Review: New Menu Items at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Aloha, cousins! Welcome to Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

The Polynesian is known for its delicious food, fireworks views and impeccable theming. Captain Cook’s is a lesser-known, tropical counter-service restaurant just a happy stop away from the Magic Kingdom, and it’s home to a few favorites including a budget-friendly version of Kona Cafe’s Tonga Toast! Captain Cook’s is the sole counter service at the Poly, and it’s chock full of tasty treats.

Since its renovation in 2014, the famed Pineapple Dole Whip moved outside to the Pineapple Lanai and the restaurant got a refresh of the menu as well. Now, we’re seeing even more new items on the Captain Cook’s docket!

Captain Cook's entrance sign

Captain Cook’s entrance sign

Let’s go inside and check out what’s new!!

Atmosphere

The Polynesian is hands down one of the best themed Disney resorts. From the moment you’re greeted with a lei and an “Aloha!” at the Great Ceremonial House, you know you’re in for a treat!

Captain Cook's

Captain Cook’s

Captain Cook’s is located on the ground floor of the Great Ceremonial House with plenty of seating indoors and outdoors overlooking the Lava Pool’s impressive volcano.

Have a seat at Captain Cook's!

Have a seat at Captain Cook’s!

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

The rich browns and funky lighting really give off an island vibe, and the artwork on the wall is a nod to each of the South Pacific islands that the resort’s buildings are named after. Captain Cook’s definitely doesn’t feel like your standard quick-service cafeteria!

Captain Cook's Ordering Area

Captain Cook’s Ordering Area

Menus

Menus

Tonga Travel Poster

Tonga Travel Poster

Closeup of the artwork

Closeup of the artwork

Outside, the patio is surrounded by lush, tropical plants and cute little features like the tiki wooden statue below. The patio is covered, so it’s a really pleasant place to enjoy your meal on days that aren’t so hot. The gardens at the Polynesian are so well done that you’ll want to enjoy them! As a bonus, Captain Cook’s patio is close enough to the Tiki Terrace to hear live music in the evenings!

Oh, hello!

Oh, hello!

Eats

Captain Cook’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but today’s updates are for lunch and dinner! You’ll notice in the photos that the restaurant has changed from serving its dishes on paper plates to paper boxes and cups, as well!

Captain Cook's Menu

Captain Cook’s menu

The Seared Chicken Breast entree is a healthy – yet surprisingly filling and delicious – option! The chicken is served with two sides: a pineapple sambal and a red quinoa and edamame salad.

Seared Chicken Breasts

Seared Chicken Breasts

The chicken portion is pretty large and seasoned with black pepper, but the real flavor comes from the pineapple sambal! The sambal is a relish-like mixture of pineapple chunks and red chiles with a sweet and spicy flavor. As with most spice at Disney World, it’s pretty mild and safe for the spice-averse in your family!

Seared Chicken Breasts and sides

Seared Chicken Breasts and sides

If you’re a quinoa fan, you know how filling it can be, and this entree is served with a heaping pile of it. Edamame is mixed in with the grain. It’s tasty together, and the contrasting colors are aesthetically pleasing.

Quinoa

Quinoa

Between the chicken, quinoa and edamame, you’re getting a punch of protein for only $8.99 that will definitely hold you over until your next meal without making you feel sluggish.

Another fun new option is the Curried Seafood Stew!

Curried Seafood Stew

Curried Seafood Stew

This tiny cup is packed with shrimp, mussels, scallops, red peppers and onions on a bed of sticky rice. There was really a lot more seafood in there than I expected, which made me happy!

Seafood Stew Shrimp

Seafood Stew Shrimp

As you can tell, there’s more meat and veggies than sauce in this stew. The base of the stew is butter and an extremely mild curry.

Closeup of stew

Closeup of stew

If I could change anything, I would trade some of the butter flavor for a more powerful curry flavor, but, overall, I was really pleased with the portion size and amount of seafood!

Rice

Rice

Some of my favorite meals at the Polynesian restaurants include noodles, so I was excited to try the Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables with Chicken. They were on the menu before, but now you can add chicken or shrimp making it a more substantial meal. I had plenty of seafood in the stew, so I went with chicken this time.

Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables with Chicken

Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables with Chicken

The noodles are mixed in with sliced chicken, onions, red peppers, edamame, baby corn and water chestnuts. This dish had a really great flavor – everything is mixed in a light garlic and chili sauce, which gave it, once again, a mild spice. I thought it was just enough to be tasty without having to chug water!

Pan Asian Noodles closeup

Pan Asian Noodles closeup

It might look like a small portion at first glance, but there was a ton of chicken in here, and it was actually pretty filling! I loved having all the fresh-tasting vegetables, and after a million meals with french fries at Disney World, it’s great to have something like noodles and veggies to mix it up.

At last, my favorite new menu item at Captain Cook’s, the Pork Fried Rice.

Pork Fried Rice

Pork Fried Rice

This one was delicious!! It’s a mixture of fried rice, fried egg, scallions, red peppers and a big ‘ol serving of slow-roasted pulled pork. All of the ingredients were tossed with ashanti wing sauce, garlic, chili and worcestershire sauce, and this one was actually a little spicy!

Pork Fried Rice closeup

Pork Fried Rice closeup

I really loved this one, and I’d even dare to say it’s my current favorite quick-service meal! This is a super hearty meal, and because everything is tossed in the sauces, it’s really flavorful.

Overall

Entertainment and quality food at an low price is not an easy thing to find at Disney World; and you don’t even need a reservation for Captain Cook’s, so I’d recommend checking it out! There are several options that stray from the normal quick-service fare, but there’re enough mild flavors and safe meals that everyone in  your family can find something they like.

So, what do you think? Is Captain Cook’s one of your favorite quick services or will you be visiting soon? Let us know what you’ll try in the comments!

Comments

  1. Hannah says

    I was thinking how good the chicken looked and I’d like to try it…..then I saw the Pulled Pork. I haven’t had a chance to try it but it’s already a favorite, I can just tell.

  2. Brittany D'Amaro says

    Those Pan Asian noodles look delicious!

    And the only thing that would steer me away from the Pork Fried Rice is what looks to be cilantro? on top. I can’t stand cilantro D:

  3. Tony says

    I can’t wait to try the pork fried rice. I already think that the Pulled Pork Nachos at Captain Cook’s are one of the best things at WDW. I am excited to see that pork in other dishes.

  4. Essie says

    I love the puffy toast at the CP, so rather than eat there twice, this s a good place to get crunchy French Toast at a QS spot. Plus, you get a monorail ride to and from the MK!

  5. says

    Mmm everything looks great! I’m going to be at the Polynesian for breakfast at Kona on Saturday, wish I could stay and have lunch here!

  6. Marybeth says

    I am so bummed the lobster rolls are gone! I had several during my stay around Labor Day last year.

  7. Lisa Dunn says

    We had 2 exchange students from China (age 11 & 12) for a couple weeks this month and took them to Captain Cooks for dinner one day after riding monorails. They both scarfed down the Pork Fried Rice dish. After eating American Food for a couple days they were really missing their comfort food and this hit the spot perfectly for them.

  8. DwarfPlanet says

    They really made the place a whole lot better after their renovation. The food was not very good prior to that. Now afterwards this is one of our go to places. I really like the fish tacos and my wife who is not a big eater orders the chicken and pineapple skewers off the kids menu.

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