This can only be a partial review because, tragically, I didn’t actually end up inside Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar combines two of my favorite things: tiki and Disney. It’s located behind the Disneyland Hotel. We decided to walk to Trader Sam’s from our hotel, and due to some misdirection on my part (I have zero sense of direction…if there is a right way to go, I will go the opposite way) we ended up walking allllllll the way around the entire perimeter of the Disney property to get there. Needless to say, we were both hungry and tired when we reached the bar, which was unsurprisingly crowded on a Saturday night when the area was filled with vintage enthusiasts. We waited in line to get into the bar for a while, but with a promise of at least another forty minutes until we could even get inside, we decided to give in and grab a seat on the patio instead.
The patio surrounding the bar is first-come, first-served for seating, and if you sit within the ropes, you’ll get table service. It’s still very much themed, lined with tiki torches and heat lamps, and we were seated right next to a wonderful live Hawaiian band. You can get all the same treats as inside out on the patio, so I ordered based on which mug I wanted (of course) and got the Krakatoa Punch. We also ordered chicken & lettuce wraps and the Hawaiian flatbread for dinner.
I know the punch is one of the drinks that causes some Enchanted Tiki Room magic to happen inside the bar, so I’m bummed to have missed that, but it makes quite the statement all on its own! The mug is great, highly detailed and unique, and the drink GLOWS. It definitely got a lot of attention when the waitress brought it out, and the couple across from us decided to order one of their own after seeing mine! It was tasty; not a super complexly flavored drink, but a decent mix of sweet/fruity flavor and rum. Potent but drinkable.
Unfortunately, I can’t give equal props to the food. It was very busy and my flatbread ended up getting lost in the shuffle; the staff was really great, per Disney standards, and took it off the bill for me, which I ended up being doubly grateful for because it was pretty mediocre. I also tried a bite of the chicken lettuce wraps, which I found really bland. It’s not bad food, but you can definitely find better in the park.
Like I mentioned above, the service was high quality as always; I especially appreciated that they brought me a new, clean mug in the box to take home with me. Made it a lot easier to transport it home on a plane when sometimes it feels like a struggle to get a still sticky tiki mug home from 15 minutes away! I will note that I got a bit of sticker shock when they brought the bill. There aren’t any prices for drinks or mugs listed in the menu, and while I knew it would be more than I was used to paying at home, I coughed at $23 for a drink + mug. It’s definitely a quality mug, and one I’ll cherish, so I don’t regret buying it at all…it would have been nice to have some forewarning, though!
We thought about stopping by Trader Sam’s for another chance to get inside over lunch after visiting the Expo, but as I said, I wasn’t impressed with the food there so I would have wanted to actually eat elsewhere (and I was hongry). I was a little worried about making it back for our Space Mountain FastPass, so we grabbed lunch in Downtown Disney instead. In retrospect, we definitely could have dropped by Trader Sam’s for a drink and still had plenty of time to get lunch and get to the ride, but as my mom always says, “If you do everything you want to the first time, you won’t have any reason to come back.” You won’t elude me next time, Trader Sam!
The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)
Ambiance: (For the patio only!)