Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mai Kai themed housing - Boca Raton, Florida

If you have ever visited the Mai Kai down in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and thought to yourself “I want to live in this tropical tiki temple!”, you could have had the chance.

In 1969 a residential development called Sandlefoot Cove hosted its Grand Opening, located just 17 miles north of the Mai Kai restaurant, near the City of Boca Raton. Here is a story that ran in the Fort Lauderdale News on September 27, 1969.

The adventure and glamour of Ft. Lauderdale’s celebrated Mai Kai restaurant has come to the new mobile home community of Sandlefoot Cove. But it comes in a wholly unexpected and surprising way, in the form of a new 24 by 57 foot mobile home named Mai Kai. The first mobile home ever designed to capture sub tropical living. The Princess Homes, Inc. model represents a blending of all the light and openness associated with Florida life, plus the allure of faraway Polynesia.”

Sandlefoot Cove will include two championship golf courses. The Mai Kai home design, represented at Sandlefoot Cove by Brownstone Trailer Sales, features a floor plan consisting of two bedrooms, two baths, living room, kitchen and a ‘lanai’ dining area. Design of the home and it’s decorations borrow heavily from the charm of Polynesia – rain cape thatch, basket weave matting, shag carpet, bamboo moldings, sculptured shell basins and rattan furniture.”

Living Room of the Mai Kai features a Polynesian atmosphere, as modeled by two the of the Mai Kai Maidens

A bamboo matted headboard, drapes reminiscent of Tahiti and a Tonga pictorial pattern in the adjacent bath set the theme in the master bedroom. A second bedroom also pictures a South Pacific setting of ease.

A Hawaiian mural extends from tub to ceiling in the center bath. Against a Samoan flower wall, a specially sculptured shell basin adds a further Polynesian flavor.”

In the living room, rattan furniture melds into a grass matted feature wall and light driftwood paneling.

Builder of the new Mai Kai residence is Princess Homes Inc.., of Pompano Beach, a subsidiary of Zimmer Homes Corp., which has been in the housing industry for over 35 years.”

Color photos were taken from the Z Annual Report, located in the Mai Kai archives

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Going to Hukilau!

Aloha Friends! I'm heading to the airport to spend the next 5 days in the Florida sunshine enjoying The Hukilau and the Mai Kai. I'll be back next week.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trader Sam's, Disney's new tiki bar now open

Back in June 2010, I posted a six part series about the new tiki project at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. A few weeks ago the restaurant (Tangaroa Terrace) and bar (Trader Sam's) opened to the public. The new bar is getting great reviews (read them here , here, and here) and I look forward to visiting next time I'm in Southern California.

The building that houses the Tangaroa Terrace was built in 1970 as part of the new Marina expansion at the hotel and has seen a lot of changes over the last 40+ years, let's take a look.

A 1968 rendering for the new Marina and Marina Tower, including the Shipyard Inn Restaurant (pictured in the middle, later to become Hook's Pointe and then Tangaroa Terrace)

The new Marina and Shipyard Inn

Shipyard Inn on the Marina

In 1979, major changes happend around the Marina and Seaports of the Pacific was opened. The new area included more restaurants and an International Shopping Bazaar filled with imports from Hong Kong, Australia, Mexico and Tahiti.

Seaports of the Pacific, 1982

As part of the opening of the new Seaports of the Pacific, the Disneyland Hotel also opened Water Wonderland which included Horseshoe Falls, the Dancing Waters fountain show, Papeete Beach and a Polynesian themed musical revue called Pacific Terrific!

The free nightly Polynesian revue began with lighting the torches around the Marina

Then the show would begin and an outrigger canoe was paddled out into the middle of the Marina with guests along the rails to watch the show.

You can see the canoe moving into position in the center of the port

On board the outrigger, several Hawaiian dancers would perform a show for the guests.

I vividly remember standing along the rail as a kid watching this show and the fire dancer doing his thing out in the canoe

Another shot of the outrigger canoe in the Marina

For those who didn't know, the Disneyland Hotel had Polynesian themeing 30+ years before Tangaroa Terrace opened!

Fast forward to 2010 and Walt Disney Imagineering prepares to transform the old Shipyard Inn/Hook's Pointe into the Tangaroa Terrace.

The roofline is inspired by the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Village at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Great Ceremonial House at WDW

In the late 1990's the Marina was drained and filled in and the area was rethemed to Peter Pan, including changing the Shipyard Inn into Hook's Ponite.

Tangaroa Terrace Before & After

Click to enlarge

Trader Sam's Before & After

Click to enlarge

WDI concept art for the interior of Trader Sam's

Completed interior of Trader Sam's. I love the details including the tiki poles from the Enchanted Tiki Room and the crate hanging from the ceiling with the arrow shot into it.

For your listening pleasure, A fan inspired soundtrack for Trader Sam's (created by graphic designer Richard Terpstra).

SIDE NOTE OF INTEREST: Richard has also just created this great T-shirt inspired by the Dole Whip treat found at the Enchanted Tiki Room.

You can purchase the Tiki Pineapple Whip Tee here.

Various image credits for today's post: The Magical Hotel and Meet the World