At Disneyland, there's magic everywhere, from the singing animals of Splash Mountain, to the happy haunts in The Haunted Mansion, to the pixie dust falling from Peter Pan's Flight. Some magic is less apparent, like the Hidden Mickeys sprinkled throughout the park. And some magic is hidden and only for grown-ups, like Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

Who Is Trader Sam, Anyway?

Julie Tremaine

If the name sounds familiar to you, it's because Trader Sam is the adventurer who's just around every corner in the Jungle Cruise, one of the original and most beloved Disneyland rides. He's an adventurer and "head salesman of the Amazon" whose famous offer is "two of his heads for one of yours." Legend has it that his discovery of the perfect head-shrinking potion lead him to an interest in mixology, and voila, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar was born.

The place is tucked away by the pool in the middle of the Disneyland Hotel. It's not a place you'd normally encounter when you're visiting the parks unless you're staying there, but its location is definitely a benefit, because it means there's usually a seat at the bar.

The Cocktails

Julie Tremaine

Los Angeles is the epicenter of tiki bar culture, and while Trader Sam's is an hour south of the city in Anaheim, it benefits from bartenders who are tiki aficionados and know their way around a cocktail shaker. The menu has plenty of tongue-in-cheek options: the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum is a pineapple and coconut cocktail that's name is a play off the Enchanted Tiki Room's signature song, and the Shrunken Zombie Head is their version of a zombie. The Safari Swizzle, pictured above, has rum, fresh lime juice, agave, mint and Angostura bitters. If you love a good tiki drink, you're going to love this place. 

The Food

Julie Tremaine

There's a menu of mostly snacks available all day long. In keeping with the theme, the food has a tropical bent, like this Tuna Poke over soba noodles, and the Hawaiian Nachos with Kalua pulled pork and pineapple salsa. It's pretty solid, and definitely affordable, especially in comparison with a lot of other Disney restaurants. 

OK, But Where's the Disney Magic?

Julie Tremaine

It's everywhere, duh.

But seriously, there are certain drinks on the menu that "anger the tiki gods" and have certain ceremonies around them. When someone orders a Shipwreck, 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.”

The Uh-Oa!, which is the Trader Sam's version of a scorpion bowl, comes delivered by a waiter who leads the whole room in a chant, and then throws nutmeg into the ceremonial fire (pictured above) to appease the tiki goddess of disaster after whom the drink is named.

There are a couple of other cocktails on the menu that come with surprise shows like that, but I’ll leave the others for you to discover yourself. Spoiler alert: There's an erupting volcano.

Julie Tremaine