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

We are kicking off this week right with one of my favorite breakfasts in all of the Disney Food Universe — Kona Cafe!

This mainstay of Walt Disney World flies under the radar quite a lot of the time. If you don’t know better, you’ll probably write it off as just a garden variety hotel lobby restaurant, good for grabbing a bite before you move onto bigger things.

For me — and for many Disney fans in the know — it’s a destination.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look around, then dive right into the eats.

Atmosphere

If it’s been a while since your last visit to the Polynesian, then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The hotel, one of Disney World’s original resorts, recently underwent a huge renovation.

The work not only added many new enhancements, like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and the Pineapple Lanai (your home for Dole Whip at the Poly). But it also transformed areas like the hotel’s lobby. While I miss the sound of the old waterfall, I think this assortment of glass float lights is a nice, new focal point.

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Still, for better or for worse, Kona Cafe has remained largely unchanged. Located off of the second floor atrium, it still appears to be a rather ho-hum restaurant. [Read more…]

Best Places for Pressed Pot Coffee in Walt Disney World

Remember the old days when getting a decent cup of coffee at Walt Disney World was practically impossible?

Press Pot Trattoria al Forno

Unless you enjoyed kicking off your day with a cup of Nescafe, you were just out of luck back then. Stories of Disney fans bringing provisions from home weren’t out of the ordinary.

But as the world has slowly awakened to better coffee, Disney has jumped on the bandwagon. In the last few years especially, better coffee options at Disney World have grown by leaps and bounds.

One of the best ways to enjoy a good cup is via Press Pots, which are offered at many table service restaurants throughout the resort. You’ll find specific varieties, roasts, and blends by Joffrey’s Coffee, tailored to the tastes and theme of each resort.

Let’s look at a couple of our favorites! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Lapu Lapu at Tambu Lounge in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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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!

 

Happy 2016!! What better way to celebrate than with a bunch of rum in a pineapple!?

The Lapu Lapu may not rank quite as high on the list as the Jumbo Turkey Leg or Dole Whip as far as iconic Disney World indulgences go. Nope — this gem is for the kids in the know, and once YOU know about it, you may just want to put it #OnTheList!

OnTheList_LapuLapu

We recently visited Tambu Lounge in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to celebrate its single-serve portion of ‘Ohana Bread Pudding. And now we’re already back to sing the praises of the Lapu Lapu. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: ‘Ohana Bread Pudding at Tambu Lounge in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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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!

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, Trader Sam’s… you’re pretty great. You are. But long before you and your wacky hijinks set up camp at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, there was (and still is!) a little place we know and love called the Tambu Lounge.

Outside of ‘Ohana itself (Tambu’s next door neighbor, located upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House), this is the only place you can get ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, which just so happens to be #OnTheList this week!

Now, for those of you who haven’t had ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, I put this little video together to give you an idea of how I, personally, feel about this dessert.  (You’re gonna want to turn on your sound for this to get the full effect of my feelings.)

Warning. This is pretty sexy.

A video posted by Disney Food Blog (@disneyfoodblog) on

I’ll just give you a minute.

OK, I’m pretty sure you don’t even need to read the rest of this post to be convinced to put this on your list, but I’ll write it anyway just in case. ;-D

Tambu Lounge has a few other items on their list of “Greatest Hits,” of course. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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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!

 

“Welcome to the mystery, romance, and adventure of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Here on the shores of paradise, our seafaring friend established this happy hideaway for all to enjoy!” 

#OnTheList: Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

#OnTheList: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Aside from proudly boasting his offer of TWO of his heads for one of yours, everyone’s favorite Head Salesman from the beloved Jungle Cruise attraction — Trader Sam — has one more bragging right to add to his list: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is #OnTheList this week! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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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!

Writing about Disney Food — all of it — well, it’s kinda the point of this blog. But I am never happier than when I can share one of my truly favorite meals with you.

And ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Character Breakfast definitely qualifies! Let’s take a closer look at this experience as we head into the Great Ceremonial House and see why ‘Ohana Breakfast is definitely #OnTheList!

Atmosphere

Recently, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort underwent a lengthy refurbishment. If you haven’t visited the resort in a while, you’ll definitely notice some changes to the lobby and other public areas.

Tiki Statue in Lobby

Tiki Statue in Lobby

With the Resort’s name change (the Polynesian resumed its original, opening day name), we also welcomed a couple of exciting new additions — the Pineapple Lanai and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Dole Whip at Disney World and Disneyland

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
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!

A riddle to ponder: What’s chock full of frozen pineapple-y goodness, available in both Walt Disney World AND Disneyland, and is #OnTheList?

Why, it’s none other than the DOLE WHIP!!

Dole Whip!

Dole Whip!

It’s pretty much impossible to consider iconic Disney snacks and NOT think of this pineapple soft-serve treat. Of course, HOW you eat it depends on WHERE you buy it, so join us on a tour of both coasts to find out where you can go to knock this one off your Disney Dining Bucket List! [Read more…]

#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. [Read more…]

News: Disney World Testing Free Taxi Service to Signature Restaurants

Disney is currently testing a new transportation method — complimentary direct taxi service — for guests dining at select signature restaurants while staying at Walt Disney World monorail resorts!

Monorail Orange at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Monorail Orange at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Until June 30, 2015, some guests at the monorail resorts (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary) will be selected to participate in this Disney dining test. Those invited to participate will receive complimentary round-trip vouchers delivered to their room.

Participants will have the option of enjoying direct taxi transportation to [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [Read more…]