#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…]

Spotted: Hawaiian Host Macadamia Treats at Polynesian Village Resort’s Boutiki

Did you know you can take a real taste of the Hawaiian islands home with you from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Boutiki

Now, you may already be familiar with some of the ways you can grab a macadamia treat while at the resort… say, the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake occasionally spotted at Captain Cook’s, or Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe.

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook's

Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake from Captain Cook’s

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes from Kona Cafe

But I was walking by Boutiki recently — the main merchandise location at the Polynesian — and couldn’t help but notice this window display packed to the brim with “Hawaiian Host” items, prepackaged and ready for travel.

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Boutiki window display

Stepping inside I found the Hawaiian Host display, which features an assortment of chocolate treats — all starring Macadamia nuts. The selection at Boutiki includes [Read more…]

Photo Tour and Review: NEW Polynesian Village Resort Lobby, and Tiramisu Cupcake at Captain Cook’s

Happy New Year!!

We don’t know a better way to celebrate than with this gorgeousness! OK, OK, we know you’ve probably got all kinds of resolutions for 2015. But, as far as I’m concerned, those start on MONDAY!!! Let’s take a look at one last indulgence, shall we…?

On a recent visit to the Polynesian Village Resort, I stopped by Captain Cook’s and peeked in the refrigerator, expecting to find the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake, as per usual.

However, something unexpected caught my eye that I decided to pick up: the Tiramisu Cupcake.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

Now, typically I might take you on a little tour around Captain Cook’s before we dig in, but the big news at the Polynesian is the recent reopening of the lobby at the Great Ceremonial House, which has been closed off for refurbishment for much of the year.

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

So, instead, I thought I might show some of the pictures of the refurbished lobby since the Polynesian is such a major dining destination at Disney World no matter which resort you choose to stay in. Obviously, our focus on this site is food, and since the Polynesian is home to such popular restaurants as ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, we know that many DFB readers loved seeing the lobby upon arrival for their Advance Dining Reservation, whether they were preparing to enjoy breakfast with Stitch and Lilo at ‘Ohana, or the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Entering from the main downstairs entrance, the signature large waterfalls have been removed. Now this area features open space, lots of seating, and a small water feature (which differs from the original artist renderings for now, but I understand that the Tiki statue previously featured in the artwork may still become a part of the structure next year).

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Polynesian Village Resort lobby

Seating in the lobby

Seating in the lobby

Water Feature

Water Feature

Without the presence of the large waterfalls, the new light fixtures become a major focal point.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

Moving upstairs, the natural light seems to stream more to dining areas such as Kona Cafe and Kona Island (although I really don’t know if that’s more due to the fact that construction walls have been cutting off much of the light in recent months, so my eyes may just be readjusting).

Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe

The seating area near Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana has new furniture and carpeting as well.

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Seating area near the Tambu Lounge

Captain Cook’s, however, remains unchanged (well, since the reopening from its own refurbishment in August, that is), so now that we’re there, why don’t we get straight to the cupcake?

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

Captain Cook's dining room

Captain Cook’s dining room

When I spotted the Tiramisu Cupcake, the first thing I noticed were the peaks of frosting all over the top. I assumed it might be a marshmallow or whipped cream topping to mimic the light texture of tiramisu.

But it was actually — to my happy surprise — rich, dense peaks of cream cheese (I assume as a play on mascarpone), all dusted with cocoa like a proper tiramisu.

Tiramisu Cupcake

Tiramisu Cupcake

The white cake base resembles [Read more…]

Review: Hawaiian Shaved Ice at Kona Island in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Even if you’ve paid a visit to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you may not be familiar with Kona Island.

This pleasant little stop upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House sits directly next to a much larger restaurant: Kona Cafe. So it can be pretty easy to pass by — unless you are in the know of its reputation for being one of the places on property where you can enjoy some sushi, or even a press pot of Kona Coffee, brewed to order.

Kona Island was closed for a while in the late summer to accommodate some of the construction going on at the Polynesian (among those changes, the eagerly-anticipated addition of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto to the resort).

Kona Island sign

Kona Island sign

But it reopened by the end of September, and more recently I finally had a chance to stop by and sample something I’d been curious about.

Kona Island

Kona Island

Kona Island

Kona Island

Hawaiian Shaved Ice is now part of the offerings. You can get all one flavor (“Kumau”) for $3.99, or a combo of two flavors (“Haukalima”) for $4.99.

Koan Island Hawaiian Shaved ice sign

Koan Island Hawaiian Shaved ice sign

While flavors may vary due to available syrups, I was able to choose from eight on the day of my visit: orange, passion mango, cherry, coconut, blue raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, and pina colada. I could’ve happily tried all eight flavors (and many thanks to the extremely patient Cast Member who waited while I took a crazy long time to decide!). But I ultimately chose a combo of pina colada and cherry.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice, cherry and pina colada

Hawaiian Shaved Ice, cherry and pina colada

The swirl of white (you can see it much better on the red cherry side) is [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 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…]

The Evolution of the Kona Kone!

Happy Memorial Day! It’s time to talk ICE CREAM!

I’ve got some interesting news for those of you who lurve the Kona Kone at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort!

Now, if you don’t know what a Kona Kone is, this is what it used to look like…

Past Life of the Kona Kone...when it was actually a cone

A real cone, stuffed with ice cream, topped with sprinkles and a little chocolate Mickey, and surrounded by clouds of fluffy cotton candy.

But apparently that long-standing favorite needed a change — and they’ve made some updates…

NOW, they’ve taken away the [Read more…]

News! Spirit of Aloha Dinner Menu Update at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

You’ll find south seas flavors at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show featured at Disney’s Polynesian Resort! And we’ve heard about a few menu updates!

The Luau-style feast offers all-you-care-to-eat goodies along with a Hawaiian themed dinner show on the stage in front of you.

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show Menu Updates

We got word recently of some menu changes and updates, which don’t sound half-bad! Here are the deets… [Read more…]

Disneyland and Dole: 36 Years of Pineapple Partnership

Recently I had the pleasure of attending Dole’s Banana Summit at the Disneyland Resort. And while we’ll go bananas a bit later, it’s Disneyland and Dole’s partnership on the pineapple front (Dole Whip anyone?) that I think you guys are going to love hearing about.

Dole Whip Time at the Enchanted Tiki Room

After all, Dole is the official sponsor of perhaps the most iconic attraction and snack of the Disneyland (and Disney World!) Resort. What better place to learn about this partnership than the Enchanted Tiki Room with a Dole Whip in hand?

While indulging in pineapple fantasticness, our group was escorted into an empty Tiki Room for a presentation [Read more…]

Kona Island Sushi Bar Review and Photos

Many thanks to Amanda Tinney, writer of the fantastic DisneyEveryDay.com, for guest blogging about this fun food spot! Can’t wait to try it!

Kona Cafe Sushi Bar

Kona Cafe Sushi Bar

Ah YES…Joy and Rapture! Disney has added another Sushi Bar to the Walt Disney World Resort! As a Disney Veteran I am embarrassed to admit that I just recently found out about this latest addition last month and come to find out… they have been serving up Sushi for about a year now. Shameful!

Welcome Disney epicureans to the Kona Island Sushi Bar!

Wall Menu

Wall Menu

Specs and Eats
If you’re guessing that this Nosh Spot is in the Polynesian Resort…You are correct! The Kona Island Sushi Bar is situated right next to the Kona Café on the second floor of the Polynesian. In the morning this hot spot is the Kona Coffee Bar, but it is magically transformed in the late afternoon to serve Sushi to hungry tourists and locals alike.

1coffeebar

The bar is open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. and has two seating areas, which will accommodate roughly twenty people, total. A little over half of the seating is at a bar on a glass wall that overlooks the beautiful gardens and water features that make up the entrance to the resort. The remaining seats are directly in front of the bar where the chefs prepare the sushi. But do not despair if you can’t get a seat at the bar; the full sushi menu is served at Kona Café and vice versa — the full Kona Menu is served at the Sushi Bar.

Here’s a peek at the Sushi Menu…

Kona Sushi Bar Menu

Kona Sushi Bar Menu

We sampled the Volcano Roll, Dragon Hand Roll, and California Luau Roll. Everything we had was delicious!

The California Roll was a nice surprise as it had pineapple in place of the standard cucumber and the citrus flavor made it taste even fresher than sushi normally tastes.

Kona Sushi Bar California Roll

Kona Sushi Bar California Roll

The Volcano Roll, made with Spicy Tuna, Seafood Lau’ai and Tempura Crunch, filled the entire plate….

Kona Volcano Roll

Kona Volcano Roll

I was so excited to eat the Dragon Hand Roll that I forgot to take a picture of it. I am a big fan of eel and had never eaten a hand roll before so I dug in without thinking…sorry.

But! While we were at the bar, someone ordered the Tuna Poke. When the chef placed it on the bar I snapped a picture of it. It was beautiful! It looked like three large tortelloni (a tortellini-ravioli hybrid) with diced tomato on top, but was actually the most perfect, red tuna salad served over round crisps.

Kona Sushi Bar Tuna Poke

Kona Sushi Bar Tuna Poke

And here’s a shot of the Shrimp Tempura Roll, which consists of Tempura Shrimp, fresh mango, and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Sauce:

Kona Sushi Bar Shrimp Tempura Roll

Kona Sushi Bar Shrimp Tempura Roll

…and the Kona Crab Cake Roll which is made with a Fresh Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, avocado, and Asian tartar sauce…

Kona Sushi Bar Crab Cake Roll

Kona Sushi Bar Crab Cake Roll

Costs and Cocktails
If you think you’ll have to break the bank to eat here, think again. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of food that you will get for your money. The chefs that we spoke with that night had worked at The California Grill at the Contemporary. Plates start at $8.99 and go up to $15.99.

I was also surprised to discover that Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale is served here! I got a chance to sample it at the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and gave it a rave review!

Kona Sushi Bar Cocktails Menu

Kona Sushi Bar Cocktails Menu

The Kona Island Sushi Bar also serves traditional sake as well…

Wine and Sake Menu at Kona Sushi Bar

Wine and Sake Menu at Kona Sushi Bar

If you decide to check out this eatery on your next visit make sure to look for the Hidden Mickey in the bar.

Kona Sushi Bar Hidden Mickey

Kona Sushi Bar Hidden Mickey

As a local…I will definitely be returning for some nom nom’s at the Kona Island Sushi Bar! Amanda Tinney signing out! Dewa kore de! Bye for Now!