Photo Tour and Food Review: Captain Cook’s Reopens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

It’s quite the whirlwind of activity around the Polynesian lately!

Construction continues to affect the lobby, the Nanea Volcano pool, and the entrance of the resort… not to mention the recent name change back to Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village.

Slowly but surely, some results of all that work are starting to be seen, beginning with the newly reopened Captain Cook’s: the Polynesian’s Quick Service location. We gave you a tour of the temporary location when Captain Cook’s refurbishment began in April, and now we’re excited to share the results of the past four months with you!

Say “Aloha” once again to Captain Cook’s!

Atmosphere

The entrance feels very familiar… mainly because it’s the same ;) .

Entrance to Captain Cook's

Entrance to Captain Cook’s

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

In fact, though, the entire location feels familiar since most changes are cosmetic (with a few exceptions that we’ll explore a little later).

If you’ve visited Captain Cook’s before, you’ll still know exactly where to go. Upon entering, you’re greeted by the main dining area.

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

Captain Cook's main dining room

Captain Cook’s main dining room

The breezy, palm-trees-swaying vibe has changed to a darker color palette, which is offset by two things: attractive light wood flooring and super fun vintage travel “posters.”

Samoa and Niue posters

Samoa and Niue posters

Bora Bora poster

Bora Bora poster

Tokelau poster

Tokelau poster

Tonga poster

Tonga poster

The one thing competing for your attention with the artwork are [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: August 12, 2014

It’s time to take another trip around the World, from Downtown Disney to EPCOT… and we’ll be visiting all sorts of Disney Resorts along the way! Strap in, folks, because there’s always something to find when you’re searching for What’s New at Disney World with the DFB!

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Construction

The name of the game all over Downtown Disney these days continues to be, of course, construction for the transformation into Disney Springs. Here are a few recent shots of what will be The Boathouse restaurant, which seems to be coming along nicely.

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Smokehouse

On the West Side, The Smokehouse has introduced a new item: Smokehouse Nachos!

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse Menu

The Smokehouse Menu

The Nachos can be customized with [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney!” Snacks (Vol. II)

We’re back with another installment in The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Disney series!

Snacks are a big deal around here. Heck, we plan entire events and crawls around them! And it’s clear Disney thinks snacking is where it’s at, too. We’re seeing more and more small plates restaurants open. Spots like Tutto Gusto, Spice Road Table, and The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cater to the grazing crowd.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite snacks that we enjoy nearly every time we visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Dig out your stretchy pants, or plan to do an extra lap on the treadmill, and let’s do this!

Cheshire Cake Cup

Who doesn’t love a ginormous cupcake? You know I’m a big fan of these edible works of art. But at the end of the day, I pretty much see them as frosting delivery systems. So you can imagine my delight when I got wind of Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe!

Layers of alternating cake and frosting make a parfait-style dessert that’s hard to resist.

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

I know, I know. I talk about these a lot. But I figure if there’s something I NEVER miss when I’m at the Magic Kingdom, I should take every opportunity to suggest it so you don’t miss it either. ;-)

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

Two new, equally gorgeous varieties have recently made an appearance — White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts versions! Expanding the cake cup line? We are ALL IN.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

These are the closest snacks I’ve found to them just giving me a bowl of frosting and a spoon, soooooo, yeah.

Dole Whip

Next up is one of my favorite Disney snacks of all time, the classic Dole Whip.

Oh, sure, you have your cult classics. Your Turkey Legs. Your Mickey Bars. And they’re great. But if there’s one snack I must have every time I’m at either Disneyland (umbrellas and cherries!!!!) or Walt Disney World, it’s some variety of Dole Whip.

This creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve made news here on Disney Food Blog for a different reason last year, when we brought you word not of what it is — but what it isn’t! Seems that our favorite Disney chilly treat is now Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland's Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip Float at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar — My Favorite!

So if you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, delicious snack, but [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

While Disney’s Polynesian Resort is undergoing extensive renovations (including Captain Cook’s), it’s still a good time to stop by ‘Ohana for the Best Friends Breakfast featuring the adorable Lilo & mischievous Stitch. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott reviews her family’s morning meal at Walt Disney World.

‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is an extremely popular dinner venue with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Its all-you-care-to-eat format of delicious Polynesian-inspired dishes and relaxed atmosphere earn it rave reviews from just about everyone that eats there.

But is the character breakfast equally as good? My husband, daughter and I decided to find out!

Atmosphere

The Polynesian is one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts. I remember going to the luau when I was a kid back in the 70s and feeling like I was in another country.

As an adult, I recognize that there’s something decidedly kitschy about it. I half expect to see Elvis a la Blue Hawaii round the corner with Joan Blackman on his arm. The theming is fantastic, and consistent.

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

‘Ohana is on the second level of the lobby, just a stone’s throw away from the monorail. Guests are required to check in at the host stand before entering the restaurant. We found this a little confusing, mostly because there were a lot of excited children swarming the area.

We ended up walking right past the host stand. We were re-directed to the “cousin” in the lobby’s host area who was pleasant and efficient and whisked us to the photo area. (Cast members are called “cousins” to reinforce the feeling that everyone at ‘Ohana is family.)

We had our picture taken in front of a Tiki-inspired hut and waited for our buzzer to go off. When it did a few minutes later, we made our way to the host stand inside the restaurant, where we were greeted warmly by more exceptionally friendly “cousins.”

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Eats

On the way to our table, our host gave us helpful information about the service for our meal and tidbits about the open kitchen and some of the menu items.

We were seated at a sunny table near the window with a sweeping view of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. (Editor’s Note: Views may be obstructed due to ongoing construction.) Our server quickly greeted us and also took a moment to explain the service style. Breakfast would arrive in a large skillet, with the ever-popular Mickey waffles brought separately. Before scurrying away, she uttered those six magical words, “It’s all you care to eat.

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Our server returned with a basket of Hawaiian welcome bread flavored with pineapple and coconut, as well as iced cinnamon bread. Both were delicious.

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

She also brought ‘Ohana’s famous breakfast beverage – a combination of passion fruit, orange and guava juices, known as P.O.G. I would drink this juice intravenously if I could. It’s heaven.

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

Next came a fruit plate, with cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and berries. Poor fruit plate. It barely got touched, because the gigantic skillet of breakfast yumminess arrived, heaped with [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: More Breakfast Goodness!

It’s always so fun to flip through the fantastic photos that our members post on the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! We think a virtual trip to Disney is a great way to take a break from your busy day. :-)

And today, we are all about the tons of yummo breakfast options that you have at Walt Disney World! Let’s take a trip to some of our favorite Disney breakfast spots today for our latest installment in our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

Breakfast Skillet at ‘Ohana

Photographer: Ryesah

Yay for the words: “all you care to enjoy” and “Mickey Waffles”! You only need fun interaction with cool characters like Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey and Friends to make this character breakfast at ‘Ohana completely awesome!

Breakfast Skillet at 'Ohana

Breakfast Skillet at ‘Ohana

Baked French Toast at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Photographer: Nancy RK

Starting your day in Cinderella Castle for breakfast? Lucky you! We’ve had some [Read more…]

Disney Recipe from the Vault: ‘Ohana’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I have been known to post an ode or two to extinct Disney foods. And one of my most missed dishes are the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes that used to be a fixture at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

These potatoes — in all of their creamy, cheesy goodness — are no longer served at ‘Ohana. In their place, you’ll find a perfectly, well…fine…bowl of Lo Mein, noodle-y tangle.

Fine. But they’re no cheesy potatoes.

So imagine how the skies opened and the heavens sang when I recently ran across this recipe for the potatoes that we all knew and loved!

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

Now, I don’t see any shortening here, but everything else looks pretty fantastic. So I’m going out on a limb and am planning to give them a try.

You should, too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

‘Ohana
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: [Read more…]

News: New Menu Item at ‘Ohana in Disney World’s Polynesian Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is currently undergoing a major refurbishment that’s affecting several areas throughout the resort.

From a food perspective, we are very much looking forward to an updated Captain Cook’s sometime this summer, the addition of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto in 2015, and the Pineapple Lanai kiosk for a Dole Whip fix anticipated to open later this year.

Captain Cook's Refurbishment Sign

Captain Cook’s Refurbishment Sign

One change unconnected to the refurbishments, however, has been more immediate. Several weeks ago, ‘Ohana – arguably the Polynesian’s most popular Table Service restaurant – removed Chicken Skewers from the menu.

While there have been no further removals, we wanted to let you know how the menu has been refreshed in light of that change.

The Entrance to 'Ohana

The Entrance to ‘Ohana

Refreshed 'Ohana Menu

Refreshed ‘Ohana Menu

Meal Starters still include ‘Ohana Pineapple Coconut Bread and Mixed Greens with a Lilikoi Dressing.

'Ohana Bread

‘Ohana Bread

'Ohana Mixed Greens

‘Ohana Mixed Greens

One new item has been added to the Appetizers: Vegetable Lettuce Wraps with a Hoisin Ginger Sauce join the Pork Dumplings tossed in a Garlic Ginger Sauce.

'Ohana Pork Dumplings

‘Ohana Pork Dumplings

A new heading has been added the menu as well [Read more…]

News! Trader’s Sam’s Grog Grotto is Coming to Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort!

We are so excited about some BIG NEWS coming out of Walt Disney World today!

Trader Sam's!!!!!!!

Trader Sam’s is coming to Disney World!!!!!!!!!!

If you’ve spent any time recently at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, you know that there are lots of changes going on over there. In fact, we told you about the temporary Captain Cook’s Snack Company location just recently here on Disney Food Blog.

Concept Art -- Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Concept Art — Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Well, today, we’re getting a few more details about just what’s taking place behind those construction walls!

There is a complete re-imagining of the beloved resort underway! But instead of modernizing with the changes, they’re taking it [Read more…]

News! Menu Changes at ‘Ohana and Earl of Sandwich in Disney World

Adios chicken skewer!

Yup — the rumors are true. There’s another menu change at ‘Ohana at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort!

'Ohana

‘Ohana

Menu Changes at Disney World’s ‘Ohana

Among other dining changes at this resort, guests will now find fan-favorite ‘Ohana removing one of their most popular items from the all-you-can-eat dinner.

Grilled Chicken at 'Ohana

Grilled Chicken at ‘Ohana

While the majority of the menu remains the same, the Grilled Chicken Skewer has been removed from the options, while the Sweet and Sour Pork Loin, Szechuan Sirloin Steak, and Spicy Grilled Shrimp remain.

A children’s dessert has also been added to the menu here (more bread pudding for meeeeee!).

'Ohana Dinner Feast Menu

‘Ohana Dinner Feast Menu

While we’re on the topic, it appears there has been a menu change at another Disney dining favorite:

Earl of Sandwich Menu Updates

At Downtown Disney, all eyes are on the construction of what will become Disney Springs, and it seems Disney food fans have much to look forward to. Still, we love our old Downtown Disney favorites, and for many – or most — that certainly includes Earl of Sandwich, so we wanted to let you know of a few recent changes to the sandwich menu.

Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney Orlando

Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney Orlando

First, the All-American and Cannonballs sandwiches [Read more…]

News and Review: Captain Cook’s Temporary Location at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

ALOHA from Disney’s Polynesian Resort!

Capt. Cook’s is the Polynesian’s Quick Service option — famous for Tonga Toast in the morning, and Pork Sandwiches and Nachos in the afternoon into the evening (more on their also-famous Dole Whips later in the post). You can typically find a few unique and stellar cupcakes here, too.

Well, its original location is currently closed for refurbishment from now until later this summer. We’re definitely looking forward to the new-and-improved digs, but in the meantime we thought we’d swing by to give you a quick look at the temporary location.

Captain Cook's Refurbishment Sign

Captain Cook’s Refurbishment Sign

If you head to the original location for Captain Cook’s, you’ll see signs directing you to the temporary location. From the original space, it’s just to the right of the set of stairs that bring you to Tambu Lounge.

Temporary Location

Temporary Location

The first thing to greet you is the main seating area.

Main seating in temporary location

Main seating in temporary location

Main seating in temporary location

Main seating in temporary location

Captain Cook’s signature tables made the move…

Tables

Tables

And additional seating can be found to the left of the main area.

Additional seating

Additional seating

Past the seating, you see the food area.

Main seating with food area behind

Main seating with food area behind

The kitchen space appears roomy.

Facing the kitchen

Facing the kitchen

Flow in the costumer area is a bit [Read more…]