Inside Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Listen travelers, and I’ll tell you the tale of a unique man. He’s an adventurer, an entrepreneur and a jungle legend. For 56 years, Disneyland park guests have crossed paths with him, the “Head Salesman” of the jungle, Trader Sam, as they sail toward the end of the classic Jungle Cruise attraction. Peddling shrunken heads, spears, masks, beads and trinkets, Trader Sam is famous for his special offer: two of his heads for one of yours.

After a successful career as a witchdoctor, Trader Sam’s talents for brewing head-shrinking potions naturally gave him experience in mixing exotic elixirs. Ultimately, requests from thirsty jungle visitors inspired Sam to search for a more convenient, yet still exotic locale. Finding this tropical oasis at the Disneyland Hotel, he set up camp. With help from his friends at the Jungle Cruise Navigational Company, he decorated every inch of the place with his collection of artifacts and photos from his many adventures around the globe.

This vast collection of personal artifacts adorn the interior of Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki Bar and are influenced by the adventurous characters and lore found in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Indiana Jones Adventure, the Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea and the 1954 Disney film classic, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Prior to opening his bar, Trader Sam traveled the world to find rare and exotic ingredients for his specialty drinks and secret mix of juices and spices he calls “Sam’s Gorilla Grog.” From the deepest, darkest jungles of the Lost River Delta and the piranha‐infested waters of the Amazon to the hidden temples of South America and the enchanted island home of the tiki gods, Sam faced many dangers to collect everything he needed for his drink recipes. Some of his concoctions even have mystical powers – ordering one of these specialty drinks can awake the tiki gods themselves, triggering special effects that bring the room to life.

Take a look inside this exotic watering hole yourself!

And the next time your travels take you to Trader Sam’s, be sure to look for some of these items from his collection:

  • A coat check ticket from The South Seas Club, used in the Disney film, “The Rocketeer.”
  • Messages in bottles from famous Disney film characters, including Lt. Robin Crusoe (“Lt. Robin Crusoe”), Lampy (“Pete’s Dragon”), Lincoln Costain (“Castaway Cowboy”) and Captain Jack Sparrow (“Pirates of the Caribbean”).
  • The Orange Bird, a popular Magic Kingdom Park Adventureland character from the 1970s.
  • San Francisco Evening Bulletin newspaper and a whaling harpoon from the Disney film, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
  • An ancient scroll from Indiana Jones Adventure.
  • A replica bullwhip sent to Trader Sam from fellow adventurer, Indiana Jones.
  • Sketches from Indiana Jones’ journal.
  • A life ring from the Magdalena Maiden, one of the retired Jungle Cruise boats.
  • A collection of real photographs of The Jungle Cruise from the 1950s.
  • An authentic 1927 pin celebrating Charles Lindberg’s flight from New York to Paris.

Safe travels, adventurers!


  • What an awesome place, I’m looking forward to going there soon!

  • I’m still looking for Trader Sam’s framed photo’s of his days working the Jungles in Cambodia? And celebrity Skippers like JohnL.that he took. That would be a great touch. Indy PD

  • This has got Oceanic Arts in Whittier all over it

    Thanks guys for creating a magical, tropical space!

  • Glad to hear Trader Sam has frequented Indy’s office over at the Temple as well as Lost River Delta for some artifact colaborations in his bar. I told him he could have my old outrigger canoe with the carved faces all over the hull for his rafters. Still looking for his family of shrunken heads the chief intrusted with him. Guess anouther Zombie is needed to see them. PD

  • I can’t wait to get there in 3 weeks!! Wohoo!! Should I go for lunch? Dinner? or after dinner?? humm….

  • I was lucky enough to meet one of the imagineers who worked on Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar when it first opened, and he said they also have something from each of the 11 countries represented in Epcot to decorate the bar. I love Trader Sam’s, we had a phenomenal first visit, and I can’t wait to return.

  • Wow, there is food there? I thought it was a bar. . .lol. Next time in California I HAVE to stop here.

  • I’ve eaten at Trader Sam’s many times since it opened. I love the vibe and the food is delicious! Thanks for sharing more of Trader Sam’s story.

  • Speaking of “adventurers”, a little Aracuan told me (showed me, in fact) that there are a lot of things fans of Disney’s Adventurers Club will recognize. Kungaloosh!

  • * A postcard addressed to Trader Sam from … Fletcher Hodges.

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