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Exploring The Magic Of Trader Sam’s: A Hidden Gem for Kids at Disney World

Exploring The Magic Of Trader Sam’s: A Hidden Gem for Kids at Disney World

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I took my kids to Trader Sam’s and we had a ball! Here’s why you should bring your kids along on your next visit.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Credit: Monica

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is truly a hidden gem and a hot ticket at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This is the most popular lounge available on Walt Disney World property, and for good reason!

Even if you haven’t ever heard of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, you’ve likely heard Trader Sam’s name! He is the famed Adventureland explorer that traveled around the world. He is connected to the S.E.A. (Society of Explorers and Adventurers). This group is a Disney parks original group of characters that connect together various attractions and restaurants at Disney properties around the world including Jungle Cruise, Skipper Canteen, Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mystic Manor, and more. Chalk one up to Disney’s fabulous Imagineers and their love of storytelling!

As described on the Disney website, “explorer Trader Sam was bitten by the bartending bug, and ever since then, Sam has searched for exotic ingredients to mix into magical libations.”

Getting a Table

Credit: Monica

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is one of the hottest tickets in all of Walt Disney World! It isn’t incredibly well-known, but those who know it, love it! The indoor space for the lounge is also incredibly small, leading to a capacity demand issue that results in high wait times.

The lounge is open from 3:00 p.m. to midnight and open for guests under the age of 21 until 8:00 p.m. The lounge begins taking names at 2:00 p.m., so it is in your advantage to head down early and put your name in!

Credit: Jaelyn

My (Jaelyn) family stayed at the Polynesian Resort during our visit in the Tokelau building. My husband put our name in around 2:30 and we were quoted an approximately two hour wait. The cast member told us we’d receive a text that our table was ready and have 15 minutes to check in in order to hold our reservation.

With young kids, this might be a difficult waiting task. Luckily, we were able to wait in our room while taking a break between hopping from park to park. When we received our text, however, we frantically rushed to get ready and head to the lobby. While the walk took a little while from Tokelau, we made it in time and made our way inside!

1) Take Your Kids for the Atmosphere

Credit: Monica

First off, you should plan to take your kids to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for the amazing atmosphere! This lounge is themed unlike any other space at Walt Disney World. The attention to detail and immersion is truly unmatched. Where else can you experience an indoor thunderstorm while enjoying your favorite beverage?

If your child loves Adventureland, they are sure to love Trader Sam’s. It is a cooler, more immersive Enchanted Tiki Room vibe. You could truly spend hours checking out all of the details and elements that go into the design!

My six year old was absolutely smitten with the atmosphere as a whole. He loved that as people ordered various drinks, various interactions occurred with the ambiance and with the guests inside. The atmosphere was truly magical for him, which was such a fun extension of the magical Adventureland vibes at the Magic Kingdom at our resort!

2) Take Your Kids for the Drinks

Credit: Jaelyn W.

While it seems totally bizarre to suggest to take your kids to a Tiki Bar for the drinks, the menu truly has great non-alcoholic options for individuals of all ages to enjoy!

Both of my sons (ages 3 and 6) ordered the Polynesian Punch (Sam’s Gorilla Grog and Hibiscus Grenadine) served in the Souvenir Sipper and a light up drink cube. The punch itself is $5, or, with the souvenir cup, $9.50.

As evidenced by the picture, my son was in awe of his drink! He loved the sipper, loved that it lit up, and loved the taste. He still loves to drink from his souvenir sipper at home and talks about his experiences at Trader Sam’s!

3) Take Your Kids for the Interaction

Credit: Jaelyn W.

Truly one of the highlights for us at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto was our interaction with the bartender. He was so fun with my sons, telling them jokes and really bringing them into the experience and story of Trader Sam’s.

As we all know, cast members truly are the magic at Disney, and this special experience simply reiterated my belief in this statement. While the atmosphere and drinks were fun, it truly was the jokes and banter with the bartender that made this experience something unforgettable for my kids!

4) Take Your Kids to Try Something New

Credit: Monica

Finally, one of the top reasons you should take your kids to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is to try something new at Walt Disney World. If your family is a frequent visitor of the parks like mine, you might have your favorites places and spots to visit on a trip. My family, for example, always tries to squeeze in a hub grass Casey’s Corner evening picnic and as many rides on Haunted Mansion as possible on every trip.

Something we try to do, however, is try something unique or different on every visit to Walt Disney World. Whether it is a new experience, like picking a pearl in the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT Center or visiting a new restaurant, trying something new at Disney provides a unique flair to each trip! Because we go to the parks so frequently, it is the unique experiences and special extras that really make each trip stand out from the rest in memories!

Have you ever visited Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto? Would you take your kids? Where are your favorite spots (hidden or otherwise) to take your kids on a Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to continue the conversation below! Also, share this article with all of your adventurous and Disney-loving family and friends!

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Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Kids shouldn't be in bars and I'll die on that hill

Tanner W

Thursday 8th of June 2023

Can’t we at least keep the bars/lounges kid free? I get it but the space is so small and the kids just run around or want to look around and walk around spilling the drink, screaming yelling etc. I mean some adults do this too and I’d prefer they not come either


Wednesday 7th of June 2023

I don't take my children to bars.


Wednesday 7th of June 2023

While it is fine to bring the kids, I think the cut off should be 7pm. You are also riling up the teetotalers who believe there should e NO alcohol allowed wherever children are. We have been here many times and love it! However, there are sometimes children (adults also) that cannot behave and their entitled parents who think their kids can do anything they want to. It ruins the experience for everyone when a child won't sit still & enjoy their mocktail, starts crying 'coz Mickey is not there or gets scared from the effects. Believe me, we have experienced it all. You need to know your kids. It's very easy for them to get overwhelmed.

Ian Lamble

Wednesday 7th of June 2023

Shouldn’t take kids to Trader Sams…leave it to the adults. Can’t we have some space once in a while ?

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