On this past trip to Disney, I got the chance to visit Trader Sam’s with a friend. We arrived from the Magical Express to Pop Century around 5, and then hopped a bus to the Magic Kingdom where we took the monorail over to the Polynesian. We checked in to Trader Sam’s around 6, when we were told it would be about a 45 minute wait.
This worked out perfectly, as we hadn’t eaten yet and decided to grab something at Captain Cook’s. We were just finishing up our food there when our buzzer went off. It had only been about 25 minutes, so shorter than they told us. We headed back over there and were let in.
Once you enter you can see that the space is really quite small and intimate. You aren’t seated and are instead left to wander until you find a place to eat – there are several tables around the place, as well as stools at the bar. There actually weren’t any seats together when we walked in, but a nice couple that was just paying offered us their table. Be warned that pictures aren’t too great as no flash photography is allowed inside Trader Sam’s.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of Trader Sam’s, it’s kind of a cross between a tiki room/nautical theme. They have specialty drinks that go with the theme, and some of the specialty drinks come in souvenir cups. They also trigger special “effects” around the room. For example, the Krakatoa Punch makes a volcano in the window erupt. We got to see all of the effects during our time there except for the Nautilus – apparently no one wanted to order a drink that was over $50!
Because at this point Trader Sam’s was still in soft opening, they didn’t have souvenir cups available to take home for all of the drinks. They were missing the Krakatoa, Nautilus, and Shrunken Zombie Head. Now that it’s officially open I’m hoping they will have all of them available, because I think it would be fun to try and collect all of the glasses!
We were soon greeted by our server, Kory, who turned out to be the husband of one of my DisBride and runner friends, Andrea from over at Once Upon a Run! We chatted with him for a little while – he was very friendly and funny. It seemed like he was having a ton of fun at his job and that made the experience even better for us. All of the cast members at Trader Sam’s just seemed to be having a great time.
I ended up ordering the hippopotomai tai, which did come with a souvenir glass. It was really good. My friend got the Shrunken Zombie Head, which he adored. He’s desperate to find the recipe to make more at home! We relaxed with our drinks and just took in all of the surroundings.
We only got one drink each since they are a bit pricey and we were tired from a long day of travel. I wish we could have stayed a little longer, but I know that I will definitely be back! The waits might be long but it’s worth waiting to try at least once.
Will you be checking out Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto? Have you experienced the one in Disneyland yet?