Guest Review: Kona Café Dinner at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Let’s travel to Disney’s Polynesian Resort for dinner at the Kona Café with guest author Katie Roth. We love the flavors from the south seas at this Walt Disney World restaurant!

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have stayed at the Polynesian multiple times and have never eaten at Kona Café! Until now, I always admired its colorful decorations and festive atmosphere from afar on my way to the monorail.

After eating here, we are THRILLED that we made the decision to try it. I’m pretty sure this restaurant is going to be a staple for our trips now.

Kona Cafe Sign.


Kona Café is located on the upper terrace of the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian resort. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to miss. The colors are vibrant and the decibel level is pretty high compared to other restaurants. (It didn’t seem as loud once we were inside the restaurant though; the sound from the lobby probably amplifies noise coming from the restaurant to any passerby.)

Kona Cafe Dining Room.

Once inside the restaurant, it’s even brighter and cheerier! Everything screams tropics here, from the carpets (see below) to the adorned ceilings. (Editor’s Note: Check out the Hidden Mickey in the carpet!)

Tropical Carpet with HIdden Mickey!


Once our waitress took our order, we were treated to Kona Café’s complimentary [Read more…]

Guest Review: Breakfast at Olivia’s Cafe in Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Welcome back Julie B. with a review of an insider-favorite restaurant tucked away in the Old Key West Resort — Olivia’s Cafe!

Tucked away in the Downtown Disney Resort area sits Old Key West, a Disney Vacation Club resort. A hidden treasure and tropical oasis lies within — Olivia’s Café.


From the moment we drove through the gate, I could feel myself relax into the Key West atmosphere. Even the security guard letting us into the resort said “Oh Olivia’s, the best kept secret in Disney World!

Everything about Old Key West just makes you want to take a deep breath and imagine you’re along the coast with a cool ocean breeze.

Olivia's Cafe Entrance.

When you enter the restaurant, you’ll see walls adorned with tackle and boating items, but also covered with family photos of Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members.

Olivia's Dining Room.

This really sets up the restaurant with the vibe of a local, “towny” place that’s perfect for families. Even though we weren’t regulars, I still felt so welcomed and at home at Olivia’s.

Family Album at Olivia's Cafe.

Decor at Olivia's.

We dined on a flawless weather day, so we opted for a table on the patio. Our table had a perfect view of the flag pole, water, and lobby walkway area.

Patio at Olivia's.

View from the patio.

With a warm breeze and abundant sunshine, I can’t imagine [Read more…]

Disning in Disneyland: Inside Rock Candy Mountain at Disney California Adventure

A few months back, we gave you a sneak peek of Trolly Treats’ Rock Candy Mountain

Displayed prominently in the candy store’s main window, these sweet slopes are definitely one of my favorite things to look at on Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street; ESPECIALLY when you know its hidden secret!

Rock Candy Mountain Window Display on Buena Vista Street

History of Rock Candy Mountain

Originally intended as an attraction to be part of the Storybook Land Canal Boats; the Casey Jr. Circus Train was going to travel around it in Disneyland Park. Concept art was drawn, but the project was never built.

Rock Candy Mountain Original Concept Art

Rock Candy Mountain Original Concept Art

In its honor, the sparkling sugar mountain has been brought to life by imagineers who used both real and replica candies to create a fun window display that is sure to delight all passers by. 

AND instead of Casey Jr. making its way around the tracks, a mini red trolley has the privilege. If you stand out front on Buena Vista Street, you can even hear the trolley bells coming from [Read more…]

Review: Tony’s Town Square

Today, we’re revisiting a Magic Kingdom institution, Tony’s Town Square for lunch!

In the past, Tony’s Town Square hasn’t wowed me. Decent food and a great view of the Magic Kingdom Town Square (and any parades going on out there!), but nothing to really pull me back to that spot. Read on to see if anything has changed…


The first thing that we noticed as we arrived for our Advanced Dining Reservation is that Tony’s has a brand new sign out front, depicting the jolly restaurateur himself! I knew this would be there after the recent renovations, but I really liked it!

Tony's Sign

Tony's Entrance

One of the biggest draws of this Magic Kingdom hotspot continues to be the patio seating area. Tony’s is one of the few table service restaurants that offers an outdoor dining experience; and even on super hot Florida days, this is a great place to chill and enjoy a bite to eat!

Tony's Patio

Tony’s has received a brand new neighbor since our last visit — Mickey Mouse and Friends moved into the newly-renovated Town Square Theater / Exposition Hall — and so a few [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Gingerbread Holiday Displays for 2011

Holiday Chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in Disney World, anyway! And it will be looking even more so very soon!

As we look forward to the holidays in our favorite Disney parks, let’s take a look at when to expect the artful decor to go on display this year. And we’ll look back to the gingerbread displays from past holidays to warm our spirits (and appetites) for now!

These displays will be created by the WDW Food and Beverage team. Sometimes you can even watch the chefs put on the finishing touches! And don’t forget to check out the limited edition Gingerbread Display pins coming out this year!

Please note that information is subject to change.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

(Gingerbread House was scheduled to open on November 14th)

As your eyes try to take in the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby, your sense of smell will lead you toward the 16 foot tall Gingerbread House located in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort.

Grand Floridian 2010 Gingerbread House

It takes over 400 hours to bake the 10,000+ pieces of gingerbread! Last year’s house was amazing, and one of our colleagues snapped some pics of the construction this year! Thanks to Carla at Hoperatives for these!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Don’t forget that you can purchase a treat made from a classic Austrian gingerbread recipe right inside the Gingerbread House!! Freshly baked items will include [Read more…]

Review: Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Found at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa is a full-service restaurant offering fantastic meals with Indian and African influences.

From the floor-to-ceiling windows of the restaurant, guests have a fantastic view of the safari animals on the Sunset Savanna, meaning you’ll have a stellar show of zebra, giraffe, African birds, and several other breathtaking animals.

And while the animal viewing is a great draw for Sanaa’s guests, the interesting menu, food quality, and great service will surely bring them back time and time again. And the new test-phase of the Dine with an Animal Specialist program is surely going to bring plenty of folks to Sanaa!


Sanaa is located in Kidani Village, which is the Disney Vacation Club Villas section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It sits next door to Jambo House, the main and original part of the Lodge.

Outside of Sanaa

A major complaint about Sanaa is its distance from the parks and other resort hotels in Disney World — you will have to use a Disney Transport bus, your own car, or a taxi to get here — but with all of the great [Read more…]