Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has a LOT of fantastic dining options.
For starters, there’s all-you-care-to-eat ‘Ohana, where family-style sides accompany huge skewers of grilled meat. Then there’s Kona Cafe, where plated table service meals — most with an island twist — fill diners’ stomachs. This one also offers a super fun character breakfast! And we can’t forget Tambu Lounge, where you can get not just the iconic Lapu Lapu (served in a pineapple!) but can also now order up favorite ‘Ohana bites like noodles, chicken wings, and (of course) ‘Ohana Bread Pudding. Then there’s Pineapple Lanai, where you can satisfy your craving for all things Dole Whip. Finally, we have two words for you: Twilight Feast (AKA — the most awesome in-room dining option on earth!).
But if you’re not full on swirls of fruit and Pineapple Coconut Bread, there’s a proper quick service option, too: Capt. Cook’s! Located on the lower level of the Great Ceremonial House with an exterior entrance on the Lagoon-side of the Resort and an interior entrance off the lobby en route to Trader Sam’s, Capt. Cook’s serves up a small menu — much smaller than the large food courts at Moderate and Value Resorts — of both Polynesian-inspired eats and American classics.
We’re trying some of each. So put down that skewer of ‘Ohana’s grilled shrimp; it’s time to grab some counter service eats at Capt. Cook’s!
Capt. Cook’s is a relatively understated spot featuring fairly low ceilings and lighting keep things cozy in the ordering area. One large menu board looms over just a handful of ordering kiosks.
The seating here is broken up into 2 areas on the inside. One larger room featuring colorful posters of Polynesian island locales…
…and a second smaller area just off the drink station and exterior entrance.
There’s plenty of outside seating, as well.
Inside you’ll find a beverage station with some basic condiments and fountain beverages, coffee, hot water for tea, and utensils.
There’s also a grab-and-go cooler if you’re taking your eats on the go. Note that there used to be a killer self-serve Dole Whip machine here, but that’s gone these days, as Pineapple Lanai is the go-to Dole Whip spot at the Poly now.
Overall, it’s very relaxed at Capt. Cook’s, and the menu reflects that, too.
The menu is limited, but there’s a decent variety for diners of all types. Not shown on these menus: a new plant-based Superfoods Salad. The second plant-based option is a Red Pepper and Arugula Burger — which is listed as Plant-based Burger below.
Salads and Soup on our visit included the Asian-style Grilled Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and a Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup.
Polynesian Favorites include the guest favorite Pulled Pork Nachos, plus Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables and the savory Aloha Pork Sandwich.
American Entrees include things like Flatbreads (one Hawaiian-style) and burgers.
The Kids’ Menu at Capt. Cook’s features both Disney Check meals and more indulgent options.
We started with Parmesan Black Pepper Chicken Wings. These were fried well and crispy around the edges. The Parmesan added great saltiness but we found the Black Pepper didn’t play a prominent enough role. Still, these are quite good. And the wings are available in a few different flavors (see our review of them here!), so they’re fun to share.
From the American Entrees, we opted for the Pepperoni Flatbread. This was a standard Disney flatbread with thin, crispy crust and was dotted with a trio of pepperoni Mickeys.
The flatbread was probably not the artisanal pizza you’re dreaming about, but it’ll please the kiddos for sure. It didn’t seem super fresh and the flavors weren’t fantastic. So unless you’re accommodating a picky eater or craving a midnight bite (Captain Cook’s is one of the only dining locations in Disney World that’s open 24 hours), it’s probably a pass.
The best dish we tried was the Pork Fried Rice. This used to be served up with some bright green scallions, so we missed that pop of color and freshness. But overall, the Pork Fried Rice is still delicious.
Inside the fried rice is stir-fried vegetables, pieces of chicken, and egg. That’s a lot of protein when you mix it up with the large portion of Polynesian-style pulled pork on top.
But it’s good and savory and satisfying. And share-able, especially if you’re going for some wings, too.
For dessert we should’ve headed around the corner for Dole Whip (j/k we did that, too), but we grabbed this cupcake. It was a standard chocolate cupcake topped with a pile of prettily-tinted buttercream. It was fine but nothing to write home about. There are better cupcakes to find — here are a few of our favorites!
As a meal, this was all filling, mostly tasty and satisfying, and featured some yummy pork — all fairly emblematic of a meal at Capt. Cook’s, really.
Nosh or Not?
Say aloha to quick service eats at Capt. Cook’s if:
- You’re staying at the Polynesian Village Resort, and you need a quick bite (especially if everything else is closed).
- Crowds are crazy at Magic Kingdom, and you need a quick break away from the Park.
- You want to explore the Polynesian on your Monorail Resort loop ride, and you’re hungry for a fast meal.
Hula elsewhere if:
- You’re not staying at the Poly, and you have no desire to go there.
- Quick service Polynesian food doesn’t appeal to you.
- You don’t have time to leave Magic Kingdom; there are rides to ride and shows to see!
Capt. Cook’s has become a destination for Walt Disney World guests, even if they’re not staying at the Resort. Some come for the morning’s Tonga Toast (minus the sweet strawberry sauce you can get upstairs at Kona Cafe) while others are after those Pulled Pork Nachos. The vibe here is laid back and relaxed, and the views out the window aren’t too shabby. If you’re looking for an escape from Magic Kingdom or if you’re staying on the Monorail loop and just want a different style of quick-service dining, Capt. Cook’s is an excellent choice.
But for the average guest — the ones who are staying elsewhere and who want to squeeze every drop of fun out of Magic Kingdom — Capt. Cook’s is a bit out of the way. Still, we enjoy it. The food is decent to good, the atmosphere is relaxed, and we always leave satisfied.
Plus Pineapple Lanai is just around the corner, and proximity to Dole Whip happens to be a fun bonus. 😉
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Are you a Capt. Cook’s fan? Have a must-get dish here? Share with us in the comments below!