Trader Sam’s was a place we were both really looking forward to trying out. I actually did minimal research on the place so I wouldn’t know about the special things that happen when certain drinks are ordered – I wanted to be surprised 🙂
We took a bus from Disney Springs to the Polynesian, and arrived around 3:30. I love the lobby there, that hotel is on my must-stay list for one day in the future!
Trader Sam’s didn’t open until 4pm, but we went to check in around 3:40. We were told there were 28 people ahead of us on the list, and then we were handed a pager. I did research enough to know the capacity of the bar is about 40 people, so I knew we wouldn’t have to wait too long!
We found a seat along the bench in the hallway outside Capt’ Cooks. Luke decided to run to the bathroom, so he completely missed out on the family that sat down beside me and yelled at each other for the next few minutes… They were definitely at the tail end of their vacation, and I’d say they were sick of spending that much time with each other, coupled with a lack of sleep. The kids were fighting with each other, the parents were fighting with each other, the kids and parents were fighting each other. It was really lovely Disney Magic to be a part of (that last sentence was sarcasm in case you couldn’t tell…)
Once 4pm hit, we noticed people walking past us with buzzing pagers, so we knew they had begun letting people in to Trader Sam’s. Around 4:10 we were buzzed, and in we went!
Most of the smaller tables had already been grabbed, so we sat down at a large round table, fully prepared to share. Before long a family came over and asked if they could sit with us, and of course we said yes. There was one couple who were DVC owners, and if I remember correctly they had two of their adult children with them, as well as a teenage grandchild and a few family friends. They were extremely friendly, and we enjoyed chatting with them for the next hour or so.
We had our dinner reservation coming up at ‘Ohana, so we knew we didn’t want to order any food at Trader Sam’s. Let’s be serious here – no one goes to Trader Sam’s for the food, it’s all about the fancy drinks!
I really wanted to try the Nautilus, but it’s huge (recommended for 4 people), and costs $55, so I scaled back and went with the 2 person, $40 Uh-Oa 🙂
This is described on the menu as: Myer’s original dark rum, bacardi superior rum, orange, passion fruit, guava, pineapple and grapefuit juices, falernum, cinnamon and fresh lime juice. It is served in a souvenir glass, and your server will light it on fire at your table. The cinnamon sits in the top of the head of the three little tiki guys, and you can throw it into the flame to make sparks. It’s pretty entertaining! If you want just the drink, the cost is $20, but if you want the glass to take home they will charge you an additional $20 for it. They just mark it on your receipt, and as you’re leaving they will give you a brand new, unused mug securely boxed up.
Luke decided to go for the Dark & Tropical Stormy – Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh lime juice, ginger beer and falernum, $8.50.
This one obviously has a much cheaper price tag, since it is a significantly smaller serving than my Uh-Oh, and it is not served in a souvenir mug. I really loved the broken umbrella to add to the “stormy” name of it. Luke loved this drink, it had a lot of booze and a lot of kick and a really great flavour. He did end up ordering a second one (and says he could have continued drinking them all night if we didn’t have a supper reservation).
Of course with certain drinks, there is a bit of a “show”, and it was so much fun to just be in that little bar enjoying some drinks and taking everything in. I highly recommend making time to go check out Trader Sam’s on every trip!