Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Orlando, FL
Bar & Restaurant
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Walt Disney World
Orlando, FL
Opened in 2015
Daily 4pm-midnight
(407) WDW-MAGIC

Critiki ratings

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

9

Overall

by 172 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.8
Drink Quality 8.8
Drink Selection 8.7
Food Quality 8.2
Food Selection 7.3
Mood 9.5
Music 9.4
Service 9.3
Tikiness 9.6
Tilt 9.2
Vibe 9

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 305 Trader Sam's Grog Grotto regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto opened at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
classic
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Orlando, FL
Bar, Hotel/Motel, Restaurant, Themed Attraction & Floor Show
8.6
in 2015. It is the sister of Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
Anaheim, CA
Bar
9.1
, found at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Like the bar in Anaheim, the Grog Grotto is a twin tribute to both the Enchanted Tiki Room
classic
The Enchanted Tiki Room
Orlando, FL
Themed Attraction
9.4
and Jungle Cruise attractions. It is densely decorated and intensely themed, just as you would hope to find in a Disney tiki bar.
Like the Jungle Cruise, the crew members at the Grog Grotto are trained to give you a theatrical, goofy, fun experience. Some drink orders trigger special effects around the room (order a Polynesian Pearl and watch your bartender retrieve your pearl from a large clamshell), and several drinks are served in souvenir mugs. The decor is a mix of tiki and nautical, with some nods to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and also includes pieces left over from the old Adventurer's Club that used to be part of Downtown Disney in Orlando. The menu is limited, with several small plates. There is also outdoor seating at the adjacent, relatively lightly-themed Tiki Terrace.
The Grog Grotto was added as part of a big refresh of the Polynesian Village Resort in 2015.
Children are welcome at the Grog Grotto during the day, but after 8pm it is only open to those 21 and older.

Comments

testtrack321
testtrack321 has visited Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
September 17, 2018, 8:02 PM
Grog Grotto is very similar to the Enchanted Tiki Bar with a few adjustments. Bad news: food selection and quality is worse. There are only a small selection of food and they're all pretty mediocre. Good news: Some new drinks that are classics like the Nautilus. Bad news: some new drinks that are trash like the Pearl. Good news: new effects! Bad news: a reduced focus on the bar and bartenders. I still prefer the OG over Grog Grotto but do find myself here a lot whenever I'm in Orlando.
q_tiki
q_tiki has visited Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
September 11, 2018, 2:56 AM
We were there about a year ago and really enjoyed our visit. It certainly has a Disney feel to it, which is good and also not good, depending on your preferences. They have some fantastic effects (like the big mural wall panels) which really enhance the feel. Having a different ritual for each drink is a lot of fun, but does get a tad bit tedious after a while. We really enjoyed our time there and will definitely return at some point.
Prikli Pear
Prikli Pear has visited Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
July 26, 2018, 8:47 AM
We weren't sure what to expect from a Disney tiki bar, but I'm happy to report we had a blast. We visited twice during our trip to DisneyWorld--once with the kids for dinner and again the next night with just the adults. If you're not staying at a Disney Resort, you're allowed to park for free at the Polynesian Village--just tell the guard booth you're there for Trader Sam's and show your ID!

After eating park food all day, Sam's menu was definitely a step up. The Kálua Pork Tacos, Roasted Chicken and Pork Pâte Bánh Mě Sliders and Thai Chicken and Vegetable Flatbread were excellent. The kids enjoyed their non-alcoholic mocktails. The actual cocktails are where Sam's falters a bit. All were on the sweet side, which, after watching most of the visitors to the place experience tiki for the first time, started making sense. They're catering to the vacation crowd that isn't hip to the craft cocktail scene, a crowd that is expecting Boat Drinks. Trader Sam's Grog Grotto serves cocktails that are a step up from Boat Drinks, but still skew to the sweet.

When I asked our first skipper what I should order "that I can't get at any other tiki bar" he thoughtfully suggested the Tahitian Torch, which is made with ByeJoe Dragon Fire Spirit. I liked it, as it had an undercurrent of capsaicin that balanced the heat of the syrups and juices. My opinion of the bar staff went up a few notches. The next night, when I commented on the falernum giving the Nautilus drink "spicy" notes, a different bartender (skipper) was utterly baffled. He had no concept of spicy meaning anything other than "hot" and thought the drink had been made incorrectly. Later that same evening, we mentioned to yet another skipper we were heading to the Mai Kai the next day, she had absolutely no clue what we were talking about.

That's when it really hit us--all of the skippers at Grog Grotto, funny and witty as they are, are not tiki people. It's all a performance. They don't understand rum or tiki culture or craft cocktails. They're actors trained by Disney to perform a role. They do a very good job and create an enjoyable experience, but ultimately Grog Grotto is a scaled-down, grown-up version of the Enchanted Tiki Room or Jungle Cruise, only with cocktails. There's nothing wrong with that, but once one sees through the illusion, a little of the magic is lost.
View all 23 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Always An Adventure
visiting on
Monday, April 8, 2019
for the first time
Regulars & Visitors
  • shaunthompson
  • ghornett
  • Sukielau
  • JP
  • Enchanted Erin
  • claysatiki
  • KariRyan
  • Trader Mike
  • 151
  • Hurricane Hayward
  • Tiki Twin
  • sherlock2713
  • michiganminiac
  • The Tizz
  • evanssc
  • djclulow
View all 305 Trader Sam's Grog Grotto regulars & visitors