My group then made our way to Peter Pan’s Flight. I hadn’t seen the new queue yet and I have to say, it was awesome. The theming is beautiful, but there are also some surprise interactive elements. I won’t give away too much here because I want you to get to experience it yourself, but I will say I caught a glimpse of Tinker Bell! I love the trend toward interactive queues that give you something to do while waiting in line. Not only does it keep little ones (and adults, too) occupied, but it adds to the story and experience of the ride itself. In addition to Haunted Mansion, Little Mermaid, it’s a small world, and other classics, I also got to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for the first time! We had lunch at Be Our Guest – prime rib sandwich with French onion soup to dip in is my new favorite combination. We finished our way through Frontierland and Adventureland before leaving Magic Kingdom.
Disney Springs… again
Since we didn’t get to explore Disney Springs when we had planned, due to our overly long dinner at Raglan Road, we decided to spend the afternoon there. We shopped a bit and my travel companions bought matching Dooney & Burke purses that they were really excited about! We had a late dinner reservation at ‘Ohana so they ran back to the hotel to store their new purchases and I planned to meet them at the Polynesian.
I used the extra time to explore the new shops and kiosks that recently opened. One that I was particularly excite to try was the Daily Poutine. Even though we were going to dinner in a few hours, I decided to take one for the team and try one… you’re welcome! There were a few different choices, including Italian, French, and Latin varieties. I opted for the classic – fries, cheddar cheese curds, and beef gravy.
With an almost $9 price tag, I was curious whether it would be worth it. It was HUGE! The bowl holding it was probably about 5 inches in diameter. It just so happened that there was an older couple debating whether to order their own so I offered to share mine with them – there was no way I was going to finish it myself, especially with an ‘Ohana dinner waiting for me. In talking with them, I found out they were from the Pacific Northwest and frequently visited Canada, home of the original poutine. According to them, this wasn’t an exact replica, but was definitely a tasty rendition! We finished the poutine and went our separate ways, with me catching a bus to the Polynesian for our dinner.
Trader Sam’s & ‘Ohana
Those who know me, know I have what might be called an obsession with Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, despite never having actually stayed here. The fact that the resort conveniently houses my husband’s favorite restaurant, ‘Ohana, is also a plus. I make a point to visit my favorite resort every trip, and our recent Girls’ Getaway Weekend trip was no different. We were super excited to snag last minute reservations for ‘Ohana (during Wishes no less) on our last night at Disney!
I arrived well before our reservation time because I love taking pictures at the Polynesian and usually don’t get much time to do so. During my wanderings, I decided to take the opportunity to explore Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for the first time. I have been dying to check it out some it opened, but haven’t previously had the chance to. I walked in, intending to just take some pictures and see the bar firsthand… but that’s not exactly what happened.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto can be found in the back, left corner of the Great Ceremonial House. The fairly non-descript door gives little indication of the adventure that lies beyond. The bar itself is small, with a capacity of only about 50 patrons. Don’t let its small size fool you, though. This place is BIG on personality!
I searched for a seat among the 10ish tables, most of which were full. I did find myself a spot at a long table with two other smaller groups. The group to my right was at Disney for a conference while those on my left were newlyweds and members of their wedding party. As I write this, I am realizing how awkward it could have been sitting between these groups, but the magic of Disney (and rum) made me feel right at home with my new-found friends.
I talked with the business owners about drink recommendations and their conference experiences. The newlyweds were incredibly friendly, especially the bride who fell so in love with my “magically soft” curly hair that she decided that I *must* drink on their tab. I opted for the drink I’d been most excited to try, The Polynesian Pearl. This beverage is served in its very own plastic souvenir pearl cup and let’s be honest, I wanted one.
Each of the signature drinks had its own special saying or action. For example, the “pearl” cups are offered up one at a time, upon ordering, from a giant clam shell behind the bar. As the bartender made my drink, I was distracted by these unique bar antics (you should order a Shrunken Zombie Head to see what caught my attention). It wasn’t until he sat my drink in front of me that I realized I had a Black Pearl! Rumor has it, around 1% of the pearls are black and are given randomly from the giant clam. My new business owner friends said they’d visited for several nights and never seen a black pearl before! Needless to say, I was super excited. I came in to see the bar and take pictures and was leaving with a unique black pearl souvenir from a gifted drink from this newlywed couple. It didn’t seem right to accept a gift from them so I returned the favor in the form of some much needed food. By this point, it was time for our dinner at ‘Ohana so I excused myself from the table and headed upstairs for a fantastic dinner.
Bottom Line: While definitely not a place for kids, I think Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto may be one of my new favorite things at Walt Disney World. Though I was initially unsure about the concept of a Disney-fied bar, I think Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a great combination of magic, fun, and tiny umbrella drinks.
I met up with my travel companions in the ‘Ohana waiting area. We were joined by one of their old friends who had moved to Florida to work as a Cast Member. The four of us dined at a window-view table, perfect for watching Wishes! After dinner, one of my roommates and I caught a cab back (surprisingly harder than I expected with a wheelchair) so our other roommate could spend some quality time with her friend. Once we made it back to the room, we all tucked in for our last night!