Late-Night Snacks at Captain Cook’s

UPDATE: Dole Whip is no longer being served at Captain Cook’s, is no longer self-serve, and is no longer available 24 hours a day. You’ll now find Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai in Disney’s Polynesian Village in addition to Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom. You can also find Dole Whip available intermittently at Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments, and at Epcot during some special events. On the upside, you can also get a Dole Whip Float at Pineapple Lanai!

Here’s the scenario: Wishes just ended. Everyone’s streaming out of the parks. The line at the Plaza Ice Cream parlor is a million miles long. You’re starving.

I have the answer!

This gem of the Polynesian Resort, right across Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, has a surprising array of delicious options for munching — even later at night. Just grab the boat or the resort monorail from the Magic Kingdom over to the Polynesian and head to this little counter service spot located right next to the Volcano Pool and the Polynesian beach.

Once you get inside, head over to one of the fancy-schmancy little ordering screens to choose your poison (I have heard great things about the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 4th, 2010

Happy July 4th

Happy Independence Day!

The big news this week is: Only 90 days until the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival begins!! I’ve re-vamped the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page to be even more useful for your planning. (Breaking news, including the new info on the Grand Marnier Tasting event, is at the top of the page.)

Also, don’t forget that the new Taste of Africa Street Party is slated to begin this week in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. AND those Downtown Disney cooking classes are calling your name on July 10th!

Finally, stay tuned this week for more info about the WDW Foodie Fest meet-up on October 3rd, 2010!! Save the date!

Now, on to the round-up!

Food Finds With Robin showcases some delicious photography that captures some sweet treats in Disneyland.

Main Street Gazette takes us to Cafe Rix in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

A Taste of Disney whips up a batch of Le Cellier’s Beer and Cheese Soup in this cool video. He also gives you the recipe if you’d like to make it at home.

The OC Register reports that Disneyland Resort’s liquor license has been updated to allow special bar set-ups for this summer’s Glow Fest in Disney California Adventure.

Chip and Co takes a look at casual dining options in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Shawn checks out Surf Doggies in Typhoon Lagoon.

The Daily Disney shares the recipe for Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli from California Grill. Yum!

All Ears Net has a fun photo gallery of the Polynesian Resort’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Theme Park Insider has announced the winners for the 9th Annual Theme Park Insider Awards. Bistro de Paris and Chefs de France have taken top spots in the running! See Orlando Restaurant Guru Scott Joseph’s take here.

The Disney Parks Blog posted some great stories this week, from the wonderful (Coffee With Walt) to the helpful (Top 5 Restaurants Where You Get the Most for Your Money) to the delicious (Sweet Treats for Summer)!

photo source: burgers

Dole Whips, Dole Whips, Everywhere…

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been edited and updated to reflect the current availability of Dole Whip in Disney World and Disneyland. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that I have now (I think!) ordered Dole Whips or Dole Whip Floats at every possible Disney parks location, and I am now able to write the mother of all Dole Whip blog posts! ;-) For a primer on Dole Whips, check out this original Dole Whip post, and this post about where to get Dole Whips outside of Disney’s gates.

Now, let’s take a tour and see how Disney’s locations compare:

Aloha Isle: Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Even though the original Aloha Isle has switched locations with Sunshine Tree Terrace, it remains true that when in Disney World, this spot is synonymous with Dole Whips. There’s actually not a whole lot more you can get here, so be ready for some non-dairy cold stuff just about any way you slice it!

New Aloha Isle location

New Aloha Isle location

Aloha Isle Menu

Aloha Isle Menu

At this location, you can order a regular pineapple-flavored Dole Whip cup or a Dole Whip float (soft-serve and pineapple juice).  Or you can just cool off with a fresh, cold pineapple spear.

Disney World Aloha Isle Dole Whip Float

Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

Just across Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, beloved by many not only for the great food you can find at ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, but also for being the sole Disney World Resort serving Dole Whips!

Head over to Pineapple Lanai (you’ll find it outdoors just outside Captain Cook’s in the Great Ceremonial House — the former home to Dole Whip at the Polynesian) and you’ll discover a charming outdoor covered seating area where you can enjoy your Dole Whip with a view of Cinderella Castle in the distance.

Pineapple Lanai sign

Pineapple Lanai sign

Pineapple Lanai

Pineapple Lanai

Like Aloha Isle, Pineapple Lanai serves Dole Whip cups or floats, but also has the now-unique option of swirling with vanilla soft-serve.

Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl Dole Whip

Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl Dole Whip

Pineapple Lanai typically closes one hour after the Magic Kingdom fireworks spectacular, “Wishes.”

Annual Festivals: Walt Disney World’s Epcot

If you’re attending the Flower and Garden Festival in the spring or the Food and Wine Festival in the fall, chances are you may get to enjoy a Dole Whip at Epcot! 2013 marked the first year that Dole Whip debuted in any Disney World park other than Magic Kingdom, with the appearance of Dole Whip on the menu at the Pineapple Promenade Booth during the Flower and Garden Festival.

Pineapple Promenade Booth

Pineapple Promenade Booth

Big news? Yes. Bigger news? You could also get your Dole Whip spiked with Siesta Key Spice Rum.

Dole Whip with Spiced Rum at the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Dole Whip with Spiced Rum at the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Pineapple soft-serve treats have continued to part of the subsequent Flower and Garden Festivals (2014 brought an option for Coconut Rum, while 2015 served up Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut-flavored Rum).

Not to be outdone ;), the Epcot Food and Wine Festival also featured Dole Whip beginning in the fall of 2013 at the Refreshment Port. However, rather than Pineapple it was Orange-flavored Dole Whip topped with Crème de Cacao White (or served on its own) for that first year.

Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White

Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White

In 2014, it was the standby Pineapple (also topped with Crème de Cacao White). 2015 features the Bacardí® Coconut Rum as the enhancement.

Of course, part of the fun of the Festivals as that things change each year. We’ll see what the future holds for Dole Whip at the Epcot Festivals!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments: Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

In May of 2014, Dole Whip suddenly appeared in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Tamu Tamu Refreshments. Under the name “Pineapple Whip soft-serve” (but still provided by Dole), the same refreshing pineapple treat is served in a cup, or served with Dark or Coconut Rum.

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

The menu at Tamu Tamu received a makeover in May of 2015…

Tamu Tamu menu

Tamu Tamu menu

… but Pineapple Whip Soft-serve survived the changes!

Tiki Juice Bar, Hosted By Dole: Disneyland’s Adventureland

In Disneyland, the Tiki Juice Bar and all things Dole Whip are lovingly woven into the original Enchanted Tiki Room attraction (also presented by Dole, incidentally) queue area, which happens to consist of a really cool “pre-show,” which I won’t spoil for you.

Tiki Juice Bar in Disneyland — Menu

The menu here is simpler than those in Disney World — pineapple spear, Dole Whip, Dole Whip Float, Pineapple Juice, Fruit Bowl. No swirls or rum or anything here. Just pineapple as far as the eye can see. Which is OK with me, as I’m a pure pineapple sort of person when it comes to my Dole Whips. And I’m going to give you two images of the Dole Whip Float I ordered, both because it’s so cool (um…umbrella and cherry?!??!?! Hello, Disney World, are you watching?!?!), and because the second will give you a better view of the Tiki Juice Bar in the background.

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Disneyland Dole Whip With Tiki Juice Bar in Background

And The Verdict Is…

They all taste the same. Well, of course they do! They all come from a Dole Whip Mix that Disney (and you!) can get from a place called Unified Enterprises Corp. I know, it’s not-so-magical, but at least it tastes good!

But, I will say that Disneyland 100% wins out on presentation. The addition of a little umbrella and a cherry wins big, monster points in my book. I am a big fan of both little umbrellas AND cherries.

Where’s your favorite place to get a Dole Whip or a Dole Whip Float? Let us know your experiences in the comments section of this blog, or visit us on facebook or twitter to voice your opinion on the mighty Dole Whip!

Dinner at ‘Ohana

Today, my friends, we’re headed to Disney World’s Polynesian Resort to visit one of my favorite places — and yours — ‘Ohana. Those of you versed in Lilo and Stitch, or those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the beautiful islands of Hawai’i, know that “‘Ohana” means “Family,” and at this restaurant, they drive the point home.

Food is served family style, everyone in the restaurant — including you — are “cousins,” and the Hawaiian entertainment is aimed at bringing everyone together to participate in common activities. It’s a restaurant like none other in the Disney realm, and its high points are what keeps ‘Ohana a tough reservation to get.

You’re greeted at ‘Ohana by “cousins” at the podium who take your name, give you a buzzer, and send you out into the Polynesian Resort to explore. Trust me, this is one of those rare restaurants where you hope you have 15-20 minutes to wait until you’re seated — there’s so much to do! Here are my favorite diversions while waiting for my buzzer to go off at ‘Ohana:

  • Have a Drink: Grab yourself a giant wicker chair in the Tambu Lounge just past the ‘Ohana podium. Knowledgeable bartenders and friendly servers will cater to your whims as you relax and wait for your table. (One of my favorites is the Lapu Lapu…a drink served IN a pineapple!)
  • Lapu Lapu

  • Listen to the Islands: ‘Ohana often provides a very talented [Read more…]

Disney + Food + Technology = :-D

Disney’s been sampling how technology can enhance theme park dining for years. One of my earliest memories is stopping at the Epcot WorldKey under the golf ball to make dinner reservations via the talking head on the screen.

Today, Disney’s continuing to make progress in the information age. The recently launched online Advanced Dining Reservations system and the following tech-y installments are good examples.

Computerized Ordering
You’ll recall a previous post on the Food Blog about the Contemporary Resort Contempo Cafe’s new computerized ordering system. It resembles the made-to-order (“MTO”) ordering system from my favorite gas station chain, Sheetz, and I thought it was fantastic when I got the chance to use it for the first time in February.

As it turns out, Disney’s been adding these ordering systems in several spots throughout the parks and resorts. I’ve got some photos from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in the Magic Kingdom and Captain Cook’s quick service restaurant in the Polynesian Resort, as well as the Contempo Cafe photos.

Contempo Cafe Ordering System Instructions

Contempo Cafe Ordering System Instructions

Contempo Cafe Ordering Computer Stations

Contempo Cafe Ordering Computer Stations

Contempo Cafe Ordering Screen

Contempo Cafe Ordering Screen

Computers for Ordering at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Computers for Ordering at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Computer Order Screen at Captain Cooks

Computer Order Screen at Captain Cooks

Captain Cooks Order Screen

Captain Cooks Order Screen

Online Ordering
One tech advancement I’m very excited about is Wolfgang Puck Express’ online ordering system. While this isn’t a “Disney innovation,” it is a way to take advantage of technology when dining at Downtown Disney.

If you’re planning on heading to Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, simply visit their online ordering website in advance. No need to log in, just click on “browse menu” and set a date, then make your choices — even substitutions — online.

Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney

Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney

Online Ordering advertisement at Wolfgang Puck Express

Online Ordering advertisement at Wolfgang Puck Express

Even if you’re headed to Disney World in a few days, you can pre-order what you’d like for lunch when you arrive and have it waiting for you at Downtown Disney as soon as you land at MCO. Brilliant.

Where have you seen technology at work?
If you’ve experienced online or computerized ordering, or have a comment about another dining technology at work, I’d love to hear your story! Contact me via the email form button above!

Food Post Weekly Round-Up: October 25, 2009

backlot noticeA quick reminder: As of Tuesday, October 27, 2009, Disney Advanced Dining Reservations have been moved back to 180 days ahead of arrival date! So those of you headed to Disney during the next six months, plan to be on that phone or online on Tuesday :)

On to the round-up, I’m amazed every week by the number of fun Disney food posts there are around the web. I’m so lucky to have found each and every one of these blogs and videos, and I hope you’ll benefit from (and bookmark!) these great sites. Lots of great information here this week… Away we go!

One of my favorite baking blogs, Cookie Madness, headed to Disney World a couple of weeks ago and returned with a fantastic trip report complete with photos from Citricos and Yachtsman Steakhouse. Also, be sure to check out her post about the S’mores Fudge from the Main Street Confectionery!

Everything Walt Disney World has an information-packed review of where to go to get groceries around Disney World, including a great FAQ about grocery delivery!

Okay, this one is from September, but I just found it and had to include (I LOVE this blog). So, Watch Me Eat spends some time at the Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe quick-service spot in Animal Kingdom. I love that they serve your food in take-out containers here.

The Disney Blog announces that Stone Crab Season has begun at Fulton’s! There’s even a special menu…

If you love chocolate cake, you’ll love this! The Mouse For Less has a fun article where 12-year-old chocolate cake critic, Max, rates five different Disney World chocolate cakes on a scale of one to ten!

Have $375 to burn on a great New Year’s Eve event? Disney Parks Blog announces the Victoria and Albert’s New Year’s Eve experience, beginning this year. Sounds divine…

The Orange County Register’s Around Disney Blog reports that Hook’s Pointe in the Disneyland Hotel has re-branded to become the only seafood-focused dining spot in Disneyland. The blog also posts a great round-up of where to find halloween treats and desserts in Disneyland!

Domestic Debacle posts photos and a review of the Polynesian Resort Spirit of Aloha Luau show.

Mommy Musings has a superb bunch of Party for the Senses Photos from the week celebrating “Classical Cuisine.”

In the Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney Blog (this is a new blog that’s in beta for the OS — very cool), Heather McPherson shares the recipe for Citricos’ Onion Tart.

etckt has a fun description of Hoop Dee Doo Revue, accompanied by a list-o-facts about the dinner show.

Finally, a couple of fun videos for you this week!

Chef Brian Piasecki, currently presiding over the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill, demonstrates the recipe for Le Cellier‘s Cheddar Cheese Soup in this cool video!

And Cat Cora, who’s new signature restaurant Kouzzina just opened in September, joins the muppets to promote Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion!

Top Drink Suggestions From Readers

Grey Goose Citron Slush and Pomegranate Kir -- Photo (c) Kelly Tressler

Grey Goose Citron Slush and Pomegranate Kir — Photo (c) Kelly Tressler

A giant THANK YOU to everyone who made a suggestion for my next favorite drink at Disney World!

As you know, my beloved Leisure Suit has been retired, and I’ve long needed a replacement so that I can stop bugging bartenders to flip through their rolodexes.

Here are the suggestions I received, and, seeing as that Grey Goose Citron Slush was suggested 3 times, I think that’s the most serious contender!

Thank you again, and be sure to check out what everyone else recommended below (If anyone has any photos of these drinks, please let me know — I’d love to post them on the blog!):

Suggestions from Blog Comments:
Cotton-tini, T-Rex in Downtown Disney: A fruity martini poured into a glass filled with cotton candy
Octopus Juice, Coral Reef in Epcot: A Pina Colada fusion with Chambord
Grand Marnier Orange Slush, France Kiosk, World Showcase: Grand Marnier and Orange Fruit Smoothie frozen Drink Mix (Florida Natural Flavours)
Grey Goose Citron Slush, France Kiosk, World Showcase: Grey Goose Citron Vodka and Polynesian Pleasure Lemon Frozen Drink Mix (Florida Natural Flavours)
Backscratcher, Polynesian Resort: Meyer’s Rum, Light Rum, POG (passion fruit, orange, guava) Juice, Jack Daniels
Mai Tai, Polynesian Resort: Myers Dark Rum, Orange juice, Pineapple juice, Sour Mix, Lime juice, Orgeat syrup
Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea, 50’s Prime Time Cafe: Grey Goose Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Bacardi Rum, Patrón Citrónge Liqueur, Sweet-and-Sour, Coke
Dad’s Electric Lemonade, 50’s Prime Time Cafe: Bacardi rum, Skyy vodka, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour mix, Sprite
Strawberry Margarita, Mexico Kiosk, World Showcase
Orange Creamsicle, Contemporary Resort: Couldn’t find the actual DISNEY recipe, but others I found online included Vodka/Orange Vodka, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, and Cream or Ice Cream
Territory-tini, Territory Lounge, Wilderness Lodge: Captain Morgan, Grand Mariner, Sour mix, Splash of OJ, shake with ice


Top Disney Drink Suggestions



Polynesian Signature Drinks

Polynesian Signature Drinks

Suggestions from Twitter:
Antioxidant Cocktail, various locations serve this, including The Wave: Finlandia Wild Berries Vodka, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, Bossa Nova Açai Juice with Agave, Aloe Juice, Lychee, Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
PeachTree Punch, Hollywood Brown Derby: Skyy Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange Juice, Sprite, splash of Grenadine
Sunken Treasure, various locations–mostly Polynesian Resort and pool bars: Malibu Coconut Rum, Midori, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Sprite, Blue Curacao
Backscratcher, Polynesian Resort: Meyer’s Rum, Light Rum, POG (passion fruit, orange, guava) Juice, Jack Daniels
St. Germain Cocktail, Les Chefs de France, World Showcase: champagne or dry white wine, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, sparkling water or club soda

Suggestions from Facebook:
Takara Plum Wine, Japan Pavilion, World Showcase
Pomegranate Kir, France Kiosk, World Showcase: sparkling wine with a shot of pomegranate liqueur
Grey Goose Citron Slush (x2), France Kiosk, World Showcase: Grey Goose Citron Vodka and Polynesian Pleasure Lemon Frozen Drink Mix (Florida Natural Flavours)
Grand Marnier Orange Slush, France Kiosk, World Showcase: Grand Marnier and Orange Fruit Smoothie frozen Drink Mix (Florida Natural Flavours)
Chocolate Mintini, Rix Lounge, Coronado Springs Resort: No recipe found

Thanks again, everyone! I’m looking forward to stumbling around Disney World for most of my trip thanks to you folks! ;-)

Disney World Rivalry: ‘Ohana Potatoes vs. Noodles

'Ohana Entry One thing that’s constant about Disney World is that it’s always changing, and that goes for restaurants as well. One in particular that can’t ever seem to maintain a dinner menu is the Polynesian Resort’s ‘Ohana. Over the many years I’ve been frequenting the World, ‘Ohana’s menu has been re-vamped at least four times.

I was there for the lazy susan with the fried rice. I was there for the pineapple with the caramel. I was there when they had the shrimp, and then they didn’t have the shrimp, and then they had the shrimp as an appetizer, and then they had the shrimp on the skewers again. I was there when the sausage came and went and came again, and when the chicken turned into turkey. Usually I just go with the flow. As long as I can get unlimited meat, I’m good to go.

But one of the recent changes was jarring. Nay…it was painful.

The loss of the scalloped potatoes.

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

RIP Scalloped Potatoes (photo courtesy Brett Young)

In around 2005 (correct me if I’m wrong), a new sheriff (i.e. chef) came into town (i.e. ‘Ohana) and changed up the whole service of the restaurant. The lazy susan, on which appetizers had been served family style, was replaced with white ceramic bowls of food. The pineapple bread briefly went AWOL. There were suddenly fried wonton chips instead of dumplings. The pineapple and caramel was gone. It was a massacre.

But then the potatoes came.

It was as though the heavens had opened. I was a huge fan of scalloped potatoes — always had been — and these were incredible. ‘Ohana suddenly gained a permanent spot on my Priority Seating Arrangement list. We started requesting that they just bring two dishes of potatoes at the beginning of the meal, because we knew we’d polish them off.

So you can imagine our displeasure when, just about a year later, we arrived to find this instead of our beloved potatoes:

'Ohana Noodles

'Ohana Noodles

Inquiring as to the absence of our potatoes, our server made it very clear that 1.) She was tired of answering questions about the potatoes, and 2.) The reason was because the potatoes had trans fats, and the NON-trans-fats version the chef had tried was not as well liked as the original.

Now, she didn’t explicitly state that the disappearance of the potatoes was New York City’s fault, but we all know it is. Bloomberg and his team are clearly to blame for this abomination. Sigh.*

So, folks, I know that many of you actually prefer the noodles to the potatoes. And I, too, agree that they’re fine, and that we’ve been guilty of eating our fair share of the healthier dish. But every once in a while I miss that scrumptious, buttery (i.e. lard-y) bowl of starch and onions. Yes. Yes I do.

'Ohana Tiki

Let me know what you think about ‘Ohana’s changes — and about other dishes you miss at Disney World — by sending me a message or commenting on this blog post.

*Of course, in reality, I have no idea if this had anything to do with the decision. Or if the potatoes actually had trans fats. But it all made perfect sense at the time.

Potatoes photo courtesy @MrBrettYoung

Kona Cafe’s Tonga Toast

Guest writer James Chapman from just returned from a Disney World trip and reviewed the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe and its famous Tonga Toast. Thanks, James!

Kona Cafe Sign

The Kona Cafe is an easily overlooked oasis that has more than one special treat for a hungry family; but one especially wonderful treat is Tonga Toast, a cinnamon and banana-infused slab of toast!

Tonga Toast

Tonga Toast

A thick, sweet strawberry compote makes that first bite all the more inviting (and filling). For those on a diet (forget about it), this meal can easily feed two people, and for those who order a more traditional breakfast of eggs, grits, and wheat toast, the tonga toast may be shared as a treat for the whole family.

Kona Cafe offers a traditional American fare for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and provides a pleasant, Polynesian decor. Even with the larger table service restaurant, ‘Ohana, directly next door, the Kona Cafe menu and atmosphere offers an excellent experience, and I would highly recommend this restaurant to everyone visiting Walt Disney World!


Greetings from your favorite alien!

Greetings from your favorite alien!