#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…]

Review: Lotus Blossom Cafe in Epcot’s China Pavilion

We’re stopping by Lotus Blossom Cafe today for a quick dinner and a line-free dining experience!

The counter service spot, located in Epcot’s China Pavilion, isn’t a frequent stop for me. That’s because, to be honest, there are just lots and lots of other things I’d rather eat around World Showcase. And during my few previous visits, I haven’t been exactly wowed by their offerings.

But, you never know what you’re going to get with Disney restaurants; and since this is the Disney Food Blog after all, here we go!

Atmosphere

Lotus Blossom Cafe is set back a bit within the China Pavilon. Really, among all of the beautiful Pavilions that make up the countries of World Showcase, China holds its own. The detail and decor here is stunning.

Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot’s China Pavilion

And even the Lotus Blossom Cafe is no exception from a decor perspective. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Studio Catering Co. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Join me in welcoming Bob Sikon with a guest review of a counter service eatery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Studio Catering Co.!

I have to confess, if my wife and I eat a meal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we typically stop in to visit the ABC Commissary. Oh, we’ve eaten meatloaf at 50’s Prime Time Cafe and cobb salads at The Hollywood Brown Derby, but our trips to the Studios usually include the commissary’s burgers.

If not that, we’ll enjoy a mere Quick Service snack of Butterfinger cupcakes from Starring Rolls Cafe or a couple of carrot cake cookies from Writer’s Stop.

This last trip, however, we tried something new – an early dinner at Studio Catering Co.

Welcome!

Atmosphere

Another confession – in all our past visits, we had never given Studio Catering Co. even a little bit of thought. Part of the reason is that it is sort of hidden without really being hidden. In other words, it is clearly there, but if you didn’t know it was there, the signage wouldn’t help you much.

Exterior Menu Board – click image for larger version.

Despite that, the thing that struck us from the moment we approached the restaurant was the amount of available space. There is PLENTY of seating. Look at the size [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…]

News! Casey’s Corner in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Reopens with Updated Indoor Seating Area

We looooove telling you about news that can make your Disney trip even more comfortable and relaxing, and today we’re on a roll!

We’ve all been there… walking around Casey’s Corner with an armful of cardboard trays filled with hot dogs, French Fries, and a couple of enormous Cokes, searching indoors and out for a place to sit while hoping we don’t drop anything.

Welp, after a refurbishment that started in January, the Corner has reopened and is sporting some brand new digs! Yep — as far as we can tell, there are no more bleachers and no more movies…now we’ve got real, honest-to-goodness indoor seating (not just a few scattered tables) at Casey’s!

Casey's Corner

Casey’s Corner

Let’s take a quick look at the refurbished restaurant first. The entryway welcomes guests as always (just polished up a bit), and the menu remains unchanged (hooray!).

Casey's Entryway

Casey’s Entryway

Casey's Corner

Casey’s Corner

Casey's Corner Menu

Casey’s Corner Menu

And, of course, all of those nods to vintage baseball that make Casey’s what it is remain.

Casey's Baseball Memorabilia

Casey’s Baseball Memorabilia

The big surprise comes when you enter the indoor seating area.

This spot used to house a few tables, but the “Casey at the Bat” bleachers and a movie screen spinning old school Disney sports cartoons were the focal points of the area. The banners and scoreboards are still there…

Mudville Banners

Mudville Banners

Scoreboard

Scoreboard

However, the bleachers have been removed to make way for more tables, and the movie screen has been removed.

Refurbished Indoor Seating

Refurbished Indoor Seating

Refurbished Indoor Seating Area

Refurbished Indoor Seating Area

Casey’s is a beloved spot for many reasons [Read more…]

Review: Create-Your-Own Burger Bar at the NEW All Star Sports End Zone Food Court

Recently we visited the newly reopened End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort. Now we’re back to review one of the new features on the menu: the Create-Your-Own Burger Bar!

Atmosphere

After a lengthy refurbishment, the new space was revealed! Featuring earth tones and a clean, fresh design, the food court maintains its fun sports theme.

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

End Zone Food Court

While the theme is found in more subtle details now than it was previously, the element of fun is still very much present in the basketball court walls and the Disney characters who’ve joined in the mix!

Basketball Court Walls

Basketball Court Walls

Disney pals in the booth panels

Disney Pals in the booth panels

Eats

Along with the new space came a revamped menu! You can still find standbys such as pizza, hot dogs, and the Best Chicken Breast Nuggets on Earth (*not the actual name, just my opinion ;) ).

Today, though, we’re excited to share a review of one of the newest features in the food court: the Create-Your-Own Burger Bar!

Create Your Own Burger

Create Your Own Burger

First, guests have their choice of beef or chicken for their [Read more…]

First Look and Photo Tour! Disney World’s All Star Sports End Zone Food Court Reopens after Renovation

The End Zone Food Court at All Star Sports has just reopened after a lengthy refurbishment — four months, to be exact! We were thrilled to be on the scene for opening day, and are excited to have you join us for a FIRST LOOK!

End Zone Food Court Atmosphere

The first sight to greet you is nicely familiar… the entryway sign remains the same, so as to make the transition from the hallway seamless.

End Zone Food Court Entrance

But in no time you start to notice that things have indeed changed, thanks in part to this sleek “Now Serving” marquee immediately to your left at the entrance.

“Now Serving” Board

Then things really kick into high gear! Gone are the primary colors and life-size cutouts of football and baseball players. In their place are earthy tones and clean lines.

The changes are most notable in the dining area.

End Zone Dining Area

End Zone Dining Area

End Zone Dining Area

But they extend throughout the Food Court [Read more…]

News! And Review: Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments New Menu!

We’re heading to Harambe Village in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. Tamu Tamu Refreshments is our stop today, so we can check out the entirely new menu!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Atmosphere

It’s easy to stroll past Tamu Tamu on your way to Kilimanjaro Safaris, because this unassuming little spot blends in so perfectly with its surroundings.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Ordering Counter

There are a few clues, however, as to what is available to passersby:

Good Eats!

Cold drinks!

And the best part of the atmosphere is arguably a hidden gem. A lot of people aren’t aware of the gorgeous and peaceful outdoor seating area tucked behind!

Entry into the Harambe Fort

Chunky wooden tables and chairs are complemented by rustic plaster walls and artwork. It’s truly unexpected!

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

But I’d mentioned a new menu, so let’s dive in!

Eats

I was truly surprised to see the all-new offerings, especially since the Pulled Beef Sandwich had been a hit. (I must admit to being sad over the loss of that gorgeous fresh fruit bowl on the menu, and will continue to look for it at Bradley Falls whenever it is open!)

Tamu Tamu Menu

The menu is now offering three primary entrees: Slow-cooked Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry, and Roasted Chicken Salad. [Read more…]

Review: Peanut Butter and Candy Bar Brownies at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Not so long ago, I took a trip to The Mara, the Quick Service location at Animal Kingdom Lodge to check out the Giraffe and Zebra Cupcakes. But when I posted my review, we also shared pics of a couple of delicious looking brownies that we’d seen at the bakery… .

Peanut Butter Brownies in bakery case

Candy Bar Brownies in the bakery case

I guess they grabbed the attention of a few DFB Readers as well :), because when I read over the comments on that article, several went something like this:

“Yep, the cupcakes look great. But, ummm… HELLO! What can you tell me about that Peanut Butter Brownie?!?” (And THIS is exactly why DFB Readers are So. Great. :) )

So, with that… it’s back to The Mara we go!

Atmosphere

Located on the ground floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Mara is one of the more interesting quick service locations in Disney World.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara offers unique eats in a unique setting. From African Stew and a delicious variety of soups to something on the menu called an “African Chili Cheese Dog” (Note to self: find out what that’s all about), there is so much more here than your standard cheeseburger.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What I most appreciate about the atmosphere is that it has a more “grown-up” feel for a Quick Service location, with its nods to the majesty of nature. Yet it’s still completely comfortable and approachable, in large part due to the whimsical artwork on the walls.

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

For this visit, I took my goodies to the outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

It’s lovely and [Read more…]

4 Great Counter-Service Turkey Options in Walt Disney World

It’s the Holiday Season! Festive holiday decorations are making their appearance in the “World,” and plans for merry-making with family and friends will be set in place.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s great and all. But let’s face it… those of us who gather here at Disney Food Blog are really thinking about all the FESTIVE FOOD we’re going to enjoy! Specifically, we’re ready to talk TURKEY (and gravy, cranberries, and stuffing) at Disney World Counter-Service locations! These are some great choices if you’re touring the World during the holidays and don’t have time for a sit-down situation. Grab your holiday eats on the go!

Holiday Turkey Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the Holiday Turkey Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney: turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry all on Earl’s artisan bread.

Holiday Turkey Sandwich

Maybe you are among those who love it so much you have all but written a Shakespearean sonnet in its honor. And if you count yourself among the diehards, we certainly wouldn’t judge you if you danced a jig or threw a small party when it was announced that the Holiday Turkey Sandwich would be served at Earl’s year-round. It’s music to our ears!

Turkey Sandwich – Everything Pop Food Court

But Earl’s isn’t the only place where you can enjoy holiday flavors any time of year… Let’s head over to Pop Century’s Food Court, Everything Pop!

Everything Pop!

On the menu, you’ll find a listing for a “Turkey Sandwich.” But c’mon… this is Everything Pop we’re talking about, and we know their propensity for unusual eats! So it should come as no surprise that this is more than a simple turkey sandwich. Just check out the ingredient list!

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich on the Menu

That’s right: oven-roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, watercress, and cranberry mayo in between two slices of Texas Toast.

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich

Before we get into the details, here’s a quiz for you! At Thanksgiving dinner are you more likely to: [Read more…]