house, in fact we own the original video & enjoy watching it from time to time. One question: I've seen lots of people looking to find the "Tahitian Tiki Fruit Punch" you have it or any idea where we might look for it?
Again, thanks for bringing back such fond memories!
p.s. I don't know who posted the "we at the World Famous Jungle Cruise" directly above me...but I hope you were just having a bad day..people "back in the day" were a lot more respectful of others, especially of those working, than today...and I'm sorry for that