Guests are counting the days until the official opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian Village Resort. I know I can’t wait to visit on my upcoming trip! While we wait, let’s take a closer look at Trader Sam’s west coast location: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
At the Disneyland Resort, Trader Sam’s is a free-standing building located near the Disneyland Hotel pool. The building is small, but surrounded by a two-tiered patio where guests can indulge in a libation and enjoy live Polynesian music. The patio also features a fireplace for cool California evenings.
My family visited Trader Sam’s after a long day at Disney’s California Adventure Park. First of all, the building looks amazing at night: tiki torches ring the building and cast a warm, welcoming glow. We had our 2-year-old son in tow and were looking to eat dinner. Luckily, we were able to snag a seat inside the dimly lit bar at about 7:15PM. (Trader Sam’s is 21 and over only after 8PM).
DIStracted Tip: The bar itself is very small and has a capacity of 47. Make a point to get there early or be ready for a wait!
The minute we stepped inside, I knew we were in for a treat. This place is dripping with artifacts and trinkets from Trader Sam’s travels, many of which pay homage to other Disney attractions including the Jungle Cruise, Typhoon Lagoon, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Indiana Jones Adventure, Sunshine Tree Terrace, and the Adventurers Club (RIP). One of my favorite touches was the fake window looking out at a serene beach scene. Every few minutes, conditions in the window and in the bar take a dramatic turn: the sky and room gets dark, thunder claps and the volcano erupts spewing lava down towards the beach.
DIStracted Tip: Be forewarned, there are many loud noises and special effects that may frighten small children. Hop on YouTube and get a preview to make sure your family members won’t lose their heads! You know Trader Sam is always looking to add to his collection.
The food menu features an array of Polynesian inspired food including a pork sandwich, kalua pork flatbread, shrimp tacos and pu pu platter. We enjoyed the pork sandwich and kalua pork flatbread during our visit and found both meals tasty and satisfying.
Of course, one of the highlights of our visit to Trader Sam’s was the cast members. Our waiter was fantastic, taking the time to cater to our son, even giving him a glowing ice cube just before we left. Beyond the great service, the cast members really get in on the action at Trader Sam’s. One of more notable events experienced at the bar is the ceremony surrounding the Uh-Oa. This drink for two includes light and dark rums, orange, passion fruit, guava, pineapple, grapefruit juices, falernum, cinnamon and fresh lime juice. After the bartender mixes the drink, it is promptly lit on fire. Additional cinnamon is sprinkled on the drink for added sparkle while chanting “Uh-Oa, Uh-Oa, Uh-oa-oa-oa!” What a show! We are not big drinkers, so we passed on the alcoholic offerings. Rest assured, Trader Sam’s will not disappoint if you’re looking for specialty mixed drinks. Be sure to read over the menu for some cleverly named concoctions.