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Is Enchanted Tiki Room Scary for Sensitive Kids?

Are you planning a trip to Disney World and wondering if your highly sensitive, sensory sensitive or anxious kids will enjoy Enchanted Tiki Room? Or will they be scared and overwhelmed, resulting in meltdowns instead?

Hopefully you can find your answer here!

Get ready to read a thorough overview of one of Disney World’s shows—Enchanted Tiki Room.

Enchanted Tiki Room for Highly Sensitive Kids: a Show Review and Rating

There are lots of things that you experience at Disney World that could trigger a meltdown in sensitive kids. It could be sudden noises, how loud something is, being in the dark, being exposed to bright or flashing lights, how fast something is, or seeing “scary” visuals.

Sometimes, these seemingly “minor” things can result in sensory overload meltdowns. This is especially true when there is a barrage of overwhelming things to process throughout the entire day.

If you don’t like to read spoilers and it’s your first time going to Disney World, STOP reading now! 

The reason why I created these reviews and ratings in the first place is to make sure there are NO surprises. If your kids are anything like mine, they are probably not the biggest fan of surprises. 

We want you to feel fully prepared and aware of what you and your family are getting yourselves into.

But continue on if you’d like all the details about the Enchanted Tiki Room, and want to know whether or not it would be considered scary for your sensitive or anxious kids. 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Enchanted Tiki Room Show Info

Enchanted Tiki Room is found in the Adventureland section of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park, one of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks. It is a 10 minute Hawaiian-themed indoor musical show, featuring audio-animatronic birds! The show can be found right across from the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. This is also right next to Aloha Isle where you can find all your favorite Dole whip treats!

This show first debuted in Disneyland, over in California, on June 23, 1963. Magic Kingdom’s version of Enchanted Tiki Room was available for guests when the park first opened on October 1, 1971. There is a lot of nostalgia and appreciation that comes from this show because it was truly a Walt Disney original.

While the birds are the main feature, the show has a “cast” of over 150 audio-animatronics. This includes flowers, a magic fountain, tiki drummers, and tiki totem poles. The technology can appear dated to some. But at the time it was created, it was considered innovative and set the tone for other Disney audio-animatronics to come.

If you’re familiar at all with different theatre stage types, the one used for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room could be called theater-in-the-round or an arena stage. Essentially, this means the stage is in the center, and the audience surrounds the stage on all sides. This means there is really no “bad view” in the house! 

Because this is a show, there is obviously no height requirement. No matter your age, you can include all of your travel party on this attraction for your Magic Kingdom itinerary.

What to Expect for Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room is not one of the attractions open during Early Entry. It also does NOT have a Lightning Lane, which means the Genie+ service cannot be used here. There is only one queue/“waiting area”. There are NOT set show times, but you can expect to wait 12-15 minutes at most to wait for the previous show to end. This attraction is typically not crowded, so it’s a great filler experience.

While the show is completely indoors, the queue is in a covered open-air area. Here, a 4-minute preshow takes place. Two audio-animatronic birds will introduce themselves and welcome you to the Tiki Room, before the cast member ushers the guests into the theater.

Even though there is no height requirement, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be enjoyable for highly sensitive, sensory sensitive or anxious kids. Let’s get into the details and find out if this show will be too overwhelming or scary for your highly sensitive kids.

SUDDEN NOISES 4/5

Sensory sensitive kids can really struggle with sudden noises. Noise sensitivity can be a common trigger, especially when they come on suddenly or unexpectedly. And there is a plethora of sudden noises at Disney World. From the safety announcements to the special sound effects, it can feel like a lot.

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is no exception. There are definitely instances of sudden noises throughout the show. The various animal noises throughout could be jarring for some sensitive kids. But most notably, you will hear sudden thunder and lightning, and the sound of rain at the end of the section where they are singing the “Hawaiian War Chant”. This sudden crash of sounds also sends all the birds into a state of agitation. So they start cawing loudly as well. This is why this attraction has a 4 out of 5 rating for sudden noises.

NOISE LEVEL 5/5

I like to differentiate sudden noises and noise level. Noise level is more about the overall volume throughout the duration of an attraction. Disney World in general has a lot of auditory stimulation. It can be overwhelming for sensory sensitive kids if that volume level is cranked up real high.

The Enchanted Tiki Room gets a 5 out of 5 for noise level because it IS loud throughout the entire show. This is a show with a lot of singing, music, and bantering between the various animatronic birds. So while it’s not necessarily a lot of scary sounds, it is still noisy during the duration of the show. If noise level is a big trigger for your child, be prepared with some kind of noise protection—like headphones or ear plugs.

DARKNESS 4/5

Being in the dark can be scary for kids in general. But it can definitely be amplified in highly sensitive, sensory sensitive, or anxious ones.

The Enchanted Tiki Room is an indoor show, which does make the overall atmosphere fairly dark. There are brief moments when it goes completely dark, which is why it does get a rating of 4 out of 5 in this category. It also stays pretty dark throughout, though lighting effects and spotlights on the birds in the center of the room will lessen this. 

If any of your children have a hard time in the dark or in indoor attractions, I’d suggest sitting closer to the center of the room. There will be better lighting there.

BRIGHT & FLASHING LIGHTS 3/5

Do your kids ever complain about bright or flashing lights? Some highly sensitive kids may have difficulty tolerating sudden changes in lighting.

Enchanted Tiki Room DOES use lighting effects throughout the show. However, it is never excessively bright. The lighting is brighter during some parts of the show, but it’s not so sudden that it would bother sensitive eyes. There are some flashing lights during the section with the simulated thunderstorm, but it is pretty brief.

SPEED 0/5

An attraction’s speed level can be a deterrent for some sensitive kids. But no worries here! Enchanted Tiki Room is a show that doesn’t involve any moving seats or a moving stage.

DROPS 0/5

Similar to speed, the dropping feeling on Disney attractions could be too much for a child with a sensitive vestibular system. This is referring to the sensory system that maintains your sense of balance and movement in space.

But as already mentioned, Enchanted Tiki Room is a show that doesn’t involve any movement. So if you or your child hates drops, this attraction could be a good one to include in your park itinerary.

SCARY VISUALS 2/5

What is considered scary is subjective, and depends so much on each child. Something that is visually scary to one kid might be totally fine to another. Enchanted Tiki Room doesn’t have too much overtly scary visuals. There aren’t any clear villains or images of conflict or tension, which you may find on another attractions.

But, there are some things to be mindful of. If your child is scared of birds or animatronics in general, you will probably want to steer clear of this one. They are the stars of show! The tiki faces on the walls that start moving, chanting, and drumming could also be scary to some sensitive kids. And lastly, the visual of the thunderstorm on the “windows” surrounding the room could be scary to kids as well. 

PROXIMITY TO OTHERS 1/5

Being in crowded places and in close proximity to others can be overwhelming and overstimulating for highly sensitive or anxious kids. Whether it’s the feeling that they can’t escape OR all the sensory input that comes from being around a lot of people… it can quickly become too much.

While Enchanted Tiki Room is a show, it is definitely a less popular one, and it runs frequently throughout the day. This equals less crowds. We’ve done this show countless times and it has never felt like we were packed in there. The seats are bench-style with a back. So, this provides some separation between the rows in front of and behind you. And because these aren’t individual seats where cast members make you fill in all available spots, you can leave a little space between you and another travel party, if that helps your kids feel a little more comfortable. 

STRONG SMELLS 0/5

Disney makes their attractions, shows, and rides more immersive by appealing to ALL senses. Even smell! Strong smells are more likely to bother highly sensitive kids, including seemingly pleasant ones. It can even cause physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.

Luckily, there are no obvious smell effects during the Enchanted Tiki Room.

WETNESS 0/5

Some kids hate getting wet on Disney attractions, especially if it means getting wet UNEXPECTEDLY. It can totally contribute to sensory overload in highly sensitive or anxious kids when it comes to dealing with wet clothing or feeling caught off guard by the sensation of being wet.

While there is a waterfall during the pre-show of Enchanted Tiki Room AND a simulated thunderstorm during the show itself, there is no chance of actually getting wet. Phew. (And yes, getting splashed with water in a show is totally possible…)

TOTAL for Enchanted Tiki Room 19/50

How do we understand this rating? A LOWER score means LESS sensory overload. A HIGHER score means a GREATER likelihood of being overwhelmed or overstimulated. This can help with deciding which rides or attractions might trigger sensory overload meltdowns in our sensitive kids.

Positive Aspects of Enchanted Tiki Room

Enchanted Tiki Room is a show, so you won’t find those movement-related thrill factors that could cause overwhelm in your kids. If your child does not like speed or drops, this show (and most other Disney World shows) would be a great one to do! The beauty of Disney World is that there really is something for everyone. So even if you’re not a “ride person” when it comes to theme parks, there are a lot of shows and other immersive experiences that can add to the magic of your vacation.

Some sensitive kids do have an affinity for music or for how things work. So they could totally enjoy the songs throughout this show. Or carefully observe all the birds and other animatronics to see how they move. And it really is nice that this show is never overly crowded nor is there ever an extremely long wait for it. 

Potential Pain Points of Enchanted Tiki Room

However, if your child HATES being in the dark and loud noises, Enchanted Tiki Room could be a tough one. For those who are noise sensitive, definitely pull out those ear plugs or noise canceling headphones. Especially for the section when the music crescendos with chanting, drumming, singing, and ends with a big crash of the thunderstorm and birds cawing. This show is probably not a great choice if your child is scared by animatronics as well.

There is definitely a lot of potential for sensory overload while watching the Enchanted Tiki Room. But this has been a great filler attraction for our family, as long as we are prepared with the right supports and accommodations for the scarier parts. It’s a great way to get out of the Florida sun for a few minutes. And it has become our tradition to grab a Dole whip from next door either before or after the show!

What has YOUR experience been with the Enchanted Tiki Room? Do you or your kids love it or hate it? If you haven’t been to Disney World yet, will this show be on your list of must-dos at Magic Kingdom?

FIND COMMUNITY

If you need extra support and want to find community with other parents of highly sensitive or anxious kids going to Disney, I encourage you to join my Facebook group!

You can ask all your questions and get feedback from a wonderful group of Disney-loving parents who are also looking to better manage the meltdowns and maximize the magic during their Disney World vacation.

And follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to get updates on my latest content.

Lastly, don’t forget to download your FREE copy of my must-have Disney ride planner tool! Use it so you can easily keep track of which rides you want to avoid and which you want to try with your highly sensitive kids. It will make planning your park days SO much easier!

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