Two weeks ago, the Disneyland Hotel & Trader Sam's put on a once-in-a-60th-Anniversary-Celebration event for two nights only: the Tahitian Terrace Diamond Luau. For those who aren't aware, Disneyland used to have a very cool restaurant in Adventureland adjacent to the Enchanted Tiki Room. I had only known about it through a coworker of mine who showed me the Tahitian Terrace menu and told tales of its past. My mom apparently also visited when she came to California on vacation as a kid. Alas, it's long gone. But Disney decided to bring back some of its glory for the special event.
We've been long-running fans of Trader Sam's and missed their last big event (Mahaloween) so we figured that we just HAD to go to this one. There would be food, drinks, entertainment, and exclusive merchandise (including a mug!) - we were sold.
After arriving at the Disneyland Hotel, we checked in at Trader Sam's and were then directed over to a lawn we never knew existed on the property. We were wondering where the event would be held to accommodate all of those people and the performers.
We were some of the last people in line heading in to the seating area so all tables were occupied by the time we got in. We ended up sharing one with Sara Yasmin from Sweet Siren Designs.
The waiters were readily available to serve drinks to each table (we each got two drink tickets). The drink of the evening was Tahitian Punch which was delicious and tasted a little like something we've had at Trader Sam's in the past (but I'm not quite sure what).
As for the food, there were two main buffet stations with a variety of tropical inspired pupus (finger foods). Overall, they were very good. Either I was super hungry or I was too distracted by the entertainment and I sadly forgot to take any pictures of what had been served!
Once everyone was situated, the performances began with a variety of hula dancing, fire dancing, etc. For anyone who has seen the luau at the Polynesian, the performances were very similar to that one (or at least from what I remember from about 15 years ago).
At one point, the performers took a break and some of the Imagineers gave a talk about the history of the Tahitian Terrace which I really liked. It was interesting to see the design evolution of that restaurant and to learn more about what it really entailed. Bummer that it no longer exists BUT we are excited to check out the new Jungle Cruise-inspired restaurant coming to Adventureland in Disney World (Skipper Canteen) on our next trip.
Following the performances, we were all directed over to get our goodie bags which consisted of a Tahitian Punch recipe card, special edition Tahitian Terrace tiki mug just for the event, and a print exclusive to the event. We were also able to purchase the Tahitian Terrace tiki mugs that will be available at Trader Sam's throughout the Diamond Celebration. These are a darker blue than the special edition mugs we got for attending the event.
Finally, we said goodbye to the Disneyland Hotel until next time (Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!).
Overall, it was a fun evening in paradise and we have some great souvenirs to show for it! It also got me thinking about the Polynesian...and Hawaii...and all of the other great islands out there. We're going to have to decide on a honeymoon destination soon!!