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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 Continue reading →

DFB News: Christmas in July Sale and Ceramic Dole Whip Giveaway

I love a holiday week! So… the Disney Food Blog is celebrating with some star-spangled savings!! Think of it as Christmas in July from your DFB Team. ;)

First up, we have a terrific sale on pre-orders for our DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014. And we have a special Ceramic Dole Whip Giveaway for our Newsletter Subscribers. Yes, we adore you! :)

DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014

We know you’re just as excited as we are about the upcoming holiday season in Walt Disney World! It’s never too early to start making plans (you’ve gotta make those Dining Reservations 6 months in advance, after all!), so we have an exciting new offer for you today!

Pre-order the 2014 Edition of our best-selling Disney Holiday e-Book for 20% off — and get the 2013 Guide for Free!

When you pre-order your copy of the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2014 for an exclusive discounted rate, you’ll be able to instantly download the 2013 Guide and start your planning — TODAY.
Then you will be automatically emailed the 2014 Guide when it’s published in early November. Get two editions for the price of one and start planning right away.

Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2014

The Holiday season in Disney World is packed with magic: Holiday meals and snacks, special events, and seasonal shows, for starters! How will you see all the attractions, save money, AND take in the extra festivities in your already jam-packed vacation?

We’ll guide you through all the holiday events, activities, and dining so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck in Walt Disney World!
List Price: $14.95. This price includes the 2013 Guide as an instant download. You will automatically be sent the 2014 Guide as soon as it’s published in early November.
Enter Discount Code: ChristmasInJuly
DFB Reader Discount: $3! (20% off)
Your Exclusive DFB Price: $11.95 — get the 2013 Guide instantly, and the 2014 Guide as soon as it’s published!

To Order: http://dfbstore.com/dfb-guide-to-the-walt-disney-world-holidays-e-book/

We’ve done all of the research for you so you can pack your luggage and get ready to enjoy the festivities. Do you know where to score a chocolate monorail? Which event offers complimentary Continue reading →

News: 2014 Disney World Candlelight Processional Narrators

One of the highlights of Disney World’s holiday season is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional!

Although subject to change, the list of narrators is trickling in. And so far, we have two new celebrities — Sharon Stone and Ana Gasteyer — this year!

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

Amy Grant narrating 2013 Candlelight Processional

Disney World’s Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional will be performed three times each night from November 28 – December 30, 2014.

The popular show includes the telling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator who is accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, and a choir composed of Disney cast members and guest choirs from around the country.

Seating for the Candlelight Processional is first-come, first-served, and you do need to get in line at least an hour in advance to get a seat. However, if you book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package, you have guaranteed seating as well as guaranteed VIP viewing of Epcot’s fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations, Reflections of Earth, after the show! All this in addition to a lunch or dinner meal at a select Epcot restaurant.

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

We’ll have more information on Dining Packages as soon as they become available.

Candlelight Processional Narrators

The 2014 Narrator list is Continue reading →

Guest Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

We’re celebrating Christmas in July here on DFB! I know you’re all planning your holiday trips right now, so here’s a great suggestion for a holiday meal. Welcome back Catie Hiltz with a dinner review from the Magic Kingdom. This time, we’re visiting the Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World. This colonial setting is one of our favorites!

Back in the summer while we were planning our Christmas Walt Disney World trip, we were trying to come up with places to eat on Christmas Eve – and when Liberty Tree Tavern was suggested, I thought, of COURSE – that’s the perfect place to have dinner on Christmas Eve – not only would the menu of turkey and all the trimmings be perfect, but its location inside the Magic Kingdom is positively idyllic for celebrating the holiday!

Atmosphere

After spending the afternoon in a crowded Magic Kingdom, we were more than ready for our 5:45PM dinner Advance Dining Reservation on Christmas Eve. So we headed over to Liberty Square around 5:30 and gave our name to the hostess.

Dinner Time!

Dinner Time!

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Since we were early, we had some time to check the place out.

Waiting area

Waiting area

There was a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

A coloring area was setup with cute Disney themed holiday coloring pages.

A fun way to pass the time

A fun way to pass the time

We admired the beautiful gingerbread display, and as usual – Disney didn’t skimp on the details, either. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy checking it out, and several people (like me!) snapped photos too.

Gingerbread Display

Gingerbread Display

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Liberty Tree Tavern is a colonial themed restaurant, so the décor is pretty rustic — lots of wood and interesting artifacts hanging on the walls. Be sure to check out all the details here from the seven rooms themed to figures from the United States of America’s history!

One of several seating areas

One of several seating areas

And of course we had to check out the menu while waiting.

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The restaurant serves an a la carte lunch, but dinner is an “all you care to enjoy” family style meal, which means they serve you platters of food tableside. And best of all, you can have seconds (or thirds!) of anything and everything.

The atmosphere in the waiting area was pretty loud and crowded, and there were people constantly streaming in and out, wanting to know if there were any open tables (there were not, so I was definitely grateful to have made my ADR’s in advance!).

We were seated about 10 minutes after our ADR time, and led to the George Washington room – a quaint little room where it was much quieter and easier to carry on a conversation than in the waiting area.

George Washington Dining Room

George Washington Dining Room

Our nice little corner table

Our nice little corner table

Eats

We were approached almost immediately upon being seated by our server, who inquired about allergies and took our drink order. He also scanned our Magic Bands (since we were on the Disney Dining Plan).

Upon sitting down, we were handed a menu detailing the night’s feast.

Dinner Menu -- click image for larger version.

Dinner Menu — click image for larger version.

The drinks are served in cute Liberty Tree Tavern mugs.

Beverages

Beverages

Bread and the Declaration Salad were brought out first – fresh warm rolls served with sweet honey butter, and the salad was cold and crisp.

Rolls and Honey Butter

Rolls and Honey Butter

Normally the salad Continue reading →

News! Enjoy the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package — Complete with Dessert Party!

There’s fun and refreshing news out of Arendelle — er, Disney World — today! We’re excited to bring Frozen fans word of a brand new experience highlighting their favorite Disney Film!

Frozen at DHS

As we all know, Frozen has landed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Summer in a big way. Starting Saturday, July 5 and running through Monday, September 1, guests will enjoy all kinds of ways to experience the magic of the movie.

But we’re most interested in the eats, of course! And so we can’t wait to check out the The Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package!

Available July 5 through September 1 (except for August 23), guests who purchase the package will have access to three of the new Frozen experiences. After checking in at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner beginning at 10:30 a.m., guests will enjoy refreshments and reserved viewing for Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome Procession at 11 a.m.! Sisters Elsa and Anna will arrive via horse drawn sleigh, accompanied by Kristoff and other citizens of Arendelle.

Frozen Comes to Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Anna and Elsa Are Come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Next, guests can take advantage of Continue reading →

Spotted! Character Kitchen Towel Sets in Disney World

What is it with all the seriously cool kitchen stuff arriving on shelves at Disney World lately?

We were thrilled to see the new line of Princess and Villains mugs; and we were so excited for the opening of the Marketplace Co-op, which offers some awesome kitchenware paying homage to some of our favorite attractions and lands.

And then recently I happened across these Alice in Wonderland Dish Towels!

Alice in Wonderland Character towel set

Alice in Wonderland Character towel set

Each set features a pair of towels – the pictures I took show off both of the towels available in each set. The Alice in Wonderland and Queen of Hearts Set is similar the other sets in that they each have one thicker terry cloth-type towel and a lighter one that is more of a quilted style. And just look at the details on the Alice towel.

Alice in Wonderland Towel

Alice in Wonderland Towel

The Belle Dish Towel Set features a Belle towel, and also a tribute to the “Be Our Guest” number in the film – perfect for the kitchen!

Beauty and the Beast Towel Set

Beauty and the Beast Towel Set

With the new Maleficent movie (as well as the dragon’s showstopping, fire-breathing turn in the new Festival of Fantasy parade), we’re sure to be seeing a lot of this most notorious of Disney Villains. So it’s no surprise that there’s a Maleficent Dish Towel Set as well.

Maleficent towel set

Maleficent towel set

If you look closely at the damask-pattern towel, you’ll see the face of Maleficent appear.

Maleficent closeup

Maleficent closeup

Does your kitchen tend to produce more “Sweet” (Minnie) dishes…

Minnie towel set

Minnie towel set

… or “Spicy” Continue reading →

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 Continue reading →

Review: Coconut-Lychee Lemonade at Drinkwallah in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was chock full of surprises on a recent visit! While Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama debuted the Cotton Candy Carnival Cocktail, the Asia section’s Drinkwallah held a refreshing adult beverage find of its own: Coconut-Lychee Lemonade.

Drinkwallah Sign

Drinkwallah Sign

Coconut-Lychee Lemonade

Coconut-Lychee Lemonade

One of the reasons I was intrigued by this new drink (aside from the whole “Coconut Rum” thing, that is ;) ) is that it gives us a reason to explore this unique location a little more.

Welcome sign

Welcome sign

Sure, it’s pretty much a small kiosk dedicated to its typically limited menu of frozen non-alcoholic beverages (Coke, Blue Raspberry, and Lemonade are the choices) and a few grab-and-go snacks.

Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu

But that’s exactly what makes the high level of detail in this small snack stop so impressive. Like many places in Animal Kingdom, you could stroll right past Drinkwallah without realizing it, since it blends in so well with its surroundings.

Drinkwallah kiosk

Drinkwallah kiosk

You can spot a few clues, however, as to what’s available inside…

Outdoor signage

Outdoor signage

Ice Cold Refrigeration!

Ice Cold Refrigeration!

… as well as what’s not :).

Drinkwallah signage

Drinkwallah signage

Should you decide to stop inside based on the promise of cold beverages on a hot day, you’ll find that this is where the details really kick in. Just about every inch is packed with a huge array of trinkets, photographs, and artwork.

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Coke bottles inside Drinkwallah

Coke bottles inside Drinkwallah

Poster on the wall

Poster on the wall

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

I always like the detail of exposed electrical wires that you’ll find all over the Africa and Asia sections of Animal Kingdom.

Light fixture

Light fixture

Forgive the awkward angle of this shot of the Coke freezer, but I love the weathered look of it, and it at least gives you some idea as to how small this space is — I had just enough room to lean back and take this picture.

Coke freezer

Coke freezer

In fact, I took the majority of these pictures through the outdoor windows – feeling oddly like a Disney-detail paparazzo ;) — since there is so little room to move inside.

The only thing that reminds you that you are in a theme park is the glow coming from the frozen drink machines themselves, and even they have been enhanced with unique fonts and topped off with materials marked by the “Anandapur Sheet Metal Company.”

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Once you ‘re set with your drink or snack, you’ll do best to follow the posted advice.

Indoor signage

Indoor signage

It’s a great feeling to score a spot in this little building just behind Drinkwallah, equipped with a tall chair and – obviously – lots of shade.

Building behind Drinkwallah

Building behind Drinkwallah

But since that’s often already claimed, you can plan an escape to the lower garden.

Lower Garden direction sign

Lower Garden direction sign

What a lovely little space… There isn’t much in the way of seating here, with most opting to grab their cold drinks and continue towards Expedition Everest. But if you do have a few moments to enjoy the view, you can grab Continue reading →

Fourth of July News! Regional Craft Beers This Week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Drink beer, do good. Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the Fourth of July!

To that end, we have some fun news for readers who enjoy exploring the world of craft beer!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, in conjunction with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, will offer eight Cigar City selections when they stage a “Taproom Takeover” at Cabana Bar and Beach Club July 2-8!

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Cabana Bar and Beach Club

Guests of the hotel can enjoy Cigar City’s regionally brewed beer and cider on all eight of the Cabana Bar and Beach Club’s taps. A selection of Cigar City Brewing’s beers will also be available at the Dolphin’s Lobby Lounge.

And on July 4, the endeavor will take on a charitable twist. One of the beers that will be available is Homefront IPA, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to Operation Homefront, an organization providing services to military families across the nation.

Homefront IPA

Homefront IPA

This special brew is crafted in collaboration between several American microbreweries — Cigar City Brewing among them.

Cuban Espresso Brown Ale

In addition to Homefront IPA, beer and cider selections will include Continue reading →

Review: Specialty Hot Dogs at The Lunching Pad in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Can’t wait for lunch? Head over to The Lunching Pad with us!

You’ll find this snack stop in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. And while it looks pretty unassuming, it’s a great place to enjoy Cream Cheese Pretzels, or even Mickey Soft Pretzels!

But in addition to some of our favorite soft pretzel snacks and carbonated frozen drinks, they’re also an outlet for those delicious and inventive Gourmet Hot Dogs that you’ll find around the resort.

Today, we’re taking a look at not one, not two, but three of these deluxe dogs for lunch. C’mon!

Atmosphere

So, atmosphere at The Lunching Pad…well, what you see is pretty much what you get.

The Lunching Pad at Rocketeer Plaza

The Lunching Pad at Rocketeer Plaza

If you’ve been to Tomorrowland, you’ve seen the atmosphere of this spot. It’s really just a walk-up window.

Ordering Window

Ordering Window

There are a few tables scattered nearby, complete with those awesome, padded Tomorrowland seats.

And because The Lunching Pad is located beneath the PeopleMover and Astro-Orbiter, the overhang provides some much-welcomed shade when you stop here for a quick meal or snack.

Seating

Seating

But now that we’ve taken a (very quick!) tour around The Lunching Pad, let’s see about those dogs!

Eats

The menu at this snack stop is very small. You have a handful of frozen, carbonated beverages, which are so amazing on a hot day! And you can get them in plain cups or sport bottles. And as we mentioned before, this is also a good place to snag a soft pretzel.

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

Mickey Pretzel with Plastic Cheese

But the star attractions here, if you’re looking for real sustenance, are the line up of over the top hot dogs.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

Let’s just take a moment to admire them, shall we?

Today’s selections include, left to right, the BLT Hot Dog (NEW!), the Coney Island Dog, and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Specialty Hot Dogs from The Lunching Pad in Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Specialty Hot Dogs from The Lunching Pad in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

We’ll start with the brand new-to-the-menu Continue reading →