UPDATE: Dole Whip is no longer being served at Captain Cook’s, is no longer self-serve, and is no longer available 24 hours a day. You’ll now find Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai in Disney’s Polynesian Village in addition to Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom. You can also find Dole Whip available intermittently at Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments, and at Epcot during some special events. On the upside, you can also get a Dole Whip Float at Pineapple Lanai!
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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!
The menu here isn’t extensive, but there are many unique options.
I like that they even have screens on the ordering system specifically for vegetarian items and for the kids’ menu.
In the refrigerated section, you can pick up different kinds of sushi from the Kona Island Sushi Bar upstairs, and drinks.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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…
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!