Quite a while ago the logo for Trader Sam’s showed up on some information about the new Disney Springs. There was speculation that Trader Sam’s was coming to Disney World but was going in at the Downtown Disney area. Shortly after that I found out that part of the new Polynesian Village was going to be the addition of Trader Sam’s. It was over a year later that Disney finally announced it was true. While it was not a surprise to me it was to many and most of the reaction has been positive.
The Trader Sam’s in Disneyland is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki bar and it has its own back story. To read more about the Enchanted Tiki Bar's back story, check out the Disney Tourist Blog written up by Tom Bricker by clicking here.
The Trader Sam's Grog Grotto will have a different back story. Grog Grotto will pay homage to a long since removed ride, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Submarine Voyage. The look and feel inside will represent this nautical look but still have its own tiki feel.
The Trader Sam's being put into the Polynesian (next to Captain Cook's where the old arcade was) is not only serving a need for a nice place to hang out and enjoy drinks and food but it fits in with the new Adventureland feel they are trying to bring back to the Polynesian. That was the intent of the Polynesian when it opened in 1971. It was never intended to be a Hawaiian theme. While some things are representative of Hawaii, the over all theme is a mix of Polynesian culture similar to walking through Adventureland.
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto will have an interior that is about the same square footage as the Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar but the layout will be much different and I believe it will flow better. It will seat about 45 and that includes the 17 bar stools. It will have more interactive animatronics including one that you may remember from The Enchanted Tikiroom when it was under new managment.
There will still be creative cocktails and great Asian inspired appetizers. Some of those creative cocktails will have a special mug you get to take home or a special effect that goes off when you order it. At the Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar there are a few different effects they use like the ship sinking or the volcano going off but sometimes they use the same effects for different drinks, mostly because they only have so many effects. Something that will be different at the Grog Grotto will be that there will be a different affect for the different drinks. There will also be some different mugs. While they will be bringing the Uh-Oh bowl across the country to join the Grotto, they will also have some new bowls and mugs. There will be a Nautilus bowl at the Grotto that you can see in the artist rendering but so far the other mugs are a secret. At the Mahaloween event at Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar they showed off the new logo for the grotto and some mugs that had the Polynesian Village Resort logo. The mugs had the faces of the New Guinea Masks that are found on the side of the Polynesian's Tangaroa Terrace but I later found out that those will not be mugs used at the Grotto. They will be available in the gift shop.
Something that will be improved over the bar out west will be the outdoor patio. The outdoor seating at the Enchanted Tiki Bar is a great place to relax and enjoy drinks and live music but can often get crowded. Trader Sam's at the Polynesian will have the Tiki Terrace and it will be larger and hopefully not fill up as fast. It will also have its own outdoor bar to support the guests enjoying the patio. This patio will be just outside the old arcade (where the bar is going) and will have views of the marina and lagoon just beyond the new Kids pool and Lava pool deck (expected opening by April 2015). The patio will be mostly covered with tables of 4 and a few padded loungers near the doors into the bar. The loungers have seating for about 9. The tables are across a patio that merges into a seating area for Captain Cook's. This is similar to how the Enchanted Tiki Bar seating runs up against the seating for Tangaroa Terrace but as some point they do not serve alcohol past certain tables. It looks like about 72 seats are on the bar side and 64 seats are near Captain Cook's. Total Seating on the outdoor patio looks to be 145.
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto allows kids inside the bar but only until 8:00 PM. Kids are not allowed to sit up at the bar. After 8 PM it will be 21 and older. Families are welcome but I would not think unattended kids will be allowed to hang out at the bar or patio. Kids can be out at the Tiki Terrace at any time.
To get into the bar you will check in (first come first serve) and get a pager for when a seat is available.
Unlike the longer hours of Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar out west (11:30 AM to 1:30 AM) Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at the Polynesian Village open will be 4 PM to Midnight.
Some of the food items that will be available at Trader Sam's will be
Headhunter Sushi Roll
Chicken Lettuce Cups
Roasted Chicken and Pork Sliders
Kalua Pork Tacos
Corn-battered Portuguese Sausages
For a better look at what was presented at the Mahaloween event you can visit the Atomic Grog article by clicking here.
For some more information on Trader Sam's Grog Grotto you can visit the Atomic Grog article by clicking here.
There will be much more to come to this page once the Grotto opens in early 2015 so be sure to visit this page once it is open for details on Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.