Updated: Sep 25, 2022
I've got a bit of a history with Tropical Hideway (née Aladdin's Oasis, née Tahitian Terrace) all the way back to *cough 1989. For this post I will focus less on its history but more on its spiritual inspiration (one of many) for All Streets Gourmand.
Hideaway opened in 2018, having taken over for an iteration of Aladdin's Oasis that was less a food location and more of a storytelling experience. It's apparent, knowing the various iterations over the years so intimately, that Hideway was meant to be a food service location with maximized seating and an easy, grab-and-go model. They tucked the food and point-of-sale as far to the east of the space as possible, then maximized the seating area almost all the way to the off-loading area of Jungle Cruise. A nice touch to all of this is the expansive opening, beset by a multitude of torches, beckoning a traveler's feel and a splash of mystery.
As you understand its menu, it's likewise apparent it was meant to be a space to get and enjoy Dole Whip, where the sitting location, basically a hut wedged in the entryway to Adventureland, doesn't cut it, especially with capacity of visitors at the Park today.
What was exciting about its inclusion in the Park, is its practical successor to two locations, the aforementioned Dole Whip stand, and, the success of Bengal Barbecue. Hideaway, then, offers two menus - one for Dole Whip options and the other for traditional Asian-inspired street bites. It is the latter that I am appreciating more - the Park definitely needed some traditional Asian dishes, as there was not many, and its additive to Bengal Barbecue - Hideaway offering eggrolls (lumpia) and steamed buns (bao).
Street food has always demanded respect. It is the best of street food that drives our menus, no matter what permutation or elevation they take. Having Disneyland adopt skewers (albeit more from a traditional barbecue stand-point) along with lumpia and bao is exciting for the Asian Pacific Islander community - seeing their traditional foods as a staple is, put simply, great.
Likewise interesting for Hideaway was that the food experience itself was unencumbered. Like a street food experience, it's grab and go. You can eat at location, or, because of how the food is packaged - simply open faced containers or paper bags - you can eat it on the go.
From a very practical food service viewpoint - it was intringuing that Disneyland adopt this approach. Of course, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense today - but the evolution of service in theme parks, coupled with the innovation that is street food will eventually look commonplace. But remember how far its come!
Current Tangaroa Terrace Menu - profile coming in the future