Monday, June 21, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 6

Today we wrap up this series by taking a look at the proposed concept for the interior of the new restaurant.

The interior of Hook’s Pointe

As was pointed out in Part 1, John Mauro (development manager for Walt Disney Imagineering) indicated that the restaurant will be gutted, allowing for a new interior design. But what will the interior design look like? Disney provides a clue in their initial press release “A new bar will draw on the adventure theme from the Jungle Cruise attraction.” Interesting concept for a tiki restaurant. I was able to follow up on this idea, and according to an inside source, this concept will be very similar to the décor that was used in the old Adventurer’s Club in Pleasure Island down in Walt Disney World. However, the props and items on display will revolve around the South Seas. I love this idea.

Original concept for the Adventurer’s Club in WDW.

General concept for the new restaurant, but the props will be jungle/tiki themed.

Here are a few masks that were fabricated for the WDW club and provide a glimpse of what we can expect. We may also end up seeing some of the free standing tikis as interior décor, similar to how they are used in Hong Kong.

Overall, I am very excited to see a NEW Disney tiki bar/restaurant about to start construction. I love the fact that it will be at the Disneyland Hotel, so you will not need to purchase admission to Disneyland to enjoy the place. Prepare to sip adult tiki drinks over dinner next summer when they reopen for business. Alooooha!

Tomorrow I am heading up to Lake George, NY for the Ohana, Luau at the Lake tiki weekend. After the weekend, I’ll be heading across the border to southern Ontario, Canada for a few more days of work. I’ll be back next mid week for a new post.

Postscript: If any Orange County locals have the opportunity to check in on the construction and redevelopment periodically over the next year, please let me know. I’d love to post some construction progress pictures.

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 5

If we want a glimpse of what the exterior of the new Tahitian Terrace restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel(Disney has not released if they will be calling the new restaurant the Tahitian Terrace or opening with a new name) may look like, just turn your eyes towards the east, the far east.

In September, 2005 Hong Kong Disneyland was opened. Included in Adventureland, is a version of the Tahitian Terrace restaurant. It does not have a floor show with music and dancing like the old Disneyland restaurant, but the architecture, theme, and design are all inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room and Disneyland's Adventureland.

Hong Kong Disneyland

It is reasonable to assume that Disney may pull out their most recent plans for the Tahitian Terrace that were used in Hong Kong to help with the exterior makeover for Hook's Pointe. The footprint of the buildings are different, however Disney can easily incorporate the theme and design used in Hong Kong.

I think it is a pretty safe bet to assume that the Disneyland Hotel version will look pretty similar to these pictures.

There is no Enchanted Tiki Room attraction in Hong Kong, so the Imagineers have incorporated tikis from the Disneyland version of the attraction into the exterior gardens of the restaurant.

Now that we have an idea of what we might expect the exterior remake to look like, come back tomorrow as I wrap up this series with some information about what to expect the inside to look like.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 4

We explored some beautiful tiki architectural renderings in Part 3, now let's take a look at the actual buildings and structures that ended up being built in Adventureland in Disneyland, California.

All of today's photos are courtesy of Daveland Blog, a wonderful Disneyland blog.

The first few pictures are dated July 18, 1955 (the second day Disneyland was open). At that time, the restaurant was called the Adventureland Pavilion.

If you look closely, you can see the Victorian architecture at the top of the building that fronted the other side of the restaurant. The restaurant on the other side was called the Plaza Pavilion and was located along Main Street.

Note the ornamental head piece at the end of the header beam, it matches the original conceptual artwork.

It looks like these last 4 pictures are from a different photographer. The colors are beautiful.

It was a different time back then. Look how well this lady is dressed for a day at Disneyland. Today, in that same picture you would see shorts, t-shirt and flip flops.

Here's a great example of how the Disney Imagineers incorporated the Victorian themed Plaza Pavilion and the exotic Adventureland Pavilion into the same structure.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 3

Today we will take a look back at some of the conceptual artwork Disney created for the original Tahitian Terrace in Disneyland. This piece of artwork is on public display at the Disneyland Hotel for all to enjoy, however, it is difficult to photograph due to its placement and reflecting light. I have tweaked the images the best I can. However, next time you are at the Disneyland Hotel, stop by and spend a minute or two admiring this wonderful piece of artwork.

To get to the outdoor restaurant, you cross over the stream that flows into the Jungle Cruise river. The large structure is on the left and the outdoor seating and floor show is on the right, under the large tree.

The bridge leading into the Tahitian Terrace restaurant. Note, at least in this rendering, that the facility is called Polynesian Gardens.

Detail of the Entrance sign. The Tahitian Terrace opened in Disneyland in 1962 but Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room didn’t open until the following year right next door. However, the rendering for the Tahitian Terrace shows that tiki room birds were planned as part of the theme and décor.

A tiki birdhouse on top of the entrance bridge.

The large ornamental A-frame patio structure that overhangs the stream.

……with a carved tiki at the top of the header beam.

The other side of the structure has 2 additional A-frames. However, they both display African themed ornaments at the end of the header beams.

Detail under one of the other A-frames shows more tiki room birds.

The outside seating area that encircles the stage under the large tree.

Detail of the stage and floor show. Note the tiki room birds in the tree above the stage.

Final detail of hula girls, waterfalls and tikis.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 2

Today we will take a closer look at the building that is getting the Polynesian extreme makeover and the rest of the facilities that will be demolished. According to aerial plan that Disney released in their announcement (shown in Part I of this series), most of the structures between the Hotel Towers are being removed. Here is a detail of what is staying and what is leaving.

#1 – Hook’s Pointe Restaurant & Wine Cellar.

This is the 2 story building that will be transformed into the yet to be named tiki bar and restaurant.

This interior of this restaurant will be gutted and the exterior will be redone.

#2 - Croc’s Bits ‘n Bites.

This fast food kiosk will be demolished. Hook’s Pointe is the large building behind Croc’s.

#3 – The Lost Bar.

This bar/restaurant will be demolished.

#4 – The Safari Adventure Remote Control Jungle Cruise Boats

The boat lagoon is located between the Lost Bar and the Arcade/Shop building (part of the former Seaports of the Pacific structures) and will be removed.

#5 – The former Seaports of the Pacific shops & arcade building.

This building will be demolished. You can see the Jungle Cruise RC boat lagoon in the foreground.

#6 – Waterfalls

The subterranean waterfalls and koi ponds will be removed.

#7 – Former Dancing Waters Theatre

The former Dancing Waters theatre will be removed. Amazing to compare the evening water fountain show that used to run here nightly to the current Fantasmic and World of Color shows and how far the shows have advanced.

#8 – Cove Pools and beach

The former Papette white sand beach that was also part of the former Seaports of the Pacific overlay that was around in the 1970s and 80s.

Part 3 of the series we will take a look at tiki architecture that Disney has developed thru the decades and what may be in store for the Hook’s Pointe building.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Tahitian Terrace 2.0 - Part 1

A few weeks ago, the net was buzzing with a news story that Disney released on their Parks Blog involving a makeover project at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. The existing swimming pool is getting a makeover, but more exciting, the large restaurant is also receiving a makeover and will be redesigned as a classic Polynesian Pop tiki establishment along the lines of the former Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland.

The current Hook’s Pointe restaurant that will be gutted and transformed into a tiki restaurant and bar.

Several website sites have versions of the story and follow up discussions, including:

DisneyParks Blog

Tiki Central

The Orange County Register

Mice Chat Blog

Tiki Talk Blog

OC Historical Blog

According to Disney’s blog, “Two new dining locations will be introduced in the current location of Hook’s Pointe, Croc’s Bites and Bits, the Wine Cellar and the Lost Bar. A new “smart casual” dining concept will feature Tahitian architecture that is reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s era of the hotel and the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland park.”

According to the story in the Orange County Register, “The overall design is meant to be an homage to the early Disneyland years and resurrect the original mid-century style of the hotel, which first opened in 1955 with two-story bungalows. The dining area next to the pools will be redone with Polynesian architecture, similar to the Tahitian Terrace restaurant that used to be inside Disneyland starting in 1962. Demolition is planned for buildings housing the Lost Bar, Croc’s Bits ‘n’ Bites, an arcade and shop. Hook’s Pointe Restaurant and Wine Cellar will be gutted. A fast, casual restaurant and enclosed bar with 1950s, retro Tiki looks will take their place, John Mauro said, development manager for Walt Disney Imagineering, who oversees hotel design.”

As part of the announcement, Disney released an aerial plan of the new project.

Here is a detail of the new Polynesian building. The footprint of the current 2-story restaurant, Hook’s Point upstairs and the Wine Cellar downstairs, will remain but will be gutted and both the interior and exterior will be redesigned.

The Disneyland Hotel will lose some long-time features: the Koi ponds, the waterfalls, the “Peter Pan” theme at the Never Land Pool area and existing water-side restaurants. The dining locations are set to be finished in the summer of 2011 and Disney is wasting no time. Last weekend while I was in Anaheim, I stopped by the site and saw workers were already starting to put up construction walls.

Workers erecting construction walls at the entrance to the waterfalls.

Disney was also in the process of draining the koi ponds….

….and removing the koi. The fish were being swept up and placed into the large coolers for transport.

I asked one of the staff who was collecting the koi what was happening to them. She told me they had been donated to the Huntington Library up in Pasadena and were being relocated to their beautiful themed gardens, including,

The Liu Fang Yuan Chinese garden at the Huntington….

…and the Japanese garden at the Huntington.

This will be a multi-part series with the next few installments looking at Disney’s tiki architecture and then exploring some of the concepts for the interior that I have been able to gather about the project.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Orange County Tiki Seminar - Wrap Up

Last week I traveled down to Southern California and spent a few days doing some tiki hunting. But the main reason I visited was to attend Chris Jepsen's seminar on the history of Orange County tiki. To summarize the evening in one word, it was fantastic. The tikiphiles who live in Southern California who did not attend really missed an excellent opportunity to learn about Polynesian Pop culture in their own backyard.

The event was hosted at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach.

The dinner and presentation was held in the Hidden Village, the large backroom for private parties and events. The event was attended by around 100 folks, including local tikiphiles and members of the Orange County Historical Society. Also in attendance were several experts on local history, tikis and pop culture, including; Phil Brigandi (former OC archivist), Charles Phoenix (Histotainer extrodinaire), Mark Davis (aka Richard Cheese), Jody Daily & Kevin Kidney (tiki artists and local experts) and Eric Lynxwiller (local historian and author of books about the history of Wilshire Blvd. and Knott's Berry Farm).

Chris covered a wide array of topics and had some great images from the OC archives. The show was divided into chapters, including:

-Historical Tiki
-American Tiki
-The Rise of Polynesian Pop Culture
-Orange County Tiki Temples
-Bringing Home Tiki
-Enchanted Tiki Homes
-Tiki Apartments (my favorite subject!)
-Tiki Trailer Parks
-Tiki: God of Fun
-Tiki Motels
-Death of Tiki
-Tiki Rediscovered

Chris giving his presentation

The level of research was apparent that Chris had spent putting together this show. Excellent job Chris!

While I was out in Southern California, I had the chance to track down and photograph some new apartment complexes, so keep an eye open for future posts.