Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

Tiki in Orlando

Pages: 1 14 replies

I am going to be by the Disney/Universal area late December/early January. Does anybody know of some good Tiki places around there?

[ Edited by: TikiManiac on 2002-11-19 15:37 ]

The Polynesian Hotel At Walt Disney World. There's a tiki bar/resturant called Ohaha there that has some huge Tikis in it. The rest of the grounds don't really feature any other Tikis (or am I mistaken?), but it is a great hotel done in that 50s/60s Hawaiian Hotel style.


[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore on 2002-11-19 19:24 ]

Besides the Ohana bar & restaurant, there's an enchanted tiki room (or so I am told) in the Magic Kingdom. The Polynesian Resort also has a luau, as does Sea World. Also, check out Tiki Golf northeast of Sand Lake Road on International Drive.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-11-19 18:43 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-11-19 18:44 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff on 2002-11-19 18:45 ]

Mr. Tiki Maniac

You absolutely must go to the Polynesian resort at Disney. Geoff is right, the tiki carvings are restricted to the O'hana restaurant, but the decor of the entire hotel is to die for, and the grounds are chock-full of atmosphere and tropical gardens galore. Go at dusk to be able to see the landscaping, and at the same time all the tiki torches will be lit along the pathways. It's very romantic if you have someone to share it with. There are also several hammocks on the lagoon.


Is this Tiki Shack called "The Big Bamboo" (or something like that) still there? When I was in Orlando in the late 90s I was amazed to find this one authentic ramshackle joint, in a place that mainly seems to exist out of clean modern amusement parks, theme restaurants and malls. It's like Vegas, build it and they will come. Disneyworld was built, and theme park-landia developed around it.

Anyway, the Big Bamboo seemed like the only REAL place left, set back from the road, it looked like a junkyard, with an old army ambulance parked by the delapidated sign, it's corrugated walls, and local clientele.
It was actually started by a honest to god Pacific war veteran,and it's house drink (The Big Bamboo) was served in jars, AND they had two little original Barney West Tikis standing around.

There are quite a few tikis around the Polynesian resort. Most of them are replicas of the original plaster tikis found in the Enchanted Tiki Room Lanai at Disneyland. You can see Maui, Pele, Ngendi, Koro, and a few others. Oceanic Arts did a lot of carvings for Disney at the hotel.

Here is a pretty good website on the Polynesian hotel: http://tikiman2001.homestead.com/

This page in particular has 2 tiki pics. One is a copy of Pele from Disneyland. http://tikiman2001.homestead.com/poly12.html


And of course the hotel is loaded with trash cans, like the one in my sig. I got one of those!!

[ Edited by: Maui_Matt on 2002-11-19 23:51 ]

I'm a lurker on Tiki Central- but happen to be in O-Town and freqent the Tambu Lounge at the Poly on a regular basis and occasionally to the Big Bamboo.

As Matt said, there are a lot of Tikis around the resort. The tikis that are in the courtyard of Disneyland's Tiki Room are primarily around the "quiet" pool. Once you go through the main building (this is the one with the monorail station and check in), the "quiet" pool is towards the right. Immediately when you exit, you will see their main pool-- it is a giant volcanoe w/ slide.

Next to the Main Pool, is the pool bar. They have some Boskos in there, an Oceanic Arts Easter Island Paddle, and a few other masks.

The O'Hana and Kona Cafe restaurants both have a lot of decor (Kona is mostly on the walls- the O'Hana tikis are primarily in the bar area next to the restaurant entrance).

There are some often missed tikis here too. Back around where the quiet pool is located is a large "convention" bldg (large for 1971). I think that this is called the "Tangaroa Terrace", but I'm not 100%. The resort arcade is located back here too. There are some very large tikis on the walls and along the roof of the outside.

Also when standing in the back of the main lobby facing the main pool, there are 2 large stairwells to the 2nd floor. Underneath the stairwell on the right is 4 or 5 large tikis.

The Big Bamboo really isn't a tiki bar in the sense that everyone thinks. It has a tiki feeling to it and has tikis in it (and probably started off as a tiki bar), but over time it has gathered a lot of other "urban archeological" finds as well. There is a website-- bigbamboolounge.com (I have a pic in the "Photos -> Occasional Visitors" section "Rich, Steven 'last night of freedom' and Chris"-- this was taken the night before my buddy Steven's wedding).

The Universal Resort opened a hotel called the "Royal Pacific" or something to that effect. When I went exploring there, I couldn't locate any tikis. Lots of Asian styled decor, but nothing from Polynesia.

Enjoy your trip!

Thanks for the info on the Big Bamboo website, Chris, I like their house drink recipe link..:)
Seems that the Orlando Sentinel feels about it just like I did when I found it:

"It might be the best dive in the world. You could spend a year in the place and never see all of the trinkets and mementos pilfered or borrowed from jobs and relocated to the 'Boo for d├ęcor. It's more than an Orlando treasure. It's an American treasure.

It should never be torn down, not for a gas station, not for some other gaudy tourist trap in Tackytown -- it's on that strip of West U.S. Highway 192 that makes a Florida native queasier than the Vomitron ride at the local theme park.

But something has to be done to keep the place open or it will be sold off. Late 'Boo founder Bruce Muir, who died in 1999, willed the place remain open for four years before being sold. That just doesn't jibe for a lot of folks who consider the place an oasis of reality in a cartoon kingdom.

The 'Boo is at 4849 W. U.S. Highway 192. Look for the darkest lot just east of the corner of 192 and State Road 535."

You're right, by now it is more of a dive than a Tiki Bar. I am wondering if those Barney West Tikis are still there. The fact that they are small and not attached anywhere made them prime subjects for rip off. I was tempted, but off course adhered diligently to my own edict against "field collecting" from the BOT page 186...

next time I'm over there, I'll grab some pics. I don't have my digital camera with me today or I'd do it right after work (it's been one of those days when a Big Bamboo drink would be needed).

I'm sure they are still there- one was at the end of the bar on my last visit.


DEFINITELY the Polynesian! And the Tiki Room is a definite must...seeing as it's an updated version which can only be seen at WDW! The Big Bamboo is not on my priority list as far as places to recommend, since it looks a little filthy...and there have been rumors that it will be closing....but not too sure about how true that is.

Tiki Island golf is also a fun place, as a matter of fact, they are building one next to my apartment complex near Downtown Disney! I am all shades of excited to have a volcanoe in my back yard! :)

If I find more things to reccomend, I will let you know!

The Big Bamboo is not on my priority list as far as places to recommend, since it looks a little filthy...and there have been rumors that it will be closing....

The rumors of it closing would make me want to visit even more! Another tiki establishment being bulldozed...what a shame.

Is this the thing that is going up on 535 in the former location of the "Supermarket" supermarket (the one that catered to the Vistana visitors) that mysteriously burned down?
I figured it was a volcano, but wasn't 100%.

Aloha! I have some new pictures up in my yahoo briefcase. They start out with Don Rickles and end with Disney's Polynesian Resort. http://briefcase.yahoo.com/weirduncletiki

-Weird Unc

Rain posted on Thu, Nov 28, 2002 11:29 PM

depending on how far you want to drive, wayne coombs' place is within an hour or so of orlando in cocoa beach. i hear tell that there are several places of tiki not in daytona, but the Muggler would be the guy to ask about those.

Yeah, that's it! The thing IS a volcanoe...they just started doing the "rock" work last week. Seems that the operations building for the "attraction" is being built right behind it with a pseudo-polynesian style roofline. It will be very interesting to see what comes of this. Hopefully I will be able to see it completed...I was just informed by my room-mate that we aren't renewing in Feb. and I have to find a place to put the "Enchanted Tiki Bedroom". :(

You all can see pics of the room (although not impressive) at my site. http://www.tikitackett.com. Click "Tiki Village" and then select the "Polynesian Pavilion".


Pages: 1 14 replies