Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto recently opened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, one of the monorail resorts at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The bar offers guests a place to relax with specialty cocktails and a small plates menu, but another draw is its themed environment.
Described as a South Seas hideaway, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located in the Great Ceremonial House the Disney Deluxe and DVC resort. As is common with Disney spaces, the bar has a backstory that informs its theming. Trader Sam, the “head” salesman who appears in the Jungle Cruise attraction, founded the bar – as well as its West Coast counterpart, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto embraces the resort’s theming, presenting itself as a South Seas hideaway. The indoor lounge, which has 50 seats, entertains with its detailed and immersive environment. Grog Grotto includes more than 1200 pieces of memorabilia, as well as interactive effects and surprises inside the bar. Guests may see a giant cephalopod (as well as other octopus or squid images and nods to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”), meet a Tiki goddess or experience an erupting volcano, all just a few of the bar’s special effects. Hint: ordering a specialty cocktail just might start some special effects.
Its outdoor space, with room for 82, has its own appeal. The patio, with umbrellas, encourages thoughts of a tropical vacation with its view of the Polynesian’s marina and Seven Seas Lagoon. The lava rock waterfall and nightly live Hawaiian-themed entertainment add to the atmosphere.
Trader Sam’s drink and food menus act as an extension of the bar’s theming. Some of Trader Sam’s specialty cocktails are available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs . Grog Grotto serves some of the signature drinks from Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Bar but also offers its own drink menu. Many drinks are rum-based, use tropical and/or lime juices and add a touch of cinnamon.
Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (currently):
- Castaway Crush: Lablon Cachaca, Cream of Coconut, pineapple, cinnamon and fresh lime juice.
- Dark & Tropical Stormy: Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh lime juice, ginger beer, and falernum.
- Nautilus: Barbancourt Pango Rhum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Combier Crème de Peche de Vigne Liqueur, tropical juices and falernum. This cocktail is served in a souvenir Nautilus (without the cephalopod), and is large enough to be shared.
- Polynesian Pearl: RumChata Cream Liqueur, Grand Marnier and cinnamon with tropical fruit juices. Served in a plastic souvenir “pearl” in either white or the rare black.
- Rum Flight: A 3/4 –oz. pour of each: Bacardi 8 yr; Pyrate XO Reserve, and Ron Zacapa Centenarios 23 yr. Served in a souvenir rum flight of shot glasses designed as mini Tiki mugs.
- Spikey Pineapple: Barbancourt Pango Rhum blend with pineapple soft serve.
- Tahitian Torch: ByeJoe Dragon Fire Spirit, tropical juices, passion fruit and fresh lime juice.
Cocktails brought over from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:
- Krakatoa Punch: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Pyrate XO Reserve Rum, Orgeat (Almond), Sam’s Gorilla Grog, and hibiscus grenadine.
- HippopotoMai-Tai: Coruba Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curacao, Orgeat (Almond), organic agave nectar and fresh lime juice. Served in a souvenir Tiki glass.
- Mosquito Mojito: Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, organic agave nectar, falernum, mint and fresh lime juice topped with soda water.
- Rosita’s Margaria: Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Bols Orange Curacao, fresh lime juice, falernum and organic agave nectar.
- Shrunken Zombie Head: Gosling’s 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8-year Rum, tropical juice, falernum and cinnamon. Served in a souvenir shrunken head.
- Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum: Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Cream of Coconut, orange and pineapple juices, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Uh-Oa! Myer’s Original Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, orange, passion fruit, guava, pineapple and grapefruit juices, falernum, cinnamon and fresh lime juice. Served in a souvenir Tiki glass, it is recommended for two or more guests.
Sam’s No-Booze Brews:
- Schweitzer Falls: Tropical juices and Sam’s Gorilla Grog topped with Sprite.
- Skipper Sipper: Tropical juices, organic agave nectar, falernum, mint and fresh lime juice topped with soda water.
- Polynesian Punch: Sam’s Gorilla Grog and hibiscus grenadine served in a souvenir sipper.
Grog Grotto also offers a small selection of beer (including a Kona beer flight), wine and a hard cider.
Trader Sam’s Grotto does have a limited food menu, focusing on small plates. It features chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce; Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips; kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (pressed sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup, and a Headhunter Sushi Roll. There are no vegetarian items on the menu. Both food and drink menu items, of course, are subject to change over time.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is open from 4 p.m. to midnight. The bar is open to guest 21 years and older after 8:00 p.m. No reservations are required but be warned: the new Grog Grotto is very popular with Walt Disney World guests, with waits of two hours or more during some peak periods. Be prepared to spend some time at Disney’s Polynesian Village, with pagers, to experience this unique environment.