Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar is the new quite popular, slightly difficult to get into bar and lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World. The bar is set up to feel like a whimsical grotto in Hawaii. If you can get in, it is very worth it.
The bar opened at 4:00pm and we arrived at 3:40pm. We walked up to the door to check it out and realized there was already a castmember there taking names and handing out buzzers. We were really happy we arrived early to get our name on the list. Even arriving 20 minutes early, we were probably number 7 or 8 on the list. We hung out in the lobby and gift shop while we waited for our buzzer to go off, signaling they were ready for us.
Upon entering, the lounge feels extremely exclusive – there are no windows from the outside looking in. To see it, you have to be let in. Named after the “head” salesman at the conclusion of the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom, it is a great place to grab a pre-dinner or post-park drink and/or snack. From opening to 8:00pm, the bar is open to all ages. After 8, the bar only allows entrance to guests 21 and older. The bar offers uniquely themed cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (Sam’s No-Booze Brews), wine, beer, and appetizers. They also have a rum flight and a beer flight available.
The ambiance in unique and mysterious and the experience is very interactive. The detail that went into this lounge is phenomenal. It is the magic of Disney that caters more to adults. (Note: although photography is allowed, flash photography is prohibited and this rule is strictly enforced.) Ordering certain drinks activate corresponding events. These events include everything from a volcano erupting to severe island storms.
My husband and I went with the Shrunken Zombie Head and the HippopotoMai-Tai. The Shrunken Zombie Head consists of Gosling’s 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8 Yr Rum, tropical juices, Falernum (a sweet syrup used in Caribbean and tropical drinks), and cinnamon and is served in a souvenir Shrunken Zombie Head mug. The HippopotoMai-Tai is a cocktail with Coruba Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curaçao, Orgeat (almond syrup), organic agave nectar, and fresh lime juice and is served in a souvenir tiki glass. Both drinks pack a punch. When you order the HippopotoMai-Tai, the castmembers shout out “two shots of rum!”
For appetizers, we went with the Chicken Lettuce Cups with hoisin ginger sauce and Kalua Pork Tacos with cabbage and pickled vegetables. Both were really good. Not “blow you out of the water” good, but certainly not disappointing.
Overall, the experience was fun, delicious, entertaining, and we can’t wait to go back!
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