A Taste Of Polynesia: Dining At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Credit: Disney

One of the most iconic Disney Resorts is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon directly across from the Magic Kingdom. Evoking the beauty and serenity of the South Pacific, the Disney Resort combines the charm of white sand beaches, towering palm trees, water views, and Polynesian architecture with incredible amenities and conveniences such as direct access to the monorail line and incredible dining. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is home to some of the most popular eateries at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Guests are sure to love every single option whether they are actually staying there or just passing through for a bite.

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Credit: Disney


The most popular of the restaurants at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is ‘Ohana which is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House. Open for breakfast and dinner, Guests enter into the airy restaurant through a pathway lined with massive carved tiki faces and statues. Once seated inside, Guests are immersed in wooden accents, carved animals and tikis in the rafters above, bright pops of color on the chairs and carpeting, an open kitchen area where food is being prepared, and massive slanted windows that offer expansive views of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom in the distance. Those who dine at ‘Ohana at night can look out across the water and enjoy an unparalleled view of the nightly fireworks show as they reflect off of the water. Breakfast at ‘Ohana features a family-style meal of classics including fresh fruit, Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Freshly made Pineapple-Coconut Breakfast Bead, and the ‘Ohana Breakfast Skillet which features scrambled eggs, Hawaiian-style ham, Mickey Waffles, and bacon among other things. Traditionally, breakfast included a character dining experience with Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch, and this may return sometime in the future. Dinner at ‘Ohana is where Guests can truly enjoy the flavors of Polynesia with a family-style all-you-can-eat offering of items such as Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings, Pork Dumplings Tossed in Garlic-Chili Sauce, ‘Ohana Noodles, and Wood-fire Grilled Teriyaki Beef. The star of any dinner at ‘Ohana is always the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding which is served warm and a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a small carafe of ooey gooey homemade caramel sauce with bananas.

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Kona Café

Kona Café is an additional full service restaurant also located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, just steps away from ‘Ohana. Featuring an open air dining room that looks out into the main atrium of the lobby, Guests can settle into comfortable tables and booths with brightly colored upholstery that compliments dark wooden tables, deep colors on the walls, iron details, and vaulted ceilings with lights that are reminiscent of stylized turtle shells. Kona Café is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the menu offers up traditional American options infused with Asian flavors and ingredients. Guests who dine at Kona Café for breakfast can dig into favorites including Tonga Toast and Macadamia Nut Pancakes in addition to freshly brewed Kona Blend Coffee. Lunch and dinner at Kona Café showcase more of the Asian fusion through certain menu options including an array of fresh sushi and specialty rolls that are prepared in an open air kitchen for Guests to observe. Some menu options include Tuna Poke, Turkey Banh Mi, Duck Fried Rice with Leg Confit, Asian-marinated Airline Chicken, and Kona-braised Short Rib. With a more relaxed and laid back feel, great views into the main lobby area, and a menu that is unique and highlights Asian flavors, Kona Café is a great options for Guests to enjoy.

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Kona Island

Just outside of the main entrance to Kona Café and steps from the door that leads out to the monorail station, there is a quick service eatery that Guests can enjoy throughout each day. Kona Island is a small location that is essentially an island with stool seating surrounding it looking out over the main lobby in one direction and large floor-to-ceiling windows in the other. Kona Island is mainly a sushi bar that serves up fresh options for Guests to enjoy in a convenient grab-and-go style. Breakfast items offered up include fresh pastries such as Chocolate-Hazelnut Croissant, Mocha Kona Muffin, and Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg Croissant in addition to a large menu of caffeinated options from the coffee bar. For lunch and dinner Guests can enjoy freshly made Spicy Tuna and California Rolls in addition to miniature desserts to go such as Banana-Rum Trifle, S’more, and Key Lime. Kona Island is a great option for Guests who are looking for a quick bite when heading to or from the monorail and Magic Kingdom.

Capt. Cook’s

The main quick service eatery at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is Capt. Cook’s which is located on the lower level of the Great Ceremonial House and is open daily for all three meals. The menu features a mix of American classics and island-inspired flavors and ingredients that Guests will certainly enjoy via Mobile Order or in either an expansive indoor dining area with stylized posters advertising various islands or an outdoor patio with views of the Lava Pool and Seven Seas Lagoon. Capt. Cook’s offers Guests the opportunity to pick up grab-and-go options such as prepackaged snacks and beverages in addition to menu items including Mickey Waffles, Breakfast Burrito, Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables, Pulled Pork Nachos, and Thai Coconut Meatballs. Tonga Toast is also served during breakfast hours at Capt. Cook’s, making it the only location outside of Kona Café where guests can enjoy the popular meal.

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Tambu Lounge

Guests who are looking to enjoy a delicious cocktail or small bites can stop by Tambu Lounge which is located just outside of the main entrance to ‘Ohana. Relatively small in size, Tambu Lounge features several bar seats surrounding a thatched tiki bar with ornamental wooden carvings as well as several lounge tables and comfortable chairs that look out massive windows onto the grounds of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Tambu Lounge is a popular location where Guests can enjoy a drink before their seating at ‘Ohana or Kona Café as well as watch any popular sporting event which is typically aired on large televisions in the area. Popular cocktails served regularly include the Lapu Lapu which is served inside of a hollowed out pineapple, Backscratcher which includes a lengthy wooden backscratcher, and Hawaiian Mule which celebrates the flavors of the island. After four each afternoon, guests can also order up small bites including Big Kahuna’s Hot Wings, Kaikane’s Barbecue Pork Ribs, O’Ahu Island Flatbreads, and California Roll. Tambu Lounge also sometimes offers the iconic ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, making it the only way to enjoy the delicious dessert without a reservation at the full service restaurant.

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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Another lounge location at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is so popular that Guests often have to join a waiting list to be allowed inside. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is located on the main floor of the Great Ceremonial House and was opened by Trader Sam of Jungle Cruise fame. Open after three each afternoon, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a relatively small lounge that packs some big entertainment through both the setting and the Cast Members who work there. Intricately themed with Polynesian artifacts and architectural details, the interior of the lounge comes to life in various ways when Guests order certain drinks. For example, when a Guest orders the Nautilus, the interior lighting turns blue to mimic being under the sea and the Cast Members put on quite the show. Some other popular cocktails served include the Polynesian Pearl, Uh-Oa, Zombie, HippopotoMai-Tai, and Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto also offers several non-alcoholic beverages as well as appetizers including Chicken Lettuce Cups, Thai Chicken Flatbread, Pan-Fried Dumplings, and Kalua Pork Tacos. Guests who are looking to enjoy the food and beverage offerings from the lounge without the wait times or loud interior can opt to be seated outside at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace which features covered tables looking out to the Lava Pool.

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Pineapple Lanai

One of the most popular snacks at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Dole Whip which is sold in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom, but Guests who visit Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort can also grab the delicious treat at a counter service location. Pineapple Lanai is located just outside of the Great Ceremonial House and around the corner from Capt. Cook’s and features a small covered patio with several seats to enjoy. Focused strictly on pineapple offerings from DOLE, Guests can choose from the DOLE Whip Soft-serve with pineapple, vanilla, or a swirl in a regular cup or a souvenir Tiki Bowl or a Pineapple Float featuring the same options with pineapple juice. Pineapple Lanai also serves up a DOLE Whip with Rum Floater for those Guests who are looking for a refreshing alcoholic treat to enjoy on the nearby green that looks out across Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom in the distance.

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Barefoot Pool Bar

The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers Guests the chance to relax and splash in the wake of a large volcano while taking in Seven Seas Lagoon views and white sand beaches. Steps away is the Barefoot Pool Bar which features a convenient ordering counter with an array of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages such as the Lava Smoothie, Frose, Captain’s Mai Tai, Bourbon Breeze, and Pago Pago Painkiller. Barefoot Pool Bar also serves up started, entrees and desserts until eight each evening and Guests can choose from options such as the Oasis Salad, Black Pepper Parmesan Chicken Wings, Angus Chuck Cheddar Cheeseburger, Sashimi of Tuna, Salmon, and Hamachi, and Malasadas. Guests who are looking for a quieter spot than the Lava Pool can head to the nearby Oasis Pool which is typically much less crowded and also features private patios that can be booked. The Oasis Bar & Grill overlooks the pool and features seating along the bar as well as the option to bring food and beverages back to nearby lounge chairs. The menu is essentially the same as the Barefoot Pool Bar, however it has more seating in a covered area along the bar, making it a more relaxing experience than over by the Lava Pool.

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About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.