The moment you step foot into Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar and hear the bartender yell "Shipwreck" you instantly realize this isn't just any ordinary bar.
After many years as a successful "witch doctor," word of Sam's exotic elixirs spread and he decided there was enough demand to open up a bar that would be convenient for weary travelers. He selected the lush jungle area of the Disneyland Hotel to set up shop.
Sam hired retired and off-duty Jungle Cruise skippers-known for their "skipper humor"-to maintain his bar, and Sam will pay tribute to them by selecting a Skipper of the Year. This year's honoree is Gerry York.
Personal photographs of Trader Sam along with mementos from his travels line the walls of the intimate space. Many of the artifacts were inspired by Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room,Indiana Jones Adventure, the Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea and the 1954 Disney film classic, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
While the Polynesian drinks and menu items, such as the Kahlua Pork Flatbread and the Pu Pu Platter are delightful, it's the small details that bring the bar to life. Some artifacts have found their way from the now-closed Adventure's Club at the Walt Disney World resort, such as the ship in the glass bottle. Other artifacts include a photo of Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian,on a trip south of the border and another show former Jungle Cruise Skipper John Lasseter.
Know before you go:
Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is open 11:30a.m.-1:30a.m. After 8p.m., only guests ages 21 years and above are allowed inside the bar area.There is live entertainment on the patio from 6 p.m.- 10p.m. nightly.
I was once a Jungle Cruise Skipper, before Club 33...DR LEE