The highly anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto soft-opened to a large crowd of enthusiastic fans this weekend at the Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World. The intimate bar, modeled after its Disneyland, California counterpart, is a part of the major transformation that the Polynesian Village Resort is undergoing that also includes a new lobby and Disney Vacation Club expansion.
The bar has a huge fan base because of its largely Tiki-themed atmosphere and unique drink selection. Not only do you have Tiki statues everywhere, but the bar also has an interactive element with effects happening all around you. Even ordering a drink is a special event at Trader Sam’s with special mugs and bartenders, making it a true experience. Trader Sam’s also serves some light appetizers, but I recommend you go for the drink instead of them as they were nothing special.
Trader Sam’s saw a line up to 5 hours for its soft opening to get a foot in the door, and with its small space, 51 people inside and 80 people on the patio, which is no surprise. Unfortunately, you cannot make reservations, so there is little to do but try and make it to opening, which is 4 pm. After that, you will be able to either enjoy the Tiki effects inside or watch fireworks from the outside patio until midnight. Imagineer Brandon Kleyla, head decorator of Trader Sam’s, said his favorite part about the bar is the fireworks view over the Seven Seas Lagoon that you get from the patio.
Trader Sam’s outside patio with the view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and fireworks viewing,