Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar – Review
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar opened its doors in 2011, it was a part of a large renovation at the Disneyland Hotel – From the moment it opened it was one of the most popular places in all of Disneyland! I can remember many Disney fans saying it was”the best thing that Imagineering had done in years” or “it was Disney Imagineering at its finest” (spoiler alert these statements are 100% true!) However it took me until 2015 to finally get to visit Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar!
Follow along for my brief history of Trader Sam’s as well as my overall review ~
“Trader Sam” – Jungle Cruise
The Story behind Trader Sam’s stems all the way back to a classic 1955 Disneyland Attraction “The World Famous Jungle Cruise!” At the end of the ever popular Jungle Cruise you get to meet “Trader Sam” the “Head Salesman” of the Jungle Cruise – The story behind Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is that throughout all of Trader Sam’s travels over the years he developed a collection of a wide variety of things as well as a he decided to showcase these artifacts in a bar – hence the name “Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar” – however this is just the start of the backstory…
Not only is the bars backstory based on the Jungle Cruise but it also has a connection with the Adventures Club a bar that used to be in Disney’s Pleasure Island, a lot of the “artifacts” that are in the Tiki Bar were actually brought to Disneyland from the old “Adventures Club” –
A very high level overview of the Adventures Club is as follows – The Adventures Club is where the Society of Explorer’s and Adventure’s or SEA for short met – The idea is that “Trader Sam” himself was actually in the Society – Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar was Disneyland’s first connection to the Society which was part of the reason it was so popular! Throughout the entire restaurant you will find details that connect different parts of the “Society” which in turn connect Disney Parks from around the world! A perfect example of this connection is a photo of Teddy Roosevelt with a note that says “Teddy and I map out our next expedition” Teddy Roosevelt was apart of SEA this connection links Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland and Grog Grotto in Walt Disney World to the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge in Tokyo Disney Sea! These little details are what separate Disney from any other product in the world! Making Trader Sam’s an absolute Disney fans paradise!
Walt Disney World is now going to expand its connection to the Society of Explorers and Adventures again in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Jock Lindsey was Indiana Jones’s pilot who was apart of SEA) that is set to open this fall in Disney Springs as well as the newly announced Skipper’s Canteen Restaurant (which was another hang out for SEA) in the Magic Kingdom that is set to open this year as well!
Definitely a lot of detail for a restaurant / bar but what makes Disney “Disney” is all of the little details!
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar definitely lives up to its name and delivers a spectacularly themed Tiki Bar – I really felt as though the Jungle Cruise and the Tiki Room had a baby and it was named Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar!
Specialty Drink’s ~
The Specialty Drinks are one of my favorite things about Trader Sam’s they are relatively strong and they taste great!
Ship Wreck on the Rocks! – Bourbon with freshly Muddled Lemon and Mint with Organic Agave Nectar
Uh Oa! – Light and Dark Rums, Orange, Passion Fruit, Guava, Pineapple, Grapefruit Juices, Falernum, Cinnamon and fresh Lime Juice
I was a little hesitant about the Food at the Enchanted Tiki Bar because the food at Grog Grotto wasn’t spectacular however I was pleasantly surprised by how good everything we tried at the Enchanted Tiki Bar was! In particular the Shrimp Tacos were phenomenal I was very pleased by every dish here.
Shrimp Tacos w/ Sautéed Shrimp, Cabbage, and Lime Tartar Sauce wrapped in Corn Tortillas served with Tropical Slaw
Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Ginger Sauce
Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings – served with Tropical Slaw
Overall Thoughts –
10/10 ~ Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is outstanding and lived up to the high expectations that I had and that Grog Grotto had set for me – I love that Trader Sam’s is apart of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers and connects itself to so many of the Disney Parks throughout the World – This restaurant is everything that makes me love Disney, great backstory, details, atmosphere, drinks, food and you can even collect the souvenir mugs!
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