In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Barby Megan Walker, contributing writer
Tucked away in the backmost part of the Disneyland Hotel pool area lays a beautiful oasis full of fun and good food and drinks—Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar!
I'm a big fan of tiki bars in general, and—thankfully—there are a lot of them in Southern California; but, without a doubt, Trader Sam's is one of the best tiki bars I've ever been to. Whether you're looking for a bar to stop in and relax at, or an overall fun experience, Trader Sam's has what you're looking for—and more.
Trader Sam's opens in the mid-morning each day, and it definitely doesn't hurt to get there early. The bar is incredibly popular and gets very busy, especially at nights and on weekends. It is not unusual to find a long line people waiting outside of the bar's entrance each night.
While sitting inside is definitely the most fun part of the whole Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar experience, rest assured that if the line is simply too long and you don't want to wait, the outside seating can be just as fun, and the same food and drinks menu that you would have inside the bar is available. Additionally, outside is actually a fantastic place to sit and hang out at nighttime as there is often live music, and the tiki torches are all lit, giving off a super fun vibe.
If you're lucky enough to get a spot inside the bar though, you are definitely in for a treat. Easily one of the best tiki bars when it comes to the atmosphere around, Trader Sam's is adorned floor to ceiling in exotic and mysterious details. There is no such thing as a bad seat in the bar, but I personally enjoy sitting at the bar itself. It's fun to watch the bartenders make a wide variety of drinks, and the cast members who work in the bar are always a lot of fun to talk to. Once you're in the bar and settled in whatever seat you chose, one of the lovely cast members will hand over the menu and then you're in for a world of decisions.
Honestly, the food and the drinks menu at Trader Sam's are fantastic. The food menu—which was just recently refreshed (and is the same as the neighboring Tangaroa Terrace)—is amazing. The menu, which is Polynesian-inspired, offers a wide range of foods, from poke and a burger to ramen and salads to a traditional Hawaiian food platter, complete with rice and mac salad. No matter who you are, or what your diet typically consists of, you'll be able to find something on this menu, and it is all tasty.
Your food isn't the only hard choice you'll have to make when you're at Trader Sam's. You'll also face a difficult choice when it comes to your drink order. Whether you're looking for a cocktail or a non-alcoholic drink, you have a lot of choices, and, much like the food, they're all pretty tasty. You absolutely can't go wrong with any of the choices on the menu, but my favorite has always been, and remains to be, the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum. It's the perfect blend of citrus, coconut, and rum and makes for a delicious drink.
If you'd like a souvenir along with your drink, you're in luck. A few of the cocktails offer an option to have it served in a signature souvenir tiki mug, which you get to keep afterwards. The best part of this is once you're done with your drink, the cast member will hand you a brand-new, clean tiki mug in a box, so no cleaning of your own necessary before you leave. The various tiki mugs you can own are all super fun, and they change from time to time, so if you're aiming to be a collector, make sure you pick up the current edition while it's out. The Resort also releases limited edition special mugs from time to time.
As I mentioned before, however, the overall best part of Trader Sam's is, by far, the atmosphere. The bar is so detailed and so intricate, you could visit a hundred times and still notice something new each time. There are numerous details that adorn the walls and the bar area itself, showing you more about Trader Sam and all of his many adventures. The cast members also really add on to the atmosphere by really playing into the fun, interactive aspect of the bar. They are great with guests, chatting and making jokes, and they go the extra mile whenever someone orders one of the special drinks that comes with a "surprise," be it a volcano eruption or a tropical storm.
I could go on about how much fun Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is, but words honestly can't do it justice, it is really something that you absolutely must experience for yourself. Whether you've been a dozen times or have never been at all, do yourself a favor and stop by for a drink next time you're in the area, you won't regret it.