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Review: Captain Cook’s Snack Company

There are two important things you need to know about Captain Cook’s Snack Company and why I consider it to be one of Disney’s best kept secrets:

1. It offers two of Disney’s most beloved menu items — Tonga Toast and Dole Whips.
2. It’s open 24. Hours.

Those two are reason enough to visit, but when you add in the fact that the place serves up some pretty unique and delicious eats, there’s no reason NOT to escape the crazy of the Magic Kingdom for a quick boat ride over to the Polynesian Resort and a visit to Captain Cook’s.

Entrance Sign

Atmosphere
This joint looks pretty much like a fast-food location decorated in stereotypical Hawaiian style. Because that’s what it is. But it’s also so much more!

Counter-Service Restaurant

It was one of the first locations to pioneer the cool touch-screen ordering systems, which I find to be very efficient! More on the menus later…

Enter here to place order

Order Here!

Flatbread Ordering Screen

Completed Order

Once you’ve ordered, simply head over to get your buzzer and pick up any of the other items you might need from the bakery or the refrigerated section of the shop.

Food Prep

Then, head over to the check-out counter with your receipt and any other items you might need. I always find the cast members here to be super nice. Must be that “Island” relaxation. ;-)

Pay Here!

Once you’ve paid, take a seat indoors at the Hawaiian themed tables, or head outside to enjoy the evening, the beach, and perhaps the fireworks over at Magic Kingdom!

Tables at Captain Cook's

Eats
The menu here isn’t extensive, but there are many unique options.

Menu

I like that they even have screens on the ordering system specifically for vegetarian items and for the kids’ menu.

Captain Cook's Kids' Menu

Vegetarian Menu

Entrees

Drinks Menu

click for larger version

In the refrigerated section, you can pick up different kinds of sushi from the Kona Island Sushi Bar upstairs, and drinks.

Luau Crab Roll

Spicy Shrimp Roll

Personally, I knew I had to get that yummy Grown-Up (or “Adult”) Grilled Cheese sandwich! It features cheddar, swiss, and Boursin cheeses and is served on multi-grain sunflower bread — amazing!! The tangy strength of the cheeses paired with that yummy sunflower bread is a perfect marriage of comfort food and new tastes.

Adult Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Along with it, we sampled the Hawaiian Flatbread, which had ham, pineapple, tomato sauce, mozzarella, onions, and parmesan. Once again — a great choice! Check out all that crispy, melty cheese! And the sweet pineapple with the savory ham, tomato sauce, and cheeses gave us lots of different tastes to enjoy. Definitely not your typical burger-and-fries meal!

Flatbread and Fries

While we didn’t indulge in the bakery items, there are plenty to choose from — even late at night. And those cookies, brownies, and cupcakes really are as big as they look!!

click for larger version

Bakery Items

Yummy looking Strudel-y Bakery Item

To the side of the restaurant, you’ll find plenty of serve-yourself drink options: coffee, tea, and soda-pop. Don’t forget that you can purchase and refill your resort refillable mug here.

Coffee and Creamer

Beverage Station

But, saving the best for last, we had to have our Dole Whip! Captain Cook’s has a self-serve Dole Whip location!! A dream come true! I wonder how much it would cost me to have one of these in my house…

Self Serve Dole Whip

Dole Whip

Pineapple Dole Whip

Overall
I hope I’ve convinced you that this place is truly special. Don’t forget the Tonga Toast breakfast here, folks — which costs less and is a faster bet than if you got it upstairs at the Kona Cafe!

Really, Captain Cook’s is more than the sum of its parts. A counter-service spot that’s open all night, serves Dole Whips and unique items like Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, and has an exit that takes you (and your food) out to the gorgeous Polynesian beach to catch the fireworks…for free…is pretty amazing. I always envy you Polynesian-stayers!! ;-)

Let us know what you think of Captain Cook’s in the comments section below!

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36 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    How have I never been to Captain Cooks? I’m going to blame it on never staying at the Poly, and only really going over there for breakfast at Kona ;-) But next time I’m frustrated with the options at Magic Kingdom (and we’re not staying at Bay Lake Tower) I’ll have to remember it’s there!

  2. Lisa Fine says:

    I love Captain Cook’s! On my last trip, my sister and I went to the Polynesian to wander around and check out the resort, since I had never been there.

    We decided to have lunch at Captain Cook’s, and I loved how they had so many vegetarian and healthy options (I had sushi for lunch, which was great). After lunch we just had to put the self-serve Dole Whip machine to the test, and each got a big serving of Dole Whip, and wandered around the pool and sat outside.

    We already have and ADR for Kona Cafe on our next trip to WDW, so I can already bet that we’ll be stopping by Captain Cook’s for Dole Whips for dessert.

  3. JulFromMD says:

    Hey A.J.,

    I noticed you got fries as a side with your food. Please tell me they still have the Kona chips! That was the best part of the meal–a blend of freshly made potato and sweet potato chips and fried wontons. It was so good that when I was on a trip and had a lunch at Kona but no time to go down to Capt. Cook’s, I asked for an order at Kona…and they gave us some. I know they’re not healthy and so may have been in danger of getting the axe, but they were sooooo good!!

  4. James says:

    I love that Grown-up Grilled Cheese, too!

    And haven’t we had this discussion before about the cost of a Dole Whip machine? A used machine in good condition can be had for about $4,000. ;-)

  5. Dale says:

    Plus they have one of the friedliest cast members EVER that works there, Ms Jeanette. She is typically there for the overnight shifts. If you see her, please tell ther that Dale & Jeff said “hi”!!

  6. Elissa says:

    I love the adult Grilled Cheese and I have it everytime I go to Disney.

    If you think the Grilled Cheese good get the chips not the fries! I don’t even like chips, but I love these they are so good!

  7. Liz says:

    I’m dying to try that grown-up grilled cheese. It looks delicious!

  8. Matt says:

    I ate at Captain Cooks for the first time last July. We came over from the Animal Kingdom lodge for a few hours to swim in the Poly pool and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Around 2pm we started getting hungry and decided to head into Captain Cooks. Hit was a unanimous smash hit! I absolutely loved my Aloha Pork sandwich, my wife was very impressed with her “adult” grilled cheese too. Oh and when I saw the self serve Dole Whip machine, I had to take a second and make sure this wasn’t another one of my silly “Disney dreams”….lol

    Captain Cooks is definitely on our list for a return visit this year.

  9. Rikki says:

    YES!!! The Grown Up Grilled Cheese is a MUST!!!! I have been championing it for years now! Seriously one of the most delicious things EVER!

    And as far as I know, they do have the Poly Chips still. Which is also a must get for me.

    I visit Captain Cooks every trip simply to have the Grilled Cheese and the Chips. It is bar none one of the most perfect meals in WDW!

  10. DtownBlue says:

    Do you buy the Dole Whip on the ordering touch screen, or do you make your own and then take it to the register?

  11. Jeff from NJ says:

    Tonga Toast = Disney Vacation = Tonga Toast

    It’s one of the laws of the Universe.

    °o°

  12. Gabriella says:

    With or without the fries, that adult grilled cheese looks amazing! I have so many things to try at the Poly on our next trip, maybe I can convince the hubby to just stay there! Speaking of fries, I just found out that most counter service will bake your fries for you if you give them a bit of advanced notice (say 20 minutes or so) and you’re willing to wait a bit. They’re apparently just as crispy and yummy with a lot less fat.

  13. JoAnn says:

    I’m planning on resort hopping the day I fly to Disney in November. I was just going to grab lunch at Pop before I begin my journey. I may have to re-think that and have lunch here.

  14. Joey V says:

    Sometimes I request extra bread so I can feed the ducks before thr friendly cast member with the big broom chases them away.

  15. James (Disneynorth) says:

    Sigh… Still no Cherry Coke at the fountain. I guess the dole whip makes up for it….

  16. Corrie says:

    Huge fan of the Grow Up Grilled Cheese!!! This is a must have lunch every trip we take.

    I took my sister for an early Christmas celebration in early Decemember and the Poly Chips were still offered, I have to agree that I would trade the fries for chips no questions ask! The chips and the Grilled Cheese are perfect together.

  17. Anna says:

    I love that you can make the Dole Whip as big as you want, as long as it fits in the cup. I made it as tall as my head, then found a hammock on the beach to watch Wishes!

  18. Michelle says:

    I loved the Aloha Pork sandwich! Also, remember to ask the cast member to just give you the cup for your Dole Whip, so that you can come back for it after you’ve finished your entree. They are soooo great about it!

  19. Lenore says:

    I haven’t been here in YEARS. Can’t wait to go again soon now after reading this :)

  20. SuziQ says:

    Our first trip to Disney will be this coming Feb. Believe it or not, the reason we are paying the extra $$ to stay at the Poly is because of Capt Cooks. I have researched and researched until my head exploded, and decided this place had the best QS food options in all of Disney. I made a few reservations at Kona, but none at O’Hana because I want to try too many things at Capt Cooks :) Thanks for the review…I can’t wait to go!

  21. Pablo says:

    Please don’t feed the ducks. You are not doing them or the Poly staff any favors. Bread is not part of their normal diet and they end up pooing it all over the place.

    So to paraphrase the DIS Unplugged – “Don’t feed the Damn Birds”

  22. Pablo says:

    I spent quite a bit of time at Captain Cook’s Aug 2nd thru Aug 9th and to me its probably the best QS Resort Restaurant for food choices. The staff is quite nice and helpful at many times during the day.
    To Compare to other resorts,
    Beach Club has the store connected to its restaurant, so it has more convenience attached to it but fewer food options and NO DOLE Whip or Tonga Toast.

  23. Wendy says:

    I was wondering if you could tell me what coffee creamer they use in the dispenser at Captain Cooks. We stayed there recently and I loved the rich flavor. Love this blog also. Thank you.

  24. Laura says:

    Just curious how those awesome Dole Whips are priced? By the weight or fixed price per item? Thanks!

  25. AJ says:

    Laura — They’re a fixed price…which is why they’re so great! Just pile as much of that stuff as you can into the cup provided (yep — you do have to use the cup they provide).

  26. chantel says:

    Capn Cooks & Gasparilla Grille (cs @GF- hello? lobster mac & cheese!) are the 2 best cs in Disney hands down!

  27. Sam says:

    We are going in March and really want to try the Tonga Toast and dole whip at Captain Cooks. We are going to MK for early entry at 7am, and then want to head to the Polynesian for a late breakfast. Can you tell me how late Capn Cooks serves breakfast, and that they for sure still have the Tonga Toast on their menu? When I went online and searched for their bfast menu, it wasn’t listed.
    Thanks! Can’t wait!

  28. AJ says:

    Sam — Tonga Toast is usually served until around 11am, but get there by 10:30 just in case!

  29. Joe says:

    Does anyone know if they sell Dole Whips 24 hours a day?

  30. AJ says:

    Yes, they do, Joe!

  31. Melissa says:

    What do you do at one of those touch-screen places if you need an alteration made to your dish?

  32. Joni says:

    I remember (Way back when) Captian Cooks (Hideaway) Was a Lounge
    A small little spot with live music. Was nice.
    You use to be able to watch the fireworks (with sound) at Ohana’s lounge too but now the trees have blocked the view.

    I Haven’t been to the Ploly in years But I am going to try the Grilled Cheese. Chips and Dole Whip ( for the first time) Next time I go. You made it irresistable!
    Thanks for the Blog !!!

  33. Phil says:

    I have gone there a couple of times. My daughter loves the Dole Whip. I will have to try the Grilled Cheese and the Flat bread next time.

  34. Aaron says:

    I noticed the cupcakes are $2.99 instead of the usual $3.99. Are they less spectacular?

  35. Aaron says:

    Edit: $2.29

  36. Ashley says:

    I love the Aloha Pork sandwich with chips and Dole Whip! It’s a MUST whenever I go to WDW, whether I’m staying at the Polynesian or not!

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