There's a good chance 'Moana' will end up at Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland for good


Moana's Village Festival at Hong Kong Disneyland - PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY PARKS BLOG
  • Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
  • Moana's Village Festival at Hong Kong Disneyland
Earlier this year rumors were running wild regarding a major new addition of a Moana coaster in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. In the end, it looks like Disney decided to greenlight a TRON attraction instead.

With over $600 million in box office sales, Moana ranks among the top grossing, non-Pixar animated films of all time for Disney (not adjusted for inflation) and those numbers don’t include the millions in merchandise sales. There’s even talk of a live-action Moana sequel.

With the film being such a success it’s no surprise that Disney wants Moana to have more presence in its theme parks. A new Moana themed interactive stage show was announced for Hong Kong Disneyland in late 2016. Few details regarding the new Adventureland show were shared but concept art for it shows large props, interactive elements, and water effects all being featured.

After closing all Moana meet-and-greets at Walt Disney World earlier this year, a Moana meet-and-greet in Adventureland at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been one of the most popular aspects of the event with massive lines nearly every night.

Now it looks like Moana may end up at Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland permanently. On the WDWMagic forums, industry insider and popular user known as ‘marni1971’ is reporting that Disney is looking to update the aged and less than crowded Enchanted Tiki Room attraction with a Moana overlay.

This wouldn’t be the first time the iconic attraction has gotten an update. The Magic Kingdom opening day attraction received a major update in 1998 when Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King were added. The "Under New Management" version of the attraction, which featured the Gilbert Gottfried voiced Iago screaming over many of the classic Tiki Room songs and berating the audience for not leaving fast enough, was never really popular. It closed in 2011 after a fire damaged some of the animatronics. The Iago animatronic is rumored to have received the most damage.

With this animatronic beyond repair, Disney supposedly decided that the cheapest fix would be to return the attraction to its original state. A shortened version of the original show has been running at the Magic Kingdom since August 2011.

The Tiki Room usually has little to no wait. It has been one of the rumored locations of Magic Kingdom’s Club 33 but closing this attraction to replace it with a club for the one percenters would surely cause plenty of backlash for Disney.

The Moana update would likely include new animatronics since many of the current ones barely work. There would also likely be a mix of the Tiki Room songs and music from the Moana soundtrack. The soundtrack, which featured a song by The Rock and one by Jemaine Clement, peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and the Lin-Manuel Miranda written song "How Far I’ll Go" was nominated for Best Original Song at both the Golden Globes and Oscars.

Beyond the Moana rumors, other possibilities for the Tiki Room include transitioning it into a restaurant, which lines up with the rumors of at least one of the three dining rooms at Skipper Canteen being turned into a Club 33 space, and adding Stitch, who currently stars in the Tokyo Disneyland version of the show.

No word on when any possible updates may happen but, as with all Disney World updates, it’s likely these updates will occur before the 50th Anniversary in 2021.

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