Trader Sam’s: Disneyland’s Best Hidden Secret

Real talk: Disneyland has a hidden tiki bar.

Technically speaking, Trader Sam’s isn’t hidden. It’s in the middle of the Disneyland Hotel, by the pool. But it’s hard enough to find that even on a busy park day, there isn’t going to be much of a wait to get in. (There’s a Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian at Walt Disney World, but unless you get there half an hour before the bar opens, you’re waiting a guaranteed 45 minutes. It’s also not as fun as the California outpost, and there are other places to get the same drinks at WDW – so all in all, I’d say skip it and use your time more wisely elsewhere.)

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A Hippo-Po-To-Mai-Tai at Trader Sam’s in the Disneyland Hotel

Yes, there’s Disney magic at Trader Sam’s. When you order a Shipwreck cocktail, a ship in a bottle on the wall goes down in a fake storm, and the bartenders spray the crowd with water, yelling “BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! IT’S A SHIPWREEEEECCCCKKKK” or something similar. It changes every time – and it’s so funny. There are a couple of cocktails on the menu that come with surprise little shows like that, but I’ll leave the others for you to discover yourself. Trader Sam’s also has really good food, at prices that are surprisingly affordable for Disneyland, like a $13 Tuna Poke bowl.

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The best part, though, is that Los Angeles is where tiki drinks originated, and where there’s a thriving tiki bar scene. So not only can you go and enjoy a Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum (you won’t get the joke unless you’ve been to the Enchanted Tiki Room… but you’ve definitely been, right?), you can enjoy said tiki beverage while having a really interesting conversation with the bartender about tiki culture and where they like to go when they’re not working at the most magical tiki bar in all the land. Not that I know this from experience – but I did get a really solid pro tip about the best time to go to one of LA’s most famous (and most crowded) spots.

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Beyond the Parks

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