When Mrs. Mai Tai and I were finished with lunch at Tangaroa Terrace, it was about 3:10 pm. The way that indoor seating at Trader Sam’s is working right now is that there’s a line that forms at the check-in station in from of the Terrace and that’s the order to get in. With Sam’s opening at 4:00 pm, there were only about five people in line, so I thought hey, I can wait this out for less than an hour while Mrs Mai Tai does some shopping in Downtown Disney. At around 3:30, the hostess starting taking names and party numbers, which allowed me to browse the Disneyland Hotel gift shop and also to go inside out of the sun.
Inside, it was the same Sam’s we’ve all grown to love. Everyone was so excited to be inside the immersive environment. So many things to look at, and we enjoyed the show offered when the Krakatoa Punch and Shipwreck on the Rocks were ordered. I noticed they still have a few additional rums on the shelf, so I ordered a Mai Tai with Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum. That was a pretty good Mai Tai (and they didn’t even charge me extra). Mrs. Mai Tai had the coconut-forward Piranha Pool and that frozen drink was a hit.
I even got to take the de rigueur Trader Sam’s Bathroom Selfie. So nice to be back.
Mrs Mai Tai and we’re supposed to end our road trip in Vegas overnight yesterday but the heat in Phoenix drew us both to the same conclusion that we aren’t used to 115+ degrees – so we went to Southern California instead.
We landed in Anaheim at around 2:30 and thought we’d give the Tangaroa Terrace a shot for lunch. Thankfully there were a few tables largely in the shade so we had lunch and drinks.
My Mai Tai was made with simple syrup rather than the standard agave syrup, per request. This is a big improvement for me, and it was fantastic. Julie had the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum which is her fave there.
So relaxing out on the patio terrace. It was a beautiful day to be outside.
1944 Mai Tai with Appleton Reserve at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (Anaheim, CA)
The date was March 8. Less than 10 days later everything would be shut down, but on this day I wandered into Trader Sam’s after a great Sunday morning at Disney California Adventure park. Unlike the evening two days earlier, Sam’s wasn’t at capacity and I was able to relax with a cocktail. It’s to the credit of the Trader Sam’s bartenders that they are eager to accommodate, especially when things aren’t crazy inside. Skipper Will made me a traditional 1944 Mai Tai made with simple syrup rather than the Sam’s standard agave syrup, along with Appleton Reserve Jamaican rum. This was the best Mai Tai I’ve ever had a Trader Sam’s.
I was gifted this from some fellow tikiphiles and it’s totally cool. It pays homage to the Indiana Jones franchise including the Mara-glyphics from the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction at Disneyland. Who’s that holding the cocktail? Why that’s Mola Ram from Temple of Doom, the priest who would performs human sacrifices for the goddess Kali. In the movie people were forced to drink the Blood of Kali Ma, a potion that brainwashed people to make the devout followers. If only getting more Instagram followers was so easy.
The pin is really large and the glyphics on the front have the recipe for the 1944 Mai Tai. On the back of the card, there’s a recipe for the Kali Mai Tai, a twist on the original recipe feature Asian rum, Blood Orange Juice, and Blood Orange Cordial.
The back of the pin features a decoder wheel so you can translate the recipe and the secret message (which I won’t spoil in the post). The decoder is great, though I found that using the Disneyland App was faster: go to Adventureland and choose the Indiana Jones ride and there is a glyphics decoder.
As for the cocktail, it is wonderful. Especially if you pair it with appropriate glassware such this one from Last Rites in San Francisco. I liked the tangy blood orange twist on the Mai Tai. I used the Liber and Co. Blood Orange Cordial. Give it a try!
Found a hidden gem. The cocktails at the Disney Resorts don’t have great rep, apart from Trader Sam’s. The Mai Tais have generally been following the Captain’s Mai Tai formula with Captain Morgan and Amaretto. Spiced rum has its place, especially at a resort. But not in a Mai Tai.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see the Grand Mai Tai on the menu at the newish Craftsman Bar at the Grand Californian Hotel. This cocktail features Bacardi Ocho and Myers’s rum, and is made according to a 1944 recipe (no agave syrup, a Trader Sam’s staple), though with half the rum floated. Even better, this was actually a really good Mai Tai.
The poolside vibe was just fine for relaxing and the cocktails here seems much stronger than the Hearthstone Lounge on the other side of the hotel. I shall return!