Adjacent to the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant and the pool at the Disneyland Hotel lies one of Disneyland's newest attractions, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. The tiki extravaganza opened in late May and is a small jewel box of a bar with elaborate tiki decorations, good natured staff and a take on tiki cocktail classics.
Visiting Trader Sam's is most of all an experience, not just a place for cocktails. The drinks while good are not outstanding but the overall ambiance is excellent. The folks who brought you the charm of the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland created their version of a tiki bar, with tons of decorations and the friendly attitude of all "castmembers."
The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum was recommended to me by Rumdood and so it was the first beverage I sampled. This take on a pina colada is made with reserve rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices, and dusted liberally with nutmeg and cinnamon. This drink did not trigger any magic, except in the glass.
The Uh Oa! (above) is described as "whoever is brave enough to conjure up this concoction cursed by Uh Oa, the tiki goddess of disaster, must be forewarned: When you mess with Polynesia, the tiki gods will squeeze ya (often with a lime)!" It is made with light and dark rums, orange, passion fruit, guava and grapefruit juices, Falernum, cinnamon, and freshly squeezed lime juice. As the cinnamon was thrown on to the fire, it sent up more flames. The crowd joined in a chant of "Uh Oa!" until the fire went out.
Several drinks trigger brief shows. When patrons order the Krakatoa Punch, the lights go down and a volcano erupts. Even more spectacularly, when guests order the Shipwreck on the Rocks, the ship in the bottle above the back bar encounters a storm and sinks. There are other tricks and surprises that I will leave for you to discover for yourself.
Trader Sam's is an oasis within the Disneyland Resort: real drinks, not too crowded, fun vibe. Its location off by the pool helps to keep it hidden. A recommended part of any visit to Disneyland. It has the kooky elements that you want in a tiki bar, but kicked up a notch by the animatronics wizardry of Disney imagineers.
Trader Sam's is open all day until 1:30 am and serves food from the adjoining Tarangoa Terrace.
Disneyland Hotel: 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA. Website here.