You may recall that when I visited Disneyland, I only made it to the patio of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. I’ve been determined to set this to rights ever since, so on my recent trip to Disney World, there was no way I was leaving without a stop at Sam’s Florida hangout, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, located inside the Polynesian Village Resort.
As I mentioned in my full recap post, I had some time to kill between hanging out with lovely ladies at the Magic Kingdom and that night’s fireworks show…the perfect amount of time to visit a tiki bar! I knew that Trader Sam’s had a reputation for getting crowded, so it was also ideal to go during this in-between “off” time.
If you don’t look closely, you may miss the entrance to the grotto! I almost walked right past it, even knowing it was just inside the door. Once I was inside, I understood the stories of ultra long lines: it’s very cozy inside. The bar was pretty full when I got there, but I was able to get a seat at a raised table in the middle of the room; a few minutes later, the rest of those seats filled up!
Trader Sam’s is an experience. It’s basically a mash-up of a bar and a show, and everyone has a part to play. Whether it’s watching the volcano erupt or shouting “TWO SHOTS OF RUM” along with the rest of the bar, I could definitely see spending a few hours here with a tiki crew, enjoying the drinks and joking with the skippers (aka bartenders).
Since I was there alone and needed to return to the park, I just had the one drink: The Polynesian Pearl, described as RumChata Cream Liqueur, Grand Marnier, and Cinnamon with Tropical Juices. Now…in all honesty, I didn’t really like my drink. However, I ordered based on mug, not actual description, so I’m sure one of the other options on the menu would have suited me much better. I very rarely like a significant amount of cinnamon in a drink…but I just had to have that pearl! (I had my fingers crossed that I’d be lucky enough to get a rare black pearl, rumored to appear 1 out of every 100 times, but no such luck. THIS TIME.)
I didn’t bother trying to take photos of the interior, knowing how poorly my camera performs in low light, but it’s so much fun inside! It really feels like stepping inside a dark, slightly wild part of Adventureland. There’s so much to take in, from the tentacles dangling down over the bar to the list of hastily scrawled “rules” (including “Keep the porthole closed at ALL times!!!” and “The grotto is not zoned for slap dancing”). Definitely a must-see for any tiki fans – I hope that next time I’m at the resort I can get a group together to really take it all in!
The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)
Food: N/A, did not eat