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July 22, 2011

Kona Cafe: My "Go To" Spot for Breakfast at Walt Disney World

OK, so I'll admit it... I'm not much of a breakfast person.  In fact, I am normally completely satisfied with nothing more than a good Latte (3 Raw Sugars and 1/4 inch foam).  The key word here is normally...

When I'm at Walt Disney World, I jump out of the box and indulge to the fullest extent.  I always choose the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan which affords me breakfast each and every day!  As I stated earlier, I'd be content with a strong cup 'a' Joe, but why skip breakfast when it's already paid for!?

I have eaten at nearly every table service breakfast establishment in all of Walt Disney World and my favorite spot for "the most important meal of the day" is Kona Cafe, located at the Polynesian.

Since I have come clean about not being a "non-breakfast eating caffeine freak"  I may as well go ahead and disclose the fact that I am not the earliest riser at WDW.  I don't sleep until noon...EVER... but it's realistic to say that I will not book an ADR before 9:30 AM.

Many experienced Disney vacation planners will argue that 9:30 is a late start, and I don't completely disagree, but it would be impossible for my family to arrive at breakfast any earlier... This is why I choose to eat Breakfast at Kona Cafe several times each trip.  The breakfast options are over-the-top, and delicious and if you're not on the Disney Dining Plan, the price points are quite attractive.

Be sure to grab a lei from Auntie Kau'l as you enter the tropically-themed lobby... it's a great way to start your day!  Hop on the elevator or hit the stairs to the 2nd floor where you can take in the relaxing sound of running water, the island music, the smell of the freshly brewed coffee and "that other smell"... I don't know what to call it, but you know what I'm talking about... It's "that other smell"...The smell of the Polynesian.  Anytime I think of this magical resort, I can smell it in my mind.  I think it has to do with the waterfalls in the lobby, because it is reminiscent of the smell on Pirates of the Caribbean...  Oh wow, I'm rambling and now you probably all think I'm crazy, but if you know what I'm talking about, please comment below to let me know I'm not the only one!

OK, so getting back to Kona Cafe, it is a great spot for a quick, inexpensive meal in a laid-back atmosphere.  The Polynesian is also an ideal jumping off point for the day, as it is serviced by the monorail and only a short, shady stroll away from the TTC if you're headed to Epcot.  Plus, the Poly's parking lot is "right there"... I believe it may be the closest in proximity to the main building, out of all the resorts.

Kona is rarely ever packed.  In fact, I have shown up with no reservation on several occasions and have been seated within 15 minutes every time with no problem, however, as always, advanced reservations are always recommended.

The breakfast menu at Kona Cafe consists of all the traditional favorites as well dishes with a South Pacific twist.  The most pricey item on the menu is Steak and Eggs which is around $14.  Most items range from $9 to $11.

Kona offers a fun children's breakfast menu featuring entrees inspired by the Fab 5 such as Goofy's Toast and Minnie's Pancakes.

For those of you who require a jump-start in the morning, Kona offers a delicious press-pot of 100% Kona Coffee which serves 2 (or 3) as well as Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

My Tip: Order a Mimosa with Lilikoi Juice (Pineapple, Orange, Guava) instead of OJ.  It's not on the menu, but they'll make it if you ask!

Tonga Toast - $10

My choice for breakfast at Kona is ALWAYS... you can probably guess... TONGA TOAST!  This Kona Cafe entree has a cult-following and it's no secret why.  Tonga Toast is a huge, thick piece of sourdough bread stuffed with bananas, and coated with cinnamon sugar.  It's a big block of crispy-deliciousness and quite frankly one of the most tasty, addictive dishes I have ever tasted... I may have just drooled on my keyboard a little.  To some, Tonga Toast may be more like dessert, but for me it hits the spot.  Tonga Toast is served with your choice of meat (bacon, ham, or sausage) and strawberry compote on the side (I use maple syrup instead).

Big Kahuna - $11.99

My husband's choice is also a ritual: The Big Kahuna.  This massive breakfast entree consists of French Toast AND (yes, AND) Pancakes topped with Macadamia Nut Butter and Pineapple Puree, 2 eggs, home fries, with bacon, ham AND sausage (yes again, AND)... all for only $11.99.  The Macadamia Nut Butter and Pineapple sauce take this meal from ordinary to Polynesian perfect...I could probably eat a bowl of it by itself.

Fruit Plate - $8.99

Looking for something lighter?  Don't under estimate Kona's Fruit Plate!  This beautifully presented bounty of fresh melon, kiwi, strawberries, and more is served in a hollowed out pineapple and accompanied by a slice of yummy banana nut bread and macadamia nut butter.  I was lucky enough to snap this shot while dining at Kona with good friend and fellow Disney Blogger Ami of Disney Goddess.  This was her choice, and I was kinda wishing I'd sprung for this healthier option as well once I saw how fresh and delicious it was!

So, in review, the Polynesian Resort's Kona Cafe is a Disney breakfast destination that should not be overlooked!  This casual eatery aims to please and offers something for everyone with prices that won't hurt the wallet.  Combined with a laid-back ambiance and convenient location, Kona is my #1 pick for breakfast at Walt Disney World!

Amanda Ficili is the creator of Disney Go To Girla travel blog promoting Disney Resorts as luxury vacation destinations.  She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Please visit Disney Go To Girl for all the latest in Disney News, Fashion, Dining Reviews, Eco-Friendly Travel Tips, Wine Wednesdays, and Fabulous Disney and Travel related giveaways


V @ No Privacy At All Around This Place! said...

I have been a guest of the Poly for each and every visit to WDW over almost 30 years. I absolutely agree with you re: that special Poly scent. It is a variation on that "Disney water" smell that appears in Pirates, Small World, etc. LOVE it!

Unknown said...

Geordon read an article about Tonga Toast and insisted that I add an ADR here for our upcoming trip. I haven't eaten there in about 7 years so I'm really looking forward to it!

Jenny Shotwell said...

Thanks for the information, I will check it out on our next trip when we do the meal plan.

We have done the character dining in the Poly, but nothing else.

Traci said...

I love LOVE LOVE (!!!) the smell of the Poly lobby!


Tonga Toast is the BEST. Breakfast. EVER.


Michele Moore said...

I love the smell of the Poly! And is it just me or does there seem to be a tropical breeze thing happening? Not air conditioning really, although I am sure it is... The whole place is just so beautiful and magical.

We ate Tonga Toast at Captain Cooks as a counter service meal last year, just no time to do table service since we were transferring from the Poly to the Yacht Club. :) It was AMAZING. But HUGE! Definitely something I could split.

Christina, You can go to just about any counter service place at Disney and it will accept the deluxe plan credits. It just isn't really cost effective to do that. If you don't think you will eat 3 table service meals a day, or if most of your meals are not 2 table service credits then you might consider going down to the traditional dining plan.