I AM OBSESSED WITH TRADER SAM’S. I want to put it on a t-shirt, I want to be president of their fan club, I want to do all their promotional work – I AM A FAN! I just needed to say that off the bat, so that no one would go into this thinking that this would be a fair and unbiased review. If you want a fair review, you need to look elsewhere, and I will stay in the corner chanting ‘Uh Oa Uh Oa’. (If you don’t understand the reference, you clearly need to get to Trader Sam’s ASAP.)
For those that don’t know what Trader Sam’s is, it’s a Jungle Cruise themed bar found in two places. The original is found in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in California. The second is new, and is found at the newly reimagined Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World. This review will focus on Trader Sam’s at Walt Disney World.
We need to start by saying that we love the renovations done at the Polynesian Village Resort. We know it’s been a polarizing topic for Disney fans, especially the new design in the lobby, but we feel like the overall design in a much needed modernization that fits the high prices that people are paying. We especially love that lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and, as is the point of this blog, the addition of Trader Sam’s.
Trader Sam’s opens at 4 pm, but it’s an incredibly small space so we recommend getting there at least 15 minutes before 4. As of right now, lines and wait times are incredibly long and you cannot make a reservation. When you get there they will give you a pager and inform you of the wait time.
What makes Trader Sam’s so special is the immaculate attention to detail and theming. The bar is called Trader Sam’s after the head salesman that is introduced on the Jungle Cruise. Bartenders are “skippers” like boat drivers on the Jungle Cruise, and they keep with the same tongue in cheek sense of humor. It’s not abnormal to see a bartender or server walk by you wearing inflatable pool gear because the bar has suddenly gone “underwater” or other such shenanigans. It’s alleged that there’s over 1,000 pieces of memorabilia decorating the interior, including a LED volcano that explodes when you order certain drinks.
Speaking of drinks, these are among the best crafted at Disney. They fit with the ‘Tiki’ theme and usually have a tropical motif. We loved the Pearl, which actually came out of a huge clam, and the Shrunken Zombie Head. They also have Kona Beer on tap, which is one of our favorite brewery’s from Hawaii. The food menu consists of overpriced but really good appetizers. (Try the poke!)
All in all, I don’t have enough good things to say about Trader Sam’s. It’s my favorite, and I want everyone else to love it too – except maybe I don’t, because I don’t want the lines to get any longer. Just kidding guys – STAY AWAY FROM TRADER SAM’S!