Photo Tour and Review: NEW Polynesian Village Resort Lobby, and Tiramisu Cupcake at Captain Cook’s

Happy New Year!!

We don’t know a better way to celebrate than with this gorgeousness! OK, OK, we know you’ve probably got all kinds of resolutions for 2015. But, as far as I’m concerned, those start on MONDAY!!! Let’s take a look at one last indulgence, shall we…?

On a recent visit to the Polynesian Village Resort, I stopped by Captain Cook’s and peeked in the refrigerator, expecting to find the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake, as per usual.

However, something unexpected caught my eye that I decided to pick up: the Tiramisu Cupcake.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

Now, typically I might take you on a little tour around Captain Cook’s before we dig in, but the big news at the Polynesian is the recent reopening of the lobby at the Great Ceremonial House, which has been closed off for refurbishment for much of the year.

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

So, instead, I thought I might show some of the pictures of the refurbished lobby since the Polynesian is such a major dining destination at Disney World no matter which resort you choose to stay in. Obviously, our focus on this site is food, and since the Polynesian is home to such popular restaurants as ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, we know that many DFB readers loved seeing the lobby upon arrival for their Advance Dining Reservation, whether they were preparing to enjoy breakfast with Stitch and Lilo at ‘Ohana, or the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Entering from the main downstairs entrance, the signature large waterfalls have been removed. Now this area features open space, lots of seating, and a small water feature (which differs from the original artist renderings for now, but I understand that the Tiki statue previously featured in the artwork may still become a part of the structure next year).

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Seating in the lobby

Seating in the lobby

Water Feature

Water Feature

Without the presence of the large waterfalls, the new light fixtures become a major focal point.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Moving upstairs, the natural light seems to stream more to dining areas such as Kona Cafe and Kona Island (although I really don’t know if that’s more due to the fact that construction walls have been cutting off much of the light in recent months, so my eyes may just be readjusting).

Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe

The seating area near Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana has new furniture and carpeting as well.

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Captain Cook’s, however, remains unchanged (well, since the reopening from its own refurbishment in August, that is), so now that we’re there, why don’t we get straight to the cupcake?

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s dining room

When I spotted the Tiramisu Cupcake, the first thing I noticed were the peaks of frosting all over the top. I assumed it might be a marshmallow or whipped cream topping to mimic the light texture of tiramisu.

But it was actually — to my happy surprise — rich, dense peaks of cream cheese (I assume as a play on mascarpone), all dusted with cocoa like a proper tiramisu.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

The white cake base resembles the flavor of a ladyfinger biscuit with it’s sweetness (and maybe more so its sponge cake texture), but nowhere in the cupcake did I pick up any hint of alcohol typical of a tiramisu, like a rum or kahlua flavoring.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

The filling is a chocolate mocha cream. Rather than a strong espresso, it offers just the slightest hint of coffee flavor — almost like a coffee frappe-style drink, where the emphasis is on the chocolate over the coffee.

Inside the Tiramisu Cupcake

Inside the Tiramisu Cupcake

My one area of critique is that there was very little filling inside, and since I enjoyed the taste of it that was a small disappointment. Hopefully you can tell from this picture that the filling doesn’t actually fill much of the cake at all. I’m not sure if this was unique to my cupcake, or if that’s how they all are.

Inside the Tiramisu Cupcake

Inside the Tiramisu Cupcake

Overall, though, I thought this one was a definite winner, and though cupcakes around Captain Cook’s change with some frequency, I hope it sticks around so I can grab another sometime. Funny thing is, I don’t like tiramisu. But the things that I don’t like about it — the texture of soaked cake and the alcohol favoring — aren’t part of this cupcake at all. Granted, the things I don’t like are based merely on personal preference. So it’s just luck that this cupcake happens to take the parts I do enjoy — a sweet creamy cheese, cocoa, and hints of coffee — and eliminates the rest. Terrific!

So, to sum: if you don’t like tiramisu, don’t rule out this cupcake. If you do like tiramisu, don’t rule out this cupcake. :) It’s a tasty novelty item and while only some of it resembles actual tiramisu, it’s a fun little spin on several of the elements of this popular Italian dessert.

Whether you’re checking out the new surroundings at the Polynesian, or waiting for a seat to open at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto after it opens sometime next year, be sure to keep an eye out all over the place (including the refrigerators!) to see what new surprises are in store.

Would you like to try the Tiramisu Cupcake? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. George Bey says

    Thanks for the update. Any idea when the new bar is going to open. The concept art looked pretty cool.

  2. Cindi says

    The new lobby isn’t at all like I hoped. I was expecting something grand and luxurious such as at the Animal Kingdom Lodge or The Grand Floridian and this is like I stepped back into the seventies and makes me think Brady Bunch. I am so disappointed in the new lobby. I am excited about the cupcakes though as I love tiramisu.

  3. Winston says

    That’s it? That’s the water feature for the lobby? I’ve seen better at a strip mall garden center.

  4. Miles says

    I am going to really miss the old water feature. It’s not that I am resistant to change – far from it, actually – but this new feature leaves something to be desired. Maybe the tiki will help?

  5. Randolph Family says

    The old lobby needed refurbishing, sure, but this was a huge step in the wrong direction. The old water fountain garden was transportive — the sun coming through the atrium hit it just right so that it was truly featured and was complex and fully tropical enough to warrant that and the areas around it were, comparatively, darker and cooler — a perfect, relaxing respite from the Florida heat. It and the performers made you feel the spirit of Aloha — and you could feel Walt’s hand in it — just the right touch of magic. The pile of lava rocks looks like dinosaur dung heaped on some bromeliads — about as uninviting as it gets — and the lobby design has all the magic of a generic hotel or airport lobby from the seventies — the antithesis of magic. Even the Christmas tree — obviously a significant reason for all this destruction — was boring. But it’s easier to see the shop entrances, which has to have the Disney bean counters in orgasmic delight. It’s a failure in form and they didn’t even bother to fix the too-small elevators that denied the place much needed function. Our grade: F-minus.

  6. Sue says

    YES!! I’ll be trying the Tiramisu cupcake on my next trip to WDW, I love tiramisu and I’m hoping it’ll still be available!

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