Review: Breakfast at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

You’re in for a real treat today as we take in breakfast at one of my favorite spots, Kona Cafe!

You’ll find Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The hotel continues to undergo vast renovations, but we’re so happy to report that Kona Cafe seems to be sticking around!

Meals at this spot are pretty consistently good. Lunch at Kona can offer a welcome respite from Magic Kingdom. And dinner is a hidden gem — many swear by Kona’s Steak. But breakfast offers some serious cult favorites for Disney veterans.

Atmosphere

Kona Cafe is located off of the center atrium at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It’s conveniently situated for guests of both the Polynesian, and, well, anywhere! Just steps away from the Monorail, it’s a quick ride from both the Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center.

Disney Food Blog Kona-Sign-

Entrance to Kona Cafe

You may be tempted to dismiss Kona without much thought. After all, its open atmosphere makes it seem like any plain jane hotel restaurant. And I agree — it does look like a Hilton straight out of the mid-90s.

The general feel of the space is supposed to be tropical. Bold colors abound on walls and carpet, while lighter-stained wood and wrought iron round out the space.

DFB Kona-dining-room

Kona Cafe Atmosphere and Seating

Because it’s located off of the atrium, Imagineers have made an effort to give it sort of a garden feel. As a result, some of the lights, like these large leaf-shaped glass fixtures, mimic nature patterns.

more lights Kona Cafe

Lighting Fixtures

One of my favorite decorative features are the ceiling fans that run the length of the dining room.

lights Kona Cafe

These Super Cool Ceiling Fans Keep the Air Moving Nicely

The carpet is very…colorful. Big, splashy exotic blooms are scattered across it. Look closely, and you may just find a familiar shape among the flowers. :-)

Hidden-Mickey-in-Carpet Kona Cafe

Hidden Mickey, Hidden Very Well Indeed

Seating is a combination of round and rectangular tables. If you’re with your whole fam, this is a nice place to settle in!

Seating

Seating

The mixed seating with banquettes on one side and chairs on the other are a good compromise.

Seating Area

Booth Seating

A lot of times, we make a big deal about [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Steak Gallery

It’s time for another fun addition to our Disney Food Galleries!

disney world steak gallery

We just love to share photos of all of our favorite foods — and collect them into galleries for easy viewing! Whether your craving is for popcorn, ice cream, or a cupcake, there’s a gallery for you!

And today, we’re introducing a brand new gallery for all of you red meat lovers out there! Yep, we’ve gathered a whole buncha steaks from around Disney World to help you make your choices on your next visit.

Remember, some of these may drop off menus from time to time or have side dishes or preparation changed, but hopefully this will give you a good overview of what’s available! Here we go!

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club is one of my top picks when it comes to steak at Walt Disney World. After all, they decorate with meat — the first thing you pass en route to your seat is the Steak Trimming Room!

Chefs here pride themselves not only on the very best cuts of meat, but appetizers, side dishes, and desserts inspired by market fresh ingredients. Yachtsman combines the very best of seasonal flavors with the traditional steak experience.

My absolute favorite pick at Yachtsman is the 16-ounce Boneless Ribeye. It is always a melt-in-your-mouth choice.

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

Ribeye with Herb Fries at Yachtsman Steakhouse

But we are also big fans of the 12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak, served here with a rich potato gratin stack.

Strip Steak

12-ounce Prime New York Strip Steak

Shula’s

Shula’s at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin is the kind of place that you think of when you envision an upscale steakhouse. As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you check out the menu — printed on a football! — you’ll settle into the refined elegance of your surroundings.

When I have the chance to dine here, I almost always go for my favorite, the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye (are you sensing a theme?). The Bone-in Steak has been excellent on every visit. The flavor is unbelievable!

Cowboy Ribeye

22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye

Looking for a lighter approach to soothe your carnivore cravings? We’ve also enjoyed the Steak Mary Anne. Delicate by steakhouse standards, the 5-ounce medallions are served with a simple demi glace in this case. It’s the perfect plate for the guest who prefers all the flavor of prime, aged beef in a smaller serving.

Steak Mary Anne

Steak Mary Anne

Flying Fish

If you’re a landlubber like me, then finding a great steak at a restaurant known for fabulous seafood is a dream come true. But it’s not impossible if you’re dining at Flying Fish Cafe.

When I visit, I always order the Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip. The creamy Sauce Foyot is such a great accent — and they’re never chintzy with it!

Char Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Char-Crusted Black Angus New York Strip

Can’t decide between surf and turf? You don’t have to! Try the two house specialities side by side with the Entree Duo, which features the Char-Crusted Angus New York Strip Steak and the restaurant’s most famous fish dish, the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper.

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Entree Duo of Red Snapper and Strip Steak

Jiko

Jiko offers some of the most interesting food at Walt Disney World.

And while I enjoy the fusion of African, Indian, and Meditteranean flavors when it comes to appetizers and desserts, I rarely deviate from my favorite entree: the Oak-Grilled Filet.

Oak Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

Oak-Grilled Filet with Mac and Cheese

And even when their delicious Mac and Cheese isn’t featured as the dish’s side, you can usually score it as a special request (and I totally recommend that you do). :-)

Liberty Inn

In the mood for steak with no Advance Dining Reservation? Then head to Epcot’s Liberty Inn. Their New York Strip Steak, served with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli, is surprisingly good.

New York Strip Steak Meal

New York Strip Steak Meal

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Even though most of my favorite steaks at Disney World are featured at signature restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good option at moderately priced restaurants, too, like Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Rainforest Cafe in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It was going to be an early start recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so we decided to fuel up for the day at Rainforest Cafe! I’d never been there for breakfast, but had heard good things…

Rainforest Cafe is one of two table service restaurants that offer breakfast at Animal Kingdom. Tusker House is the other one, so if you aren’t looking for a character meal, this might be just the spot for you.

We were meeting friends for the day at the park, and we thought getting our day started over a big morning meal seemed like a good idea! So let’s head there and check it out.

Atmosphere

We’ve told you about lunch before at Rainforest Cafe. For that meal, we actually visited the location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District. My experience with Rainforest Cafe is that they are remarkably similar once you get inside, so if you’ll only be visiting the Downtown Disney locations in either Disney World or Disneyland, much of what you see here will apply.

Entrance

But there are a couple of differences between the two Disney World locations. The Downtown Disney restaurant recently opened the Lava Lounge, an outdoor drinking and dining spot that offers great waterside (and volcano!) views.

But if you’re looking for breakfast, you’ll want to hit the Animal Kingdom location, since the morning meal isn’t served at the DTD location. (By the way, breakfast is also available at the Disneyland Rainforest Cafe, located in Downtown Disney District.)

But back now to Animal Kingdom! The entrance to Rainforest is actually outside of the park’s main gate, so you don’t need a park ticket to dine here. However, you will still pay for parking if you’re not a resort guest.

There’s a photo op with the restaurant’s mascot, Cha! Cha! the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, right at the front. Giant, red-eyed tree frogs scare me a bit, but the kiddos seem to love him!

Frog at the Entrance

A menu posted at the entrance is handy if you’re looking to score a walk up table, which is totally possible.

Menu at the Entrance

But be forewarned: the restaurant has a policy of [Read more…]

Review: Kona Cafe Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

There are restaurants that are hidden gems at Walt Disney World, and there are others that are definitely becoming known as must-do eats. Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort falls firmly into the “must do” list these days. And when it comes to breakfast, this place is, like, the holy grail of Disney World! There are at least four things on the menu that you have to try. ;-)

If you plan to dine at Kona for lunch, be sure to check out our lunch review. But I knew I had to let you in on some great breakfast-y secrets this time…

Atmosphere

We’ve said it before: Kona looks kind of boring. It’s true, at first glance this place looks like any old hotel eatery offering high-priced, mediocre food. But that’s just Kona being a chameleon so that only the true Disney insiders (like you and me) know how good it is.

Kona Cafe

The atmosphere strives to be Hawaiian-y with Polynesian-esque wall hangings, lighting fixtures, and wrought-iron detail. And with the Poly’s atrium just outside the restaurant, it can feel like you’re dining in a lush, air-conditioned Polynesian garden. (Well…a loud air-conditioned Polynesian garden.)

Great Light Fixture

Bright colors and light wood surround you in the open space, and I like that you can peek in on what the Chefs are creating in the semi-open kitchen. When we’re here, they’re usually working on dessert!

Kona Cafe Dining Room

And speaking of bright colors, be sure to look down at the beautiful, tropical-inspired carpet! You just might find a Hidden Mickey if you look closely. :-)

Hidden Mickey in Carpet

Seating includes both booths and tables. As always, I love the round tables, which give you [Read more…]