This HEAVILY-themed (and discreetly concealed) bar has become VERY popular among Disney fans, and even more so since it reopened in July 2021. There’s not a ton of Disney World bars with its own virtual queue — THAT is how hoppin’ this tiny joint can get! So where do you go if you can’t get in but still want a similar experience? Today we’re sharing some places you should definitely check out if you’re a lover of Trader Sam’s!
If You Like Trader Sam’s…
We certainly can’t blame you for loving Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto! It’s a super fun environment with over-the-top drinks, good appetizers, fun shenanigans, and tons of decorations. You come here for a good time. STRONG drinks and silly antics abound!
This place is SO stinkin’ fun. BUT…it’s also REAL tiny. Max capacity in here is only about 50 people, but looking around the small room you might think it’s even fewer than that!
The bar itself is themed after a bit of a mish-mash of Disney rides like the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise (the name of the bar should be a dead giveaway on that one!), and more. Basically bottle the vibes of Adventureland, especially the witty Skippers at Jungle Cruise, add alcohol, and you’ve got this place.
The big appeal of the spot (aside from the great theming) is the wonderful array of tiki drinks. You don’t come here for the same ol’ bar menu you’ll find at a lot of spots around Disney World. You come here for unique, strong, clever tiki cocktails (plus some beers, non-alcoholic drinks, and more). What is even more exciting about the drinks though is the antics ordering some of them can trigger. Order a Krakatoa Punch, for instance, and…well…
…stuff comes alive in the bar! There’s even a silly cephalopod (AKA an octopus!) chilling behind the bar! Order the right drink and he might just wake up and help serve it!
The Cast Members, called “Skippers” keep the Jungle Cruise vibes going, really make it special by participating in all the fun and interacting with guests in a unique way!
You might get squirted with water or snuck up on by an eager zombie ready to deliver your…well, Zombie.
Even the chairs can get in on the action in here! You might find yourself…slowly…sinking (a product of too many cocktails or the bar is up to you!).
Note that a number of drinks here are available with or without their souvenir tiki mugs. The bar typically offers a few limited-release mugs throughout the year as well. These are very popular collector items and a huge part of the Trader Sam’s experience for fans.
This bar is a great place to hang out with your friends, especially after a long day in the parks. No kids are allowed inside after 8PM, so it becomes an adults-only spot late at night. And guess what? No park tickets are required!
Trader Sam’s is certainly a unique part of the Disney World experience– there’s truly nothing quite like it. We think it’s a must-do! But if you can’t make it over there (or don’t want to wait to get in!) or you’re looking to try a similar experience, then we have some suggestions!
…Then You Might Like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
If you’re looking for another silly bar scene, try visiting Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs. Here, they serve up several unique drinks and food options with some really fun themes and names!
This bar is inspired by the Indiana Jones movies with several nods to the films and artifacts to check out. Jock Lindsey is Indy’s snake-wielding pilot in the first film, and this is his watering hole! This spot definitely keeps the same Adventureland vibes of Trader Sam’s but with extra love for movie buffs. For instance, you can take a seat in the super cool diving bell booth…
…or lookout for the hidden reference to R2-D2 (another George Lucas film nod!). Ask Cast Members to point out their favorite details — they’re EVERYWHERE here! (We especially like the “is it real or not?” dino tooth outside and the note from Indy by the restrooms!) Make sure to point some of the details out to your friends on your visit!
And during the Christmas season, this restaurant transforms into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar! You’ll be able to enjoy limited-time foods and beverages and check out all the kitschy decorations.
Based on our experiences, we’ve actually enjoyed the food at Jock Lindsey’s better than the options at Trader Sam’s. The charcuterie pretzel is a top-notch choice, and tacos are a great option as well. The food menu at Sam’s can be a bit limited and there’s a lot more to pick from at Jock’s.
Another benefit of Jock Lindsey’s is that it’s easier to get into than Trader Sam’s. First of all, it’s a LOT bigger than Sam’s. You also won’t need a park ticket to get here, but we’ve never seen this spot get so busy that a virtual queue was required. You don’t have to go through the hassle of getting into a resort, either. You can use the Disney Springs parking garages (Lime Garage is closer) and walk right over!
The drinks here are tied to the Indiana Jones films too. You’ll find sips like The Scottish Professor (Indy’s dad, played by Sean Connery!) or the Cool-Headed Monkey (ahem…inspired by “chilled monkey brains” from Temple of Doom!).
You might even find nods to Reggie, Jock’s pet snake. And we all know how Indiana Jones feels about SNAKES!
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is really entertaining with all the shenanigans from the Cast Members, but you can still enjoy entertainment at Jock Lindsey’s as well! Outside of the bar, there’s an amphitheater where various performers pop up periodically. The patio area is great for both enjoying drinks AND taking in the music. And, you’ll be able to check out all the musical guests and entertainment around Disney Springs during your visit.
Note this location usually has a souvenir cup or two available for purchase with certain drinks, so check when you’re there. This has been hit or miss in terms of availability on our last few visits but, when available, this can definitely help scratch the Trader Sam’s tiki collectible mug itch.
And speaking of Disney Springs, you really can’t beat the Jock Lindsey’s location! You’ll be close to a variety of dining and shopping options, and directly across the walkway from the restaurant, you’ll find the ever-popular Gideon’s Bakehouse. (If you ask us, that’s a reason to stop by all on its own!) So hop on that virtual queue for cookies and enjoy a few drinks next door while you wait!
…or Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
But what about if you’re in a park? Well, good news — fans of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will likely also enjoy Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen! Surprise, surprise: it’s IN Adventureland.
You won’t have to leave Magic Kingdom to eat at this spot, plus you can book it in advance with a dining reservation, so you’re not at the mercy of crowds or virtual queues. You won’t have to work out the transportation complications to get to a resort where you’re not staying and you’ll be able to fit your meal easily into your park day!
Skipper Canteen is also a little more kid-friendly than either of the other two spots. While kids are welcome at most bars in Disney World, you’ll definitely get more of a family restaurant when you’re at a Magic Kingdom restaurant. Adults will still be able to order drinks, and you won’t be hanging out here late at night. It’s a win-win!
Just like Trader Sam’s, the Cast Members are into the charade here. They’re skippers from the nearby Jungle Cruise (that’s the backstory), so they’ll tell same flavor of corny jokes and participate in fun shenanigans.
All around Skipper Canteen, you’ll find some very interesting decor, especially for Disney history fans! The restaurant is definitely “in” on the joke. Many of the things in here are nods specifically to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (the S.E.A.), the made-up secret society that connects various Disney attractions around the world.
Several attraction characters are notable members of the society, like Albert Falls (Jungle Cruise), Henry Mystic (Mystic Manor), and even Jock Lindsey, so you may notice references to those people and attractions.
Plus, you’ll spot quite a few sight gags. If you know anything about the Jungle Cruise skippers, you know that they’re big fans of puns and jokes!
Everything here, down to the menus, is FUN. It’s lighthearted and silly in the most dad-joke way possible.
One thing worth noting here with drinks — you ARE in Magic Kingdom, and that means that alcohol IS sold in sit-down restaurants, but it’s limited. Don’t expect a full menu of strong cocktails here. Rather, you’ll find a limited selection of beer, wine, and typically sangrias here. If your main goal of going to Trader Sam’s was for drinks, you might be a tad disappointed here, but the food and theming make up for it.
And as far as the food goes, Skipper Canteen is one of the best options in Magic Kingdom! You’ll actually be able to enjoy a full meal here (the other bars can have some filling options, but they lean a little more towards lounge-style food choices). The options on the menu are really unique compared to what you find at other theme park restaurants, and they’re rather delicious! It’s “normal” foods — chicken, steak, pasta type thing — with a more exotic, but still approachable, twist.
So the next time you’re looking for somewhere fun, well-themed, and over-the-top to grab a bite and something to drink, make sure to consider all three of these options! Stay tuned to DFB as we continue to share more “alternative” dining options soon. We’re your source for Disney food news, reviews, and updates!
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Which of these spots is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!