Where Should I Eat at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
When we vacation at Disney theme parks, we get hungry. Often, we’d rather return to our hotel to catch our breath. So, we head back to our home base during vacation, our DVC resort, and grab a meal.
For this reason, where you stay matters greatly in terms of how well you eat. As a DVC member, you’ll dine like royalty at most hotels, but that’s particularly true at monorail resorts. Where should you eat when staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? That’s easy…
Quick Service and Lounges
We have a running joke at another Disney site where I contribute. At some point, everyone wants to write a review of Capt. Cook’s. That happens because it’s one of the most iconic Disney resort Quick Service restaurants, and people love eating there.
At lunch and dinner, Capt. Cook’s serves delicious Polynesian cuisine like sweet barbecue. This place offers my favorite pork sandwich on the entire Walt Disney World campus.
However, many DVC members prefer to eat breakfast here. That’s because Capt. Cook’s offers the beloved Tonga Toast. It’s a sourdough bread Disney stuffs with bananas and then deep-fried. It’s glorious.
Whenever I stay at the Polynesian, I expect to eat at least three meals at Capt. Cook’s. It’s that good. Also, since the restaurant resides at the Great Ceremonial House, it’s also convenient.
In terms of lounges, the Polynesian will overwhelm you with excellence. Tambu Lounge resides beside ‘Ohana and serves similar menu items as appetizers. So, you can eat some ‘Ohana food even when you can’t snag an ‘Ohana reservation.
Then, we have the DVC legend that is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto & Tiki Terrace. You’ll get drinks and a show when you hang out at the Grog Grotto. Your order comes with tricks like these:
I realize this experience may prove too loud for some. If so, that’s fine! You can nurture a beverage on the Tiki Terrace near the Lava Pool instead!
Finally, when you’re in the mood for a cooler treat, you can grab a Dole Whip at the Polynesian! You merely walk out the back door of the Great Ceremonial House. Here, you’ll find Pineapple Lanai, which often serves several Dole Whip variants!
Fine Dining Options
I have already mentioned arguably the best place to eat at the Polynesian. Yes, it’s ‘Ohana, home of the All You Care to Enjoy dining service.
Cast members will bring wave after wave of food to your table, served across several courses. The current schedule includes salad, coriander wings, pork dumplings, a dinner skillet including the beloved ‘Ohana noodles, and the legendary bread pudding.
When you eat breakfast here, you also receive bottomless skillets of food. They include Mickey Waffles, bacon, and other breakfast favorites. More importantly, it’s a character meal called Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch. They appear, as do Mickey Mouse and Pluto.
My wife could pick any place on the planet to celebrate her birthday, but her first choice each year is always ‘Ohana breakfast. She’s far from alone on this topic. TripAdvisor ranks ‘Ohana as a four-star meal and places it in the 85th percentile of Orlando restaurants. Disney fans agree, as ‘Ohana is always among the hardest Advanced Dining Reservations to acquire.
Savvy Polynesian owners know they can benefit from this perception. In addition to Tambu Lounge, diners can walk across the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House and choose Kona Café instead.
DVC members are devoutly loyal to this restaurant for its coffee and Tonga Toast. As a pro tip, the toast is cheaper at Capt. Cook’s, though. At lunch and dinner, Kona Café branches out with a deep menu of Polynesian and Asian favorites.
This restaurant also sometimes sells delicious coffee-treated steaks that are among Disney’s best. Alas, the menu frequently changes and doesn’t currently offer one. Also, the popular Kona Kone isn’t for sale now, either. Still, according to TripAdvisor voters, Kona Café is lightly better than ‘Ohana, and you can grab a reservation here with much less effort.
Other Dining Options in the Area
Here’s where the world expands for DVC members. When you stay at the Polynesian, you’re only a monorail ride away from some of Walt Disney World’s finest resorts.
You can ride to Magic Kingdom and eat anywhere at the park. Then again, you may prefer to lay low and remain off the beaten path. If so, you can visit Disney’s Contemporary Resort and choose Steakhouse 71, Contempo Café, or California Grill.
At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, you’ll find (arguably) even better options. I’m talking about Narcoossee’s, Citricos, or Grand Floridian Café. When you prefer something quick, I highly recommend Gasparilla Island Grill.
Finally, when you want to do something unforgettable, you can book a reservation at Victoria & Albert’s. Culinary experts frequently rank it among the best places to eat in North America. In fact, Trips to Discover recently named Victoria & Albert’s as THE best restaurant in the United States.
I don’t mean among theme park options, either. I’m talking about heavyweights like Le Bernardin, Per Se, and Alinea (which was the setting for a season two episode of The Bear). Victoria & Albert’s is the gold standard in dining, and it’s just a monorail ride away when you stay at the Polynesian.
As you can see, when you stay at the Polynesian, you’ll eat comically well. And that’s stunning since you’re ostensibly on a theme park vacation. DVC treats its members exceptionally well.