I was looking at an old MK guidemap (1988) and there really wasn't anything in that area at all. A kiosk called Bwana Bob's stood kind of out where the walk down to the Jungle Cruise starts now, and it *looks* like it was open all the way down to the buildings at the dock. I think the tikis stood next to Bwana Bob's and didn't spit.
Otherwise, they may have redesigned the fronts of the shops a little, but the space was there.
The area had a tropical theme throughout, with traces of the British and Spanish colonial empires evident in the architecture.