When I went to Walt Disney World last month, there were many new experiences I was excited about, mostly, I confess, places to eat and drink.
Since I was staying at the DVC Villas at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, I was especially interested in visiting Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
I intentionally stayed away from information, as I wanted to be surprised, and boy, was I!
The first thing that surprised me was the size of the place. It's tiny! And if you didn't know about this establishment, you would very likely never know it was there, as it could easily be mistaken for a closet!
But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in themeing and fun. Well, the fun may very well depend on when you go. I went twice during my stay, the first night arriving at opening on Friday January 1st. It was loud, a lot of the volume being provided by the staff telling corny jokes along the lines of those you'd hear on The Jungle Cruise.
The second night was a Tuesday and it was much more sedate. The staff and guests both much more subdued. But I assume that all it would take to turn this place into a party would be a raucous group.
As for the food and drinks.
Whew! Okay, while I had avoided spoilers for the most part, I had at least heard the themed drinks were not cheap and had seen pictures of a few of these.
I knew going in I wanted the Nautilus which contains Barbancourt Pango Rhum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Combier Crème de Pêche de Vigne Liqueur, Tropical Juices, and Falernum.
I had a vague idea that this was a $30 drink. But I love the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and miss the attraction that was at the Magic Kingdom based on that film, and wanted this souvenir, perhaps for my wife to use as a planter.
I was told the drink was for 2, which was fine, I went ahead and ordered it. I am a big boy, I can handle it. It was delicious.
I was asked if I wanted the Nautilus, and my server Brandy explained to me I would receive a fresh one boxed up when leaving. I said "Absolutely!"
Then I got the bill. And sticker shock! The drink was in the $30 range, but the actual Nautilus was an additional $20. Plus tax and tip, this was a souvenir over $60! Oh well, I was on vacation.
By the way, the box it comes in is HUGE and took up a good amount of my carry on luggage!
The second night I went, I ordered another themed drink, this time opting to not bring it home (next trip maybe!).
The Shrunken Zombie Head is Gosling’s 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8 yr
Rum, Tropical Juices, Falernum, and Cinnamon.
It is also very good. And it made me hungry, so I ordered Pan Fried Dumplings and Roasted Chicken and Pork Pâte Báhn Mì Sliders, both of which I cannot recommend enough, but if I had just one to choose, I'd go with the Sliders.
To wash these tasty morsels down I ordered the Kona Beer Flight, which is 5oz. pours of
Longboard Island Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale, and Castaway IPA. I have to say, I was impressed by just how good these were!
So, my suggestion on Trader Sam's. Maybe go with a large group of friends. Absolutely ask for prices unless money is no object! The food and atmosphere are well worth a visit!