Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

We’re continuing our coverage of the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival with a brand new special event at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

That’s right… we paid a visit to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to check out a new Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Event that’s NOT happening at Epcot. While Signature Dining Events have long been held in and around various restaurants on property, this year is the first time that Special Events have expanded to Disney World Resorts. These debut offerings include Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, The Secrets of Flavor at Disney’s Yacht Club, Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Special Event we’re reviewing today: Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Of all the new Resort Special Events, this sold-out option (at a cost of $99.00 per guest) was likely the most in demand, held on four select Wednesdays from 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has been a HUGE hit with Disney World guests since it opened in March of 2015 due to its interactive Tiki-themed atmosphere, crafty cocktails and popular souvenir mugs. An added bonus for Disney fans is that this place is chock-full of nostalgia and Disney history… so much so that it can really help to have a cast of high-energy Skippers at hand to point some of them out (all while mixing drinks and serving up some delicious eats, of course).

So join us once again as we step inside the Grog Grotto…

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Behind the Scenes of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

…to show you a little bit about what happens behind the scenes at Trader Sam’s! [Read more…]

News! Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug Has Arrived at Trader Sam’s in Disney World


Why? Because they’ve materialized at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World!

Just a few days ago we discovered that the Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug that was a sell-out hit at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland would be coming to the bar’s Grog Grotto counterpart on the east coast… only we (and the Skippers) didn’t know when.

Well, our reader Daniel S. let us know that the Tiki Mugs have just arrived at the Grog Grotto… and indeed, this picture on Instagram showed up on the @tradersams Instagram Account.

@tradersams on Instagram

@tradersams on Instagram

Details surrounding the purchasing of the mugs were also included in the post. [Read more…]

News: New Dining Discounts for Disney World Annual Passholders for 45th Anniversary Year

Happy 45th Anniversary, Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

And Happy Anniversary to Disney World Annual Passholders, who can take part in the celebration by enjoying some brand new discounts at select dining and merchandise locations around Disney World for the anniversary year! [Read more…]

News: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug in Disney World and Disneyland

We had an absolute blast at the Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto event at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort this week!

And are looking forward to sharing all the details about this new Special Event for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in a review here soon.

But there was one thing from the event we simply couldn’t wait to share. We got a glimpse of the Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug that’s on the way to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto!

In case you missed the hype, the Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug has already come to — and gone from — Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in Disneyland. The mug sold out completely on its very first day (to the tune of two-hour wait times for Disneyland guests). And you can see why… it’s Completely. Freakin’. Incredible.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug

Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug

According to sources, it will be restocked in Disneyland’s Trader Sam’s, but not until “closer to Halloween.” [Read more…]

Review: New Menu Items at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Aloha, cousins! Welcome to Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

The Polynesian is known for its delicious food, fireworks views and impeccable theming. Captain Cook’s is a lesser-known, tropical counter-service restaurant just a happy stop away from the Magic Kingdom, and it’s home to a few favorites including a budget-friendly version of Kona Cafe’s Tonga Toast! Captain Cook’s is the sole counter service at the Poly, and it’s chock full of tasty treats.

Since its renovation in 2014, the famed Pineapple Dole Whip moved outside to the Pineapple Lanai and the restaurant got a refresh of the menu as well. Now, we’re seeing even more new items on the Captain Cook’s docket!

Captain Cook's entrance sign

Captain Cook’s entrance sign

[Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: July 19, 2016

It’s high temps and good times in Walt Disney World this summer season! We’re spotting plenty of frosty summer sips to help you beat the heat, along with all sorts of new restaurants to stop in and take an air-conditioned breather.

And if we’re talking about new restaurants, there’s only one place to start this round of What’s New, and that’s…

Disney Springs

Latest Additions

I know — it’s as though the openings are never-ending at Disney Springs! The Grand Opening Summer Celebration is ON for this dining, shopping, and entertainment district!

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Can you believe it? What once seemed like a never-ending transformation of what was once Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is now complete (though we still have a few more spots to welcome in the coming months!). [Read more…]

Guest Review: The NEW!! Oasis Bar and Grill at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Guest Author, AM Appleby recently visited the NEW Oasis Bar and Grill at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World. Aloha! Thanks for the review AM!!

I had the opportunity to check out the new Oasis Pool and Oasis Bar & Grill during a recent stay with my family at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This has been our favorite resort since our first stay in 2008. We’ve watched this area transform over the years, but have to say the latest metamorphosis is the best.

Oasis Main Entrance

Oasis Main Entrance

The Oasis officially opened March 17, 2016, and its hours are 11am to 11pm. Although the main theme pool at the Polynesian usually gets all the love, the newly renovated Oasis Pool will undoubtedly have its own loyal following.

[Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Kona Cafe may not be all that interesting to look at.

But — breakfast, lunch, or dinner — this spot consistently offers delicious and unexpectedly good to great food.

Considered a bit of a hidden gem, Kona is normally a pretty easy spot for snagging an advance dining reservation. And with its super convenient location in the Polynesian Village Resort (right on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line!), it’s easily accessible from — well, pretty much anywhere.

But while we’ve enjoyed meals every time of the day here throughout the years, I never rely on past experiences to predict future outcomes. :-) And so I made it my mission on a recent visit to take in lunch at Kona once again.

Sure, it meant missing out on some of my most favorite breakfast items (sob — Tonga Toast!) — but hey, it’s worth it to bring you all the latest! Right?

So hop on the monorail with me, and let’s head to Kona for a midday meal.


If you haven’t had the chance to check out the newly renovated Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to pencil in a little extra time when you head to Kona Cafe. I think Disney has done a great job of simultaneously breathing fresh air into this original Disney World spot and celebrating history. It’s new and old at the same time!

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Unfortunately, the Imagineering Love didn’t reach all the way to Kona. So you’ll find the same decor that’s been here for quite some time. [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining with a Picky Eater

For many of us, there’s nothing better than planning a trip to Disney. I mean, sure…attractions and cool resorts and stuff. But best of all is the FOOD!

2016 book cover dfb guide

What happens if you have a super uber picky kiddo (or other member of your party) among your ranks though? It can really rock your trip. But it doesn’t have to!

And that’s why I dedicate a lot of attention to making plans with picky eaters in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. This is a great time to pick up your copy of this handy guide because it’s just been completely updated for your 2016 travel plans!! Don’t forget to use code HAPPYPLACE for $4 off the price!

Today, I want to share some of the tips that I’ve scattered through the book on how to deal with the pickiest eaters when you’re in Disney World. Need some help with this subject? Read on! [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: February 9, 2016

February is the month we celebrate love!

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Lady and the Tramp Cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

And since we LOVE few things more than checking out all the goings-on with FOOD all over Disney World, what say we take a whirlwind tour around the parks (and a few resorts) and see What’s New?! [Read more…]