#OnTheList: Tonga Toast at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

Who’s ready for some TONGA TOAST?!

Really, is there a better way you can think of to start the day than with this Disney World breakfast staple? Of course, you can only find it at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but fortunately it’s available in not one, but TWO, locations there: Kona Cafe and Captain Cook’s. (Oh, and just so we’re clear before moving any further, for those who have noticed Tonga Toast on the menu for breakfast at Rainforest Cafe, it’s totally not the same thing.)

Today we’ll be enjoying Captain Cook’s version (as well as discussing the differences from the way it’s served up at Kona Cafe). But no matter where you go to grab your Tonga Toast, you’re just one Monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom, making Tonga Toast a must-have breakfast tradition for many Disney World guests regardless of their chosen Resort.

Now, it’s no secret that a LOT of changes have taken place at the Polynesian Village Resort with its Extreme Resort Makevoer ;). Now that the dust has just about settled (in the Great Ceremonial House, anyway), let’s take a quick look around first!

Atmosphere

As mentioned, you can order Tonga Toast at two Polynesian Village Resort restaurants, and if you’re arriving via bus or car, you’ll need to make your way past the entrance into the Polynesian Village Resort lobby. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the entrance unsurrounded by refurbishment walls on one — if not two — sides, here’s what it (along with some general landscaping) looks like these days.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Entrance

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Entrance

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Scenery

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Scenery

We’ve visited the updated lobby previously, but here’s another few glances at the new look.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Tiki Statue in Lobby

Tiki Statue in Lobby

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Decor

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Decor

Of course, our final destination today is Captain Cook’s, nestled in the back left corner on the first floor. Just follow the general traffic flow towards breakfast in the early-morning, pre-park rush.

Captain Cook's

Captain Cook’s

Order and Pick up food here.

Order and Pick Up Area

Snack offerings and kitchen

Snack offerings and kitchen

It’s always fun to see a row of Mickey Waffle Makers hard at work first thing in the morning!

View into the kitchen.

View into the kitchen

Indoor and outdoor seating are available.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Ever since Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace opened, the outdoor seating area — complete with umbrella-topped tables — spills over into the Terrace area (at least in the morning, since the Tiki Terrace doesn’t open until 4 pm).

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Last time we visited the Barefoot Pool Bar, the Kid’s Splash Zone was still wrapping up work. Now, outside guests at Captain Cook’s have a view of the goings-on.

Outdoor seating and water play area.

Outdoor seating and water play area

But it’s back inside stat to get what we came for…

Eats

Yep, it’s Tonga Toast we’re after, but the full breakfast menu is available from 6:30 – 11:00 am.

Captain Cook's Breakfast Menu

Captain Cook’s Breakfast Menu

By the way, if you miss the breakfast window, a fairly impressive array of muffins, danish pastries, and chocolate croissants are available all day (though in the morning I might bypass these for some of the Macadamia Pastries available upstairs at Kona Island).

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Can’t forget the giant cinnamon rolls!

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

But now at long last, it’s time to dig in to our Tonga Toast! The Tonga Toast recipe is the same at Captain Cook’s as it is at Kona Cafe: super giant banana-stuffed sourdough bread is battered and deep-fried, then dusted with cinnamon sugar.

Tonga Toast with Bacon

Tonga Toast with Bacon

At Captain Cook’s, it comes with your choice of a side of bacon or sausage. So! Difference #1: at Kona Cafe, ham is an additional option for your choice of sides (it also comes with a pineapple wedge for extra garnish).

Captain’s Tonga Toast is not served with any type of sauce, syrup or butter (though you can get maple syrup from the condiments bar if you so choose). Which leads us to Difference #2: at Kona Cafe, Tonga Toast is served with Strawberry Compote, which you can’t get at Captain Cook’s.

We’ve gone over two differences so far, but let’s focus on an important similarity: the portion of the Tonga Toast itself at either location is MAMMOTH. The sourdough bread is sliced super-thick, and the egg-batter (similar to any French Toast style recipe) lends a definite richness to the dish.

Captain Cook's Tonga Toast

Captain Cook’s Tonga Toast

The outside of the toast is golden brown and lightly crispy, thanks to the cinnamon sugar (slightly caramelized from the heat), while remaining soft on the inside. And the bananas give you that serving of fruit you were looking for. ;)

Captain Cook's Tonga Toast Cross Section

Captain Cook’s Tonga Toast Cross Section

It’s really a well-combined mix of flavors and textures. This stuff just doesn’t disappoint.

Captain Cook's Tonga Toast Bite

Captain Cook’s Tonga Toast Bite

And one more truth about Tonga Toast in either location: it’s dense and super filling. If you get it at Captain Cook’s and split a serving with your traveling companion, you’re looking at breakfast for about $2.60 per person. Which brings us to Difference #3: Tonga Toast will run you $5.19 at Captain Cook’s, while the Table Service experience of Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe is $12.99.

I’m not saying that Kona Cafe isn’t a terrific place to grab breakfast, because it is: we’re talking Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes, The Samoan, and the rare option for enjoying a French Press Pot of 100% Kona Coffee. You practically can’t go wrong. But I am saying that if you can live without the Strawberry Compote, it’s tough to beat Tonga Toast at Captain Cook’s from a bargain perspective.

Overall

If you’ve yet to enjoy the Disney breakfast tradition that is Tonga Toast, it’s highly recommended that you make a trip to Polynesian Village Resort to either Kona Cafe or Captain Cook’s to give it a go. It’s as easy as hopping on the Monorail and making a stop before your morning at Magic Kingdom (or maybe enjoying a late-morning break and calling it “brunch”). So stop on by the Polynesian some morning during your next Disney World vacation… and give everyone there an “Aloha!” from the DFB!

Is Tonga Toast part of your Disney breakfast traditions? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Claire Gregory says

    Oh yeah! My husbands favourite! Staying at the Poly bungalows in November and we will be eating here for sure. Thanks for the review!!

  2. Arianna says

    Just went to Captain Cook’s yesterday morning to try the Tonga Toast for the first time, and I am now making it a new tradition! Normally I’m not a huge French toast fan (I don’t like the taste of the egg batter), however this toast was amazing! No weird egg batter taste, just cinnamon-sugary goodness!!

  3. Michael Nolan says

    Gotta go with the Kona version as I adore the strawberry compote and the press pot coffee. I’m sure they have other great breakfast items, but I will never know.

  4. Betsy Hendry says

    call me crazy, but the time i got tonga toast there it was really not that good. i’m hoping i caught it on an off day…it was in the midst of all the recent renovations.

  5. Tricia says

    Thanks for the review! I have wanted to try Tonga Toast since I first read about it on your blog, but I didn’t have any more Table Service credits left to spare so would rather have a cheaper out of pocket expense to try it. I could live without the strawberry compote (you can’t miss what you’ve never had, right? ;) BUT… that macadamia nut butter in a previous review of Kona Cafe sounds so good. I was curious if you could request it at Captain Cook’s. I’m assuming the kitchens probably have some shared storage/supply areas right? Or could I even go into Kona Cafe and just ask for the macadamia nut butter to go to take with me to Captain Cook’s?

  6. Sarah says

    I had the Tonga Toast for the first time on my recent Disney trip. Mine was from Kona Cafe. Totally delicious- easily my favorite breakfast item in Walt Disney World. Honestly, I didn’t even use the strawberry compote. It was fantastic without it.

  7. TK8286 says

    Tonga Toast is an every trip to WDW tradition for us. It is nice to know that it is available at Capt. Cooks, but I have to say……without the compote and the Kona Coffee, it won’t be as Magical……Great, but not AS GREAT.

  8. Amy says

    So, I’m a weirdo – I don’t like bananas. Hence I’ve never tried Tonga Toast :( Does anyone know if Cap’n Cooks (or any of the restaurants) can make it without the bananas??

  9. Caitlin P. says

    Hey there Tricia! I asked one of the cashiers over at Captain Cook’s and he said that the macadamia nut butter is only served up at Kona’s. I didn’t think about going up to Kona’s and asking if I could just buy some macadamia nut butter though, might be worth a shot!

  10. Ewen S says

    Tonga toast has been a family favourite for 23 years. Its the best breakfast at Walt Disney World. Had some last week…..and the week before. Left me stuffed both times, thank you. Unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere back here in Scotland! Is it served at Aulani?

  11. Ed Adams says

    Tonga Toast at the Kona Cafe is our first breakfast for every yearly visit. We always stay in the Boardwalk area and agree that it’s nice to take the monorail from the Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom that first day.

  12. Megan says

    Amy, you’re definitely not crazy. I’m also not in the banana boat, it’s not a flavor I enjoy at all. It’s too bad Disney doesn’t offer different fruit versions of this, instead of just the one offering of banana. Stuff it with sweetened raspberries or blueberries, and I’d be all over it.

  13. Dee Salla says

    We love the Tonga Toast and never miss having it for breakfast one time every time we are in Disney. My hubby loves it so much he bought me a deep fryer just so I can make this for him at home. :)

  14. says

    I have never had Tonga Toast at the Poly, but I did see your Disney recipe for it some time ago, and a couple of months ago, we made it. It’s really not difficult, and it’s SUPER delicious. It’s also incredibly filling and makes quite a bit. We’re thinking of having it for a Sunday morning breakfast again this month. And because of that recipe, we’re definitely having it next trip–though probably at Kona, since we can’t pass up an opportunity to have Tonga Toast with the Kona French press coffee. (sheesh, it’s like we’re French toast *and* coffee snobs, LOL!)

  15. Marc says

    Do they have Jungle Juice (or whatever its called there at the Poly) here? I know it’s at the other Poly restaurant.

  16. says

    Last time i went strawberry sauce was available with the Mickey waffles as the menu on the website shows. I guess they removed it to push people to go to kona for the up charge.

  17. Stacey says

    Amy….I am a weirdo just like you and not a huge fan of bananas. Just don’t care much for the flavor. However, I absolutely LOVE the Tonga Toast. The banana isn’t overpowering. It’s so delicious with the strawberry compote and the cinnamon sugar that you barely notice them. I’d recommend trying it even if you’re not a fan of bananas. I have to agree that it’s best with the french press coffee though. YUM!

  18. Marc Schreiber says

    Strawberry compote is an easy one to make. Fresh strawberries + plain yogurt + blender, add a little honey if it is too tart for you. I am also a disliker of bananas and was reluctant to try the Tonga Toast. I was hooked. At the end of the meal the plate is clean except for the pineapple skin and that little plate with the syrup and compote, well the syrup pitcher is full and the compote pitcher is empty cleans as well as can be with a spoon then my finger when no one is looking. They have real cloth napkins and ice water so I can un-sticky that finger!

  19. Jackie says

    I love getting Tonga Toast at Captain Cook’s! It saves so much money. We’ve always been able to get the strawberry compote on the side, you just have to ask but the last time I was there was in December so maybe it’s changed since then.

  20. Denise says

    The first time I got the Tonga was on our first trip to Disney in 1982. At that time there was just the Magic
    Kingdom, River Country and Discovery Island. I was in heaven with that French toast, and every trip since, we make time to go to the Polynesian to Kona Café and have breakfast. My favorite breakfast of all time is the Tonga. Hubby usually goes for the Samoan and I LOve the coffee too. Many years ago the chef came out and gave me the recipe. Since then it has been up on lthe dfb. Disney is the greatest and so is the Tonga!!!!!

  21. Peipa says

    Hi,

    Touring plans mentions that you can get any item form Kona Cafe at Kona Island.
    Does anyone know if this is accurate? You could get the Tonga toast and the press coffee, without an ADR. But if AJ doesn’t say it, I find it hard to believe:)
    Tia

  22. Arik Katzenberg says

    Nothing angers me more than Disney’s decision to scrap the lobby Hawaiian garden area. Iger, step aside. Michael Eisner, please come back.

  23. Allison says

    I’ve gotten the tonga toast with nothing on the inside at Kona but can you get it like that at captain cooks ?! Looking to save a little bit of money in December lol I HATE BANANAS !

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