We on the Disneyland Resort side have been hesitant to perform a Trader Sam’s review as we know many of Drinking Disney’s Floridian fans, including its editor, are sentimental over the removal of the much beloved Adventurers Club, for which Trader Sam’s owes its existence. We are committed to handling this delicately, and hope the following will be well received, if not entertaining.
Bottom line, Trader Sam’s is charming. Everything about it, the theme, the decor, the menu, and of course, the staff simply exudes South Pacific Disney charm. That said, the new Trader Sam’s is a little overwhelming.
Get anywhere within sight of the place and you will be struck by the intricate detail. Sights, sounds, smells, more sights and sounds, Trader Sam’s is a ritual assault on the senses. Only thing, and it feels like blasphemy to say this about anything Disney, it’s a bit overdone.
Inside, the tavern is littered with bric-a-brac. Every bit of it plays a part in telling the overall tale, and is thus indispensable. But either the bar itself is too small, or the story being told is overly elaborate, because what’s going on inside Trader Sam’s is unnerving.
If the paraphernalia on and coming out of the walls doesn’t get to ya, the stuff hurtling at you from behind the bar just might. The menu itself is part of the romance and if anyone in attendance orders a specialty drink things start to happen.
A drink called “Ship Wreck” gets everyone in the bar spritzed lightly with water, while the “UH OA!” gets everyone sprayed directly in the face. Every specialty elicits its own delightful nuance, from causing a volcano eruption, to setting off the wait staff, each having a particular effect on the lights.
The place is truly a blast. I mean it’s fun, that’s not just a cheap play on words. I do want to warn first time visitors this is not the most relaxing spot at the resort, unless you choose to roost outside on the deck. Trader Sam’s is blessed with a Hall of Fame patio.
Here is our recommendation: poke your head inside, and once your brain starts ringing, after your face gets splashed, pop back outside, grab a lounge chair and order something simple. After you’ve had a few, head inside and join and add to the festivities.
Christopher Schmidt also writes at National Vodka Examiner
Trader Sam’s outdoor patio photo by Loren Javier used via Creative Commons.