Unofficial damage assessments of the fire "in the attic" that hit Walt Disney World's Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management have been trickling out during the week and things do not look as rosy as hoped, or are even better, depending on your view of the 1990s update to the 1971 show.
Unofficial sources told The Disney Blog that the main Iago figure has been damaged beyond repair and that the Birdmobile and Zazu figures have suffered extensive water damage.
There have still been no reports, official or unofficial, of what initially started the fire.
What we know for sure is this: the attraction has been shut down indefinitely. A cast member is posted out front of the entrance to hand out artificial leis to kids. The pre-show waterfall and fire effects are turned off. Scaffolding inside is visible through an exit door, which is being propped open to help get the moisture and smoke odors out.
Bloggers have taken this incident to be a call-to-arms to update or restore the attraction to celebrate WDW's 40th Anniversary (Progress City, U.S.A. for one) and everyone seems to agree that there are three possible scenarios for the attraction's future.
1. Bring back The Tropical Serenade as part of WDW's 40th Celebration
Disneyland's recent rehab of their 1963-vintage Tiki Room has been a big success. The turnstiles are clicking and buzz about the project has been extremely positive. WDW's Tropical Serenade (the original name of the Florida show) was the ultimate version of The TIki Room when it opened, with a larger show building, comfortable benches, and real rain outside the windows, which opened up onto a tropical landscape and ocean view complete with an erupting volcano.
Disneyland took seven months to refurbish its Tiki Room with full support of management and everything old, but intact. WDW's 40th is now less than 10 months away and the facility and show has suffered water damage. The Enchanted Fountain? Probably either destroyed or sold off to a collector. A new Birdmobile? Anyone seen the moulds since Tokyo Disneyland's construction? Is it possible to transfer the old show's programming off of the vintage 35mm film system into the new digital system? And does Walt Disney World's management see any value in restoring the old show without the nostalgic fan base its California cousin enjoys?
2. Fix the Under New Management show
This would be the cheapest and fastest route. The old Iago and Zazu figures were apparently outsourced from another manufacturer; so order two more, clean up the Birdmobile, and get back to business.
3. Put in an English-language version of Tokyo's Stitch-infused show
The dreaded Under New Management would be gone and Adventureland would get a fresh new attraction for the 40th. This option would probably be the most likely if it weren't for one thing: Stitch Encounter. How much Stitch does one park need? The AA figures are either duplicates or cousins of each other, so to an extent the guest would seeing the same show element twice. In a normal world, this wouldn't look like a likely option, but then again, we are talking about a park that has 3 Dumbo-style rides and is about to add another.
For some reason, no one has mentioned the 4th, and most likely scenario...
4) It just stays closed
What's left of the attraction sits shuttered behind closed doors for 10 years until it's finally converted into a gift shop or meet-and-greet area. Don't think this is a possibility? Remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? The Wonders of Life? The Adventureland Veranda? The Skyway?
The pessimist in me is betting on option 4. I hope I'm wrong.
UPDATE: Some hopeful news has been announced. Check it out here.