Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

In May, I had an impromptu overnight Disney World trip with my dad.  We drove up from their place in Florida and stayed at the Polynesian for the night spending most of our time at the Magic Kingdom and the following morning a quick trip to Epcot.

Since we were staying at the Polynesian, I wanted one thing: a visit to Trader Sam’s.

I’ve become a great appreciator of hotel bars at Disney World.  No matter what hotel I’m staying at, I inevitably end up spending time at the Crew’s Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club and I don’t mind lingering at the Belle Vue Lounge, either. It’s become a new thing I do because I’m older now and I appreciate the few places in Disney that aren’t jam packed with children. Also, I appreciate a good fried onion sampler.

Trader Sam’s will not be added to the list of places I regularly frequent, though.

I imagine Trader Sam’s is a preview of what the new Jungle Cruise restaurant will be like. If you ever thought to yourself, “I really wish the boats on the Jungle Cruise served alcohol” then Trader Sam’s is the place for you.  I got the Schweitzer Falls, non-alcoholic beverage and it was very tasty.  I didn’t get anything to eat because the options weren’t really vegetarian friendly, plus I was heading to Kona for dinner afterwards so you know, bread and macadamia nut butter.

We were inside and didn’t have to wait to get a seat, it was dark, crowded, and noisy, none of which I find to be attractive features in a hotel bar.  The giant octopus moves and the volcano picture erupts.  It’s the kind of place where they yell things out depending on what people order, it’s crowded, and if you don’t arrive at or earlier than 4 pm you’re going to be waiting or you’ll get seating at the outside patio, which accommodates a lot more people.

There’s also something jarring and weird about people bringing their kids into the bar with them, which a lot of people did. In Disney World there are few places you can go that aren’t overrun with kids.  I’d be happy to have Trader Sam’s be strictly 21 and over, which given that it’s, you know, a bar, seems totally reasonable.

Naturally, I still need to go to the one in Disneyland in September.

Polynesian Trader Sam’s: Good? Bad? Indifferent about it?

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