Perhaps one of the hardest place to get into on Disney property is currently the NEW Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Although it’s not officially open yet, they had a soft opening on 3/28/15. We decided to check it out Monday 3/30/15. We got a pager quickly, however the wait time to get into Trader Sam’s was a little over 2 hours. This is probably going to improve considerably over time, however until the newness wears off, this is what you can expect. It was reported that on opening day, the wait time was 3 hours to get a pager, and then 3 more hours to get inside. A two hour wait is a considerable improvement, but keep in mind it was Monday; weekend crowds will probably be considerably larger.
The place is actually quite small, very small, and seems even smaller with a lot of people inside. The capacity inside is capped at 50, I think there are at least 8 cast members inside, so in reality perhaps room for 42? That is speculation on my part, I didn’t take an actual ‘head count’ – hardy har, but there seems to be seating for about 40. Sadly, some of the bench seating is wasted space because there isn’t enough tables for people to sit across the whole bench.
It was very loud inside, the cast members are required to perform/interact with guests according to what drinks are ordered. Each specialty drink ordered has a certain interactive effect. For instance if you order the Shrunken Zombie Head, the cast members cue the Shrunken Head effects, the black light comes on and illuminates the heads hanging in the rafters, some special music comes on. If you order the Polynesian Pearl, the bartender has to open and pull a pearl out of the giant clam at the back of the bar. There is more…best to see it for yourself.
We ordered a Tuna Poke, which was delicious, but really small. We also spent time on Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace Outside, I’ll be sure to make a separate post for those photos and information.
Overall, I liked the new bar. Seating is very limited, they do not give you an assigned seat, once you get paged, you are set loose to find your own seats. So, we ended up at the bar – at the only seats available – which wasn’t that comfortable. Ideally, I would want to sit at a table. It was so crowded, I didn’t feel comfortable to take a look around the place and see all the details. I didn’t feel comfortable to sit and stay a while. It was like a pseudo frat party atmosphere, lots of yelling and hype – like you would expect from out of control spring-breakers, which I don’t find appealing. Some people were standing because there wasn’t room to sit.
We’ll probably be back in two weeks to check it out again, maybe the craziness will have died down by then. We love our souvenir drinking glasses, we’ll probably try a couple different drinks next time. With some luck, maybe we’ll get a table instead. This is definitely a place you will want to see for yourself.