We spent some time visiting the Grand Floridan and Polynesian Village Resorts while on our way to the Magic Kingdom, and spotted some menu updates for you!
Just in time for the Halloween season, Trader Sam’s revealed its newest Haunted Mansion themed tiki mug! This year the mug features everyone’s favorite Hatbox Ghost!!
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto
This guy is the latest in a series of mugs that come out every year around this time. They’re always limited edition, and they always cause a serious stir! (And by stir I mean hours-upon-hours long lines, carefully rationed wristbands, and a dedicated cadre of guests who are willing to spend an entire day hoping they’ll get one of the few available.)
If you don’t know who the Hatbox Ghost is, well, then you need to book yourself a trip to Disneyland ASAP! He can be found hitchhiking (of course) right after the ride through the attic in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. (In case you’re not sure you’ve got the right one, he’s the ghost that every single camera phone is trying to capture the best video of as you turn that quick corner!)
We took a Monorail tour of the Magic Kingdom resorts to find all that’s new for you! We started out in the Contemporary Resort.
What’s New at the Contemporary Resort
We let you know earlier about the Latte Art at Contemporary Grounds. If you’re having a latte this is a fun way to add a smile to your cup of coffee.
We have known for some time now that the Polynesian Village Resort’s Tambu Lounge would be closing for a refurbishment. However, the exact date of the closure (originally slated to begin in July) kept changing.
We can now report that the Tambu Lounge is closed (for at least a few months). But there are two temporary locations set up during the refurbishment where you can still order up some Polynesian beverage favorites!
The first temporary location is located by the Monorail doors. This location opens at 9:30am. No specific closing time is set for this location, but on the day of our visit it closed at 5:00 pm. [Read more…]
Hi, there! Or perhaps I should say “Aloha!” Because we’re back with another DFB Video, and today we’re taking you on a Food Tour of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a beautiful Deluxe Resort located right on the Magic Kingdom’s Monorail Loop. And it is positively packed with some terrific restaurants, snacks, and lounges the likes of which you won’t find elsewhere in Disney World. We’re going to show ALL of them to you as we take a Food Tour of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in our latest DFB YouTube Video! [Read more…]
Aloha, cousins! Welcome to Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
The Polynesian is known for its delicious food, fireworks views and impeccable theming. Captain Cook’s is a lesser-known, tropical counter-service restaurant just a happy stop away from the Magic Kingdom, and it’s home to a few favorites including a budget-friendly version of Kona Cafe’s Tonga Toast! Captain Cook’s is the sole counter service at the Poly, and it’s chock full of tasty treats.
Since its renovation in 2014, the famed Pineapple Dole Whip moved outside to the Pineapple Lanai and the restaurant got a refresh of the menu as well. Now, we’re seeing even more new items on the Captain Cook’s docket!
CHEERS! COWABUNGA! TULLEEHO! KUNGALOOSH!
It’s already time to go back inside (and outside!) Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
While both the Grotto and Terrace continue in soft openings with an official opening anticipated for late April (when all the sought-after souvenir glasses will be available for guests to take home), these new hot spots remain the talk of the town.
On March 28th, when both the Grog Grotto and the Tiki Terrace soft opened for the first day, tales of lines up to 6 hours long were nearly as much of a story as the bars opening themselves. So a common question now is, “What are the wait times like?”
Unsure of what to expect, my husband and I arrived at the Polynesian at 2 pm on a weekday for the 4 pm opening, and no line had started yet (though the bar is open until midnight, after 8 pm only guests 21 and older are permitted).
At 3 pm, we decided we’d better stake out our spot, so we went to the inside door of the Grog Grotto, where two Cast Members were waiting. We were told we were the first for the day, and could start the line outside at the metal bench pictured below.
The next guest arrived at 3:15, and a line in earnest began to form at 3:30 pm. Around 3:50, a Cast Member came outside and gave us all a stamp to show at the door as our proof that we’d been counted in the line. At this time, I counted around 40 people waiting, and when we were let in at 4:00 pm, everyone made it inside to fill up the 51 person capacity. Huzzah!
Now, I’m not claiming this will be the case everyday. We clearly arrived early anticipating a wait and were shocked that there wasn’t one, especially during what’s considered a peak time (still in the Spring Break window). Now, I had a friend in town Saturday of the same week. She arrived at Trader Sam’s at 7:30 pm and was given a pager for a 90 minute wait, and folks arriving a while after were looking at a couple hours at least.
That’s not altogether surprising, though, since I think we can all anticipate longer lines on weekends for what is sure to be a popular destination for locals as well as vacationers for a long time to come.
Okay, logistics, schmogistics! WE’RE IN! It’s time to see a little more of what Trader Sam has in store for his guests…
TRADER SAM’S GROG GROTTO
You’ve now entered Trader Sam’s “happy hideaway.” The story of the Grotto is told to us by Skip, Manager of the Jungle Cruise Navigational Company (just click the image below to enlarge). As head salesman of the jungle that we all know and love from the Jungle Cruise, Trader Sam discovered a passion for mixology as an extension of his professional interest in head-shrinking potions. As he traveled the globe for ingredients, he picked up many a souvenir and brought them back to the Grotto.
Entering the Grotto for the first time was — for me, at least — overwhelming in the best way possible. While you want to grab a table or a seat at the bar (and lemme tell ya, it’s best to move quickly to get one), it’s difficult to not want to try to take in every bit of the INSANE amount of details and decoration right away. This room is simply the stuff of dreams for fans of Disney detail and history.
Before we take in a few of those gems, the basic setup is small and…well, I don’t know if “cozy” is the word. It’s snug, for sure, but somehow not in a bad way. The way everyone is close together, it seems to encourage a party atmosphere and festive mood.
Oh, my… where to start? Well, I’ll take a cue from a Jungle Cruise Skipper and point out a few of my favorite details! There’s this one.
And this one.
I like this one.
Ooookay, so CLEARLY that joke doesn’t play out in writing the same way it does on the Jungle Cruise when your Skipper deadpans pointing out his or her favorite plants 😉 . Still, you get the point. There is just a TON of [Read more…]
Lots of Disney food news popped up this week, including lovely, flavorful things like wine, chocolate, caramel, coffee, cake, and more!!
Plus, we’ve found some seriously interesting posts to share with you — did you know that Doritos may have been invented in Disneyland?? Check it out…
Treat Yourself to Updated Disney Food News
- In Anaheim, Disneyland’s Downtown Disney may see two new popular and affordable eateries soon — Starbucks and Earl of Sandwich!
- Treat your princess like royalty with the “Her Royal Highness Package” at Cinderella’s Royal Table. The package includes a balloon centerpiece, tiara, and specialty cake.
- Flying Fish Cafe is offering a Wine Dinner on February 2nd. Space is limited.
- Disney’s Soda Fountain celebrates the Beauty and the Beast 3-D film with a specialty sundae. Love the candy rose!
- The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is bringing back Chocolate, Wine, and Romance weekends in February! Check out the details!
- Disneyland restaurants will offer special Valentine’s Day menus.
For more decadent food news, stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis — even little stuff that you might not see in a full post on the blog! Worth a look… 🙂
DFB Disney Dining Adventures e-Book
Have you read our newest Disney Food Blog e-Book?
DFB Disney Dining Adventures includes over 80 pages of pre-planned food fun to add to your family’s plans on your next trip! Let us do the planning for you — all you need to do is have a blast!
Want a day full of Dole Whips or a day planned for a Princess? Perhaps you have a dino fan in the family — we’ve got two days of pre-planned Jurassic-sized fun! And if you’re traveling with the grown-ups, check out our full two-day Beer Adventure!
The e-Book includes:
- Fully themed strategies that cover one day, two days, or a full week
- Themed breakfast, lunch, and dinner suggestions
- Disney attraction and ride suggestions that complement each Adventure theme
- Our favorite snacks that are within easy access during each Adventure
- Historical and behind-the-scenes tips and details that make the Adventure come alive!
- Plus more bonus sections!
On to the Round-Up!
AKL Resort takes us to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa at Kidani Village. Try the yummy Naan bread!
OC Weekly investigates the origins of Doritos? There may be a Disneyland connection!
Main St. Gazette clearly agrees with me that the Picnic Burger is a slam dunk at Disney World’s Sci Fi Dine-In! Woo!
WDW Parkhoppers heads to dinner at the Polynesian’s Kona Cafe.
MousePlanet reviews the story behind Mama Melrose’s at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
DisneyParks Blog shares favorite healthy eats at Walt Disney World.
Welcome back guest author Carrie Hayward, author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons, as she shares her recent trip to the Disneyland Hotel’s newest restaurant — Tangaroa Terrace. Thanks, Carrie!
My husband and I are big fans of Disney’s take on tiki culture and often wonder why they don’t exploit the theme more around the parks and resorts, especially when it comes to food service (Aladdin’s Oasis, I’m looking at YOU). So we got very excited when we heard that Disney was reimagining the counter-service restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel with a tiki theme. On Sunday we had a chance to try the new [Read more…]
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!
There are two important things you need to know about Captain Cook’s Snack Company and why I consider it to be one of Disney’s best kept secrets:
1. It offers two of Disney’s most beloved menu items — Tonga Toast and Dole Whips.
2. It’s open 24. Hours.
Those two are reason enough to visit, but when you add in the fact that the place serves up some pretty unique and delicious eats, there’s no reason NOT to escape the crazy of the Magic Kingdom for a quick boat ride over to the Polynesian Resort and a visit to Captain Cook’s.
This joint looks pretty much like a fast-food location decorated in stereotypical Hawaiian style. Because that’s what it is. But it’s also so much more!
It was one of the first locations to pioneer [Read more…]