Review: Pineapple Macadamia Nut Cupcake at Disney’s Aulani Resort

DFB Reader Wendy Hofmann sent us this mini-review of an exquisite pineapple cupcake all the way from Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawai’i. Aloha!

We are on vacation at Aulani this week, and found this delicious cupcake that needs to be added to the Disney Food Blog’s cupcake crawl, even if it’s 5000+ miles away from WDW!

This is the pineapple macadamia nut cupcake from Mama’s Snack Shack.

Pineapple Macadamia Nut Cupcake

Pineapple Macadamia Nut Cupcake

It’s pineapple cake, filled with [Read more…]

Review: ‘Ama ‘Ama Dinner at Disney’s Aulani Resort

Welcome back DFB Reporter James Armstrong. Today, we get to peek at his Hawaiian dinner at ‘Ama ‘Ama at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii!

Let’s go back to Hawaii once again for dinner — this time at Aulani’s upscale restaurant ‘Ama ‘Ama.


This seaside open air restaurant is the perfect romantic venue for any special occasion. ‘Ama ‘Ama has a perfect view of Hawaii’s famous sunsets!

And listening to the sound of the waves from the nearby lagoon while savoring your meal is a memorable experience.

Sunset View

Sunset View

The decor of the restaurant itself was rather minimalist to emphasize the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Dining Room

Dining Room

‘Ama ‘Ama is named after a type of mullet fish native to Hawai’i, also known as striped mullet. The restaurant itself is meant to look like a fishing shack from the 1890’s.

'Ama 'Ama Details

‘Ama ‘Ama Details


The tables are setup to emphasize panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean no matter where you sit, but I recommend requesting a table closest to the open air windows for the maximum effect.

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset


The menu is designed to use fresh locally grown produce, sustainably caught fresh fish, and house made desserts. The cuisine is considered Hawaiian and Asian with some European influences.

Front of Dinner Menu

Front of Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu

Dinner Menu Starters




After ordering drinks, crusty sourdough bread was delivered to our table. It is served with two different kinds of Hawaiian Sea Salt — Pink Hawaiian and Black Lava. The black lava salt had a smokey taste to it while the pink sea salt almost had a floral taste.

Sourdough Bread with Sea Salts

Sourdough Bread with Sea Salts

After the bread, we started the meal with some appetizers. First up, we chose the Big Eye Tuna Poke with Rice Chips and Avocado Mousse. This was a gourmet twist on a common Hawaiian appetizer poke. We tried poke at several places on the island including Aulani’s Buffet restaurant Makahiki, a luau, and several local places. This had to be one of the best.

Tuna Poke Appetizer

Tuna Poke Appetizer

The Tuna was fresh and flavorful and the Avocado Mousse added a nice richness that complimented the acidity of the lime juice in the poke. The rice cracker on top added a little crunch to contrast to an otherwise buttery texture of the poke.

Tuna Poke

Tuna Poke

We also got the Crispy Singaporean Pepper Shrimp with Green Papaya Salad and Thai Ketchup. This dish sounded like it was going to be something interesting and exotic but ended up just being fried shrimp with papaya on top.

The shrimp was average and the Thai ketchup tasted like ketchup with a little chili paste added. When I think Asian food I imagine bold flavors and this didn’t seem to deliver. Don’t get me wrong it was good, but considering the cost ($18) and what seemed like a lot of potential in the ingredients, it could have been more interesting.

Pepper Shrimp

Pepper Shrimp

For our main course, I had the Island Seafood Thai Curry served with Japanese Eggplant and Choi Sum (Chinese Flowering Cabbage) served with Jasmine Rice. This was cooked in a parchment packet that was opened and served tableside.

Thai Curry

Thai Curry

The seafood featured was [Read more…]

Review: Mama’s Snack Stop at Disney’s Aulani Resort

We’re headed to Hawaii with a review of goodies from Mama’s Snack Stop at Disney’s Aulani Resort.

Mama's Snack Shack

Mama’s Snack Shack


Mama’s Snack Stop is just that — a little snack shack in Waikolohe Valley out by the pools at Aulani and right next door to Pāpālua Shave Ice. This stand is convenient for a quick bite while at the pools, beach, or any other activity you are doing at the hotel.


On this trip we started out with the Local Red Frank on a Soft Roll. Here, the roll is hollowed out from the end and the Frank is inserted (a la Puka Dog if you’ve ever had one). It had a very subtle hickory flavoring. The meat itself had a smooth texture, and the skin had no snap to it, unfortunately.

Portuguese Sausage and Local Red Frank

Portuguese Sausage and Local Red Frank

The Portuguese Sausage on the other hand had a very nice snap on the skin, and it had the expected mild spiciness with a strong garlic flavor. It was a hearty dog that paired very well with the garlic aioli that came on the side. We ordered it [Read more…]

News! Dole Whip Now Available in The Lava Shack at Aulani

Guests of Aulani, Disney Vacation Club’s Hawaii resort, will now enjoy a little taste of the parks as they bask paradise! In a move that only seems logical, Aulani is now offering Dole Whip!

Dole Whip (Almost) 24-7 at Captain Cook's!

Dole Whip in Now Available Self-Serve at The Lava Shack in Aulani!

The cult favorite is available at The Lava Shack in Aulani. The poolside shop is your spot to stock up on beach and pool gear, but they also offer a selection of snacks, beverages, and frozen treats. This is also a great stop for grabbing a [Read more…]

Review: Disney’s Aulani Loco Mocos

I’m back from my first visit to Hawaii with, of course, a visit to Aulani, Disney’s outpost in the Aloha state. Since it was my first visit, I was particularly excited to explore Hawaii’s unique culture.

Aulani View

Aulani View

During our initial morning on site, we chose to have breakfast at Ama Ama, the more upscale of the resort’s table service restaurants.

Ama Ama breakfast menu.

Ama Ama breakfast menu.

The rest of the family chose to eat traditional American style food: pancakes, scrambled eggs, and French toast (can I call French toast American? :-)). But I chatted with the server, a native Hawaiian, and asked what the most traditional local dish was. She responded, “Loco Moco,” and told me that the Ama Ama version was excellent. So Loco Moco it was!

For those of you not in the know, a Loco Moco consists of rice, topped by a hamburger patty, topped by a fried egg, topped by a brown, usually onion or mushroom based, gravy.

Here’s the Ama Ama Loco Moco. (Try saying that five times fast.)


I loved the way the semi-cooked yolk and gravy oozed into [Read more…]

Shave Ice + T-Shirt at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawai’i!

Ah… couldn’t you use a trip to Hawai’i right about now?? Yeah. Me, too.

Well, today we’re gonna come pretty close by venturing virtually to Hawai’i courtesy of my awesome friend Eric! It’s time to talk shave ice at Disney’s Aulani Resort!

Eric recently spent a vacation at Aulani on Oahu, and indulged in this yummo shaved ice with condensed milk and ice cream! The syrups are pineapple and cherry flavored…

Shaved ice.

He also sent over a pic of a fun Disney food-themed shirt found at Aulani! [Read more…]

Aulani Food News: Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, and Kids Eat Free!

The second annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is a four-day event scheduled for September 6th – 9th, 2012. And the grand finale signature event, “Cuisines of the Stars” A Magical Journey of Food & Culture,” will be held from 6-9pm at Ko Olina Resort, featuring Aulani, on the last evening.

Participants at the many events can look forward to the expertise of 50 international master chefs, as well as renowned wine and spirit makers. Ethnic foods and beverages from around the world will be highlighted.

AmaAma View

Chef Andrew Sutton (Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel) and Chef Patrick Callarec (Disney’s Aulani Resort) join the [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘Ama ‘Ama Lunch at Disney’s Aulani Resort

Aloha to guest author Anderson Dun! A native of Hawai’i currently living in Arizona, he brings us a delicious review of ‘Ama ‘Ama at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawai’i. Let’s hear it from an expert!

While I didn’t have a chance to stay there, I just knew that I had to visit the Disney resort and have a meal there during my trip home to Hawai’i. I thought about eating at Makahiki buffet, but after reading some good reviews of lunch at ‘Ama ‘Ama, I decided to try it out.


Pre-Lunch Visit to Off the Hook Pool Bar

When we first arrived at 11:10 AM, my mom and I were told that they were closed and didn’t have any openings until 12:45 PM. I was a bit surprised, but we took the time to wander about the resort.

The first thing we did was head next door to the Off the Hook Pool Bar. The pool bar is right next to the restaurant and offers food and drinks, but of course, we were [Read more…]

Guest Review: Aulani Eats and Off-Site Treats

in front of the Lava Shack

Join us in welcoming guest author Beth Osborn with a tour of Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu. We’ve also got some great tips about eating at non-Disney spots around the resort! Brace yourselves — there’s Dole Whip, Shave Ice, Plate Lunch, and more — ahead! Don’t forget to check out Aulani restaurant info and menus here.

Arriving to Aulani on October 15, my husband Kev and I selected familiar WDW items — refillable mugs! We purchased purple and blue refillable mugs, which have an Aulani design that matches the beige wallpaper in the halls of the hotel. Red and green options were also available.

Even though the mugs are more expensive at Aulani, we felt we got our money’s worth at $18.99 each over the week we were there.

‘Ama ‘Ama Restaurant at Aulani

We had dinner at Ama Ama — Kev’s salt crusted fish was like nothing we’d ever seen before, with a completely removable crust. He said it was very moist.

Salt Encrusted Fish from Ama Ama

I had the French Maui onion soup and a tomato and cheese salad (two appetizers instead of an entree). Both were excellent.

French Onion Soup and the Tomato Salad from Ama Ama

Makahiki Restaurant and Rip Swirl at Aulani

We had a character breakfast at Makahiki with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. I wasn’t as excited about the buffet as some at Disney World, but I did enjoy the [Read more…]

Disney Food New Year’s Resolutions — What’s on Your Bucket List?

All right, all, I’ve been writing this blog every day for nearly three years now, and there are still a few Disney Food items on my bucket list if you can believe it!

They always say that if you share your goals and resolutions with your friends you’re more likely to stick with them, so I’m sharing them with you guys in the hope that you’ll keep me accountable to accomplish these! :-)

And if you have your own Disney Food resolutions or bucket list items, let me know in the comments section below! I’d love to hear what you guys want to see/do/eat in the parks and resorts!

Here we go!

Resolution 1: Dine at the New Disney Restaurants

Oh my GOODNESS, you guys, there are SO many restaurants opening this year! In Disney World, there are Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, and the new Landscapes Cafe at the Art of Animation Resort.

Gaston's Tavern Concept Art...does anyone else think that turkey leg makes that girl look like she has a beard?

In Disneyland, we’ve got Flo’s V-8 Cafe (“Eat here and get gas!”), the Cozy Cone Motel, and Fillmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land; the new Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant; and the Jolly Holiday Bakery and the updated indoor Carnation Cafe.

Artist Rendering of Cars Land and Flo

And — while I’m pretty sure it’s (to quote Deborah Gibson) “only in my dreams” to try them — there are the new restaurants on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and the restaurants at [Read more…]