Does the name Trader Sam sound familiar? If you’re a long-time Disney fan, it should. Trader Sam is the legendary “head” salesman who offers you a hard-to-pass-up deal—2 of his heads for 1 of yours—at the conclusion of Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom. Don’t worry, you don’t have to trade anything in order to enjoy this hidden treasure.
Tucked away on the ground floor of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and down a hallway, you’ll come to a door that will display Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and the hours that it’s open. Actually, you’ll probably walk right past it the first time, like I did! I missed it and walked outside and followed the sign to the outdoor terrace of Trader Sam’s. The outdoor terrace looked like a very nice, standard terrace with plenty of umbrella covered tables and chairs. There was a very small bar that you could order your refreshments.
After everything I’d heard about Trader Sam’s, I was a little underwhelmed. It didn’t seem like anything special or out of the ordinary. I then thought that there had to be an indoor area that was what everyone had been talking about. I retraced my steps and came across this plain door with the Trader Sam’s sign. Once I opened the door and stepped inside, I was transported to a Hawaiian themed island that’s overrun with ancient artifacts and exotic treasures. Because it’s located in the topics, you’ll sometimes experience a rainfall and an erupting volcano. You’ll want to try your best not to upset the tiki god. Now, this was more like it!
Delicious cocktails unique to Walt Disney World Resort include the Polynesian Pearl, Nautilus, Castaway Crush, Tahitian Torch and the Dark & Tropical Stormy. Be sure to have your cameras ready when you’re being served your drink. There’s always a unique story or song that accompanies it (no matter how many times you order it). To prove to your friends that you visited the grotto, you can even order your cocktail served in a collectible, Disney-exclusive tiki mug.
If you’d prefer something that reminds you of civilization, the finest beers and wines are also available. Plus, be sure to try the inventive, alcohol-free cocktails like the Schweitzer Fall and Skipper Sipper. They also sever small plates of a variety of island themed delights, such as sushi, chicken lettuce cups and pan-fried dumplings just to name a few.
Adults and kids alike unwind and enjoy their visit to the grotto. Kids are welcomed to come inside, but after 8pm, it’s strictly for adults age 21 or older.
If you have time or are wanting to escape to a tropical hideaway, then be sure to visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, as it certainly won’t disappoint. It’s definitely on my list of places to visit every time I visit Walt Disney World!