Tiki Bars—Even Better Than The Real Thing!

Mai-Kai Gardens

I was sipping a Mai-Tai at Foundation with my good friend Lisa. Lisa loves Disney World and was excited about her upcoming trip to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. She has a family and everyone is coming along!

Ray and Lisa at Foundation
Ray and Lisa at Foundation

Now, Lisa lives in Milwaukee and what I’ve heard is that Cancun is the most popular tropical destination for Mid-Westerners. I asked Lisa what she thought about traveling to Cancun for vacation. She said she would much rather vacation at Disney. What about the Caribbean, or the Florida Keys for that matter? Lisa still preferred Disney. Lisa had my curiosity now. Why would she prefer somewhere that is completely made up over going to an actual tropical destination?

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Tiki VIP #26 Brandon Kleyla (The Man Behind Trader Sam’s)

Brandon Kleyla

The man behind the curtain.

I know it’s a Wizard Of Oz reference, but it’s fitting with Brandon Kleyla. He literally was the man behind making both Trader Sam’s locations what they are. Everything you see was hand picked by Brandon. You’d like to think that Walt Disney himself is somehow still pulling the strings making Disney the magical place that it is. Well, sadly old Walt is no longer with us, but his spirit is alive and well with people like Brandon Kleyla. Here is his story… Continue reading “Tiki VIP #26 Brandon Kleyla (The Man Behind Trader Sam’s)”

Home Tiki Bar Spotlight #29 The Enchanted Tiki Lounge Conroe, Texas


The Enchanted Tiki Lounge

The Enchanted Tiki Lounge, not to be confused with the Enchanted Tiki Room, is located in Conroe, Texas. It’s not a coincidence. Brain Martin’s inspiration comes from Disneyland’s most famous air-conditioned attraction. To call the Enchanted Tiki Lounge “just a bar” would be a crime. This place is off the charts! Here is Brian’s story…

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Tiki VIP #18 Kelly Merrell (Bartender, Trader Sam’s)

Kelly Merrell

When Disneyland opened it’s own Tiki bar, Trader Sam’s, it was a safe assumption that the décor would be dialed-in. Escapism is what Disney does best! But what about the drinks? Thankfully, Trader Sam’s has Kelly Merrell. Kelly was there at the beginning of Trader Sam’s and he brought his cocktail making skills with him. Here is Kelly’s story…

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Tiki Bar Review #14 Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Anaheim, CA

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

One of my favorite things to ask people is, “What got you into Tiki?” For some people, their first step was going to a Tiki bar for the first time. Another thing people tell me is a trip to Hawaii or someplace tropical got them interested in living the Tiki lifestyle. There is one last reason that is quite common, especially out on the West Coast, and that is Disneyland!

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