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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 1: Polynesian Pearl at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

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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)

Polynesian Pearl at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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.

The elusive black pearl and the white pearl on the Grog Grotto’s Tiki Terrace. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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.


Uh-Oa The Tiki God watches over the Grog Grotto. (photo by Dani)
Trader Sam's Krakatoa - Natalie Reinert
Krakatoa is calm now, but wait five minutes — someone will wake the lava flows when they order this volcano’s signature drink. (photo by Natalie Reinert)

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.

You can always find Your Humble Author each week on the SATURDAY SIX, each month with the Disney Outlet Store Photo Report, and on Twitter (@derekburgan) producing original pieces of Burgan Fine Art

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17 thoughts on “25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 1: Polynesian Pearl at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

  • Well, yes, my plastic DCL souvenir glass is one of my most treasured possessions.

  • I do hope you will be including in your list, our personal favorite: an Ugly Stepsisters’ Bloomers. Delightful concoction of brandy, Cointreau, sugar in a china teacup wrapped in a mauve ribbon.

  • I may be in the minority, but I prefer plastic souvenir cups so that I can use them as around the pool at home.

  • But why not glow cubes? I usually go for whiskey, so I understand the existential crisis that glow cubes bring to people old enough to drink alcoholic beverages, but there are exceptions. The Krakatoa Punch is tasty and made with very good quality rums. And the souvenir tiki mug is great…heavy duty and funny too.

    • You bring up an interesting point Katelyn. Maybe an exception or two can be made. There have also been recent examples of when Disney made up an interesting glow cube (such as a Death Star for Star Wars Weekends.) We shall investigate this further and consult the Blue Ribbon Panel that decides the rules for the 25 Drinks of Christmas.


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