Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tiki Time: Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

"Tap, tap, tap...Wake up Jose..."

Concept art for Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

This weekend we decided to check out Trader Sam's, the new tiki bar at The Disneyland Hotel.  It was an ironic choice for our trio as we are all confirmed teetotalers.  As luck would have it, we ran into our friends Robert "Big Sandy" and Elaine and they ended up joining us on our tropical getaway.   

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

We were prepared to be embarrassed at being the only people in the bar drinking Shirley Temples, but the drink menu offered three tropical "No-Booze Brews" and we "imbibed."  Fortunately Robert and Elaine chose grown-up beverages and we didn't look too square.

Our drink choices: Piranha Pool, Rosita's Margarita, Skipper Sipper,
Jungle River Sunset, Schweitzer Falls
(photo by Bea White)

Going to Trader Sam's is a very interactive experience.  There are special menu selections that result in ringing bells, tribal chants, a sinking Pirate Ship, thunder and lightning and being sprayed with water by the bartender.  When someone orders a "Shrunken Zombie Head" whilst sitting at the bar, his or her barstool lowers to the floor.

The scene behind the bar.
The ship in the bottle (bottom right) "sinks" out of the bottle every
 time someone orders the "Shipwreck on the Rocks." (see Disney magic

When anyone orders the "Krakatoa Punch" the idyllic tropical
setting seen from the window changes to a thundering lava flow.
(photo by Bea White)

The decor at Trader Sam's was exceptional because it was "Disney-fied" but it was rather predictable and rather clean.  Clearly, most of the pieces came from Oceanic Arts, a bit of polynesian paradise in Southern California.  The bar, however, didn't have the dank, dirty feeling of a good, old-timey tiki bar.  Instead, it looked very carefully designed - lacking the time-worn qualities of its more authentic, mid-Century counterparts.  But the pillars and posts had moving eyeballs!

The interior architecture is great and includes
 replicas from The Enchanted Tiki Room.

A smattering of tikis

A shot of the tiki wallpaper
(photo starring/by Bea White)

Critiki rating: 9.4
wacky tacky rating: 8.5 - Trader Sam's is a cool alternative to the fare found at Downtown Disney.  It is a throwback to the old Tahitian Terrace and is a fun place to hang out with friends.  Maybe the kitsch and character of its elder brother, the Tiki Room, will develop over time.  The interactive effects that occur  when someone orders a specialty drink are cool the first fifty times but quickly lose their novelty.  There is live entertainment, but when we went out to the lanai area, the guy was singing Fleetwood Mac songs.

For your listening pleasure, I have added videos of two very different songs for two very different moods.  The first will put you in the tiki mood - and keep you there forever as it will be stuck in your head for eternity.  The second is a romantic number sung by our friend and tropical drink benefactor.  He has other songs that mention drinking/alcohol, but I like this one because when you see them together, you can tell that he and his girlfriend like-like each other and that's as refreshing as any Jungle River Sunset! 

The theme from The Enchanted Tiki Room by The Sherman Brothers

"The Night is for Dreamers"
Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys

Cheers and Aloha!

Mr. Tiny

1 comment:

  1. Wake up JOSE!! In thetiki tiki tiki tiki tiki bar, in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki bar!! All the kids drink juice, and adults smoke a cigar, in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki bar!!