Guest Author, AM Appleby recently visited the NEW Oasis Bar and Grill at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World. Aloha! Thanks for the review AM!!
I had the opportunity to check out the new Oasis Pool and Oasis Bar & Grill during a recent stay with my family at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This has been our favorite resort since our first stay in 2008. We’ve watched this area transform over the years, but have to say the latest metamorphosis is the best.
The Oasis officially opened March 17, 2016, and its hours are 11am to 11pm. Although the main theme pool at the Polynesian usually gets all the love, the newly renovated Oasis Pool will undoubtedly have its own loyal following.
Centrally located and nestled between the Rarotonga, Niue, Samoa, Hawaii, and Tokelau longhouses, the Oasis is aptly named. The Polynesian is well known for its lush tropical landscaping, and no landscaping expense was spared at Oasis, which has a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
The pool features a zero entry and maximum depth of 4.9 feet, and there are ample lounge chairs and umbrellas to ensure a relaxed afternoon. There are also three cabanas, each with a cushioned sofa and chairs, and are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis, but that is likely to change.
A large hot tub is secluded in the far right corner of the pool deck.
The feature that truly separates the Oasis from the Lava Pool is the Oasis Grill and Bar. The menu is large, varied, and sticks with the Polynesian theme.
The Grill opens at 11am and serves the full menu until 5pm. From 5pm until 8pm they serve a smaller selection of the menu. The kids’ menu offers a Maui Burger and Grilled Sustainable Fish Taco, along with standard kids’ fare.
There is a drink refill station and condiment bar located on the right side of the Grill.
After placing your order, you receive a numbered stand to place on your table. There are 10 covered tables that seat 4, with nice cushioned chairs, located in front of the bar and grill, but servers will deliver your meal anywhere on the pool deck.
I chatted with the friendly bartenders, Nathan and Susan, while I waited. One glance at the bar menu and I had to hear about the
Polynesian Bloody Mary. It’s made with Pau Maui handmade vodka (distilled from Hawaiian pineapples in Maui), Sriracha sauce, and pickle juice. Sold! It was vibrant and fresh with a nice kick from the Sriracha.
The table delivery is not only convenient, but the food is packed in takeaway boxes, including napkins and plastic ware. Our order was ready in 10 minutes. The Spinach and Watermelon Salad with honey-lime vinaigrette was light, the melon was crisp and perfectly ripe, and the sweet and citrusy dressing was a perfect accompaniment.
The luscious Seasonal Tropical Fruit Plate had pineapple, strawberries, star fruit, dragon fruit, banana, and papaya with a mango-mint yogurt dip, and was devoured by my fruit-loving 12-year-old son!
As sushi lovers, we were excited to try the Sashimi of Tuna, Salmon, and Hamachi. It was fresh and flavorful, what you expect when you order sushi at the Polynesian.
Before you begin to wonder why on earth we were eating such healthy fare on vacation, next up was the Teriyaki-Glazed Angus Chuck Burger, topped with Pork Belly and Grilled Pineapple. One bite and I completely understood why it was a favorite among cast members! The sweet pineapple with the salty pork atop a grilled burger was absolutely delicious! A must try!
Chef Carlos shared that gluten free buns are available for any of the sandwiches, both of the salads are also gluten free, and that new things are still being added to the menu.
We had the Malasadas for dessert, which are Portuguese doughnuts served with a passion fruit curd. (See? I was just getting the healthy stuff out of the way!) By themselves, they were lightly sweetened, and for someone who isn’t a fan of super sugary desserts, these were a hit for me. Even the dip was light and added just a bit of sweetness.
The next day we tried the Chili-Spiced Asian Sticky Wings and the Grilled Sustainable Fish Tacos. Both were a hit with my family.
The wings were sweet and crispy outside, topped with a Togarashi spice blend, and were tender and juicy inside. I think they were gone in 5 minutes, with lots of “ooos” and “umms” from my kids!
The fish tacos did not last long either. The fish was seasoned with a blend of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and topped with cabbage and a cilantro lime cream. They were very flavorful and I loved the combination of textures: soft tortilla, mildly spicy fish, and the crunch of the cabbage.
Back to the bar… The featured cocktail menu carries over from the Barefoot Pool Bar, located at the Lava Pool, with the addition of the (previously enjoyed!) Polynesian Bloody Mary.
Bartender Cris said the bar was inspired by the one at Disney’s Aulani Resort. The Lava Flow, Niue Rita, and Pago Pago Painkiller are specialty drinks created by bartender Steve, who has been at Barefoot for 16 years. I love the Lava Flow on a hot day. Its made with Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, Sammy Hagar’s rum made with Maui Gold sugar cane, and blended with Pina Colada and strawberry puree. Perfect for the person who can’t decide between a Strawberry Daiquiri and a Pina Colada.
The entire Oasis is gated, so unlike the Barefoot Pool Bar (which has a window outside of the gate to accommodate thirsty visitors), only guests staying at the Polynesian have access to the Oasis amenities.
However, with all of the wonderful drinking and dining options available at this resort, including Trader Sam’s, Tambu Lounge, and Kona Island, you’re not likely to be parched or hungry for long. And if you stop by Barefoot, tell Steve I said Aloha!
Share your thoughts on the new Oasis Bar & Grill!