Here’s a new cool place you might not expect at a Disney property – a kind of speakeasy tiki bar, slightly hidden and only there if you are in the “know”.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, latest addition to the newly reimagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, is a themed lounge serving up exotic drinks and small plates, while offering scenic views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon.
Not related to the other Trader Joe’s, this bar was founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam, and is based on the original Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Resort in California.
The famous Trader Sam cocktails, available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs, are a mix of old and new. And visitors are in for some “magical” surprise when they order a few of the specialty drinks. Let’s just say it conjures up some old spirits hiding in the grotto’s walls.
Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:
• Polynesian Pearl
• Castaway Crush
• Tahitian Torch
• Dark & Tropical Stormy
Favorites imported from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:
• Krakatoa Punch
• Shrunken Zombie Head
Sam’s No-Booze Brews:
• Schweitzer Fall
• Skipper Sipper
Small bites at Trader Sam’s Grotto include chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce; Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips; kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (pressed sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup, and a Headhunter Sushi Roll.
Salmon oshizushi (pressed sushi)
Roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables
Headhunter Sushi Roll
The lounge has 50 seats inside and 82 on the patio. No reservations are required.
This is part of the Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s major re-imagination including a return to its original, 1971 opening day name: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Changes include an expansive redesign of the Great Ceremonial House, new food and beverage experiences, waterside villas and more.
When fully completed, the Polynesian-themed deluxe property will include some 360 deluxe studio villas and 20 two-bedroom, over-the-water Bungalows as part of the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort.
There also are 484 traditional hotel rooms in a village of two-and three-story longhouses. Guestrooms feature a tropical motif complete with exotic prints and bamboo-style fixtures. Standard rooms offer two queen-size beds and a day bed, sleeping five.
Guests are welcomed to this family-favorite resort with a new entrance marquee featuring lava rock, tiki torches and flowing water surrounded by tropical hibiscus.
Trader Sam’s welcomes explorers to a mystical and tropical oasis featuring a lounge area with exotic cocktails served in souvenir mugs, paired with Polynesia-inspired small plates.
Other changes greeting Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort guests: the recently opened Pineapple Lanai kiosk, serving the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve and floats, and a new location for Capt. Cook’s quick-service restaurant.
There’s pint-size fun at Lilo’s Playhouse, a supervised childcare offering. Stories unfold in this new whimsical children’s activity center where Lilo’s favorite classic Disney Little Golden Books tales such as Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp and Alice in Wonderland come to life. While parents enjoy a night out, youngsters can delve into dress-up, crafts, storytelling and other fun faves in themed areas.
A completely renovated feature pool area, a new children’s water play area and an enlarged deck for poolside seating with views of a scenic vista will open for guests in mid-April.
Overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon, the 20 Disney Vacation Club Bungalows will be the first of this type of accommodation at Walt Disney World Resort. Each sleep up to eight guests, and feature a full kitchen, two bedrooms and even a plunge pool where Disney Vacation Club Members and guests can enjoy views of fireworks over Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon. This resort also will be the first to have connecting Deluxe Studios (located in longhouses) that will sleep up to five guests each, as well as kitchenettes and enhanced storage space for convenience and comfort. The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open April 1, 2015.
Existing dining options include ‘Ohana, located on the second floor of the re-imagined Great Ceremonial House, featuring a Disney Character breakfast and a family-style Polynesian feast where meats and seafood are grilled over an open fire pit. Kona Café, a unique family restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sandwiches, ice cream and pizza are available 24 hours a day at Capt. Cook’s. In an outdoors luau setting, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show features traditional Polynesian fare, music, dancing and costumes. Shopping options include island fashions, bathing suits and casual sportswear.
For reservations, call 407/W-DISNEY or visit Disneyworld.com. To learn more about Disney Vacation Club, visit disneyvacationclub.com.