Recap of the Mahaloween Luau at Trader Sam’s – Disneyland

Mahaloween

This past Monday, Disney hosted a “Mahaloween Luau” at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. The price for the special event was steep ($125 per person) though Disney seemed to have little trouble selling out each of the four hour-long sessions.

Patio

Whether or not you got your money’s worth has been up for discussion. We had a great time and met fellow tiki fans and runDisney participants, but I agree with other outspoken attendees that the event didn’t really live up to the expectations set by the (somewhat inaccurate) description. (For example, it was supposed to take place inside Trader Sam’s, but everybody who did the math realized that 100 ticket holders wouldn’t fit in a bar with a capacity of 55. Instead, we were corralled into a section of the patio.)

shrunken heads

Anyway, the event was held in anticipation of the release of a new glaze of the Shrunken Zombie Head mug. (I featured the original blue version on my list of Top 5 Spooky Tiki Mugs last year.) The one on the left with the greenish tint and orange interior is the mug that’s now available at Trader Sam’s, while the mug on the right with teal highlights was exclusive for Mahaloween.

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Servers were ready with trays of Shrunken Zombie Heads (to be redeemed with our two drink tickets) and there was a buffet table piled with tuna poke cones and chicken lettuce cups with ginger hoisin sauce.

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Pulled pork sliders and plates of our favorite panko-crusted Chinese long beans with Sriracha aioli made the rounds later on. The food was very good, but seating was limited and it was difficult to eat unless you had snagged a table.

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Brandon Kleyla, a Walt Disney Imagineering set designer who worked on Trader Sam’s, gave a brief talk about the concept art on display. Some of the Enchanted Tiki Room designs were already familiar from last year’s Disney Gallery exhibit “Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms: Celebrating 50 Years of Enchantment.”

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My favorite part was hearing about repurposed designs. As Brandon said, at Disney: “No idea idea ever fully dies.” The shipwreck in a bottle effect at Trader Sam’s was originally considered for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, as seen in the top left design by Elmer Plummer from 1968. Some folks might remember that it was part of the dearly missed Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island in Disney World (Tim Kirk art, 1987). The shipwreck was brought up once again for the Haunted Mansion in 2002. Meanwhile, Mary Blair‘s 1970 abstract art for Disney’s Polynesian Resort forms the wallpaper pattern in the Trader Sam’s bathrooms. And finally, the Tiki Goddess formerly featured in Florida’s infamous Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management will apparently glower over the patrons at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, which is scheduled to open at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando in early summer 2015.

Mugs

Another board revealed a few early concepts for the Shrunken Zombie Head mug. The first was Shrunken Ned, the “Jungle Witch Doctor” at the South Sea Traders shop in Adventureland, and the other inspired by the fellows with fezzes in the Lost Safari scene from Jungle Cruise. Different swizzle sticks were initially devised for each drink, and this would have accompanied the Piranha Pool. I really hope Disney revisits some of these ideas in the future!

Trader Sams

Brandon also told us more of what we can expect from Trader Sam’s in Florida. He said that while our Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar has more of a ’30s-’40s Adventureland theme, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will be “60s-’70s nautical, kitschy” (sooooo….Bahooka, basically?) with references to “20,000 Leagues Under Sea” like a giant squid tentacle stealing from the bar. (Again, this was concept art we’d seen before.)

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New to me at least were these previews of two tiki mugs paying tribute to Tangaroa Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I’ll have to get my hands on one of the Trader Sam’s octopus t-shirts somehow — apparently it’s also just for Florida.

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We also got a sneak peek at the second edition of the Uh Oa bowl, which has a three wise monkeys (“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”) theme. They said it should be available at Trader Sam’s Disneyland any day now.

King Kukulele

Special guest King Kukulele, who we always enjoy seeing at the annual Tiki Night at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, led everyone in a sing-along of “Hawaiian War Chant” from the Enchanted Tiki Room. The Hawaiian musicians that usually perform on the patio also serenaded us.

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Since we were in the last group of the night, we weren’t rushed out of the event quite as quickly so I had the chance to pose with the shrunken head prop that Brandon had brought from Trader Sam’s.

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On the way out we were given our swag bags, which included the special event mug, hat, some Mahaloween pins, Tangaroa Terrace flyer/coupon and a canvas poster.

Tiki Tony

I must admit I was more excited to get one of these unofficial Trader Sam’s postcards that Tiki tOny‘s friend was handing out. I was given a few extra to give away here! Leave a comment on this post about your favorite part of the Halloween season and I’ll randomly pick three winners on Friday, Oct. 10.

Related Posts:
Trader Sam’s Tiki Juju – Adventureland Trading Company Scavenger Hunt
Tiki Stitch Featured at Disneyland’s 10k Race
New Adventureland Tiki Merchandise at Disneyland/Disney Store

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Trader Sam’s Tiki Juju – Adventureland Trading Company at Disneyland

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I was way late to the party on this, but since the beginning of August Disneyland had been doing a special promotion called Adventureland Trading Company at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. It involved collecting “juju” charms by purchasing and solving puzzles or buying special food or drink items in that area of the park.

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They had posted about it on the Disney Parks Blog, but we didn’t discover this was a thing until we found this mysterious mention of JuJuJuice ($7.50) at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.

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Once we figured out what the missing ingredients were — a skipper helped enlighten us — we were able to order this nonalcoholic concoction of pineapple, guava and other fruit juices. It came adorned with this tiki juju.

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Another challenge involved “bird-watching” to get a red parrot juju from The Enchanted Tiki Room. The sad news is it sounds like Adventureland Trading Company has run out of supplies, however the resellers seem to be out in full force on ebay and Amazon, so all is not lost. Plus, this was such a popular promotion that perhaps Disney will bring it back in some form. (It happened with those Enchanted Tiki Room sipper cups!)

New Tiki Art at Disneyland’s WonderGround Gallery

On the heels of summer’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary product release, Disneyland has come out with even more tiki art in the past few months. The following items were all still available in the WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney as of this past weekend when we visited.

Hanging At Sam’s by Jerrod Maruyama

In my previous post about the gallery, I highlighted Jerrod Maruyama and his “Hipster Mickey” art. He’s since followed up with a few companion pieces to it, including “Hanging at Sam’s” featuring Hipster Mickey and the logo for Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar and the Disneyland Hotel. (I wish he was sipping from one of their signature tiki mugs!) This made its debut in October and there are poster prints for sale plus postcards, magnets and canvas prints.

Mickey's Enchanted Island by Daniel Samakow

Highlighted as part of July’s Pop Fusion exhibit, “Mickey’s Enchanted Tiki Island” by Daniel Samakow features a vibrant sunset beach scene with Mickey Mouse, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Tangaroa tree and several Moai. According to the Disney Parks Blog, there are 50 tikis total in the image. I’ll take their word for it.

Enchanted Tiki Room by El Gato Gomez

El Gato Gomez was recently profiled in Tiki magazine and I was pleased to see that her art has also been showcased here. I couldn’t help but pick up a print of her Enchanted Tiki Room painting (also available as a postcard), though it was difficult to decide considering she had also created beautiful depictions of the Haunted Mansion, Mad Tea Party and Space Mountain. (She has ordering information on her web site, if you’re interested.)

Mr. Toad's New Mania  by Chris Reccardi

While it’s not tiki-related, “Mr. Toad’s New Mania” from September’s Pop Fusion exhibit also caught my eye with its steampunk sensibility. I’ve been a fan of Chris Reccardi since discovering his work in Palm Springs at M Modern Gallery and The Riviera hotel.

Related Posts:
More Tiki Art at WonderGround Gallery at Disneyland
Recreation of Original 1963 Brochure for Enchanted Tiki Room
More Disney & Tiki Connections