Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

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I know you’re excited for this post. No. We did not brave the insanity of opening night. We went on Sunday, and about an hour and 15 minutes before opening, Matt and I were around #30 in line. Thank goodness it was in the low 70s, as guests were directed to wait outside, much like those on Saturday who waited many, many hours more. And no free Dole Whips for us.

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Okay. So what’s with all the hubbub, Bub? If you’re just in it for the souvenir glassware, go to the Tiki Terrace (shorter wait). Matt and I were told that (at least for right now) if you want one of the souvenir glasses to purchase, you must buy the drink that comes in it. So no swapping one concoction and having it served in another glass. BUT. A person nearby who could not consume alcohol asked for a non-alcoholic drink in a specific glass, and claimed they were told this would not be an issue while on line. The CM inside needed to double check, but the guest was able to get said drink in the souvenir glass. Whether it was just a virgin version of the drink or something else, I do not know. Just passing that info which I witnessed on to you.

But we HAD to get in to the real deal. I’m a bit of a Tiki fan, we both loved the Adventurers Club, and also this place is shiny and new. Speaking of Adventurers Club, some of these seats sink, much to the surprise of several guests on our visit.

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We knew what we were going to drink and order before we arrived, as we were on a tight schedule to get home. We had lunch earlier at Kona Cafe (review to come), so were more full than we anticipated. At least we ordered one food item to show you!

trader-sams-grog-grotto-family-tree-east-coast-branchOops, I might have ordered a Shrunken Zombie Head

When you order one of the specialty cocktails that comes in a souvenir glass, the CMs have a short schtick that relates to said drink. A monsoon my swing by, or the volcanoes may erupt.

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For our food, we ordered the Roasted Chicken and Pork Pate Banh Mi Sliders. These are served a bit different than your typical slider and are a bit more difficult to consume, as the bread is split like a hot dog bun, and the fillings stuffed inside. The flavors were good, but I’m definitely interested in exploring other items on the menu on our next visit.

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I ordered the Shrunken Zombie Head, which features Gosling’s 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8 year Rum, Tropical Juices, Falernum, and Cinnamon. Yup. This drink is strong, but balanced. It’s definitely dangerous as it goes down waaaay too easily.

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Matt ordered the Krakatoa Punch. He had been more interested in the Tahitian Punch, worrying the Krakatoa would be too sweet, but upon the news he couldn’t swap drinks and still get the glass, he ordered it as is. The light comes from a glow cube set on red, but when you pick up your souvenir glass when you exit, you don’t get to bring it home. (Souvenir glasses are kept at the reception area and are bubble wrapped and boxed.)

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The Krakatoa Punch features Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Orgeat (Almond), Sam’s Gorilla Grog, and Hibiscus Grenadine. I tasted it and preferred the Zombie, but it was still very good. I’d order either drink again, but not until we collect all the souvenir glasses. 🙂 By the way – the Nautilus is for two (or more) guests, although the menu does not state this. They also do not have any in stock.

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One of our tablemates ordered the Rum Flight. With this – and the beer flight – you can take the souvenir glasses home, but NOT the board.

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trader-sams-grog-grotto-uh-oa-krakatoa-punch-shrunken-zombie-head-polynesian-punchAt the far end you can see the Uh-Oa

Ok, so our drinks and food were very good, now let me show you some more interior shots and the menu. 😀

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Was it worth the hour plus wait for us to get in? Yes, and that’s coming from a local who is so spoiled they won’t wait longer than 20 minutes for any attraction in the parks. 😉 It was like the Enchanted Tiki Room had a bar in it (let’s get on that, Disney). It had a bit of Adventurers Club feel as well, which is sort epic in and of itself. It’s a really cool lounge, and I know Matt and I will do some damage there (pending getting in). Strong yet balanced and tasty drinks, and the food we had was solid. So can we just move in to one of the new bungalows and hang out at the Grotto now?

Let us know if you’ve made it in to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. What did you order and what did you think?

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8 responses to “Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

  1. Thank you for the review! I can’t wait to give the place a try! Sadly, I’m going to have to wait until they are no longer doing the soft open since I don’t think my husband will be thrilled with the hour drive to find they are closed. I read that the Nautilus will cost $59 (ouch) any idea how much the Uh Oa! is? I haven’t seen price for anything other than food and the Nautilus online yet.

  2. Oops! I meant to post prices. The drinks with the souvenir mugs we ordered were $20 each, I believe. I think the drinks were essentially a $10 surcharge to take the glass home. I don’t know the price of the Uh-Oa, but seeing it looks like it could be a $20 surcharge. The Nautilus – if it is indeed a drink for two people – I imagine would cost $20 for the booze, so a $59 price tag doesn’t seem too far fetched (especially considering that some of the ceramic tchotkes at the Co-Op at DTD are $20-25 and much smaller).

  3. Looks like a lot of fun! I don’t think there’s a drink on that menu that I wouldn’t want to try- definitely my kind of place.

  4. You’re right! When you think about it, given Disney prices, it really isn’t very expensive in the end. I’ve ordered several margaritas at La Cava del Tequila, which don’t come with a souvenier glass, at close to the same cost.

    I would assume the Uh Oa! is probably close to the $59 mark since it’s a large container. You mentioned surcharge, does that mean you were able to order the drink without the take home mug at a lesser price. (I’m so sorry for all the questions!)

  5. I ordered the Nautilus on opening night .. And made the mistake of drinking it all by myself. It’s a hefty $29 price tag for just the booze.

  6. Thank you for the info, DJ!

    Tracy – Yes, you can order the drinks without, and I believe they are around the $10-11 mark. Yes, La Cava can be pricy with some drinks hovering close to $15!

  7. We were the first group in on opening day, and contrary to the hype, it wasn’t insanity at all. We had the best day sitting in line, having a drink and playing card games to pass the time. With the beautiful weather, it was more than worth it to be the first inside our beloved Trader Sam’s.

    I’m looking at my receipt now and the Hippo Mai Tai was $15 (including the glass!), the Pearl was $16.25, the Rum Flight $34, the Uh-Oa $39.50, and the Zombie Head $19.50. To echo what you said above, really not too bad for a Disney-priced souvenir *including* alcohol! Can’t wait to go back!

  8. When I say insanity, I mean waiting as many hours prior to opening/to get in after opening that people did. That hour and 15 or so was a stretch for us. We grabbed a couple of Coronas from Capt. Cook’s and mostly just tooled around on our phones. They did open a little bit early, too. Thank you for the prices of what you ordered – it’s very helpful since they don’t list them! I can’t wait to complete the collection. 🙂