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Disneyland Article
Converting The Closed Aladdins Oasis Into A Dining Spot

Bengal Barbecue
Orange County Register
Marla Jo Fisher
February 22, 2018
February 28, 2018
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Disneyland will put a new themed spot called "The Tropical Hideway" between the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, in a little used space that was formerly Aladdin's Oasis. Park officials are calling it a "dining location," adding that few details are available at this time, but it won't be a full-service restaurant. Continuing the park's tradition, it will not serve alcohol.

"This one-of-a-kind destination will be a popular rest stop for Adventureland locals and weary explorers alike," Disney said in a vaguely worded written release. "Guests will be able to rub elbows with their favorite skippers in an exotic traders' market, featuring all of the sights, sounds and flavors of the tropics."

The latest renovation of this spot seems to be returning it to the tropics. Observers have long wondered what Disneyland officials planned to eventually do with that Adventureland space, which opened in June 1962 as the Tahitian Terrace, which featured a Polynesian style meal and show.

A lunch menu from that era posted showed a "Polynesian combination platter" for $1.85, non-alcoholic Planter's punch for 50 cents and Hills Bros. coffee for 15 cents, among other offerings.

A three-story-high artificial tree dominates the outdoor dining area, and people eat under its spreading branches. According to Disney official archives, Walt Disney didn't think the tree was tall and impressive enough when it was built, so concrete was added to the base to enlarge it.

That restaurant, which shared a kitchen with the Enchanted Tiki Room, closed in 1993 and was replaced by Aladdin's Oasis, capitalizing on the huge hit of the Disney animated feature of the adventurer who woos the princess Jasmine.

This renovation is the latest to remove vestiges of the "Aladdin" movie from the Disney Anaheim parks, after the live musical show closed at Disney California Adventure in favor of "Frozen." Only a few remnants, such a miniature Agrabah in Storybook Land, remain.

Aladdin's Oasis, redesigned to include the "Cave of Wonders" from the film, offered vaguely Middle Eastern style food such as padadam wafers, shish kebobs, rice pilaf and and a show featuring music, singing, dancing and comedy by the movie characters, including the Genie.

In 1997, the show closed, and the space was converted to a storytelling space for kids, but was never hugely popular. Later, the space was used for special events and to serve take-out dinners for people wanting to view parades.

Most recently, the entire interior has been boarded off except for a disabled-accessible restroom.

Disney officials played coy with what they actually planned to do with the space, while releasing a conceptual drawing of the front entrance, saying only that it would be a "dining location," but not a full-on restaurant. Disneyland does not currently have any sit-down restaurants inside Adventureland, offering only the Bengal Barbecue fast food and Tiki Juice Bar for a quick bite.

With Disneyland being frequently overcrowded these days, it was only a matter of time before park officials found something else to do with that valuable piece of real estate, located just after the entrance to Adventureland on the left.

The Walt Disney World restaurant with jungle skipper attired servers is a fully-sit down venue that accepts reservations.

Longtime Disney fan and annual passholder Cheryl Gilbert of Bellflower said she loved going to the Tahitian Terrace, which occupied the space for around 30 years.

"They had pretty good food and a great floor show with Tahitian dancers. It was fun."

She remembered when a friend of hers who was a server at Disneyland was asked to fill in at the Tahitian Terrace.

"He was approached one night to substitute at Tahitian Terrace," Gilbert recalled. "He is Caucasian and blond. He said he would be happy to, but he didn't look the part. The Disney person said "That's why we have a makeup department.'"
Attractions Referenced

Aladdin's Oasis

Enchanted Tiki Room

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Restaurants Referenced

Bengal Barbecue

Tahitian Terrace

Tiki Juice Bar

Tropical Hideway

Lands Referenced


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