Toast Tiki culture with Parkeology's "secret history" of Trader Sam's


Raise your glass (or skull) to Tiki culture as Parkeology explores the "secret history" of Disney's Trader Sam's. - PHOTO BY SETH KUBERSKY
  • Photo by Seth Kubersky
  • Raise your glass (or skull) to Tiki culture as Parkeology explores the "secret history" of Disney's Trader Sam's.

Pop quiz, Disney fans: What do Walt Disney's Tropical Serenade, the Polynesian Village resort, the Adventurers Club, and Trader Sam's Grog Grotto all have in common? If you answered "America's mid-century obsession with Tiki culture," have I got an article for you. (And if you just drunkenly shouted "Kungaloosh," that's OK too.)

Parkeology, one of our favorite websites for thoughtful theme park analysis, has unearthed what they're calling The secret history of Disney's Tiki Room and Trader Sam's, which should tell you everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the kitschy South Pacific fad that swept the nation more than 50 years ago. The glorious end result of the trend (which Parkeology documents with vintage artwork and photos from long-gone venues) is that we can now wait hours in line to drink $50 cocktails out of a ceramic submarine. 

Parkeology's article details the classic Disney attractions — including the Enchanted Tiki Room, which was originally supposed to be a restaurant — that were shaped by this pop-culture craze, which continues to attract imbibers to Trader Sam's bars on both coasts. This is only part of what promises to be a multi-part series, so I'm pouring a drink in my collectible zombie skull goblet and propping up my feet while waiting for the sequel.

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