It’s hard to find a time when I am perfectly pleased with paying $40 for a drink. Just considering purchasing a $40 drink surprised my wife and me! But, there we were gladly ordering the Uh-Oa! Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is one of the best times you can have with friends and family with good food and drinks to boot! If you have never been, you should go, its worth every penny. Anyway, Disney explains it pretty well:
Trader Sam is the legendary “head” salesman who offers you a hard-to-pass-up deal—2 of his heads for 1 of yours—at the conclusion of Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom park. Don’t worry! You’ll get an equally great deal—without losing your head—at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Some of it might be pricey, but it’s all worth it even if you have to give up your head. The trickiest part is getting to Trader Sam’s. If you aren’t staying at the Polynesian Resort or have a reservation at the restaurants there parking can be difficult. If your lucky security may let you go through if you ask nicely or they will say the only thing available is valet parking which is about $20. As an alternative, you could park at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and walk over to the Polynesian or take the Monorail to the Polynesian. If it’s a nice night, walk, enjoy the weather.
Trader Sam’s opens at 4 p.m. and it is a small lounge so be sure to get there about 15 to 30 minutes before it opens. We have made the mistake of being there early and thinking we had plenty of time went over to Capt. Cook’s for a quick snack while waiting for Trader Sam’s to open. About three minutes after it opened it was full and we were sent elsewhere. Learn from our mistake, go early and wait in line or you will miss out. Don’t forget, you can bring kids up until 8 p.m. so they can join in on all the fun!
The Food and Drink
The drinks were good, the food was good. We got the Uh-Oa! (39.99) which is a drink for two or more on the menu, but you could easily handle it yourself if you like. The Uh-Oa! is a mix of Myer’s Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, passion fruit, guava, pineapple, and grapefruit juices, falernum(a sweet syrup), cinnamon, and fresh lime juice. It is light and refreshing on those hot summer days and easy to drink without much hint of the alcohol that is in it. The price and drinkability of the Uh-Oa! is a good reason to make it a two-person drink!
For the appetizers, we had the Headhunter Sushi Roll (14.99) and Pan-fried Dumplings (8.49) which came with Soy-Sesame dipping sauce. Both were pretty darn good, you wouldn’t be disappointed spending money on them. I prefer the Pan-fried Dumplings, they had good flavor and convinced you to reach for more. Order a few appetizers when you are with friends and share. Only appetizers here so don’t expect a full meal, but you could definitely fill yourself up. There’s much more that they offer than we had including nonalcoholic drinks and many themed cocktails with souvenir glasses. Jump on over to their official menu to check everything out!
The Trader Sam’s Experience
Have you ever walked out of a movie theater to realize that it’s still bright outside? Well, this is kind of like that, you walk into the dark and forget what the outside world is doing. You walk into a dimly lit room with all kinds of knick-knacks, pictures, and artifacts hanging on the wall. Find a seat, they have a long table in the center that puts you in the middle of the action, but if you want the best people-watching views you might try a seat along the wall. Although this is one of the few places where you can blatantly people-watch and not be noticed.
Our waitress worried me at first, she seemed uninterested and unfriendly, but she ended up being one of the better ones. I don’t know if her personality was part of her schtick, but it made the night much more fun. When you order certain drinks you get a show when your drink comes out. In Trader Sam’s when you buy one of your fancy drinks, you don’t just get a cool glass to drink out of you get a show along with it. It’s not a show from performers, it’s a show from the people who serve your drinks, your waiters, and your bartenders which makes it even more genuine and fun. Something you can be part of. So, when you order one of these drinks, have fun and play along. It’s hard to describe, but watch below and maybe you can catch some of the fun.
Honestly, the video is not that great you don’t get to see the whole show, but listen to the laughter. The genuine and heartfelt joy and from some people who have a hard time finding that joy and that laughter. Who, for a few moments found absolute happiness, all from ordering a drink, in a lounge, in Walt Disney World. Do yourself and me a favor and go to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Go enjoy yourself, have fun, and forget, at least for a little bit.
As a consolation, if you don’t make it in time to get a seat and don’t want to wait until a seat opens up head on out the doors at the end of the hall and turn right. There you will find Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace where you can enjoy all the drinks and food that are inside, alfresco. It’s a beautiful little consolation too, with tiki torches, waterfalls, and views of Seven Seas Lagoon!