Trader Sam's wait times, help me with a strategy!

AngiTN

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Been looking for info on this, but no luck finding it yet. I've seen in some reviews that people have been told to line up outside when they arrive, yet I've seen other posts about people lining up inside. Can someone confirm where the line forms these days?

Similar to the OP we are also planning on going on a Sunday in mid-September and cannot wait to finally check this place out!
I've always seen it in the hallway. So outside of Trader Sam's, but inside the building.
Yep. This could be the source of the confusion. Trader Sams entrance is inside the main Poly building and they have you line up just outside the door to get into Trader Sams. So yeah, it's outside of Trader Sams itself but inside of a building, not outside outside. If that makes sense
 

Tiggerette

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
The only time I saw a consistent line outside the building was for the Halloween glass. So depending on when you go, if there's going to be an especially long line, they may place you outside the building, which wraps around towards the terrace. On the inside of the building it wraps around the wall to the quick serve cafe (Cooks?). They have also issued buzzer pagers, so they may not exclusively use the clipboard to take names and call names.
 

TSM

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
We went to trader sams this past Friday at 7 and was told it would be a 45 minute wait but they text you when space is available so you can walk all around the resort. It was about 20 minutes and we got the text. Enjoyed the experience.
 
  • JBinORL

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2018
    I've gone twice, and tried to go a few other times. At times ranging from 4:45 to probably 8PM, I've been told by the host that there's a 90 minute wait for a table. The first time we went, January of 2017, we walked right in. The most recent time, we lined up at 3:30 and sat at the long table with a few other people, When we left, there was still a line.

    In short: it completely depends. Take the earlier advice, that if it's a priority, either line up at 3:30 or understand you might have to wait after your FP
     

    crabbygal902

    after a lapu lapu, I'm not so crabby anymore
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2007
    I'm curious as to the wait times at around 6:00PM on a Saturday evening. I asked before but nobody really responded. :-/

    I've got an Ohana reservation for 8:00PM so my sister and I were going to drag our parents out for a pre-dinner cocktail. We like TS at DL, so we wanted to try it at WDW, too.

    Does 6PM leave us enough time to get a drink and check in for our reservation around 7:50?
    I know that this is not the answer you want, but the wait times vary greatly depending on many factors. I'd go with the hope that it would work but have a Plan B if it doesn't. There are two other fantastic options at the Poly: Tambu Lounge, which is connected to 'Ohana and has the famous Lapu Lapu (see my profile pic) and the outdoor Tiki Terrace. We prefer the Tiki Terrace to Trader Sams anyway. It has either the same menu or something that is really close, a waterfall, live entertainment, beautiful surroundings, and a view of the castle if you're sitting in the right place.
     

    KrazeeK120

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2012
    I know that this is not the answer you want, but the wait times vary greatly depending on many factors. I'd go with the hope that it would work but have a Plan B if it doesn't. There are two other fantastic options at the Poly: Tambu Lounge, which is connected to 'Ohana and has the famous Lapu Lapu (see my profile pic) and the outdoor Tiki Terrace. We prefer the Tiki Terrace to Trader Sams anyway. It has either the same menu or something that is really close, a waterfall, live entertainment, beautiful surroundings, and a view of the castle if you're sitting in the right place.
    Tam has Lounge is closed (or closing soon?) for a refurbishment. They have something temporary set up, but it’s not the same as having the lounge.
     

    EscalatorKid

    Registered
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2013
    I know that this is not the answer you want, but the wait times vary greatly depending on many factors. I'd go with the hope that it would work but have a Plan B if it doesn't. There are two other fantastic options at the Poly: Tambu Lounge, which is connected to 'Ohana and has the famous Lapu Lapu (see my profile pic) and the outdoor Tiki Terrace. We prefer the Tiki Terrace to Trader Sams anyway. It has either the same menu or something that is really close, a waterfall, live entertainment, beautiful surroundings, and a view of the castle if you're sitting in the right place.
    Evidently, Tambu lounge is closed anyways and is unlikely to be opened by Sept 8.

    We specifically wanted to do Trader Sam's and I'll just have to get there a bit earlier to ensure we get a spot, I guess.

    Worst Case Scenario, I have to sit around enjoying the Poly for a while longer.
     
  • SamFaniam

    I Love Rabbit!
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2019
    Bumping this thread to see if things have changed. Planning to visit Trader Sam's after brunch on a Sunday in August. Is arriving at 3:30 still a good plan?
     

    drwadadli

    T-I-double "guh"-errrr
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2015
    Side note, we (my wife and I) typically don't do the lounges when we go to WDW. Okay, I guess one -- Raglan Road for hours. We are planning a trip to Poly in 2020 and was interested in this thread. After reading most it, I was curious. Is Trader Sam's worth doing and going for drinks?

    I have read that the antics are when makes this place fun. Is that true?

    Are the drinks really expensive? I mean I am on vacation and don't have a problem spending if it is good and fun.
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    Side note, we (my wife and I) typically don't do the lounges when we go to WDW. Okay, I guess one -- Raglan Road for hours. We are planning a trip to Poly in 2020 and was interested in this thread. After reading most it, I was curious. Is Trader Sam's worth doing and going for drinks?

    I have read that the antics are when makes this place fun. Is that true?

    Are the drinks really expensive? I mean I am on vacation and don't have a problem spending if it is good and fun.
    It's my favorite place in the world. The effects and the CMs there are great. Drinks are no more expensive than other Disney bars, really. It's the souvenir glasses that make them look more expensive (you can order anything except the Pearl without buying the glass).
     
  • vicb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2001
    Last year in May with my hubby and young adult (over 21) children we left MK at 3pm right when parade was starting. We took the monorail to Poly, we were first in line at 3:30 but a line quickly formed behind us. The hostess took our name and phone # but quietly advised us to stay put so we took turns going to the bathroom and sitting down for a short time but always keeping one of us in the line. We all gathered back in line at 3:55 and when the doors opened at 4pm we were first in and got to pick our spot. It was really fun, there is a lot of shenanigans right at opening because everyone is ordering drinks at the same time. We got drinks and 3 apps to share which were super good. It was a steamy hot day and we were so happy we left MK with our good dispositions intact and ended in ac and fun of Trader Sams.

    PS. If the opening is now at 3pm I would get there at 2:30, the appetizers were really good you could almost do that as a late lunch at 3pm... just a thought.
     

    elsbit

    Using colors bold and bright
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2015
    I would do my FP and then head over to Trader Sam's. While waiting I would go to Tambu Lounge and pregame.

    That's what we did when we stayed at the Poly last trip. The wait was about an hour so we each had two drinks while we waited.
    I did the same exact thing. Only had time for one drink at the lounge before we were buzzed. You can also walk around the gift shop. Don't skip the fp!
     

    lmarieleonard

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2012
    Wondering an average wait time (if there is such a thing) around 5:30 pm (on a Sunday night in November)? I have a reservation at Ohana at 5:40 and am wondering if it's a feasible strategy to put my name in at Trader Sam's before dinner with the hopes of getting in sometime relatively shortly after dinner?
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    Wondering an average wait time (if there is such a thing) around 5:30 pm (on a Sunday night in November)? I have a reservation at Ohana at 5:40 and am wondering if it's a feasible strategy to put my name in at Trader Sam's before dinner with the hopes of getting in sometime relatively shortly after dinner?
    We had a half hour wait around that time on a Monday two weeks ago and they give you 10 minutes from the notification to get there before they skip over you.
     

    katherine52478

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2009
    The opening time is 3 pm these days. Figure that most people have two drinks tops so the tables turn over every 1-1 1/2 hours. I would say try to get in around 4:15-4:30. You may have a 10-15 min wait but that is enough time for a drink or two before Ohana.

    We go at least twice a trip now (my 13 year old insists!) and we find the sweet spot really is between 4-6 p.m. He’s not allowed in there past 8 so that works for us!
     

    lmarieleonard

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2012
    Thanks! This is great news—last time I was there (March 2019) the wait time was 2+ hours (that was later in the evening) so I didn't realize it was even a possibility that we'd be able to get in before dinner without arriving at opening. Will try for 4:15-4:30 window! I've only been to the Grog Grotto since the wait times have always been extremely long when I've been there. Can't wait to try the inside!
     

    TeresaWen

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2008
    We were there last week. Sat outside. Weather was perfect. There was live music. We saw the electric water pageant. I was seriously wondering why anyone would want to be inside on such a lovely night.
     

    lmarieleonard

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2012
    We were there last week. Sat outside. Weather was perfect. There was live music. We saw the electric water pageant. I was seriously wondering why anyone would want to be inside on such a lovely night.
    At Trader Sam's, the indoor experience is pretty different (from what I understand)—lots of effects that make it truly immersive. I have loved my times at Grog Grotto but as a tiki fan, I want to have the Trader Sam's indoor experience as well!
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    At Trader Sam's, the indoor experience is pretty different (from what I understand)—lots of effects that make it truly immersive. I have loved my times at Grog Grotto but as a tiki fan, I want to have the Trader Sam's indoor experience as well!
    The Grog Grotto is the inside. The outside bar is the Tiki Terrace.
     

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