Tips For Getting Into One Of Disney World’s Most Popular Bars

by | May 16, 2023 | Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

Looking to visit Trader Sam’s, one of Disney World’s most popular bars? We’re sharing the best tips for getting a highly coveted spot!

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is arguably one of – if not the – most popular bars on Walt Disney World property. This bar and lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offer a fun and unique experience in addition to delicious bites and tropical drinks. However, getting into the bar can be a bit tricky as it does not offer reservations despite being one of the biggest hot spots at Disney World. If you want to visit on your next Disney World vacation, take these tips and tricks to help you get in!

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Arrive Early to Get In

Since Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto does not allow reservations to be made in advance, getting into this tropical bar is on a first-come, first-serve basis. At this time, Trader Sam’s opens up at 3 PM. every day, so we suggest you get there around 2 to 2:30 PM and wait until they open up the standby list. 

Once a Cast Member comes out, you can add your name to the list, and provide a phone number, this way once it is your turn to arrive at Trader Sam’s, you will receive a text message and be asked to return back to the location within a specific timeframe. By getting there before opening, you will be one of the first ones on the list to get in, meaning you have more chances to enjoy the atmosphere and drinks inside. 

If you show up later, the list may already have filled up, and you won’t be able to join the standby list because, again, Trader Sam’s is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Avoid Weekend Crowds

trader sam's

Photo by Danny Shuster

As with many other locations, weekends tend to be busier, so we suggest trying to visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto during the week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings tend to be less busy than Thursday through Sunday. However, it also depends on the time of year you are planning on going. 

Summertime and the holiday season tend to be the busiest at Walt Disney World overall. Therefore, all dining locations will also be busier. Suppose you are visiting during the months of January, February, or early March. In that case, the Parks tend to be slower, which means the dining locations will also be less busy, Trader Sam’s included. 

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Travel In Small Groups

If you are planning on visiting Trader Sam’s, we recommend having a small group. Try and aim for a party of two or three as they can typically squeeze smaller parties together and seat you quicker rather than waiting for a large table to open up to accommodate. Trader Sam’s is pretty small inside, and there are only a few tables and a bar, so the smaller the party, the more likely you will be able to get in!

Alternatives at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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Photo by Andy Sanchez

So, if you cannot get into Trader Sam’s due to capacity being reached but are really looking forward to trying some of the specialty drinks, there is an alternative option. 

You can check out Tiki Terrace, which is the outdoor bar at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Although it does not have the same fun atmosphere, Tiki Terrace offers the same fun-themed drinks you’ll find inside Trader Sam’s.

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Posts by Kelly Coffey-Behrens

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After being an out of state Walt Disney World Annual Passholder for 6+ years, Kelly decided to make her lifelong dream become a reality as she packed up and moved from New Jersey to Central Florida. Now that Disney World is in her backyard, you can typically find her hanging out with the 999 happy haunts, watching the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, or sipping on Joffrey’s while people watching on Sunset Boulevard. Thanks to her passion of both Disney and journalism, Kelly has been reporting on a wide variety of topics for the last 12+ years and has written for several publications including BuzzFeed, NJ Digest Magazine, and The Blast.
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Authored by
Kelly Coffey-Behrens

After being an out of state Walt Disney World Annual Passholder for 6+ years, Kelly decided to make her lifelong dream become a reality as she packed up and moved from New Jersey to Central Florida. Now that Disney World is in her backyard, you can typically find her hanging out with the 999 happy haunts, watching the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, or sipping on Joffrey’s while people watching on Sunset Boulevard. Thanks to her passion of both Disney and journalism, Kelly has been reporting on a wide variety of topics for the last 12+ years and has written for several publications including BuzzFeed, NJ Digest Magazine, and The Blast.
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