Capt. Cook’s


The Polynesian was really our second resort on our last Disney trip. We can now say we’ve eaten at every restaurant on property except for the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, which the boys now have on their bucket list for one of our future Disney trips (which they are always, always planning).  Before the Villains After Hours Party on our last night there, we had a quick dinner at a Capt. Cook’s before heading into the park.

One of the things about Capt. Cook’s that makes it unique is that it’s open 24/7. It’s one of the few restaurants on property that does this, which makes it very convenient for those that are arriving to their resort late at night. We were not eating late, but it is nice to have the option, and we considered walking back through and grabbing muffins after the Villains Party, but we were pretty exhausted.

The theming here is in keeping with most of the resort, but I really enjoyed the poster-like vacation wall decor:

There is also a microwave at this station, and there was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We sat indoors because it was raining that afternoon. The boys ordered their standard meals:

 

Macaroni and cheese and a cheeseburger.

I ordered the Hawaiian flatbread:

The topping placement was a little haphazard, but it was very tasty and a significant amount of food. The boys each had a small piece of my flatbread in addition to their meal.

B ordered the turkey sandwich:

It had lettuce, tomato, and bacon on whole grain bread. B said it was good and not dry (which is a good recommendation from him because he doesn’t use mayo or mustard on sandwiches).

After we were done, we headed upstairs, hopped on the monorail, and traveled to Magic Kingdom for the Villains After Hours! While Capt. Cook’s is probably not a “must do” food place, it’s a great choice if you are monorail resort hopping on a whim, staying at The Polynesian, or just looking for a place to that is quick service with unique choices. Our menu choices were pretty standard, but you can check out the more adventurous fare here!

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The Polite Pig

To say Disney Springs has grown since Downtown Disney was first created would be the understatement of the year. Every time we go to Disney there are new shops and restaurants to visit. However, we have some that are our standard favorites, and I’m sharing one of those today along with a few tips for heading to Disney Springs during the warmer months. First up, let’s talk about one of our favorite lunch places, The Polite Pig.

We have visited The Polite Pig before, and there are three things that make it one of our favorites. First, it’s fast casual, but they bring the food to you. I like this because we don’t have to wrangle trays trying to get to our seats like a lot of quick service in the parks. Second, the prices are super reasonable for the amount of food you get. A lot of the meals are shareable, and the boys will usually get a kids’ meal and then eat some of the brisket off of my plate. Third, like one of our favorite restaurants at home, there isn’t a “waiter”, but there are people who will come and refill your drink and check on you during your meal (side note: you can tip these servers when you pay at the front when your order, so if you’re wondering what the tip area is for, this is it).

On this trip I ordered the brisket and cauliflower:

B got the pulled pork sandwich:

A got the kids’ pulled pork sandwich:

 

And J got the chicken fingers and fries:

All of our meals were tasty, flavorful, and I probably could’ve eaten another helping of cauliflower. My only regret was we went too early to get one of the famous Gideon Bakery chocolate chip cookies that they have (you can usually get them after 4:00 p.m.). Oh! You also can pick from a selection of sauces with your meal. And when you’re done, they bus the table, so you can just get up and go.

Now, on to a couple of extra tips! It gets really hot at Disney Springs from May-October, so I always suggest getting there when they open at 10:00 a.m. shopping a bit then having lunch and leaving to go back to the resort pool (our favorite plan). Or set-up a table service reservation for 7:00 p.m. then wait until late afternoon (around 5:00 p.m.) and head there, do some shopping and then go to dinner. It tends to be super crowded at night, so we opt for the earlier option quite a bit more. If you stay at Port Orleans, you can take the boat!

However, if you are driving over to Disney Springs, choose your parking garage wisely. All of the parking garages are free, but because of the size of Disney Springs some are more convenient than others depending on where you are eating/shopping. For example, The Polite Pig is right next to The Lime Garage.

We parked there and did some shopping and then had lunch! After that we headed back to the resort and had a calm afternoon because we were headed to Villains After Hours that night. Disney Springs is definitely a great way to spend some non-park time and The Polite Pig is a great place to eat while you are there! For our previous review of The Polite Pig check here.

My sunnies, shirt, shorts, and shoes.

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Flame Tree Barbecue Review

We’ve been to Disney enough at this point that we now have “stand-by” repeat restaurants. One of these is Flame Tree Barbecue. We love it in part because the food is consistently good and in part because it has different offerings than your standard quick service hamburger. Located in a Discovery Island on the way to DinoLand U.S.A, one of the things to note is that all the seating is outside, but there are several areas under covering, and it is a lot of seating. The seating areas are also well themed:

Our favorite spot is the lower level that overlooks the water, and has a view of Expedition Everest:

This area does get crowded because it is well shaded! I definitely recommend using mobile order at Flame Tree Barbecue and if you can, have one person grab a table and drop a pin to their location while another person picks up the food. And now that I mentioned food….

B and A always split the rib, chicken, and pulled pork platter:

And this year J branched out and got the chicken drumstick:

I had the pulled pork with macaroni and cheese and onion rings:

The boys ate both my onion rings, so I definitely should’ve ordered a side of those.

And we topped it off with their seasonal cupcake:

This was one of my favorite desserts of the whole trip. It was a great balance of spices, cake, and apple, and also a good frosting to cake ratio. I also liked that this was very easy to eat. Some of the specialty desserts I’ve found to be very instagram worthy, but not easy to actually taste.

As you may have read before, Disney food spots can be inconsistent with their quality and experience. However, we have found that Flame Tree Barbecue is pretty much spot on every time, making it our go to lunch spot at Animal Kingdom!

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Disney Dining Plan Comparison

If you didn’t know how crazy organized we are, you’re about to. When we first went to Disney as a family of four in 2016 we got the dining plan. Then for our next trip in 2017, we decided to see if the dining plan was actually worth the cost. We got the dining plan and wrote down everything we spent. Everything. All snacks, quick service, and table service. Then in 2018 we decided to not do the dining plan, and see if we ate “normally” (i.e. not trying to meet the quota of snacks and meals) what the comparison would be. B wrote down everything in an excel document and I’m happy to share our results with you!

Before we get started a few things to note. First, the price of the dining plan has changed, so always check what their latest prices are. Second, this is for two adults and two kids on the standard dining plan (2 snacks, 1 quick service, and 1 table service per night of stay).

First up, our 2017 on the dining plan table:

 

So on the dining plan we actually came out 223.50 ahead of the plan cost (essentially we spent more than the plan cost). And we spent everything. No quick service unused, all snacks accounted for, and plenty of character meals (always a higher cost).

Second up is our 2018 not on the dining plan table:

This time around we ate how we wanted. We didn’t always get quick service, sometimes we had snacks for lunch, and we only did one character meal (Ohana breakfast). If we had gotten the dining plan we actually would have lost $88.63. Not a big difference, but still close to $100.

So, what did we conclude? If you are planning to eat at least a quick service, table service, and two snacks per person per day the plan is a good choice. If you are planning to do a bunch of character meals the plan is a great choice. If you want to be able to pay for your food in advance and not have to worry about it when you get there the plan is an excellent choice. However, if you are doing more quick service, don’t want to worry about keeping up with how many snacks you have left to spend, and aren’t doing hardly any character meals then you may find the plan is not for you. This, obviously, is only one example, but hopefully it provides some insight into the dining plan and it’s cost!

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Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe

Nestled in a corner of Frontierland is Pecos Bill’s. We stopped here for lunch after we finished our morning in Adventureland, and before our fast passes in Frontierland started. I had visited Pecos Bill before, but hadn’t been in quite a few years because I was unsure how well the boys would eat the premade tacos. Obviously I should have checked the menu and reviews more closely because this was actually the perfect spot for the boys.

A and I split the beef tacos, and what you get on the tacos is just that, beef. Then you can make your way over to the toppings bar and add whatever you want to your tacos. This is an awesome way to split a meal and make it customizable. So as you can see we made our own choices…

J was on a macaroni and cheese kick this trip, so that was his choice:

We also saw some country bears on the way out!

Here’s a breakdown of our Magic Kingdom plan focusing on Adventureland and Frontierland:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Dole Whip Snack Aloha Isle
  • Pirate Adventure Kiosk
  • Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
  • Lunch: Pecos Bill 
  • Thunder Mountain 11:40-12:40 FP x 2 A &B
  • Splash Mountain 12:35-1:35 FP x 2 J & N
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Haunted Mansion FP x 4 1:35-2:35
  • Peter Pan FP x 4 2:40-3:40
  • Finish pirate scavenger hunt

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