Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is almost synonymous with Disney World itself. As one of the original two hotels on property, this resort has stood the test of time and to this day remains one of the most popular resort hotels, despite the plethora of accommodations for guests to choose from.
One of the reasons so many people flock to the Poly is the FOOD! From quick-service snacks to a dinner show and knock-your-socks-off drinks the Polynesian offers some of the best-themed dining experiences at any Walt Disney World hotel.
There are SO MANY great options at the Poly so come along as we show you some of our FAVORITE food options around this tropical hideaway (you lucky people, you!).
The Polynesian has multiple sit-down restaurants, options for quick meals around the resort, unique snacks, and many great spots to grab a tasty drink. Let’s say “aloha” first to Pineapple Lanai!
This walk-up spot just outside the back doors to the Grand Ceremonial House is your home sweet home for all things Dole Whip! If you’ve never tried Disney’s popular pineapple dairy-free soft-serve treat (or any of the other flavors it now comes in!) this is a great spot to do it!
While this is a great place to grab Classic Pineapple flavor Dole Whip, we’re going to talk about all the specialty options you can get here! They change their offerings up frequently, so be sure to see what’s on tap the next time you swing by.
This spot has seen many unique flavor options and specialty (and sometimes VERY limited time) cones like the gorgeous Heart of Te Fiti Cone…
…and the adorable Yoda Cone (do you think we’ll get a Baby Yoda Cone soon?).
They’re also known to serve up some specialty Dole Whip floats, like this GORGEOUS Blue Hawaiian Float…
…and the knock-your-socks-off recent Polynesian Lava You Float, served with POG Juice, passion fruit syrup, and POPPING CANDY!
But perhaps our FAVORITE Pineapple Lanai menu staple is the ability to get your Dole Whip with a Rum Floater! We’ve also spotted specialty rum floaters, like Coruba Coconut Rum.
Like we said, the flavors and specials change OFTEN here, so it’s always worth slowing down as you walk by to see what’s on the menu!
Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace
Let’s swing over to pay a visit to our favorite “Head Salesman’s” outdoor watering hole in Disney World — Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace. Yep, that sneaky resident of the Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom opened a hoppin’ bar steps away at the Poly!
This is the outside patio portion of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Grog Grotto is awesome (as we’ll mention more in a sec!) but SMALL, so if you don’t mind sitting outside, this can be a great way to get the same food and drinks without the wait (or do like we do and have a drink here while you wait for your turn to go into the Grog Grotto!).
If Dole Whip is what you’re after (yep, it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE! We ain’t complainin’!), the Spikey Pineapple may be just the ticket!
This drink is what happens when you throw pineapple Dole Whip in a blender with lots and lots of rum — specifically, Barbancourt Pango Rum! This drink USED to be exclusive to the Tiki Terrace but now you can grab one inside the Grog Grotto as well!
The Tiki Terrace is also great if you want a drink for while you stroll around the Poly. Just tell your server you’d like your drinks to go and they’ll be happy to prepare them in “go cups” for ya! Just brace yourself for other guests stopping to ask, “WHERE did you get that?!”
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Ohh the love letters we could write to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. This is a VERY popular spot and seating is VERY limited, so be sure to arrive early if you want to grab a spot!
Keep in mind that when the host lets you in, you WON’T be seated by them. You’ll basically be set loose to find seats on your own and, sometimes, the only free spots may be in totally different parts of the bar! When this has happened to us, we’ll usually see if anyone would mind swapping seats with us or seize the opportunity to make a few new friends! 😉
The newer counterpart to Disneyland’s iconic Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar offers up a similar menu of STRONG tiki drinks and a few small bites.
Many drinks are served in collectible souvenir tiki mugs like the HippopotoMai-Tai (it’s made with TWO SHOTS OF RUM!). You can always skip buying the pricey glasses if you just want the drink, so tell your “skipper.”
The hallmark of this bar is that ordering certain drinks triggers SPECIAL things happening around the bar. It’s REALLY fun to watch, especially if you’ve never been before!
What do we mean? Order a Krakatoa Punch and see what happens! 😉
Just know that guest participation is HEAVILY encouraged here, too, so don’t be surprised to hear the patrons chanting A LOT throughout your time here.
This is one of our FAVORITE spots in Disney World and is a fantastically fun way to spend an hour or two sipping tiki drinks!
Back out in the sunshine, if you’re looking for more adult beverages (if you haven’t picked up on that by now, the Polynesian is a GREAT place to get your drink on, if that’s your thing!), you can head on over to The Barefoot Pool Bar, near the Poly’s Volcano Pool…
…or the Oasis Bar and Grill, at the Polynesian’s Quieter Oasis Pool.
We’re big fans of the Dole Whip Lime Margarita (we’re sensing a trend here…hmm!). You can grab this at both pool bars at the hotel!
It’s just what it sounds like — Lime Dole Whip blended with tequila! And it’s just as awesome as it sounds.
Still looking to whet your whistle even MORE? Head inside the Great Ceremonial House and up the stairs to Tambu Lounge.
Come for the drinks, stay for the SECRET ‘Ohana food! If you’re looking to grab a bite here, note that food is only served AFTER 4PM, and the menu has changed a good bit over the years.
For instance, we can no longer get our beloved Pulled Pork Nachos here (but we’ll tell ya where to find them in a sec!).
Our FAVORITE food here is actually NOT listed on the menu, but those who are in the know can score it. Since Tambu Lounge connects to the wildly popular sit-down restaurant, ‘Ohana, you can get a good number of items from their SECRET menu at Tambu if you ask!
If you see folks guzzling down drinks out of full-sized pineapples — that would be a Lapu Lapu, and Tambu is the easiest spot to grab one!
This ultimate trip to paradise is a mixture of Plantation Original Dark Rum and Tropical Fruit Juices served in a fresh pineapple topped with Gosling’s 151 Rum!
If you’re looking for a quick bite, the Polynesian has a knockout 24-hour option: Capt. Cook’s.
While this is a good spot to grab your traditional hamburgers and chicken nuggs, we’re gonna chat about the Polynesian section of their menu.
You can get those beautiful Pulled Pork Nachos we told you about here…and they are AWESOME. You’ll get a massive pile of freshly fried potato chips AND fried wontons covered in pulled pork, pineapple salsa, spicy mayo, cheese, and pico de gallo. Seriously, we’ve gone out of our way to come to Capt. Cook’s JUST for these nachos!
A DFB favorite food item at Capt. Cook’s are the Pan Asian Noodles! You have your choice of ordering them with chicken, shrimp, or tofu!
Another must-have is the Thai-Coconut Meatballs! These have gone through a couple of changes over the years, but we’re obsessed with this current version, served over rice.
If you’re in the mood for Tonga Toast, one of the most infamous Disney World breakfast options this side of a Mickey Waffle, Capt. Cook’s is where you’ll find it WITHOUT a reservation!
Tonga Toast is thick, soft bread stuffed with bananas and fried crispy brown before it’s rolled in cinnamon sugar. Basically heaven on a plate.
This unassuming breakfast is CRAZY good AND filling and will run you $9.29 served with a side of bacon or sausage and syrup.
If you don’t mind paying almost DOUBLE, you can also get Tonga Toast over at the table service restaurant Kona Cafe just upstairs inside the Grand Ceremonial House but there, it’s served with a warm strawberry sauce and will run you $16.00 (more on that in a moment…).
If you’ve never experienced Tonga Toast, we highly recommend giving this a go. It’s surprisingly addictive!
Next up is the Kona Island Coffee & Sushi Bar! Don’t worry, you won’t be eating your sushi and sipping on coffee at the same time. Kona Island serves up fresh coffee and pastries in the morning, and switches to a sushi bar in the evening! Super weird…or SUPER BRILLIANT?!? You decide.
Kona Island is where we’ve spotted some SPECTACULAR specialty food and drink items over the years. They have a good-sized bakery case with all sorts of goodies that change up frequently, like the chocolate-dipped BACON we grabbed not too long ago (that’s right. Now you know! You’re welcome).
We also fell in love with the Frozen POG Slushy in the fall, which is a mixture of frozen POG Juice with Moncalvina Moscato and Pineapple Soda.
If you’ve never sipped the sweet nectar that is POG Juice, it goes by MANY different names around Disney World, but it’s a blend of passion fruit, orange, and guava juice. And it’s amazing. This drink is available all day, including the MORNING HOURS!
Think of it as a frozen tropical mimosa!
Let’s move on now to the table service locations at the Polynesian! If you’re in the mood for a more casual sit down meal, Kona Cafe (which is, not too surprisingly, RIGHT next to Kona Island!) may be more up your alley.
You can score fresh-made sushi here (or grab some to-go from neighboring Kona Island!).
This spot turns out some pretty tasty island-themed fare. We especially love their unique macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast and the absolutely giant Duck Fried Rice with Leg Confit for dinner.
Kona Cafe has a diverse menu ranging from Tuna Niçoise to ramen, cheeseburgers to Poke, and more. There’s something for everyone AND it’s usually an easy spot to get a last-minute reservation.
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
For the ultimate full dinner experience, the Polynesian brings you the sights, sounds, and flavors of the tropics with the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.
This show features traditional dancers, drummers, and fire-knife performers (natch). It typically offers 2 seatings each evening Tuesday-Saturdays.
You’re served an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal of pulled pork, ribs, roasted chicken, and seasonal veggies!
The cherry on top (pun intended) is the desserts. You can’t go wrong with their Toasted Coconut Pineapple Cake OR their Mocha Chocolate Cake!
This show requires pre-payment in advance and the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted here. The seating is broken up into categories, much like Hoop Dee Doo Revue over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.
Category 1 offers the best, center stage views and costs $79 per adult and $47 for kids after tax and tip. Category 2 or 3 can mean sitting closer to the sides of the stage or on an upper level. Category 2 costs $74 for adults and $44 for kids, and Category 3 costs $67 for adults and $39 for kids.
While the food here isn’t winning any awards, the show is kinda fun if you haven’t seen it before. That said, it’s LONG…so think twice if you have really little ones. Also, the show is outside, so if it’s super cold out, it may be canceled.
Finally, there’s ‘Ohana. The Polynesian’s most well-known restaurant is one hard-to-get reservation! Be ready to book this one 180 days ahead of time when your dining reservation window opens up!
‘Ohana offers one of Walt Disney World’s best character breakfasts, featuring Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto. Mickey’s wearing his little vacation outfit — TOO cute and great for vacation pics with the family!
This is currently the ONLY place on property where you can meet Lilo, so take advantage of that if you have some die-hard Lilo and Stitch fans in your party.
For breakfast, you’re served a family-style skillet and it includes scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, Hawaiian sausages, Hawaiian-style ham topped with pineapple, Mickey Waffles, biscuits, and a variety of fresh fruits and breads. It’s a good mixture of your standard American breakfast with a slight Hawaiian twist!
You can also get those adorable Stich waffles!
As far as the characters go, this is a pretty interactive experience for the kiddos. They do a little parade processional with instruments throughout the morning that’s always fun to watch (hey, if you don’t catch dinner and a show with Spirit of Aloha, perhaps breakfast and a show at ‘Ohana will do!?).
Ohana’s dinner is just as good as its breakfast (if not BETTER!), offering all-you-care-to-enjoy skewers of sweet and sour chicken, oak-grilled shrimp, steak, potstickers, stir-fried vegetables, lo mein noodles, chicken wings, pineapple bread, and salad.
Note that the characters do NOT appear for dinner, so your evening trip to ‘Ohana will be Mickey-less. You can make up for it by eating your weight in that iconic Bread Pudding.
Are you a guest who’s staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? Did you try grabbing that dinner reservation at ‘Ohana but you were not successful? Never fear!
Did you know you can STILL order the FULL dinner from ‘Ohana…and have it delivered TO YOUR ROOM!? Behold: the Twilight Feast.
That’s right, you can order room service at the Polynesian and ask for the FULL dinner service from ‘Ohana! For $60.00 per person, you’ll receive a massive amount of food, easily shareable with another person ($30 each for a full spread of ‘Ohana food split between 2 people is a pretty good deal if you ask us!). And yes, it comes complete with your very own Bread Pudding, that you can eat in your bed while wearing your pajamas. 🙂 (FYI, it doesn’t come with ice cream, but order a pint of vanilla with your Twilight Feast!)
It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?!
The Polynesian is easily at the top of our list of resorts with the BEST food. They have more tasty drinks than you can shake a stick at and unique food you won’t find anywhere else on property. Even if you’re not staying at this resort, it can be worth taking a monorail ride over for a quick bite or a drink or two!
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Do you have a favorite meal at Polynesian Village? Let us know in the comments below.