Whimsical Fun Await At Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Tucked away in a back hall of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, guests will find an unassuming door that leads to a truly enchanted bar. Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is a tiki hideaway that transports guests to a fanciful the South Seas retreat where anything can happen. My daughter and I stopped by on our last trip to enjoy the whimsical fun served-up by the crew.

Trader Sam's Grog GrottoTrader Sam's Grog Grotto
This Unassuming Door Hides An Enchanted WorldThis Unassuming Door Hides An Enchanted World

The intimate size of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto means the lounge has a fairly limited capacity, none the less it's a hotspot for Disney fans. Due to the popularity you will often find a waitlist to get inside. On this visit we arrived at the podium about 4:30 pm and put our name on the list to get in. The friendly cast member gave us a pager, and told us we would have about a 30 minute wait. Feeling like we needed immediate refreshment, we grabbed the pager and took the opportunity to get a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai. Life is short, go ahead and eat dessert first!

Before long (about 15 minutes) the buzzer went off and Trader Sam's was ready for us. Even though you need a pager to get in, seating is on a first come first serve basis. We were lucky to find a low lounge table with a couple of padded chairs next to the bar.

Life Is Short Eat Dessert FirstLife Is Short Eat Dessert First

Long-time Disney fans will recognize the name of this bar from their travels on the world famous Jungle Cruise. Yes, Trader Sam is the legendary "head" salesman who offers you a hard-to-pass-up deal - 2 of his heads for 1 of yours. The bar is packed full of treasures collected while journeying through Adventureland. It's all fun and games in the Grog Grotto, from the amazing tiki interior of interesting art and "artifacts," to the interactive elements that are triggered by patrons ordering specific drinks.

If you get bored at Trader Sam's, it's your own fault. The hideaway bar is so much fun, you're going to want to share the tiki love with your friends and family. My daughter and I had an amazing time, but I think we would have enjoyed ourselves even more with a group.

The Grog Grotto Interior Is Tiki FabulousThe Grog Grotto Interior Is Tiki Fabulous
Skippers Tending Bar May Be Kraken AssistedSkippers Tending Bar May Be Kraken Assisted

The Grog Grotto has an amazing cocktail menu that celebrates tiki culture with the most wonderful Disney twists. The exclusive cocktail menu offers tropical concoctions with names such as Nautilus, Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, and Castaway Crush. In addition to the tiki drinks, the menu offers a selection of interesting island inspired craft brews, as well as an assortment of wine.

I ordered a HippopotoMai-Tai, which is a cocktail of Coruba Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curacao, Orgeat (Almond), Organic Agave Nectar, and fresh Lime Juice. This drink is a power-house that's served up in the cutest souvenir Tiki Glass (which you are not required to purchase). I'm generally a fan of a Mai-Tai, but the HippopotoMai-Tai is so strong it about knocked me over with its "two shots of rum!" There wasn't much flavor other than rum, and I only drank about half of it.

Tiki Culture Cocktail Menu With Disney TwistsTiki Culture Cocktail Menu With Disney Twists
Bang! Bang! Two Shots Of Rum!Bang! Bang! Two Shots Of Rum!

The other drink we ordered was one of the fun no-booze brews that are signature to the bar. The Skipper Sipper mixes up Tropical Juices, Organic Agave Nectar, Falernum, Mint, and fresh Lime Juice before being topped with Soda Water. I loved this option because its fruity without being overly sweet and had just a zip of mint to make it refreshing.

Skipper Sipper MocktailSkipper Sipper Mocktail
Tasty No-Booze BrewsTasty No-Booze Brews

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto has a savory small bites menu that's pretty solid. That's not a surprise when one considers the full compliment of Restaurants making their home at Disney's Polynesian Village. The flavors on the menu come from across the Pacific, and the two choices we picked did not disappoint. A group could easily make a meal out of ordering a few of the appetizers and sharing the feast.

We ordered Kalua Pork Tacos with Cabbage and Pickled Vegetables. If you've eaten at Captain Cook's you probably know the knock-out Kalua Pork that's packed into these flour tortillas. When I think of the perfect pulled pork, it has got to be what's served up at the Poly. The slaw offered a nice crunchy texture, without having an overwhelming flavor on its own, just a bit of tang.

Trader Sam's Food Is Meal WorthyTrader Sam's Food Is Meal Worthy
Kalua Pork Tacos with Cabbage and Pickled VegetablesKalua Pork Tacos with Cabbage and Pickled Vegetables

The Chicken Lettuce Cups (also available as Tofu) with Hoisin-Ginger Sauce are a sassy choice. The build-it-yourself component is always an interesting choice to me, but soft butter lettuce cups were the perfect container for the chunky chicken and carrot slaw. I would have happily taken home a bottle of the Hoisin-Ginger Sauce, really excellent without the ginger overpowering all the other flavors.

The Chicken Lettuce CupsChicken Lettuce Cups with Hoisin-Ginger Sauce

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is a truly magical spot at Walt Disney World that welcomes all travelers - including children - from opening until 8:00 PM. Yep, this is one bar you'll actually want to take your kids to. After 8:00 PM however, only Guests 21 years of age and over are admitted. You can find many more detailed pictures and a closer look at the menus from Trader Sam's Grog Grotto from our friends over at the Disney Food Blog. DFB Review: Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney World's Polynesian Village Resort! As always, our thanks goes out to them for sharing some of their images with us.

Have you been to Trader Sam's Grog Grotto? What's your favorite part? Leave a comment and let me know!

Whimsical Fun Await At Trader Sam's Grog GrottoWhimsical Fun Await At Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

wdwizbest wrote on Tue, 03/19/2019 - 16:57:

wdwizbest's picture

This is definitely on my bucket list.
Kristen-"There wasn't much flavor other than rum, and I only drank about half of it." That's just wrong.

JoAnn C wrote on Tue, 03/19/2019 - 22:14:

JoAnn C's picture

One of these trips I am going to make it there.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:44:

Kristen K.'s picture

wdwizbest - Don't get me wrong, I'm a rum girl. I love a Lapu Lapu which also boasts two types of rum. As far as what I think of when I think of a Mai-Tai though, the HippopotoMai-Tai was just overwhelming for me.

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