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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto announced for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, part of Walt Disney World hotel upgrades

in Disney, Food, Walt Disney World

Announced today, Walt Disney World is returning their famous Polynesian hotel to its original name, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, as part of an ongoing makeover.

But even more exciting to tiki fans is the announcement of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a version of the popular bar at the Disneyland Resort, that will open at Walt Disney World in 2015.


Video: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Polynesian hotel makeover announced at Walt Disney World


The resort’s pool and centerpiece Great Ceremonial House are being remade. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will feature tiki cocktails and Polynesia-themed small plates.

Disney has also announced another eatery called the Pineapple Lenai kiosk to serve the popular Dole Whip, set to open in late 2014.

The hotel’s Nanea Volcano pool will be receiving some enhancements, a water playground with slides, a new hot tub, and a bigger deck.

Disney released concept art for Trader Sam’s as well as the new look for its lobby area:


NEW (5/15/14):

This new artwork appears to show Uh Oa, the Tiki Goddess of Disaster from the “Under New Management” version of the Enchanted Tiki Room.

(Uh Oa photo from The Magic in Pixels.)

Uh Oa is also the name of a drink currently served at the original Trader Sam’s at Disneyland, likely to anger this goddess whenever ordered at Walt Disney World.


Walt Disney World president George Kalogridis made the announcement during an “Around Our World” presentation to the press.

46 Comments

  1. Eric

    Sad to see the waterfall going away. Always my favorite part of walking into the lobby.

    1. janelle

      me too…. the waterfall was such a beautiful focal point…

    2. Lori

      I will miss our annual pictures at the beautiful waterfall 🙁

  2. Arlene

    Oh, no! I love that waterfall! 🙁

    1. Jeff Lynch

      Clearly you didn’t love it enough or let anyone know you loved it. So it’s going away now. Thanks, Arlene.

      1. Arlene

        Wow, thanks for the harsh comment to a complete stranger. You have a great day, too, Jeff.

        1. Nick

          oooh, maybe Jeff will go away now….we don’t love HIM enough. Thanks, Arlene

        2. Robin

          Pretty sure Jeff meant that to be sarcastic, but in the future Jeff, an additional winking face or j/k might read better to others.

        3. Arlene

          Thanks, everybody. 8:)

          1. Holly

            Clearly you people have no sense of humor. That was a hilarious reply, Jeff, thanks for the laugh. The rest of you, take a deep breath and don’t take everything so seriously. Jeeze.

          2. Arlene

            Right. As clear as Arribas Bros. crystal. Clearly.

      2. wendy

        Wow! Even if it was sarcasm, totally not the right place for it. Jeff, maybe you need a dose of WDW to remember the vibe here is a happy one. Smile everyone 🙂

        1. Eric Ramocki

          Maybe he drank too much Grog.

  3. Rich

    As long as the smell is retained, that is all that matters!

    1. Noel

      Agreed!

  4. Michael Chadwick

    Very sad. The fountain in that lobby was iconic. It was what really stuck with us when we stayed there on our honeymoon. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There was no reason to mess with it, it was perfect. Very, very sad.

    1. Michael

      That’s the problem… it is broken. Supposedly a LOT of nasty stuff growing under there. Read Tikiman’s web page… he has some information on there in some of his older updates.

  5. ste3ve

    They need to get Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily to design the place if they want it to compare to Trader Sam’s at DL.

    1. Rich

      I just went back and looked at the trader sams images again.
      1) there is a 20,000 leagues sun tiki bowl they are drinking out of.

      2) the person drinkng from it looks 12

      1. Rich

        20,000 leagues SUB tiki not sun

  6. Noah

    I can’t believe that the water fall is being demolished for that little fountain piece. (If the smell is gone I will be doubly disappointed, haha) I love The Polynesian, it is the only place we stay on a regular basis. I also like to think that I embrace change, yet it is hard when I see that it is being replaced by a minuscule fountain and mostly open space. I trust that Disney knows how much fans loved this icon, or at least are seeing all of this backlash, so that they can make the wisest decision. Disney, I trust you. Don’t let us down.

  7. Kristen

    The new waterfall looks terrible! What a mistake! I’ve never posted a comment before, and hate to be negative about anything Disney-related, but I just cannot figure out why they would replace the iconic water feature with that small, ugly design. So disappointing! The Polynesian is my favorite resort, but it looks like it’s about to become a little less magical.

    1. ryan

      True I know disney is perfect and I’m sure they’d never do amything that’d hurt the magic and guests enjoyment they havint messed up so farthey won’t now thx 🙂

  8. Kristine

    For the love of all things holy, not the waterfall! When I walk into the lobby and smell/see/hear it, the stress of the 16-hour drive melts away and I am in instant vacation mode. It’s my favorite thing.

  9. JEANY SANCHEZ

    yeah me too! I think that Disney did a great job to bring back the Polynesian Village Resort from the 1971! I hope to stay in this resort next year I hope!

  10. Jim Lizzo

    Need to keep the waterfall! been there twice and want to go again ,thank goodness my kids saw the waterfall. Please reconsider

  11. The waterfall going away is a true bummer. Also they are not returning to the original name since the original name was just Polynesian Village, not Polynesian Village Resort. Im glad Village is coming back though! I hope Walter from Tambu makes it over to Trader Sams.

    1. DyAnna

      Walter is the best!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to be back there in October!

  12. Robyn Mullins

    This is going to disappoint so many people. It’s just not going to feel the same. For the past 21 years, no matter which resort we stayed at, we took a trip over to that waterfall to take a family picture. This is actually really sad 🙁

    1. ryan

      Its been a tradition for me and my sisters and parents to I’m 14 lol the memories

  13. Joe

    I feel the two primary reasons to eliminate the waterfall is to open the floorplan for more guest traffic and to remove something that required maintenance and cleaning.

    I have never stayed at the Poly, but I frequent Ohana once every year and thought the waterfall was a unique setpiece for the resort.

    1. Arlene

      I agree. I think this is more to save money on maintenance and whatnot. Sad to see it go, though. 🙁

  14. Dan

    Honestly, not sad in the least. The fountain is drab and it does nothing to add light to the lobby. Never made me think Polynesia, made me think Brady Bunch. I welcome the change.

  15. Megan

    Do we know yet when these changes will be completed? Hoping to stay there in December but not if there’s still construction everywhere :/

  16. I only regret that this sounds like it won’t be done by our visit in September. We’re not staying at the Polynesian, but I would certainly make multiple trips over for a Trader Sam’s!

    1. Anthony

      I’m just sad that Wyland galleries is no longer there. They were a perfect fit for the resort and so fun to check out while waiting for our table at Ohana.

  17. Michael

    I knew the the lobby waterfalls be going away, and made a ” goodbye visit” to the Polynessian during my March WDW trip. My positive memories of the waterfalls are so strong, that I though the loss of the original design would be heartbreaking for me. However, sitting in the lobby, I had to admit that the space was dated and nowhere close to the standards of the other deluxe resorts like the Grand Floridian or the Wilderness Lodge. I left the Polynessian that day at peace with a total makeover and hoping that some of the excellent design elements of the Aulani resort find their way to Florida.

  18. Kiki

    It’s sad since it was one of the few things left
    that Walt had a hand in. I also understand the need
    for upgrades with Four Seasons knocking at their
    door with lower rates and it’s own water park.
    I DO hope that wonderful Disney smell doesn’t go.

  19. Drew

    Love, love, love the waterfall! Please don’t replace it with a small fountain. The lovely sound of the water on rocks, the smell of the foliage surrounding it all make the lobby of this very special hotel transporting. I hope Disney reconsiders. Perhaps a compromise somewhere in between the two sizes?

  20. Chitwinmom

    We LOVE the Poly! I love the waterfall too. However, I am sure it’s removal was an educated & calculated decision by Disney. Considering their return to the original name & desire to bring in more iconic images/items. Water features are costly to maintain. In addition, they can harbor organisms & pose health risks. I’m confident Disney kept it clean, I am just adding to possible justification for it’s demise:(.

  21. Aimie

    I think it all looks great. We have two meals booked at
    Ohana in November. Hopefully it will be finished by then.

  22. JEANY SANCHEZ

    I will miss the waterfall in the Polynesian resort. I hope to stay in the Polynesian in the near future!

  23. michael mallozzi

    Was never a big fan of the waterfall, it did clog up the whole area.

  24. Julie Phillips

    I will be staying there at the beginning of October. I will let you all know what I see. I’m just excited to stay there as it’s my wedding anniversary. Sad to see it go, however change may be a good thing. Staying positive.

    Jewel

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