Trader Sam’s

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The next time you are visiting the Disneyland Resort and looking for something a little different, a little more adult, then I highly recommend you visit Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel. The bar opened May 27, 2011 to great acclaim and has now become a regular watering hole for many Disneyland regulars. The myth begins…

Who is Trader Sam? Why, he’s the head salesman of the jungle, the one who’s always ready to trade two of his heads for just one of yours! His expertise in head-shrinking potions grew into an interest in mixology.

Trader Sam’s is very small with a three sided bar and a few tables and chairs along the perimeter. There are more seats outside where you can usually find live Hawaiian music. Bring a flashlight because much of the detail is hidden on the walls within the shadows. There is so much stuff it would take days to get through everything. Is that really a Tiki Room drummer? And if you were a fan of The Adventurer’s Club at WDW you will feel very welcome. You can even get either version of a Kungaloosh.

Speaking of drinks, some come in odd glasses while other fire up special effects within the bar. A group can share the Uh OA! Be prepared for the bar and staff to erupt in celebration. My favorite is the Krakatoa Punch. Order this baby and a volcano comes alive just outside the window. This drink, as well as the HippopotoMai-Tai is available in souvenir Tiki Glasses.

The Shipwreck on the Rocks brings about the sinking of a model ship inside of a bottle high up on the bar. Other popular drinks include the Ka-Blue-Ie!, the Shrunken Zombie Head, and the Lost Safari. There are even non-alcohol options such as the Schweitzer Falls. Hawaiian beers and California wines round out the mix.

“Aloha, ahoy, aha! And welcome to the mystery, romance, and adventure of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Here, at the edge of civilization, a poisons dart’s throw from the deepest, darkest, most dangerous region where the hand of man has never step foot, my fearless friend Sam established this happy outpost for all to enjoy!”

Plenty of appetizers are available including the Pu Pu Platter and flatbreads. You can also order food next door at the Tangaroa Terrace. Be warned that mischief is played upon the patrons and you may be feeling small after a few drinks. It can also get very crowded, both inside and out. With all of that in mind, a visit to Trader Sam’s is worth the visit.

“In the tiki bar business, it’s a jungle out there. But once Trader Sam began serving his exotic elixirs to tourists, the word really spread! So welcome aboard…ashore…or wherever you are!”

I hope you get a chance to check out my new book Walt and the Promise of Progress City. This is what Len Testa had to say:

“This book is the first to explain – in basic architecture terms – how Disney’s theme parks were designed. It is a fascinating read for anyone who enjoys spending time in Disneyland or Walt Disney World and wants a deeper understanding of why the parks were constructed as they are. While there are other good books on Disney architecture, they tend to describe the parks’ architecture along the lines of “The Imagineers chose A and B to represent the American west” without explaining why A and B were chosen. In contrast, Sam’s book explains why these choices were made, and from where either Walt or the Disney Imagineers probably saw these architecture patterns in use before.”

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Sam Gennawey

Sam Gennaway is an Urban Planner who runs the fantastic SamLand’s Disney Adventures blog. Sam visits Disneyland on a frequent basis and toured with the Unofficial Guide team on our recent Disneyland Trip.

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