Finally the day came when Trader Sam's unveiled their new MUGS!
As a proud patron & regular at the park, I came early (actually missed opening by 15 minutes due to traffic), and finally got my mitts on a Uh O'A Bowl & a Trader Sam's Rum Barrel (which was filled with their Shipwreck'd on the Rocks, which has bourbon.. boo) The crowd was very ecstatic and even at 11:45 am, the place was hopping with patrons. I sat alongside a fellow Disney tiki connoisseur I met last year at the first day of Sam's operation and we were both floored.
As you can see here, this is the UH O'A Bowl. Finely crafted to mirror the bowls they first used when the bar opened. On the 4 corners stand tiki gods with hollow tops to add the cinnamon & nutmeg garnishes that you toss on the open flame. Such a GREAT piece and extremely worth the trip since I love collecting Tiki bowls, they are awfully rare finds. This one also has small straw holes on the sides for your drinking needs but we found it easier to toss em' on the top & be able to maneuver them with better ease.
Of course the crowning touch is the "First Edition" on the bottom of the mug, which to any collector makes things all the better & rare! As far as the manufacturer I totally forgot to ask, it says made in china but I am in fact curious as to who made these & what was the run. Any one know?
Secondly we have the Rum Barrel...
Now this vessel was the hottest piece at the bar, seeing people walking out with close 3 at a time! I purchased 2 because they are more of a practical drinking vessel and remind me of the Bahooka mug that Sven Kirsten made, and definitely close to the Don the Beachcomber barrel and the Smuggler's cove version.
Shown here you can see that the barrel has a cool black glaze on the inside when usually you see just the typical glaze of the exterior. Above you see the cool marking on the base with again the "1st Edition" proudly displayed on the bottom. Such a great barrel and I wish I had 10 of these!!!
Both of these pieces were very lightweight & feel very nice in your hand. I was completely happy to be at the bar during the day and then again in the evening. When I left close to 11, people were still buying them so it seems they have a pretty good stock so far. How long will they last..? Only Sam will telll.
If you're a socal local & tiki lover, get on over and get one while they last!
On an awesome sidenote: I ran into Josh Agle aka SHAG at the park as well! Walking in Adventureland with a Disney employee showing her the Enchanted Tiki Room. It was a very cool moment chatting with him about Disney, the Tiki Ti, and various characters we've run into.. real nice guy!!
so here we have a classic attraction that has been keeping adults & children entertained for ALMOST 50 years!! (2013 will be their 50th anniversary!) Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, where the birds sing words & the flowers croon.. ok you know the rest.
This amazing piece of Disney history opened in Summer of 1963 and was the FIRST attraction to feature the amazing spectacle we know today as Audio Animatronics.. Now before we even get into that.. let's discuss what it was BEFORE the birds even were being wired.. The Tahitian Terrace!
Even before that was being figured out, there was a restaurant there from what I've found on the Internet just was called the Cantina? This was all in 1955-1962, known as the Plaza Pavilion & mentioned as the Plaza Lanai [if anyone knows otherwise, please leave a comment!] Thanks to Daveland's website (and borrowing your photos..!)
We can see some amazing images from the Adventureland area where the Jungle Cruise drops you off and you'd be right smack in the middle of the Cantina and then some time later named The Tahitian Terrace!
here we see a great color photo of the soon to be Enchanted Tiki Room still being occupied as the Tahitian Terrace..
here's another great shot of the stage show that you'd get to see while you dined on Polynesian inspired eats! from what I heard the food was excellent, and the shows would dazzle audiences all day & night!
and here you have a video from Walt Disney's After Dark program that was on the Disneyland USA DVD set (Walt Disney Treasures) which was filmed in 1962 most likely for Walt Disney's World of Color. Here you see a good portion of the stage show & crowd and from what I gather they were pretty blown away by these foreign cultures!
here is one of the signs you'd see when you walked up to the restaurant area..
here's a great shot of a family enjoying their food.. speaking of which if you wanna see what kinda food they offered, Daveland & Tiki Central has great photos of their Menu! (link is above & below)
here's an awesome press photo from Disney showing one of their dazzling fire walkers!
as you can see, Disney jumped on the Polynesian crazy from when it came home with our Sailors & Military men. Even such, at this time we were experiencing places such as Donn the Beachcomber, Trader Vic's and of course our beloved Tiki Ti! From what I've gathered on this Polynesian getaway, they paid extra detail to preserve the true essence of a Tiki restaurant. Unlike the bar code of no windows to hide the outside world, Walt made the outside another escapism. When I visit Disneyland it is my escape, you forget about EVERYTHING. So it must've been nice to watch small little Jungle Cruise boats toot by as you're watching some amazing dancing & authentic Hawaiian rituals being done right before your eyes!
here is the message you would read from the inside of the Menu. As you can read here they really wanted the guests to feel at home and away from the troubles of the 'then' modern world. I've been reading numerous posts on Tiki Central (here), and on Micechat (here) , they are amazing! These stories I've been reading have been such a great insight to what happened at this once luxurious attraction that sadly gave way for the new (closed in 1999 for Aladdin's Oasis) and now remains as another greatly missed Disneyland relic. In all fairness they did gain back the cred by building Trader Sam's & Tongaroa Terrace however it is not the same vibe as it was in 63'. I am not complaining at all just saying that things change, trends die, and you end up with what the world goes with..
Ok so in the early inceptions of the Pavilion's dining experience, Walt thinks, wouldn't it amazing if while you're dining there were birds singing all around you?
here is neat video from the Walt Disney Treasures DVD that features some clips from the World of Color show. here we see Walt discussing the magic that goes behind putting on the show narrated by Jose himself! (voiced by the late Wally Boag.)
Originally there was going to be a restaurant / tea room inside of the giant Tiki house but for some reasons I think the plan might have started out that way but then became a full attraction. If you notice inside the house where the fountain is, there is still some storage spaces underneath from where it was going to be a COFFEE station! So the birds got set & the song was written, and VOILA! we have our birds overhead singing one of the best songs ever!
here's another cool video featuring some more Tiki Room enthusiasts. (if you hear a weird ringing during some segments, it's normal you're not going deaf..)
here is a good close up view of Fritz, and you can see the amazing detail on him!
as you can see, I could literally keep going with the great job they did here but I'm sure you can see from the photos & ramblings that it's definitely something you should see yourself!
as for the Tahitian Terrace, in 1999 came that dreaded day..
here is the sad sight that was the closing of the Tahitian Terrace. 1999 and I remember going to Disneyland and knowing it was there but it definitely lacked the same elegance & prestige it once did in it's hey-day but as all good things, they always come to an end.
I'm sure you're bummed to get to the end of my little story but if you want further reading & viewing.. PLEASE visit the links above. I'm so glad they exist so I could borrow their images and direct you all back to their sites so you can see how amazing this attraction really is!
I'm sure anyone that comes across my blog thinks I've abandoned it. Well that is certainly NOT true.
I've been seriously swamped with just regular life stuff, separate blogs and such..
But I am HERE and I am going to actually write a long one this time!
so I've been doing LOTS of hunting for vintage Disneyana.. more so the Enchanted Tiki Room & the Haunted Mansion. 2 of my favorite attractions at our beloved park and a must-do anytime I'm there. (which will be tomorrow!)
Recently we did Dapper Day which was an amazing event in the Park. Tons of amazing fellow Disney Disciples dressed in their best whether it be 20's, 30's 40's or modern! Walking around the park, eating popcorn from boxes, sporting caps, ladies with their parasols, ..the works. It was such a great day and event, and of course ending it at the AMAZING Trader Sam's!
..just a couple of park shots I happen to take, and realizing I didn't take THAT many of the patrons!
So that was the most recent, before that we did visit Don the Beachcomber for their Tiki Marketplace which was a nice gathering of local merchants selling their awesome goods. Bamboo Ben was there, Sven Kirsten, local Tiki-Central Forum friends & new faces of course.. Always a pleasure seeing and meeting friends, and do not fret, they have another one in the works! https://www.facebook.com/events/289797167746357/ <= click that for the Facebook event page, and here's some shots from the last one!
just a couple of shots from the Marketplace including Bamboo Ben's table (middle) and Al Evans' table (bottom)
So before that were LOTS of Disneyland treks and I could go on and on about that..
So I'll definitely work on some more vintage bar stories & record releases!
I have survived the amazingness that IS: Trader Sam's.
Honestly, I went in with very LOW hopes since I'm used to getting let down with 'new' Tiki Bars, but seriously these guys nailed it.
This is the exterior of the stunning (but small) A-Frame that stands outside the famed Disneyland Hotel. Just a stones throw from your hotel can you crawl up this bar and stagger back. Not to mention they serve food from the Tongaroa Terrace next door which was the only let-down. I was expecting a full restaurant but it's nothing more than a cafeteria style food. However, if you're inside of Trader Sam's you can order some of the smaller dishes inside and enjoy them with a cocktail. So that sorta makes up for it!
This is what Tongaroa Terrace looks like from the outside, very intriguing but roughly small inside.
Ok, let's get to Trader Sam's!...
So outside the front door sits so much awesome memorabilia such as this great sign, and some other pieces of decor that came from Disney's Polynesian Resort according to Jason Klepper whom was the FIRST patron inside the bar.
This guy was pretty awesome, ex-skipper and knew just about EVERYTHING about the Jungle Cruise and Disney's Tiki fascination. It was a great pleasure to meet this guy and chat with him during our visit.
So we walk in and THIS is the first thing we see, our amazing Skippers inside the bar! All of these guys were amazing and had the same attitude and humor as the Skippers do on the Jungle Cruise, well at least the GOOD ones. I've had a few boring Skippers in my day and these guys are the best.
..so how were the drinks?? Well I'll tell ya.. Hell I'll even SHOW ya!
Inside this little menu book had the list of snacks and beverages and shot all the parts I liked the most to display for you..
First I'll show you the cocktails I enjoyed..
Here we have the pouring of the 'Hippopoto-Mai Tai' ! This was a very well executed drink since they followed very closely to the Don Beach recipe and a smidge of the Trader Vic's style but completely creating their own. Also another key point was they were using Trader Tiki's Syrups as their main mixers! That alone was a good choice for them as Trader's makes excellent Orgeat, and other classic flavors like Don's Mix and Falernum.
Here is their version of the Painkiller dubbed the 'Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum', which was delicious! a little heavy on the ice but hey it was still good considering it had Pussers, Coco Lopez and the proper mix ratio to give that nice spiced taste with the nutmeg and cinnamon on top. Extremely recommended.
So next up, ..wait actually. I need to show you the snacks..
This was the Kalua Pork flatbread pizza thing, I love making these at home and now they have em at the bar! Very convenient! They were delicious by the way, crispy flatbread, slow roasted pork, and the sauce was delish! It was about 8.99 for this but that's typical for Disney faire.
So here was my 2nd cocktail, the Shrunken Zombie Head! Now this was a zombie that packed a serious punch. With 151 in that mix, it had to be my last drink before venturing into the park for the afternoon. It was really good, and it went down WAY too easy. So this drink could be very deadly for those seeking adventure such as myself..
The final drunk consumed was the Krakatoa Punch and indeed it was the last straw. This guy was very similar to a traditional Tiki Punch and was on the sweeter side but absolutely delicious with the hibiscus grenadine in full force! It also comes with an awesome show as do a few of the drinks on the menu; The Uh O'A!, the Shipwreck on the Rocks, and the Krakatoa Punch. For this drink, you'd see something like this...
As you can see this bar is stocked with surprises, amazing scenery and amazing staff that has love for the part of Disneyland us Tiki folk really really enjoy.
On a scale of DARK & TIKI i'd have to go with an 8 because there is in-fact some darkness in that bar, hence NO windows (true tiki bar), and a great ambiance that has been created there and hopefully will last for years and years.