Tiki in Toy Story 3 & California Adventure

Animation building at California Adventure

Disneyland’s California Adventure is somewhat lacking in places to quickly escape the SoCal heat (granted, you may not be all that concerned with that since it’s November and all, but bear with me here).

Little Mermaid on the screen in the Animation Academy

However, the inside of the Animation building on the “backlot” is an air-conditioned oasis that’s also never crowded! It’s very relaxing to sit back and watch the giant screens change as they showcase the art and music from various Disney films.

Toy Story Zoetrope

On display in one of the adjoining rooms is a 3D zoetrope, where these Toy Story figures are spun around and then suddenly appear to be moving fluidly when the strobe light is activated. It’s a pretty cool optical illusion.

Easter Island Moai in Toy Story 3

Behind this is a mock-up of Andy’s room from the movie, and among the car and rock band posters tacked up on the wall is this image of the Easter Island Moai. Because that’s what every teenage boy has up in their room, right? 😉

Toy Story tiki mugs

The director, Lee Unkrich, is into tiki, and one of the crew’s gifts were these Toy Story-inspired tiki mugs with Buzz on one side and a Moai-esque Woody on the other. (Image is from Scottiki, though I first heard about these on Tiki Talk).

Ferris wheel at California Adventure


Tiki in the Wilds of Minnesota

Minnesoda Ice Cream Fountain vintage sign

I love vintage signs, and I love puns, so of course I adored this Minnesoda Ice Cream Fountain we stumbled upon over the summer on our trip to the lake. (I caught a fish, remember?)

Old Liberty Shoppe in Park Rapids, Minnesota

The Main Street of Park Rapids (four hours or so north of Minneapolis) has a bunch of neat, old-school marquees like that, but it was the retro window dressing that drew me in to the Old Liberty Shoppe.

Dream cabin in the woods

The bottom floor was decorated with classic Americana (patriotic bunting, and everything), while upstairs was furnished like your dream rustic cabin in the woods.

Retro metal signs

And so this was one of the last places I expected to find something tiki, but among the usual ribald, retro-style signs, I found this! (Thankfully this wasn’t the only tiki to be found in Minnesota, more to come.)

The Tiki Hut sign

Disneyland’s 55th Anniversary Art from Kevin Kidney & Jody Daily

A day at Disneyland is not complete for me without a visit to the Disney Gallery, and its new-ish, larger location at the end (beginning?) of Main Street makes it easy to drop in on your way out of the park.

Just adjacent is the Opera House lobby, where you can admire this incredible piece of Disney history. The plaque says that this is the park bench (from Griffith Park’s merry-go-round) where Walt Disney dreamed up the idea of Disneyland. I can also attest that that circa-1926 carousel is a magical place, indeed.

And on the topic of Disneyland’s origins, artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily have been designing a slew of things to celebrate the park’s 55th anniversary, such as this “Disneyland ’55 Paper-Sculpture-O-Rama” (much better pic at their link).

On these wrapped canvas giclées, it’s easier to see how each of the main themed areas are represented with symbols of attractions from when Disneyland opened in 1955. Some are long gone, but there’s still the Jungle Cruise, Tea Cups and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a favorite of Mr. Baseball).

On this closer shot of the Adventureland one, you can see a Marquesan tiki next to the Jungle Cruise boat. You’re thinking The Enchanted Tiki Room, right? Wrong! (It didn’t open until 1963.) In Daveland’s collection of vintage Disneyland photos, you can spot this tiki propped up between two benches. (FYI, the store also had prints of the individual lands for about $30, though the stack I sifted through only had Frontierland.)

The Disney Gallery space used to be the Bank of Main Street, and the vault has been housing a couple of Shag’s original paintings from the Haunted Mansion anniversary. How neat! (And prudent, too, considering I think they’re priced at about ten grand each.)