The year is still very young and you’re probably still trying to figure out exciting locations you can visit before the year runs out.
As usual, I’m always looking for all the cool spots for you to visit on your Disney trip!
There’s a long list of exciting places you can visit under the Disney name and featured in our list is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando, Florida.
If the name sounds unique and mysterious, it actually is!
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What is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto?
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a tiki bar that has a lot of adventure in store for you. Sam’s Grog Grotto serves outstanding food, drinks, gift items, and immersive entertainment theming to make you visit spectacular.
Many people make this bar top priority on their trip because you never know what to expect from it.
Everything about this secretive lounge and even their mugs is masked in adventurous and shadowy mystery!
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Disney for Adults
I hope that by now, you know that not everything Disney is just for kids. Yeah, kids love having fun there, but a lot of grownups love having fun and doing Disney their own way too!
Gone are the days when Disney resorts satisfied kids more making some adults want the same excitement (you don’t have to admit it).
Disney decided to introduce more places appropriate for adults. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is one of those places.
Read: Is Disney’s Magic Kingdom for adults?
As usual, I want to prepare you for the awesomeness you will experience when you visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (and also so that you won’t be that person who asks too many questions).
We’ve prepared a list of possible questions you might have concerning Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and a brief history on this wonderful place.
Let’s get started!
History of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a bar & lounge at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort that opened in 2015.
Don’t worry, it was founded by the man, the myth, the legend, Trader Sam!
The Disneyland Resort’s original, “Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar”, opened as a result of Sam’s expertise with head-shrinking potions growing into a passion for mixology.
Trader Sam is said to love sailing and it was on one of his expeditions that he discovered the perfect location for Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has become a must-see spot in the Polynesian Village Resort even though it’s not very obvious.
It’s always referred to as the “hole in the wall” because it’s quite small.
However, as soon as Disney fans discovered just how interesting it is, they have started putting it on their Disney bucket list for their next visit!
What’s So Great About This Tiki Bar?
First of all, before your mind is blown with all the things you can enjoy at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, is the backstory, drink offerings, and overall atmosphere of this tiki bar.
Secondly, Sam’s is so unique and exciting. There’s always a surprise waiting for you to experience in the grotto.
Let’s start with the cool diving relics or the tiki mugs or even the artifacts Trader Sam picked from his sea adventures.
Everything about the place feels mysterious and fun and has so much detail to it. Even while you’re waiting for your order, you can move around and look at the interesting items placed around the bar.
When you take one look at these items, you can tell there’s a story behind it.
Guess what else makes this tiki bar so great? The food and drinks do!
They serve special cuisines here and cocktails that bring you back. If you were thinking they serve you the drinks in boring glasses, then you’re wrong.
They don’t just serve their special cocktails in customized mugs; the servers also tell the stories about the special cocktails.
There’s also a special drink presentation to the “gods” from time to time.
This should be on your must-see list this year because, it’s amazing and thumbs up to Disney for this place.
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What’s the Atmosphere Like?
The atmosphere at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is cozy and it has a Fiji vibe to it.
Just imagine you’re on a tropical with comfortable chairs, no bugs, great ‘food, and tantalizing cocktails; yeah that pretty much sums it up!
It has a nautical theme and everything about the decoration and artifacts just makes you feel comfortable and super excited. It’s not quiet or gloomy; instead, it’s loud and fun.
Not sure if that’s what you are look for when coming to Disney World, but it does add a bit of adult flare to your vacation.
To add to this, the servers make sure you have a great time, giving you a unique Disney experience.
What This Talk About Hidden Gems?
The Hidden Gems at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto might not make you super rich when you find them but they’re sure to keep you anticipating.
As mentioned earlier, this tiki bar has so many interesting items to gaze at and wonder about the story behind them.
To add more excitement, there are hidden gems in the bar and if you’re interested (you should be) you can discover some treasures of your own.
If you come with your family or close friends, searching them out will be so much fun!
8 Fun Facts About Trader Sam’s
- Inspired by the 1950s, 1960s tiki bar boom and culture
- Based on the Jungle Cruise head salesman, Trader Sam
- First opened in Disneyland
- Pays tribute to the Tiki Room attraction
- Sometimes described as a combination of Adventure’s Club + Jungle Cruise + Tiki Room
- Barstools go up and down with certain drinks
- The Cast Members have to memorize pages of notes to give you a vivid description of each drink
- Look for the massive squid arm near the bar when the Nautilus drink is ordered (a tribute to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
Read: 31 Amazing Hidden Magic Kingdom Secrets
What’s on the Menu at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto?
We have to talk about the cocktails first because they’re totally amazing. They make cocktails that suit you.
Depending on your choice, the drinks have the right amount of kick to it.
Their special cocktails include the Polynesian Pearl, Nautilus, Uh-Oa (a must-try!), and so on.
With these special cocktails comes with intriguing stories that’ll make you anticipate what next!
As the cocktail is being served, the place becomes a miniature theater; whether it’s the sound of thunder, the eruption of a volcano, they make it an enjoyable experience.
Trader Sam’s Drink Menu
- Polynesian Pearl: RumChata Cream Liqueur, Grand Marnier, and Cinnamon with Tropical Juices. The Pearl is yours to keep!
- Nautilus: Barbancourt Pango Rhum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Combier Crème de Pêche de Vigne Liqueur, Tropical Juices, and Falernum. Available with a Souvenir Mug 58
- Uh-Oa: Plantation Original Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Orange, Passion Fruit, Guava, Pineapple, and Grapefruit Juices, Falernum, Cinnamon, and fresh Lime Juice. Available in a Souvenir Mug 43
- Spiced Island: Knob Creek Disney Select Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Orgeat (Almond), and Pineapple Juice
- Rosita’s Margarita: Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Bols Orange Curaçao, fresh Lime Juice, Falernum, and Organic Agave Nectar
- HippopotoMai-Tai: Plantation Original Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curaçao, Orgeat (Almond), Organic Agave Nectar, and fresh Lime Juice. Available in a Souvenir Mug 23
- Krakatoa Punch: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Orgeat (Almond), Sam’s Gorilla Grog, and Hibiscus Grenadine. Available in a Souvenir Mug 25
- Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum: Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Cream of Coconut, and Pineapple and Orange Juices dusted with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
- Shrunken Zombie Head: Gosling’s 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8 yr Rum, Tropical Juices, Falernum, and Cinnamon. Available in a Souvenir Mug 28
- Dark & Tropical Stormy: Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Beer, and Falernum
- Mosquito Mojito: Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, Organic Agave Nectar, Falernum, Mint, and fresh Lime Juice topped with Soda Water
- Tahitian Torch: ByeJoe Dragon Fire Spirit, Tropical Juices, Passion Fruit, and fresh Lime Juice
- Rum Flight (3/4-oz pour of each): Bacardi 8 yr, Pyrat XO Reserve, and Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 yr. Available with Souvenir Glasses 36
- Spikey Pineapple: Barbancourt Pango Rhum blended with Pineapple Soft-serve
The appetizers aren’t left out from the cool themes.
They serve mouth-watering dishes like a Chicken or Tofu Lettuce Cups, Kalua Pork Tacos, Hawaiian Poke, and we can keep going.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Food Menu
- Headhunter Sushi Roll
- Chicken or Tofu Lettuce Cups with Hoisin-Ginger Sauce
- Kalua Pork Tacos
- Hawaiian Poke with Sriracha Aïoli
- Veggie Rainbow Roll
- Roasted Chicken and Pork Pâté Bánh Mì Sliders
- Thai Chicken Flatbread with Bacon and Peanut Sauce
- Pan-fried Dumplings with Soy-Sesame Dipping Sauce
The food will definitely bring you back for more. They also have beers, white wines, and red wines; everyone leaves happy and satisfied.
What’s So Special About Mugs?
Every drink at Sam’s come in customized mugs. They’re fascinating to look at and even cooler to drinking from them.
You’ll feel like you’re actually enjoying your own Polynesian vacation!
The best part is that you can purchase the mugs when you order your drinks. Taking one or more of the tiki mugs satisfies that feeling of wanting to take a part of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto home.
It also gets exciting creating a tiki mug collection and going back to get more mugs for your collection. They release new mugs often so there’s always something new to take home.
Also, the mugs are just downright cool!
Some look like zombies, a fiery volcano, scary masks, a submarine and other weird, but cool things.
Do You Need Reservations?
No since at this moment they do not take reservations.
At Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, opening time is from 3:00 p.m. till 12:00 am every day.
From all that’s been said, it’s obvious that before it becomes your favorite place to be, it’s a lot of other people’s favorite place too!
The best you can do is to be there by 2:30 p.m. so that you can be among the first persons to get served. Your name is added to a list and then when it’s your turn, you’ll be texted.
On days when it’s just really full, you might have to wait around an hour for a table. It works on a first come first serve basis.
How Long Is the Wait Time at Trader Sam’s?
To get seated you can expect to wait from 15 to 60 minutes depending on what time you show up.
The 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. timeframe has been the busiest during my visits.
As far as waiting for your food and drinks, it will depend on what you order.
Just like most places like this, the wait time depends on the appetizer or drink you order. The longest you might have to wait is 45 minutes tops.
No matter how long you wait, the service and atmosphere makes it worth it!
What’s the Best Time to Visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto?
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is always busy so the best time would be when you have enough time to wait if necessary.
Weekends are the busiest.
My best advice to you is to come right before it opens or after the predinner rush.
Are There Age Restrictions?
To an extent yes.
You’re probably saying “finally, a place where you can do only grown-up stuff in Disney Parks”; hold on a little.
The age restrictions only start from 8:00 p.m. (only guests 21 and up can be in bar after that time).
Most parents that visit Sam’s get excited and want to show the cool items to their children so, it’s a wise move.
The young ones can hang around till 8:00 p.m. then they have to leave.
Should You Expect Disney Prices?
It’s located in a Disney Park, isn’t it?
Of course, you should expect Disney prices.
As usual, the prices are totally worth it for the full experience inside this dive bar.
Plus, Disney always knows how to go all out to make sure that you have the best experiences on your adult vacation.
The food, drinks, atmosphere, and services will blur out the thought of “too expensive”.
Hipster Power Tip: Trader Sam’s offers free WiFi and accept major credit cards. There are also areas to to sit outside for live music, and it is wheelchair accessible.
Are There Parking Spaces?
I probably should have mentioned this earlier; they have free parking spaces, valet service, and other basic services.
However, parking can be a bit tricky.
In order to combat abuse of its free parking system (like parking at Polynesian Resort in order to visit the Magic Kingdom without paying for parking), for guests wanting to enjoy resort restaurants without staying there, Disney requires for you to have a reservation.
The only problem is that Trader Sam’s doesn’t have a reservation option yet. So, you have to let the parking attendee know that you’re visiting the tiki bar and it’s left up to their discretion if they want to let you in.
I truly HATE this about visiting lounges and bars at onsite Disney resorts!
Can You Order Take-Out?
You sure can!
There’s an outdoor bar for Trader Sam’s where you can make your take-out order from there.
I recommend eating the food inside the tiki bar, but if you really want to eat outside on the beach, it’s alright too.
You may also catch a live band every once while in the outdoor area of the bar.
What Should You Wear to Trader Sam’s?
You can wear anything you want as long as they don’t include coconut bras!
A casual outfit is perfect when visiting. I mentioned earlier that it does fill up quite easily so avoid putting on anything that might make you uncomfortable.
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Is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Open to The Public?
Yes, it is.
This tiki bar is very much opened to the public which also means that Disney tickets aren’t used here and you also don’t have to be a Polynesian Resort guest.
Review of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
First things first, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has to be on your list of Disney must do’s.
Secondly, Trader Sam’s is like a tropical breath of fresh air and a way to decompress from the intense theme park day.
Inside the bar, there are many interesting things to keep you busy and fascinated.
The servers are very polite, funny, and attentive. Plus, they make the place even more welcoming for you.
Also, many of the people who visit Trader Sam’s are friendly so there’s a high chance you can meet nice people and make new friends while chatting about the adventures of Sam.
The food and drinks are like major bonuses to the bar too!
The Flatbread and Hawaiian Poke are delicious and their intoxicating drinks like the Uh-Oa and the Nautilus are to die for!
The entertainment and surprises will keep you anticipating on what’s next. This helps you to feel even more relaxed and comfortable on your visit.
Trader Sam’s is all forms of exciting and it’s a perfect place to make memories with your spouse, your family or even on your solo Disney trip.
This place isn’t like any other tiki bar I’ve ever been to. You can even say they have a dramatic way of doing things which keeps you captivated at all times.
While on your Disney vacation, use this opportunity to try something unique and amazing.
Final Thoughts on Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
I hope that you are as excited as I am about all the adventures Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has in store for you.
Whenever you’re visiting Disney Parks, you should check out Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and see why I’m so psyched about it!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
(Original Article Date: February 27, 2015/Updated January 26, 2020