Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel is one of our favorite places in the entire Disneyland Resort, so it’s an understatement to say we’re excited about the opening of its East Coast outpost. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is about to debut at Walt Disney World’s newly retro-christened Polynesian Village Resort, and on Monday, March 23 the hotel held a cast member-only preview of their new watering hole.
The line to enter and take a “tour” of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (no drinking involved) stretched down the corridor.
Unfortunately, only cast members were permitted inside, and no photography was allowed. From those who did make it in, we hear the bar has numerous visual and audio effects associated with ordering various specialty drinks, including some tributes to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
This map highlighting the Polynesian’s new DVC villas and bungalows was distributed to the preview participants.
We were able to take a stroll around the exterior, and catch a glimpse of the still-unfinished patio. While everyone is going to want to sit inside to experience the special effects, this outside seating is critical because there are only about 50 indoor seats. Even with the patio, only about 100 guests at a time will be able to enjoy Trader Sam’s, and a host stand outside will distribute pagers while everyone else waits.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will operate from 4 p.m. to midnight. All ages are allowed in the afternoon, but you must be 21 or older to enter after 8 p.m. We’ve heard Thursday, March 26th as the projected public opening date for Trader Sam’s, but that is unofficial and subject to change. When it is open, we’ll be there to bring you details on on the drinks, snacks, and kooky effects that lie in store.
While looking at the Trader Sam’s construction, I also caught some snapshots of the progress on Poly’s central volcano pool, starting with this map posted outside the new Pineapple Lanai Dole Whip window.
Back inside the hotel’s Great Ceremonial House, the newly refurbished lobby — now completely shorn of its original simulated rainforest, smell and all — just received another addition: this tiki statue, who seems to be shrugging:
Speaking of tikis, spot these sneaky guys in the Polynesian’s lobby gift shop.
Finally, the landscaping immediately adjacent to the Poly’s entrance seems to be getting an overhaul. It looks like they may be enhancing the water feature here, which could make partial amends for the loss of the indoor waterfalls.
Have you been to Trader Sam’s in Disneyland? What are you most looking forward to at the new Trader Sam’s? Let us know in the comments!