Man, that mirror sure does take good photos.
I had a great time popping into Trader Sam’s in the early afternoon last January. I breezed into the bar with essentially no wait. There was hardly anyone inside and had plenty of time to shoot the breeze with Skipper Nate.
Our visit last Saturday was different.
We arrived 30 mins before opening and put our name on the waitlist, told it would be 5-10 mins past opening at 11:30. A little relaxing strolling around the Disneyland Hotel isn’t bad but we didn’t get called in until nearly noon. Not too bad for a Saturday, obviously, but a bummer that expectations weren’t met.
Inside it was quite crowded but we were able to get our orders in for lunch and some drinks. We sure love it inside. It’s really one of the best tiki bars to sit inside, looking at all the different treasures and elements on the walls and shelves and ceiling. Plus music that is on point and those Trader Sam’s special effects.
I really enjoyed my Poke Bowl with Salmon, and a fantastic 1944 Mai Tai with El Dorado 8. Very nice, and it is always appreciated that even on a busy weekend day that the skippers are willing and able to go off menu slightly and still deliver a great cocktail.
Trader Sam’s is still one of my favorites.
Skipper Nate at Trader Sam’s suggested this, and after two fabulous Mai Tais how could I say no?
The Tia Mia is basically a Mai Tai where 1 oz of rum is replaced by Mezcal. This agave spirit hasn’t been my favorite (I’ve only recently warmed to Tequila), since its signature “smoky” taste isn’t really my thing. Certainly in this format, where the Mezcal is tempered by some Jamaican rum and the sweeteners, it is more palatable. But I probably wouldn’t choose this normally, since with ratio the Mezcal was still very much up front.
Spicy/smoky is not really my thing, but if you like Mezcal then give the Tia Mia a try.
The app-based reservation system I mentioned for Oga’s Cantina worked even better getting inside at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar last Wednesday afternoon. Once I got onto the Disneyland Hotel property I tapped on Sam’s and added myself to the waiting list. The app said the estimated wait was 30 minutes. But just seconds after receiving the first “you’re on the list” text message, I got another one that said my table was ready.
Inside, the bar was not busy so it was a perfect time to cool down inside with a cocktail. Skipper Nate was working behind the bar and I ordered a Mai Tai with Appleton Reserve rum. Nate checked the order, “classic style?” which I took to mean no Agave Syrup that they use in their standard house Mai Tai. “Yes, sir,” I said. That Appleton Reserve Mai Tai was faaantastic, and I was more than happy to compliment the Skipper when he asked how it was. Very rummy, but also a wonderful flavor profile – not too sweet, not too sour. Great mouthfeel.
Second Round, Better than the First
For the second round, I asked Skipper Nate if they had something a little more funky, and he suggested Hamilton Pot Still Blonde rum. I said that would be great – a half Appleton Reserve and half Hamilton Blonde Mai Tai.
It was one of the best Mai Tais I’ve ever had.
The funkier rum really added a nice punch to the cocktail, and elevated what was already an amazing Mai Tai. On this day it was damn near perfect.
Thank you Skipper Nate! I will follow you into battle anytime.
That day it really came together at Trader Sam’s: relaxing in the immersive space, exotica music playing, and the light hum of conversations and laughter.
Had a nice lunch on the patio at the Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel when we arrived in Anaheim.
This included an off-menu Planter’s Punch that was really quite good. I really like how off-menu orders are usually accommodated at Trader Sam’s/Tangaroa, and typically executed very well.
I collect what I like and I’m not really a completist. So I don’t have every edition or release.
My favorite here is the blue HippopotoMai-Tai. That’s a color you don’t often see and I think it pops nicely. Bone or green glass are nice too, but blue is better.
Just behind and to the right is a B-Rex glass set we got a couple years ago during one visit to Club 33. 😉
The Shag goblet is from the 40th anniversary of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
I’m a sucker for Disney attractions posters so the Enchanted Tiki Room plate is a favorite too.