Last week, Brandon Kleyla talked about how he became an Imagineer and got involved with the Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. Today he continues that story and talks about WDW's Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
JK:How did you end up becoming the show writer for the Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar project?
BK: I would email [show writer] Kevin [Rafferty], and he was far too slammed on Carsland by that time. So I eventually said, "Hey I'm going to just write it and you tell me if it works for not."
We did that for a little bit, and then he said he was too busy to even read what I wrote, so then I became the show writer for Sam's and wrote all the bartender spiels and named most of the drink names. When we were doing cast member training, I would install my props during the night, and then would come in and work with the cast during the day, writing material, reworking material.
I was doing about 18 hour days when working on Sam's, and then went every weekend for the first year to make sure it was all working. That the jokes worked and that the cast was having fun. This was way outside of many of their normal ways of doing a job, so if it didn't work, the whole place would suffer.