Review: Lunch at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Kona Cafe may not be all that interesting to look at.

But — breakfast, lunch, or dinner — this spot consistently offers delicious and unexpectedly good to great food.

Considered a bit of a hidden gem, Kona is normally a pretty easy spot for snagging an advance dining reservation. And with its super convenient location in the Polynesian Village Resort (right on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line!), it’s easily accessible from — well, pretty much anywhere.

But while we’ve enjoyed meals every time of the day here throughout the years, I never rely on past experiences to predict future outcomes. :-) And so I made it my mission on a recent visit to take in lunch at Kona once again.

Sure, it meant missing out on some of my most favorite breakfast items (sob — Tonga Toast!) — but hey, it’s worth it to bring you all the latest! Right?

So hop on the monorail with me, and let’s head to Kona for a midday meal.

Atmosphere

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the newly renovated Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to pencil in a little extra time when you head to Kona Cafe. I think Disney has done a great job of simultaneously breathing fresh air into this original Disney World spot and celebrating history. It’s new and old at the same time!

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Unfortunately, the Imagineering Love didn’t reach all the way to Kona. So you’ll find the same decor that’s been here for quite some time. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Beignets (now with dipping sauces!!) at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, French Quarter

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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!

February may be well over, but you can celebrate Mardi Gras any time of year thanks to this week’s #OnTheList item: Beignets at Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter!

#OnTheList: Beignets!

The lucky ducks on the west coast can find these Disneyland must-haves in the park at spots like Cafe Orleans and the Mint Julep Bar where they’re shaped as Mickey Mouse. [Read more…]

Review: Star Wars Cupcake at Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Allright, Star Wars Fans! And Cupcake Fans. And Contempo Cafe Fans…

We’re back yet again this week at one of Disney World’s longtime bonafide Cupcake Capitals — the Contempo Cafe in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort — to check out one of the more recent additions to its nearly legendary bakery case. While it remains home to treats like the awesome Peanut Butter Pie (aka: heaven), it’s still a great spot to grab a good old fashioned cupcake.

As always, the cupcakes here do change with higher frequency than many spots. The featured cupcake for the month of March, for instance, is a Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake (and early April should bring a Carrot Cake Cupcake). But when I went to see it for myself, it was another batch that caught my attention.

The Star Wars Cupcakes.

Now, typically I’d insert a picture of the bakery case display to give you pricing information, descriptions, and all that. And I do have one to share in a moment. But first, I’ll show you the cupcake I grabbed.

Star Wars Cupcake

Star Wars Cupcake

The cupcake that you see above is topped with a Star Wars character ring; specifically, Phasma, Captain of the First Order from Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 15, 2016

Happy Spring! At least, it’s Spring in Disney World where temperatures are starting to rise once more with warm days leading into gorgeous nights!

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

Springtime Treats at Main Street Confectionery

No matter what the thermometer says in your neck of the woods, why not enjoy a bit of spring with us here at the DFB as we travel all over Disney World to find out What’s New!? [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contempo Cafe has consistently been one of my favorite spots for better-than-average counter service meals.

What you find here is quick service, no advance dining reservation required. But the fare is anything but fast food quality.

It had been a while since I’d enjoyed a meal here, and since that last visit, they’d added a Lobster Roll that was getting rave reviews from readers!

Recently, on a very quick visit to the World, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to check out all that’s new at the Contempo — and to see if I still consider it a must-do stop.

Atmosphere

If you’re unfamiliar with the Contempo Cafe, well, you’ve probably seen it before, and you just didn’t know it! It occupies primo Disney real estate right next to Chef Mickey’s on the Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel.

Contempo Cafe Entrance

Contempo Cafe Entrance

That’s the area that you whizz by when you’re traveling on the Monorail en route to Magic Kingdom. See? [Read more…]

Celebrate Daylight Savings with…MORE Savings!

Coming up on Sunday we’ll be celebrating Daylight Savings and Springing Forward — and you know what that means: one less hour of sleep.

daylight savings ecard

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but let me also be the bearer of GOOD news: we at DFB have decided to add a silver lining to your weekend and offer some GREAT savings at DFBStore.com in honor of Daylight Savings time! [Read more…]

News: Disney Dining Plan Price Increase

Are you in the midst of planning your next Walt Disney World vacation? Then you’ll want to know that Disney has increased the price of the Disney Dining Plans for the Quick Service, Standard, and Deluxe Dining Plans as of March 9, 2016.

Disney Dining Plan

Disney Dining Plan Prices as of March 9, 2016

Quick-Service Dining Plan
$44.13 per night ages 10 and up
$19.04 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $42.84 and $17.47)

Standard Dining Plan
$63.70 per night ages 10 and up
$22.85 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $61.84 and $20.96)

Deluxe Dining Plan
$115.08 per night ages 10 and up
$35.49 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $111.57 and $32.56)

This pricing was obtained through booking online reservations on DisneyWorld.com.

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Wondering Whether the Disney Dining Plan Will SAVE You Money?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including a full chapter and price break-down and comparison on whether the Disney Dining Plan will save YOU money — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs, how to save dough on your Disney dining, and more!

With sample dining itineraries, plus multiple bonus features and reusable worksheets, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

What are your thoughts on the latest pricing information for the Disney Dining Plan? Please chime in with a comment. 

Dining in Disneyland: Afternoon Tea at Disneyland Hotel’s Steakhouse 55

Up until recently, Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel has only offered breakfast/brunch and dinner.  This past January, they opened their doors for a lovely Classic Afternoon Tea.

Steakhouse 55 Located Inside the Disneyland Hotel

Steakhouse 55 Located Inside the Disneyland Hotel

When I first heard about the tea offering, I knew I wanted to try it out.  Steakhouse 55 has always been one of my favorite Disneyland Resort restaurants.  I especially love the atmosphere here, so I was really excited to have a new Steakhouse 55 experience.  Breakfast at Steakhouse 55 is what I believe to be one of the very best breakfasts on property.  Dinner is wonderful too, so I was sure afternoon tea would be a delight as well!

I tried to book immediately, but it was full almost a month out! So, I booked my month out and waited patiently.  Checking in for tea is the same process as a meal.  Just head on up to the podium and you will be escorted back to the dining room.

Check In Podium

Check In Podium

When the time came, I was joined by my best pal.  We took the first reservation of the day, which was at noon, and when we got there it was basically empty.  By the time we left, there was not one open table! [Read more…]

Review: Territory Coffee Company (Territory Lounge) in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

These days, lots of Disney World guests make a beeline for the nearest Starbucks on property to get their morning caffeine fix.

Epcot’s Fountain View, Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Animal Kingdom’s Creature Comforts, and the Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios are understandably popular spots — especially in the early morning park hours.

But if you’re someone who stumbles to the coffeemaker first thing in the morning before you can form a complete sentence [sits at computer, points to self] and you happen to have a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in your future, you might be interested to learn about Territory Coffee Company.

You may already be familiar with the Territory Lounge in Wilderness Lodge. It’s one of our absolute favorite Disney bars thanks to some really great noshes and cozy atmosphere.

Territory Lounge

Territory Lounge

But with a typical opening time of 4:30 pm, this beautiful space sat empty most of the day until last summer, when the Territory Coffee Company opened for what was originally a test run. [Read more…]

Review: Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

It’s been way way WAY too long since I last took in a meal at Narcoossee’s, one of the signature restaurants at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. (With three signature restaurants at that resort, it’s hard to get to all of them on a regular basis! So much rich, wonderful food — SO expensive!)

The restaurant has topped our list of Disney Food News for a couple of brand new offerings lately. You can now enjoy Sunday Waterfront Brunch here. And soon, you’ll be able to take in an evening Wishes Dessert Party from the dock nearby.

But during a recent (extremely quick!) visit to Walt Disney World, I decided it was time to enjoy dinner here once again.

The fairly small restaurant, perched on the edge of the resort where water meets land, boasts stunning views, a relaxed atmosphere, and a seafood-inspired menu. But it tends to be overshadowed by other signature spots, like the nearby California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian. And so it largely flies under the radar.

My question is always this: in a resort that has two other signature restaurants, is there room for a third?

Read on to learn more about our evening here.

narcoossees sign

Atmosphere

If you’re heading to Narcoossee’s, be prepared for a walk. This is that circular building on stilts that juts out into Seven Seas Lagoon next to the dock at Grand Floridian, so it’s far far away from the entrance to the resort (but a quick walk from the boat dock if you’re coming from Magic Kingdom). [Read more…]