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5 Things You Will Love About Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Every Disney fan knows that the premier head hunter in the Jungle is Trader Sam. 2 of his heads for 1 of yours has been the legendary offer in the Jungle Cruise since opening day in the Magic Kingdom. The iconic status surrounding several of the ongoing jokes and puns throughout the Jungle Cruise is the main reason why Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto opened up shop at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit, make sure you add it to your must-do list because of the 5 things you will love about Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:

5. Servers

It would be easy to rely on the theming of the lounge to create the atmosphere in Trader Sam’s, but it’s the cast members who really sell the experience. From the moment you walk through the doors, you can hear the bustle of the server chatter with guests, engaging and immersing themselves in the lore and humor of Trader Sam, and generally getting guests excited to be there. Whenever a specialty drink is ordered, the servers erupt and join together to react to whatever special effects are taking place. It gives guests the go ahead to relax and enjoy themselves since the servers are fun and entertaining.

4. Food

While the majority of menu items come from the bar, Trader Sam’s wouldn’t be a lounge without an excellent selection of appetizers to share. The menu here is full of wonderful dishes to satisfy your hunger and delight your taste buds. Simple items include the Corn-battered Portuguese Sausages with Curry Ketchup, Kalua Pork Tacos and Chicken Lettuce Cups. More intricate dishes come in the form of the Headhunter Sushi Roll, Salmon Oshizushi or the Roasted Chicken and Pork Pâte Báhn Mì Sliders. It’s hard to go wrong with any choice from the menu, so depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you can try a number of these delicious dishes and share them amongst your group.

3. Signature Drinks

The entire lounge is full of nods to different attractions and references in Adventureland, with the majority of the details coming straight out of the Jungle Cruise. Most of the specialty drinks on the menu have been named with a whimsical style to help you feel immersed in the atmosphere. Prior to 8pm, anyone in the family can come to enjoy Trader Sam’s with Sam’s No-Booze Brews being the perfect refreshment for the younger guests. The Skipper Sipper combines tropical fruit juices with agave nectar, mint and lime juice to quench your thirst. Or guests can try the Polynesian Punch or the Schweitzer Falls, both mixing Sam’s Gorilla Grog with either grenadine or juice with Sprite respectively.

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After 8pm, Trader Sam’s becomes an adult only lounge, making for the perfect opportunity to sample some of the specialty cocktails including the Polynesian Pearl, Uh-Oa!, Rosita’s Margarita, Krakatoa Punch, Shrunken Zombie Head, HippopotoMai-Tai the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum and many more. Each one has a different twist and the only way to decide on a favorite is to sample a different one each time you visit. Add the cocktails to the well-stocked beer and wine menu and you’ll find something for everyone in your group.

2. Souvenir Glasses

Several of the specialty cocktails come with a souvenir glass for you to take home and enjoy again and again. While they may not always seem practical, they are definitely fun and will always remind you of the entertaining time you had at Trader Sam’s. The Polynesian Pearl comes in a large white pearl, the Krakatoa Punch is served in a Tiki Mug and the Shrunken Zombie Head is served in its namesake, a small ghoulishly green shrunken-head mug. Perhaps the most intriguing glass is the Nautilus – an homage to the 20,000 leagues under the sea attraction no longer housed in Walt Disney World. The mug itself, shaped like Captain Nemo’s vessel, measures in at about 1 foot long which makes it one of the largest souvenir mugs you can find on Disney property.

1. Special Effects

Trader Sam’s is full of theming and décor that creates an exciting atmosphere. That excitement explodes when some of the specialty cocktails are ordered and the surrounding décor starts to come to life. While different effects can be triggered for different drinks, the most lively event comes when a guest orders the Uh-Oa!, where the Tiki goddess of disaster demands an offering and a chant that fills the lounge. Black lights and an angry volcano add the ambiance to the drink, making it not only delicious, but entertaining as well.

About Ryan Miller

Ryan loves all things Disney: from the smallest details to the biggest surprises and all of the magic in between. He loves the fireworks of Wishes, the thrill of Tower of Terror and of course, the dining at Disney Restaurants. As of yet, however, he has been unable to replicate his favourite dishes and snacks at home. In between trips, you can usually find him reading about the history of the parks and attractions when he’s not at work for his local public library in Burlington Ontario. Ryan’s favourite Disney moment was proposing in front of Cinderella’s Castle to his (now) fiancée, Lauren.