We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day.
Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!
DAY ONE: Polynesian Pearl at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort)
Known for its trademark tiki mugs, one of the most popular drinks at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is the Polynesian Pearl. Ingredients: RumChata Cream Liqueur, Grand Marnier, and Cinnamon with Tropical Juices.
The Polynesian Pearl is traditionally served in its white pearl form, but there have been special occasions in which the rare black pearl makes an appearance at the Grog Grotto (including most recently Halloween and Black Friday). While the Polynesian Pearl is plastic (all other souvenir mugs at the Grotto are made out of glass or are ceramic), its design is so wonderful that it doesn’t matter.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It is a true experience and like no other bar at WDW. The Grog Grotto opens at 4PM and all ages are allowed until 8PM when it becomes 18 and older. Be prepared, there may be a wait to get into Trader Sam’s, but you’ll be able to wait and enjoy a drink at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace outside.
Interested in theme park drinks? Then do we have a eBook for you! The Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide by Brian McNichols. Over 250 pages and containing well over 400 photos, this eGuide takes you through EVERY bar and lounge on WDW property (trust me, Brian has the kidneys problems to prove it!) Also included? Recipes for some of your favorite WDW drinks. Ratings, descriptions, and photos for each of the 70+ bars and lounges. Talk about the perfect Christmas present!
Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover and Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.