New Tiki Art at Disneyland’s WonderGround Gallery

On the heels of summer’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary product release, Disneyland has come out with even more tiki art in the past few months. The following items were all still available in the WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney as of this past weekend when we visited.

Hanging At Sam’s by Jerrod Maruyama

In my previous post about the gallery, I highlighted Jerrod Maruyama and his “Hipster Mickey” art. He’s since followed up with a few companion pieces to it, including “Hanging at Sam’s” featuring Hipster Mickey and the logo for Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar and the Disneyland Hotel. (I wish he was sipping from one of their signature tiki mugs!) This made its debut in October and there are poster prints for sale plus postcards, magnets and canvas prints.

Mickey's Enchanted Island by Daniel Samakow

Highlighted as part of July’s Pop Fusion exhibit, “Mickey’s Enchanted Tiki Island” by Daniel Samakow features a vibrant sunset beach scene with Mickey Mouse, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Tangaroa tree and several Moai. According to the Disney Parks Blog, there are 50 tikis total in the image. I’ll take their word for it.

Enchanted Tiki Room by El Gato Gomez

El Gato Gomez was recently profiled in Tiki magazine and I was pleased to see that her art has also been showcased here. I couldn’t help but pick up a print of her Enchanted Tiki Room painting (also available as a postcard), though it was difficult to decide considering she had also created beautiful depictions of the Haunted Mansion, Mad Tea Party and Space Mountain. (She has ordering information on her web site, if you’re interested.)

Mr. Toad's New Mania  by Chris Reccardi

While it’s not tiki-related, “Mr. Toad’s New Mania” from September’s Pop Fusion exhibit also caught my eye with its steampunk sensibility. I’ve been a fan of Chris Reccardi since discovering his work in Palm Springs at M Modern Gallery and The Riviera hotel.

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Recreation of Original 1963 Brochure for Enchanted Tiki Room
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Tiki Bar in “The Haunted Mansion” Movie


In the run-up to Halloween I love to buy pumpkin-flavored everything at Trader Joe’s and watch spooky movies at home. I’m a total wuss and refuse to watch anything legitimately scary, so I stick to family-friendly fare like “Mad Monster Party,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus.”


This year I hesitantly added Disney’s notorious “Haunted Mansion” movie from 2003 to our viewing list. (It was not nearly as well-received as their other theme-park-attraction-turned-film from that year: “Pirates of the Caribbean.”) At any rate, I’m 10 years late to the party of discovering that there’s a tiki bar scene!


Early in the movie, Eddie Murphy’s real estate agent character meets up with a couple at a tiki bar to sign the paperwork to sell their house. (If only we could have signed all the forms for our house at a tiki bar!)


The quirky couple drink out of Munktiki mugs and order a seemingly made-up tropical drink called Three Volcanoes. (If you’re trying to remember where you’ve seen that guy before, he was Kenny the hack comedian on “Seinfeld.”)


We listened to the DVD commentaries for this scene and learned that it was a reshoot designed to emphasize the workaholic nature of Eddy Murphy’s character. It sounded like the crew on a whim said, “Hey, let’s make it a tiki bar!” (Apparently the tiki bar set can now be found at the director’s house.)


If you look carefully you may be able to spot the three hitchhiking ghosts from later in the movie. They’re among the Hawaiian-shirted extras in this scene, according to the commentary.


It’s been pointed out that it was especially appropriate for there to be a tiki bar at the beginning of the film because at Disneyland you walk by The Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland before you get to the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

Haunted Mansion
© 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

“The Haunted Mansion” had its share of groanworthy gags and jokes, but it wasn’t the abomination it was made out to be. It’s probably worth watching once for the random tiki sighting, gorgeous mansion set and costume designs, and cameos by Wallace Shawn.

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Tiki at the LA County Fair: Part Five


Many people claim that Los Angeles has no seasons, so I suppose the L.A. County Fair is helpful in marking the end of summer. We cherish our annual traditions of riding the biggest Ferris Wheel (even though it’s sort of terrifying)…


…cooing at the cute baby farm animals…


…and eating ridiculous fried food. This year we tried the deep-fried Reese’s Peanut Butter Big Cup (pictured) and Chicken Charlie’s deep-fried cookie dough. Both were definitely winners in my book.


We scoped out the tablescaping contest in the arts and crafts building, too. Alas, there was no tiki-themed entry like last year, but I did enjoy this one for “It Happened One Night” that was set up as if the stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert had just stepped out for a moment.


New for this year were shows by Mermaid Melissa, a legit underwater performer who can hold her breath for five minutes. We were pretty underwhelmed by the size of the traveling tank — but how could we not be after seeing Marina the Fire-Eating Mermaid at the Wreck Bar earlier this summer? The kids (and one kinda creepy dude) seemed to enjoy it, though.


The highlight of this year’s fair was the giant exhibition Pencils 2 Pixels: The Art of Animation. There were displays for the biggies like Disney, Dreamworks and Sony Pictures Animation, but there was also representation of stop-motion animation (“Pirates! Band of Misfits”), Japanese anime and video game animation.


We’re pretty fond of cartoons around our house, if you hadn’t noticed by the frequent “Tiki on TV” posts I write. I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight when I spotted this animation cell from “Jem and The Holograms.”


Part of the exhibit was dedicated to a gift shop where I found this Disney art giclee of James Mulligan’s “Tiki Trouble” ($595), featuring Stitch and the tiki poles from inside The Enchanted Tiki Room.


There were cut-outs and set pieces where you could take a picture in the living room of “The Simpsons” and the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo.” Of course I had to pose with the Moai-inspired home of Squidward Tentacles from “Spongebob Squarepants.”


We wandered through a few of the other expo buildings with their in-person infomercials and among the vendors was a booth with all kinds of piñatas, including this tiki-ish one. That’s one way to take out your aggression for those Party City-style tikis! Though buying them would just encourage them to make more, so never mind.

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Tiki Sno Cones & Tablescaping at the LA County Fair
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Tons of Tikis at the LA County Fair