Hidden away in the Disneyland Hotel California is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. This is one of our favorite places in all of the Disneyland Resort. If you don’t know about the bar it’s very easy to miss and many people visiting Disneyland never even know the bar exists. It’s also a little quirky and hard to get the best from as certain drinks come with certain perks. So you need to know what to order and what to expect to get the best out of Trader Sam’s.
In our Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Review and Guide, we take you through the whole menu and let you know exactly what drinks do what, what you get, and how to make the most out of your Tiki experience.
What is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
- Location – Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, California
- Theme – Magical Tiki Bar with Interactive Displays
- Cuisine – Polynesian/Hawaiian/Tiki
- Style – Themed Table service
- Cost – $14-$15.50 for a Tiki Drink $36-$46 including Mug
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is, rather obviously a Tiki Bar… that’s enchanted. For those that do not know a Tiki Bar is a Polynesian/Hawaiian Themed Bar serving primarily Fruity Tropical Cocktails in neat fun glasses. The Culture emerged around the 1930s and enjoyed a couple of peaks and troughs of popularity before falling out of favor. A resurgence in the late ’90s and more recently has seen a slew of new venues popping up and Trader Sam’s is one such bar, only opening in 2011 despite the Enchanted Tiki Room experience being open in Disneyland since 1963.
The bar serves large Tiki cocktails in quirky custom mugs and is decorated in a Polynesian style with cool little movie and ride references based on the Adventureland area of the park. Trader Sam is a character from the Jungle Cruise ride and had a store at the end of the cruise adventure. Inside the Bar are over 1600 pieces of memorabilia from franchises such as Indiana Jones and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. There are also items and characters from the Enchanted Tiki Room, and several drinks give nods to Jungle Cruise and the Tiki Room.
Note – Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room is located inside the Disneyland Hotel. However, you do NOT have to be staying there to visit the bar. The Tiki Room is located in the hotel’s gardens near the pool and can be accessed from Downtown Disney. All you need is a Reservation for the Tiki Room(See Below)
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Experience
We love the Tiki Bar and make visiting one of our top priorities. As the Bar is situated in the Hotel, no park ticket is needed so we tend to make the Tiki room one of the first places we visit on arrival night when we we are staying over. It’s a great way to kick off our Disney experience.
The bar is located near the pool in the Disneyland Hotel and on arrival the Tiki Lamps will be lit and a warm Island welcome awaits. The bar is really small, probably less than 50 covers which makes for a fun and intimate atmosphere. The Bar seats are the best as this allows interaction with the quirky bartenders. Inside the room, it’s all Bamboo and Tiki Carvings and strange and interesting artifacts. it’s pretty dark and has an air of the mysterious about it.
Once seated you will be served by the bartenders who have a dry wit and act pretty surly, but it is all an act and part of the fun. You might get a little teased or receive some pretty abrasive service, but the sarcastic nature is deliberate and reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise Humor.
We look at this in-depth below but certain drinks trigger Events, these are light and sound shows with animatronics that adds a really fun aspect to the Bar. These allow for audience participation as the bartenders initiate chants, ring bells, squirt water, and generally get really excited by any trigger that you or other guests may have initiated.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Menu
The Menu is pretty fluid at the Tiki Bar and prices fluctuate quite wildly to the point they do not always even have prices on. The food menu is a little more predictable, but still subject to chance.
The Full Menu can be found here so you can stay up to date
The food options at the bar are pretty poor. This is not a place to come eat. There are some snack options that are pretty tasty but on the whole, it’s a bar and the focus is on Drinks and fun, not the food. They have upped their game recently but it’s still Drinks first, food second.
The menu is largely based on Polynesian cuisine and features Poke, Gyoza, Tako (Octopus), and Polynesian-style wings. Most items are pretty tasty but are served Appetizer style and in pretty small portions for quite high prices. Really the food is not bad, it’s just expensive.
choice of Ahi Tuna*, Salmon* or Marinated Tofu with Smashed Avocado, Sliced Cucumber, Edamame and Imitation Crab Salad with Sushi Rice, topped with Crispy Fried Onions and Togarashi Aioli
Steamed Pork and Vegetable Pot Stickers served with Gochujang Aïoli, Unagi Sauce, and Bonito Flakes
Marinated Short Rib served with Jasmine Rice, Macaroni Salad and Tangy Slaw
Teriyaki Chicken Hawaiian Platter
served with Jasmine Rice, Macaroni Salad and Tangy Slaw
Panko-crusted Long Beans
served with Togarashi Aïoli
Fried Octopus with Unagi and Togarashi Aïoli, topped with Green Onion and Bonito Flakes
Angus 1/2 lb Hawaiian Cheeseburger
with Grilled Pineapple, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Havarti Cheese, Butter Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, and Sweet-and-Spicy Spread, served with Sweet Potato Fries
Little Gem Salad with Grilled Salmon
Little Gem Leaves, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Avocado, Queso Fresco, POG Vinaigrette, with Grilled Salmon
Little Gem Salad with Poached Chicken
Little Gem Leaves, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Avocado, Queso Fresco, POG Vinaigrette, with Poached Chicken
Rich Pork-based Broth, Wavy Noodles, Pork Belly Slices, Fresh Green Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms, Fish Cake, Black Garlic Oil, Sambal, Soft-boiled Flavored Egg and Nori
Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Wings
served with Togarashi Aïoli
Pu Pu Platter
Pork Gyoza, Panko-crusted Long Beans, Macaroni Salad, and Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Wings served with Togarashi Aïoli
Rongo Salad (Plant Based)
Edamame, Green Papaya, Iceberg Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Gooseberries, crispy Shallots, Sesame Seeds, and Marinated Tofu, with Fermented Miso Vinaigrette
Note- Prices can and do change frequently – Full Menu here
The most filling item is the 1/2lb Burger which is about the only thing on the menu that can be considered a meal and at $18 it’s not badly priced. It’s a decent burger but with sweet additions such as pineapple, it’s not for everyone.
The Poke Bowl is pretty good for Poke outside of Hawaii, and the Hawaiian Platters are fairly substantial. The Pu Pu Platter is our go-to, the wings are fantastic and the Gyoza really tasty, Mac Salad is Mac Salad, and the Fried Beans add a bit of bulk and are really tasty.
However, overall we are here for the drinks so normally just grab the Pu Pu Platter to share, which gives you a nice taste of most items, and hit the drinks.
Drinks are where the Tiki Bar really shines and are probably the best drinks in Disneyland. Like all Disney drinks, they are still partially pre-mixed but they use proper liqueur, added to mixes and everything is really strong. They are not cheap, but at least you are getting a good drink for your money here.
We are huge lovers of Hawaiian Culture and anything Tiki based is right up our street. The drinks at Trader Sam’s are playful, fruity, and filled with tropical tastes and flavors. Really there are very few bad choices.
The Hipopoto Mai Tai is the classic Tiki drink. The Trader Sam’s version is not exactly authentic but it does contain the right ingredients and has a strong taste of sweet almond from the Ogeat and plenty of Rum.
The Zombie is the strongest drink and comes with a boatload of rums, including 151 Hamilton Rum which really lifts the drink. It’s not that tasty but is very powerful, so if you like rum, it’s pretty epic.
Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum is basically a pina colada, and we also love the Mosquito Mojito and the Safari Swizzle. The Uh-Oa and the Sea Monsters Embrace are sharing drinks and are actually fairly good value as you get a lot of drink, and a lot of theatre, all in one drink.
There is a pretty extensive selection of beers and wines along with Fizz and Sangria, ut on the whole we come for the Tiki Cocktails as beer and wine can be found almost anywhere but these drinks are pretty unique.
There are also some Non-Alcoholic Drinks for those who do not partake. These are pretty exotic in nature and feature many of the flavors and styles of the main drinks but without the grog. There is even the Schweitzer Falls drink, named after the Famous Explorer Dr. Albert …Falls.
Souvenir Tiki Mugs
Some drinks come with Souvineer Tiki Mugs that you can take home with you. Most of the drinks give you an option but the sharing drinks all require you to pay for the Tiki Mug. These are pretty cool, but are large and quite heavy and not that useful once you get them home.
- Uh-Oa! – This is the Headline drink in the Tiki Bar and comes flaming and triggers the Uh-Oa sequence at the bar (see below). The drink is for at least two people and comes in at $65 with the take-home mug/bowl
- Sea Monsters Embrace – Another Sharing drink costing the same $65 as the Uh-Oa! A little like a long island Iced Tea with lots of liquor and fruit juices.
- HippopotoMai-Tai – A classic Mai Tai served in a really fun Tiki Mug and one of the cheapest souvenir mugs at $36
- Krakatoa Punch – The Krakatoa Punch comes with a glowing orb and triggers the Krakatoa Sequence and erupting Volcano. $46
- Zombie – The most desirable and our favorite Mug. The Zombie mug constantly evolves and a collection of these marks you out as a real Disney nutter. $46
- Piranha Pool – Another Really Cool Mug. It’s not our favorite drink but the Phirana mug is definitely worth grabbing. $46
- Tangaroa Cooler – This mug is a bit more “standard” We really like the drink, a real tangy flavor, but the Mug is a bit bland. $46
- Shipwreck On The Rocks – Again the Shipwreck is a great drink but the mug is so-so and the Drink triggers the sequence regardless of the mug.
Some bartenders will allow you to have the fancy Tiki Mug, but not take it with you, and charge the basic price, whereas some strictly enforce the policy that if you are not buying the mug you need to have the standard glass. It never hurts to ask.
Some drinks trigger certain events and animatronics. Order the right drink and the whole Bar lights up with lights sounds and chanting. You do not need to order the Mug-version of these drinks to trigger the Event.
- Shipwreck on the Rocks – Stormy Seas are ahead and the whole bar takes on a moody Stormy atmosphere. Lighting Strikes, Thunder roars, and the Ship in a Bottle experience some rough seas and an unfortunate end. You are also likely to get a little wet!
- Krakatoa Punch – Ordering the Krakatoa Punch is not the best idea as this heralds the eruption of the great volcano. The Statue glows red, steam emits and the Volcano begins erupting outside the windows.
- Zombie Head – The Zombie is supposed to trigger the interactive seats. If seated at the bar some seats can be lowered to give the sensation of you shrinking. This is not always done, however.
- Uh-Oa! – It costs $65 to trigger this but it’s a pretty special experience. The Drink Arrives flaming, with Cinemin powder sprinkled into the flames for added effect and the whole bar erupts with chants of ” Uh-Oa Uh-Oa Uh-Oa Uh-Oa Uh-Oa ” The Main statue glows and steams and the bartenders often spray the crowd as well. If you don’t get an Uh-Oa! event during your visit you really are missing out.
- Draft Beer – If you order a beer, not only are you missing out, you do trigger a small event. Tiki Drums beat and the carved handle lights up. Order a few and the Tiki gods get really excited.
The good thing about the Triggered events is you do not have to order the drinks yourself. Simply hang around and someone else will and you all get to enjoy the experience. It would be very expensive to order enough drinks to trigger all the events, but you usually get a few per visit as other people try them out, or order by accident!
We absolutely love Trader Sam”s Enchanted Tiki Bar and make it a must-do on every visit. It is not the cheapest experience in Disneyland, especially for this of us who collect the mugs. But the fun atmosphere, kookie design, great drinks, and hilarious Triggered events just make it a really special part of our trips. It feels like a little hidden gem that only we know about and as such feels really special.
We always head to Trader Sam’s on arrival. We are almost always staying over ready for an early start and rope drop, so after checking in, we wander over to Downtown Disney and then the Hotel for our Pre-Park Ritual.
For anyone looking for a unique and really fun experience, the Tiki Bar is one of the worst-kept secrets in the resort. While it’s hidden away in the hotel and fewer people know about the bar than many of Dinseylands more popular restaurants, enough people still know about it to make reservations challenging.
Getting Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Reservations
The bar is very popular and very small, which is a bad combination as far as availability goes. This limited availability, slow turnover, and high demand often mean the Bar has no availability and rarely opens up the Walk-up line. This means getting reservations at the bar is pretty tricky, let’s look at how to go about it.
How to Get Hard To Get Disney Reservations
60 – Days
The best option is to be prepared. The booking window opens at 6 AM PST 60 days in advance. With in-demand locations such as the Tiki Bar, you can expect the reservations to vanish in minutes, sometimes seconds. So you need to be ready and waiting at 5:55 AM logged in, and credit card details at hand.
If you fail to bag them at this point then your chances have drastically diminished, but there is still hope. The best plan now is to just keep trying. People’s plans change all the time and if you fail to cancel a reservation at the Tiki Bar you are charged so people often let their reservations go and they are released back into the pool.
Keep checking and hope they become available. We have more details on this here along with how to set up alerts for reservations.
If you are lucky enough to be staying in the Disneyland Hotel, definitely try the concierge as they might be able to wangle some reservations for you as a perk of staying in the resort…no guarantee however, but it’s worth a shot.
Mobile Dine Walk-Up List
The final option is the Walk-Up List. These are managed now via the Disneyland App and if availability comes up it is offered through the App, so keep checking throughout the day and hopefully, the list will open up. But remember this is outside the parks so the list does not work as well as it does for in-park dining.
The final option is to just head over and ask, most of the time you are turned away, but there is always a chance. But the best shot is always the 60-day booking window!
If you don’t get in then the best option is the Tangaroa Terrace. Mainly as this offers a very similar menu and you can get the same Tiki Drinks here that you can in the Tiki Room. There is also a Take-Out window that lets you order the drinks in plastic cups and you can drink by the pool. So if you just can’t get in, you can still get your HippopotoMaiTai, Zombie, and Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, without the experience of the actual room.
Have Your Say
Have you visited Trader Sam’s Tiki Room? How did you find the experience? What drinks did you order and what Events were triggered while you were there? Did you pick up a souvenir mug? How is your collection looking? And have you got a Sharing Bowl at home? Let us know your thought in the comments below and if you have any questions just fire away.