Trader Sam’s: Going Tiki in Orange County

Trader Sam's

Trader Sam’s

I recently went to Disneyland and California Adventure and made a stop at Trader Sam’s, the tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel. What I love about social media is learning about new spots via friends’ checkins on Foursquare and photos on Instagram. I had seen pictures from Trader Sam’s and being a gal that likes a good tiki drink now and then, I knew it was a must do while in Anaheim.

The parks had just closed so the bar was at capacity. They welcomed us to sit on the patio but we decided to wait for spots inside. They eventually let us in after a few minutes warning us there wouldn’t be any seats. It was just as well because we probably would have ordered food from the vaguely Polynesian fare.


mai tai

Hippopotomai Tai

I admit I am a bit of a cocktail snob- oh, they call us enthusiasts these days– so I didn’t want to get too fancy and opted for my favorite tiki bar opener, the Mai Tai. Trader Sam’s makes a signature one called the Hippopotomai Tai. For an extra couple of bucks, you can get it in a souvenir mug to keep. The mugs reminded me of Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

Ah, it was good! It wasn’t too sweet and was gone before too long. Trader Sam’s makes their mai tai with light and dark rums, orange curacao, orgeat, agave and lime.

Initially I wasn’t impressed by the rum assortment but after hearing a few orders from ahem, tourists, I realized why they kept that bottle of Malibu in the well. I’m hoping people would take a gander at the cocktail list with the beautiful illustrations next time.

As with other tiki bars, Trader Sam’s has a couple of schticks. One is when you order the Uh Oai. The “small” punch bowl arrives flaming and is accompanied by the entire bar chanting Uh Oai.

But my favorite is when someone orders a Shipwreck on the Rocks. This activates the thunder and lightning around the ship in the bottle above the bar.  It’s quite the show. The only thing that would make this bar better would be animatronic parrots.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Disneyland Hotel
1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802  —  (714) 778-6600

© The Minty 2013