Trader sams help

Hi! I had dinner with my friend who is joining me in July for her first trip to WDW since she was a kid and I am so thrilled to announce she cannot contain her excitement. I want to take her to Trader Sams because she LOVES a tiki bar. What are you tips to get in? What is the best time to arrive? I was thinking about going on a Sunday, early evening or afternoon, whatever time is best to get in really!
Thanks so much :blush:

As much as rope drop for a park gives me hives, I strongly recommend (and heed my own recommendation) planning on going to Trader Sam’s right as it opens. I believe that’s 3:00PM right now, but please check and confirm before going.

About 30 minutes before opening, a host will appear with a tablet and start taking names, party sizes, and phone numbers for the virtual queue. Starting about 45 minutes before opening, you may see a line start to form with people wanting to get in the virtual queue. In general, I’ve not seen a line much before this time. Exceptions can be during really busy times, or when there’s a limited edition tiki mug release. In the latter case, there’s usually a separate line for the mugs and those people won’t be competing for spots.

Capacity for Trader Sam’s is 50+/-. If you’re within those first 50 people in the virtual queue, you’ll get in right at opening. Once you’ve given your name and phone number, you can wander around the resort or do pretty much whatever you want. Once the doors open, they start paging people and you’re let in in the order you show up. Don’t go too far as you have a pretty short grace period before your spot goes to someone else. I would not be more than five minutes away. Your whole party must be present to be let in.

Once the first wave is seated, everyone is going to order pretty much all at once so the bartenders will get whacked with 50 drink orders at once, and tiki drinks take some time. After the first wave, reorders tend to spread out so second and later rounds don’t take as long.

People tend to say one or two hours, so after that first wave, the queue moves considerably more slowly. You can expect a one to two hour wait if you’re not in the first group. That’s going to be true until deep into the evening, past 10:00PM.

I don’t know that the day of the week makes much difference for these wait times.


thank you, this is very helpful. sounds like it will be a mid day experience for us!

Even though I’ve been spoiled for about the past year with a really great local tiki bar, I really enjoy Trader Sam’s. Way more people have had bad tiki drinks than good ones, and Trader Sam’s makes some pretty good ones. I find the place really fun, and people really get into the spirit of it. The skippers are usually a hoot. Don’t hesitate to sit at the communal seats at the big surfboard in the middle of the room. I’ve probably had my best times there. And do converse with the people around you.

Just be aware that the Florida Trader Sam’s makes tiny bloggers very sad, because they feel it’s all dirtbag locals who don’t have the correctly quietly reverential attitude those in California would show.


Of the feline persuasion in particular or …?



The one time I’ve been I sat at this table. I was doing a November monorail Christmas crawl (at the time, I had seen very few of the resorts at Christmas). I think I hit it around 7:30 PM and was very lucky; there was almost no line and as a single I was able to walk right up to the surfboard table and grab a seat. I wonder if it was because it was the transition period between “family” groups and the over 21 only policy that kicks in at 8:00?

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Tiny bloggers express their opprobrium without regard to species.


I would definitely say you just had a lucky moment.

Or perhaps even more accurate just snuck in (unintentionally) without being noticed.

I’ve never known an occasion at TS where you could just walk right in and snag a seat anywhere, least of all at the surfboard table.

I wouldn’t plan on doing it this way. But good on you.