Review: Lunch at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Most of us know that Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is one of the best-kept dining secrets in all of Walt Disney World.

But these days, it’s becoming less a secret, and more of an established must-eat! If your list of advance dining reservations doesn’t include at least one meal here, then you’re sorta missing out.

By a long stretch, breakfast is the hottest meal ticket at Kona Cafe (Tonga Toast!!), followed by a loyal fan base at dinner time.

What about lunch, though? Well, I’m so glad you asked…


I’ve said it before, and to date, nothing has changed: the atmosphere at Kona Cafe is boring. This is one spot at Disney World that you aren’t frequenting for the epic design choices.

Kona Cafe Sign

The vibe is “modernized hotel lobby kind of Hawaiian chic.” And by “modernized,” I do mean last decade. That’s not to say that it’s unpleasant. You just (probably) won’t be squealing with delight as you take in every element.

Dining Area

Seating is functional and comfortable. I prefer these round tables to the other options however, since I feel a little less constricted here.


There are some interesting decor elements we should point out, though, especially if you look up or down. To begin, you have the seriously awesome natural light that comes from the skylights above. This is a great touch, since there are few combinations more wonderful to dine in than natural light and air conditioning.

These frosted glass “leaves” break up the monotony of the ceiling nicely and also soften the light a bit.

Lighting and Ceiling Decor

The fans here are one of the elements that brings “Polynesia” to this restaurant, and they keep the air circulating to make for a more comfortable space. Patterns on the amber light shades are reminiscent of Polynesian art as well.

Ceiling and Lighting

Carpeting includes vibrant colors that remind you of a tropical setting. Be sure to look closely at those flowers — you just might discover a little surprise!

Be Sure to Pay Attention -- A Hidden Mickey in the Carpet

If you’re looking for a [Read more…]

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…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Pina Coladas in Disney World

It’s time to check in with our awesome reader/photographers over at Disney Food Photo Extravaganza! And we’re starting Happy Hour a little bit early here on DFB today…


First up, this seriously beautiful Pina CoLAVA from Petals Pool Bar at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. We agree with the photographer…if you like “Getting Caught in the Rain” this is totally the drink for you!

Photographer: Obelix_22 (Margo Rioux)

Pina CoLAVA from Petals Pool Bar at Disney's Pop Century Resort

DragonBerry Colada at Epcot

No discussion of Disney adult drinks would be complete without a trip to the (sigh) Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! This DragonBerry Colada may be diminutive in size, but it’s delicious and packs a punch! And with World Showcase as the backdrop, how can you go wrong? (Click here for the recipe so you can make these at home between Food and Wine Festival trips!)

Photographer: Kelly Tressler

Dragon Berry Colada from the Caribbean Marketplace

Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada

If you like your Pina Coladas without the punch of rum, Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the spot for you! Along with amazing Tonga Toast and the Big Kahuna, you can score a creamy Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada that’s just right for [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 16, 2013

Happy Dad’s DAY!!! We’re raising a glass to all of your dads out there and hoping you’re having a great Father’s Day!

Starbucks has officially come to Disney World!

This week, we’ve got some awesome news to share with you, including coffee updates (Starbucks has soft opened in Main Street Bakery!), Food and Wine Festival updates, and more…

Let’s take a look at the latest!

Disney Food News

We’ve gathered this week’s food news from your favorite Disney destinations!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including a New Egg White Omelet at the Kona Cafe and a Newly Erupting Volcano at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney Orlando.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

DFB Reader Janel sent us a “plate full of goodies” from Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. YUM!

Breakfast at Chef Mickey's!

If you’re hankering for some French Toast, DFB Reader Brian tempts us with this photo of the creme brulee version from the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs Resort. Also, watch for a DFB review coming soon!

Breakfast at Pepper Market.

Dad’s Day SALE: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

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It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to to pick it up!!

Don’t Forget, use code: DAD2013 to get a $4 discount in honor of Father’s Day! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

For more detailed information and screen shots from the e-Book, head over to! With a 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose! :-)

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups names ten top Disney spots for sharing a beer with Dad!

Mickey Fix highlights an R2D2 bottle stopper!

Stuff from the Park shares a vintage 1950s menu for kids dining at the Disneyland Hotel.

AllEars shares details on an adult cooking class at the Portobello Restaurant in Downtown Disney Orlando.

Eighteen25 shares a super fun Disney savings jar with a snack-tastic surprise!

Mouse on the Mind finds a thrifty breakfast at Shades of Green’s Garden Gallery.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to create Eggs Benedict courtesy of Steakhouse 55’s Chef Alle Thiam.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 2, 2013

Hubba hubba! There are some serious new treats in Epcot right now, kids!

Ice Cream Martini in Epcot's France

Yep — the long-awaited L’Artisan des Glaces opened this week in the France Pavilion, and it’s surpassed all expectations. With 16 decadent flavors of ice cream and sorbet along with the option of topping them with three liqueurs, it’s a great stop for both grown-ups and kids!

Check out our first look, with photos and information about the new Epcot France ice cream shop; and enjoy some spectacular treats for the eyes with our review of the “ice cream martini!”

Disney Food News

Enjoy this week’s tidbits!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including South African Winemakers Tour at Jiko, Heinz Natural Ketchup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Steakhouse 55 Wine and Dine Experience for Disneyland’s Annual Passholders, Sorcerer Mickey Candy Apples at Disneyland candy locations, Be Our Guest Restaurant earns an award, Chef Chris Windus leaving Todd English’s bluezoo, and sushi update at Kona Island Sushi Bar in Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

The Backlot Express seems to be dispensing some extra magic to guests lately. If you hear Cast Members chanting “magic tray”, they’ll be delivering a free dessert to the lucky guest! DFB reader Jennifer tweeted “ate at the Backlot Express & got the “Magic Tray” & won a free dessert! Lemon Meringue cupcake.” We still don’t know what the “magic tray” is, but we want one!

Lemon Meringue Cupcake!

And while you’re at Backlot Express, we suggest this delicious Angus Onion Straw Cheeseburger sent in by DFB Reader Mandi!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

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On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix features a classic Mickey Mouse waffle iron! Perfect for Summer Saturday breakfasts!

Classic Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron!

All About Ami explores popcorn stands at Tokyo Disneyland! (Keep scrolling down when you click over…it’s a LONG post, but you’ll get to the popcorn stands eventually!)

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups enjoys adult slushes in Epcot’s France pavilion.

Yesterland features the original billboards at Paradise Pier in Disney’s California Adventure. Includes Coca-Cola and McDonald’s advertisements!

Theme Park Insider dines at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom.

disZine features an updated version of the cooking series That’s Fresh on the Disney Channel.

Main Street Gazette features the Grand Floridian Cafe.

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…]

The Most Popular Disney World Restaurants (and Alternatives When They’re Full)

Many Disney guests agree that the most important Disney Dining Tips lists include one specific piece of advice:

Making Advance Dining Reservations is an absolute must when it comes to planning.

While many seasoned Disney travelers are aware of this, there are lots of folks who visit the parks and are stunned to find no tables available at their top restaurant choices. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one time or another…and we’ve got solutions for you!

Today, we’ve updated our list of the most popular Disney restaurants, and terrific alternatives if you can’t score a table at your coveted spot!

Let’s take a look at the most elusive restaurants to book these days…

Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Scoring an advance dining reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant for their table service dinner can be a daunting task.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

From the time that they first announced the restaurant’s soft opening until now, we have heard from many readers who haven’t been able to secure a spot at Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. Here are a couple of reasons why:

Newness: The biggest reason for this remains the novelty of the place. Be Our Guest and all of New Fantasyland is still the hottest ticket in Walt Disney World since its grand opening in December 2012.

Incredible, Immersive Themeing: The impeccable themeing means that stepping into Beast’s Castle is truly like climbing through a portal into Beauty and the Beast. You almost expect to look down and find your food animated!

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Novelty: The French-inspired cuisine that’s served at Be Our Guest is unlike anything else available in all of Magic Kingdom. In addition, there is huge novelty surrounding the fact that you can now order beer and wine in the formerly dry Magic Kingdom (for dinner only).

So, what to do if you can’t [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you fantastic moms, mothers-in-law, grandmas, and moms-to-be out there!

Disney Mother's Day Cookies

We love that Disney is featuring some yummy “just-for-mom” cookies and rice krispie treats in their candy shops this month! Have a wonderfully sweet day!

And let’s start that day with a little Disney food news…that’s always sweet!

Disney Food News

Read on for this week’s news from your favorite Disney destinations…

And there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including Celebration Cakes at Epcot, a fall refurbishment for Cinderella’s Royal Table, and new menus at ESPN Club, Kona Cafe, and Beaches & Cream.

Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

This week, we get a glimpse of some fun birthday celebrations such as this one sent in by Facebook Friend Alynne. She says “This was my son’s 4th birthday cake I ordered in advance at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. It was super yummy!”

Birthday Cake at Enchanted Garden in Hong Kong Disneyland!

Another friend from Facebook, Hal, sent this delicious treat from their son’s birthday. It’s “a build your own sundae birthday celebration at Le Cellier”!

Build Your Own Sundae at Le Cellier!

Be sure to check out lots more Disney birthday goodies in our Disney Birthday Treats Gallery!

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Pre-Order — DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2013

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On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups sips on rum drinks at Walt Disney World! What’s your favorite rum drink at Disney?

Mickey Fix leads us to some great merchandise this week. How about a Build on Brick Lego mug or Gaston’s Tavern Stein?!

Cake Wrecks shares photos of an awesome Millennium Falcon cake!

Daveland highlights one of my favorite past Disney restaurants — Casa de Fritos — for Cinco de Mayo.

Yesterland remembers Bountiful Valley Farm in Disney California Adventure.

Disney Travel Babble highlights new celebration cakes available at select Epcot restaurants.

Main Street Gazette stops by the Landscape of Flavors food court at the Art of Animation resort.

Disney Parks Blog announces a Celebration of Greece at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, including wine education and tasting seminars on May 25.

News! Menu Updates at Disney Restaurants

It’s that time of year again!! Disney World restaurants are updating menus left and right!

Thankfully, we have wonderful readers who help keep us all up-to-date with these changes. Here are a few of the updates… . And stay tuned for our review of the NEW Le Cellier Steakhouse menu coming up soon!

Beaches & Cream

According to a server, menu changes took place approximately two weeks ago at the Beach Club’s Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. Check out the addition of a Vegetarian Falafel on flatbread which replaces the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich.

Beaches and Cream Menu. Click image for larger version.

Here’s a pic of the new Falafel sandwich, thanks to ThatMattLynn on twitter!

Falafel Sandwich at Beaches and Cream

Also, prep for a Kitchen Sink Sundae price increase by $2 — it now costs $28.99. Thanks to Brent Hannon for the info!

Ice Cream Menu at Beaches and Cream. Click image for larger version.

Artist Point

Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a few menu updates this Spring, according to DFB reader Elyssa Henry!

She says, “My husband and I just ate at Artist Point for the first time and it was AMAZING! Thanks for the previous reviews. They helped guide our choices. I also wanted to let you know that they just added two items to the menu and our server, Paul, told us tonight was their debut.”

Artist Point Cedar Plank Salmon

It sounds like the Wild Columbia River Cedar Plank Roasted King Salmon is back on the menu, and there’s also a seasonal dessert to sample: pistachio coffee cake and sea salted caramel vanilla panna cotta.

Kona Cafe

The Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe has a new dinner menu, which features a new cheese plate as an appetizer.

For entrees, a pan-seared chicken with [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Brunch

One of my favorite Disney Dining tips for saving money in Disney World is to exchange two meals for one — especially when you’re trading breakfast and lunch for an awesome brunch!

In the past, a main planning focus for many guests has been getting to the parks early so that they can grab fastpasses for favorite rides — or ride things before the crowds arrive.

But now that MyMagic+ is going to make reserving later-in-the-day ride times that much easier, you might be able to take a few days to sleep in — and save some dough at the same time!

So I’m adding to our Best Disney Restaurants Series and outlining a few of my personal favorite places to start the day off slow at Walt Disney World. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions, too!

Kouzzina at the Boardwalk Resort

UPDATE: Please note that Kouzzina by Cat Cora closed in September 2014; however, its replacement restaurant, Trattoria al Forno, offers many of the same items for breakfast

While many guests never to look beyond the standard theme-park fare, those who prefer to sleep in — or save money by getting brunch instead of breakfast AND lunch — should look no further than this!

One of the best brunch spots in Orlando is Kouzzina by Cat Cora, where everything from the robust menu to the warm decor was driven by celebrity Iron Chef Cat Cora.

Waffles topped with Mascarpone Cheese and Honey at Kouzzina

The restaurant, overlooking Crescent Lake at the Boardwalk Inn Resort, has a Greek-inspired menu and a welcoming atmosphere. My favorite breakfast in the World is the mascarpone-topped waffles. So good they should be illegal.

Or snap up the yummy skillet breakfast — or the stacked breakfast with poached eggs, kalamata olive toast, and artichoke spread — while you savor the sights and sounds of the open show kitchen.

Kouzzina Breakfast Skillet

Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Your African adventure begins the moment you arrive at this exotic resort and take in the splendor of the lobby. As you make your way to Boma, dark woods and thatched roofs mingle with the delicious smells to make you feel like you’ve entered an African marketplace for breakfast.

Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The buffet here is stocked with popular brunch options like omelets, pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage, carved ham, breakfast potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs; but they also serve up more multi-cultural dishes, including African pastries, quinoa porridge, and bobotie — a type of quiche.

Seriously, you could totally go for that cinnamon roll right now, couldn’t you??

Boma Breakfast Pastries

Be sure to try some of the specialty [Read more…]