Were back! With summer just around the corner, we’ll focus this edition of Dining in the Parks on one of our favorite places in the entire Disneyland Resort, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Located near both Steakhouse 55 and Goofy’s kitchen, at the Disneyland Hotel, this Bar/lounge was inspired by The Jungle Cruise and several other Adventureland attractions.
When creating this tiki bar, the Disney Imagineers crafted a wonderful backstory regarding Trader Sam, the “head” salesman from The Jungle Cruise attraction… He’s the one with that great deal: He’ll trade you two of his heads . . . for just one of yours!
The Imagineers discovered that Trader Sam wanted to open a tiki bar, when his expertise in Potions that shrink heads grew into a desire and passion for mixology. Not being content with the typical tiki themed trappings, like bamboo and tiki cravings, Trader Sam enlisted the help the Jungle Cruise Navigational Company to help him properly outfit the bar.
This rich storytelling sets the stage for the “enchanted” tiki bar/lounge. The ambiance is fun and easygoing with the “Skippers” (what the cast members are called here) offering expert advice on the best concoctions and food offerings.
On this trip to Trader Sam’s we tried several different classic dishes and some libations!
Panko-crusted Chinese Long Beans ($9.00) This is a great appetizer to share with the whole table! The hot and crispy green beans are coated in Panko bread crumbs and deep fried. They are served alongside a Sriracha mayonnaise dipping sauce. This was our favorite item during the visit.
Slow roasted Kalua style Pork Sandwich ($12.00) The slow roasted pork is on a sweet Hawaiian roll with barbecue sauce and topped with tropical slaw. There’s a choice of sides, including: Sweet Potato fries, classic French fries or Island fruit.
Teriyaki Chicken Breast Sandwich ($12.00) This sautéed Chicken Breast includes Teriyaki sauce, fresh Caramelized Pineapple, Harvarti Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on a Multigrain bun. A choice of a side including: Sweet Potato fries, classic French fries, Island fruit or Tropical slaw (Though the ingredient combination was different, the Caramelized Pineapple was well liked)
Angus 1/3 lb Hawaiian Cheeseburger ($13.00) Classic Ground Angus Burger is a copy of the Chicken Breast Sandwich which also has Teriyaki Sauce, fresh Caramelized Pineapple, Harvarti Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on a multigrain bun. Same choice of sides as the above. Unfortunately on this visit, the Burger patty was a little dry, though covered in Teriyaki Sauce, which didn’t really help.
What would a trip to an “enchanted” Tiki Bar be without some classic tiki style drinks. Trader Sam’s offers a unique drink menu.
Several drinks activate interactive moments inside the bar. Special effects, lighting, and special interactions that the whole skipper crew takes part in. This extra bit of Disney Magic enhances the already wonderful and fun vibe.
Ask the skipper assisting you if you are confused as to which of these drinks to order or when another group orders one, you can enjoy their experience. It never seems to fail someone in the bar orders one of these drinks, when we visit.
There are several interactive fan favorites like the “Uh Oa!,” which is great to share, causing bar wide chanting and “raining down” of water. We chose “Shipwreck on the Rocks,” which caused a Ship in a bottle above the bar to sink.
Shipwreck on the Rocks This specialty drink features Bourbon with freshly muddled Lemon and Mint with Organic Agave Nectar. (Warning this was fairly strong so not for the faint of heart)
Hippopotamus Mai-Tia This classic “tourist” type drink features both Light and Dark Rums, Orange Curaçao, Orgeat (Almond) Syrup, Organic Agave Nectar and fresh Lime Juice. (Right)
As you can see, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki bar is a one of kind location at the Disneyland resort. If you don’t want to visit the bar, or you’re looking to enjoy the Southern California weather, there is a wonderful outdoor terrace adjoining both Trader Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace quick service Restaurant. The full Trader Sam’s food and drink menu are available on the terrace.
On select weekday and weekend evenings, the terrace offers an acoustic duo performing Hawaiian style melodies and songs from the Pacific Islands.
Two quick cautions: The capacity in the bar is about 50 people, so on busier days you may encounter a line to enter the bar. Sadly, reservations are not available but if the wait is too long for your choosing, the terrace seating area usually has availability.
The indoor bar has seating areas for groups and families with children. The Food menu offers some options for kids and the drink menu offers both beverages and non- alcoholic drinks for those interested. On busier days/evenings the Bar tends to get crowded with fun and boisterous guests, so young ones might enjoy Trader Sam’s during the afternoon or at less crowded times. As always it’s a Disney environment and the Skippers do a great ensuring the fun doesn’t get too out of hand.
Have you visited Trader Sam’s? Do you have a memorable experience or interaction from ordering a specialty drink? Share your favorite dish or drink with us in the comments section!