Disney World’s Polynesian Resort has always been a little escape to paradise but guests visiting Disneyland in California can enjoy a little piece of Polynesia too.
Enchanted Tiki Room
Just like in Disney World you can find an Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland’s Adventureland. This is one of these must see attractions for our family. Even before the show starts, the animated tiki gods that hang out in the Enchanted Tiki Room’s courtyard entertain guests.
Inside you’ll be treated by an array of animatronic birds, plants, and even sculptures on the wall, offering a variety of musical interludes. Don’t worry about where you sit as every seat is a great seat in this show (plus in the warmer weather you’ll enjoy the air conditioning). Even our host, a Disneyland cast member, was a pure delight getting everyone in the mood for a fun show. It doesn’t matter how many times we see this, my whole family loves this break from the frenzy of the park.
Tiki Juice Bar
Of course the best treat to enjoy when visiting the Enchanted Tiki Room (or Disneyland in general) is a Dole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar. It’s easy to find, just follow the line outside of the Enchanged Tiki Room. Don’t let the line scare you away, the team manning the Tiki Juice Bar seem to have a system down that moves everyone along quickly.
If you’re lucky you’ll score one of the plastic souvenir tiki mugs. I’ve heard they don’t come out often so when you do see them, grab them. We picked up four for our tiki collection for the kids to use as drink glasses in the backyard (and so much cheaper than replacing a broken Geeko or Munk Tiki mug). Plus what a great souvenir from your trip? I can almost hear those tiki gods beating their drums each time we pull these out.
I’m looking forward to trying The Recipe Critic’s at home Dole Whip recipe in my souvenir cup.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Outside of the Disneyland theme park you can still enjoy a tropical paradise when you visit Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar located in the courtyard area of the Disneyland Hotel (one of my favourite hotels for families in Disneyland). From the hut-like exterior to the thatched and tiki masked lined walls on the inside, you’ll feel as though you’ve arrived on the islands.
As this is more of a lounge than a restaurant the food choices are limited but for a quick snack the Pu Pu Platter is a great sharing item for the family. You can sit outside on the patio with its tiki torches and live Hawaiian music but inside is where all the magic really happens. Order one of their specialty drinks and be entertained by a show plus get a souvenir glass to take home.
My husband and I shared a TIki Tiki Tiki TIki TIki Rum which the server actually lights on fire and the Shipwreck on the Rocks causes the bar to get dark and stormy with a spritz of water in your direction.
If appetizers and cocktails aren’t what you’re in the mood for, how about a plate of Loco Moco? I fell in love with this dish when visiting the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach when vacationing in Hawaii so I was thrilled to see a version of it appear as an option on the Tangaroa Terrace breakfast menu. It consists of a juicy Hamburger Patty served over Rice and topped with Brown Gravy and a Fried Egg with a side of Island Fruit. After our visit I was even inspired to try making Loco Moco at home.
You’ll find other island inspired meals at lunch and dinner such as a Slow-roasted Kālua-style Pork Sandwich and Ahi Poke plus children’s dishes like kid’s salmon served with rice and fruit. The outside terrace overlooks the Disneyland Hotel’s monorail waterslides and pools.
Don the Beachcomber
Disneyland California is only a 30-minute drive away from Huntington Beach. The beach and pier are fabulous and worth the visit but for Polynesian enthusiasts you must drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Don the Beachcomber. Yes THE Don the Beachcomber!
As soon as you step under the welcome sign you surrounded by thatched walls, bamboo furniture, and tiki carvings. This place is deceptively big inside but they do a great job dividing the space up into smaller rooms so you feel like you’re sitting in a beach hut. All they need is sand on the floor.
I enjoyed a Mai Tai from Don the Beachcomber, reportedly Don being the original creator of the cocktail. It was delightful but nothing beats the version I enjoyed at the Ocean House in Outigger Reef Hotel in Oahu. I may never get a chance to sit in one of the bamboo booths at Don the Beachcomber again but I’m so glad we made the short drive out.
Trader Sam’s Comes to the Polynesian Resort
Although I love visiting Disneyland I may not have to board a plane to enjoy a cocktail in Trader Sam’s. It seems according to the Disney Parks blog the Polynesian Resort in Disney World will be going through a refurbishment, including adding a version of Trader Sam’s:
The sweeping renovation, happening now, also includes a new food and beverage experience opening for guests next year, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto — based on the popular themed lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.
I know for many Disney is about Mickey and Princesses but I love the tiki flare found in both parks.
Thanks to the folks at Disney Parks Canada for hosting us at the Disneyland Hotel as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Polynesian Village Resort photo courtesy of Disney.