One of the things I love most about living close to Disneyland is every time we drive down to Anaheim, even if it is for a few hours, my mind is tricked into believing that I am on vacation. Hanging out at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar only reinforces that mentality. This tropical hideaway is nestled in the center of the Disneyland Hotel surrounded by palm trees and lush greenery. The Tiki Bar is named after the best “head salesman” in the Amazon Jungle, Trader Sam. The moment you walk up the ramp to the main entrance of the bar and patio, you are transported to an aloha state-of-mind. The live band is playing a mellow Hawaiian-style tune while people are on the deck enjoying drinks, food and each other’s company.
I have been to Trader Sam’s a couple of times and love relaxing in the outdoor atmosphere. And as much as I like sitting outside, I have wanted to venture in-doors to the actual bar which is always full. However the ancient Hawaiian Gods were smiling down on us that afternoon. Phranq and I managed to score a high-top table in the corner of the room. Perfect for soaking up the atmosphere and people watching.
Walking into the bar, it felt like I was transported to one of my favorite places in the park, The Enchanted Tiki Room, but with a slight upgrade. Instead of Dole Whips it has tropical drinks and beer! Here’s a thought, perhaps Disney should consider adding “Adult Dole Whip Floats” to the menu! There were “living” Tiki totem poles on top of the bar with moving eyes, just like the ones in the Tiki Bird Show! I was waiting for them to start chanting and for the flowers to croon. But alas, they did not. But that was okay, there was so much to take in within the little space, animatronic singing flowers would have sent me into sensory overload. There are decorative windows that look out on to a rumbling volcano, and fun things on the wall that Trader Sam picked up over the years on his many adventures.
Keeping with the theme of the bar, the menu had exotic named drinks in fun glasses. On our last visit to Trader Sam’s I treated myself to a Hippopoto Mai-Tai, that was a little strong for me but it came in a very nice, clear, souvenir Tiki glass that I decided to take home. Don’t worry, I did not steal it. With some of the drinks you get the more expensive option of keeping the glass. In fact they give you a clean new one in a box! Since I splurged with my last drink purchase, I ordered a drink that would not tempt me into buying another glass. With a recommendation from our waitress I went for the Passionate Python. It was a mix of dark and aged rums, red passion fruit, and tropical juices with an orange peel hanging out of it that looked like a snake. I enjoyed this far better than the Mai-Tai.
Being the responsible adult that I am, I thought it would be best that we order a snack to go with the libations. The menu is full of flavor, a little Asian-fusion like Panko-crusted Chinese Long Beans that comes with a Sriracha Aioli and Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings. Basic staple foods like cheeseburgers and flatbreads but with a Hawaiian Island flare. I ordered the Kālua Style Pork Flatbread, it was calling to me! It has been my experience, when ordering a flatbread, I usually get something that looks and tastes like a giant cracker with toppings. This was not the case with this particular item, it was surprisingly soft, but still managed to hold up the toppings on it. Since the main topping was pulled pork, what better way to compliment it then by using a barbecue sauce instead of a basic tomato sauce. Now, I am not a huge fan of barbecue sauce. This one had a nice tang to it and was not overly sweet. I wish the kitchen was a bit more liberal with the pork topping. After all, pork is listed in the name before flatbread.
I am hoping to return to Trader Sam’s in the near future, but there are so many more eating establishments in Disneyland to cover! Let me know if there is a certain restaurant or quick service counter that you would like to know about.