Sunday, May 16, 2010

Voyager Bien: Disney World Dining part 2

Since this was the week to do Disney World -and do it right- a handful of special events filled our agenda, especially around meal times. Our second day at the parks ended with one of the more anticipated - the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at WDW's waterfront Polynesian Resort.
A quick boat ride from the Magic Kingdom, and a stop along the WDW resort-wide monorail, the Polynesian is one of the most popular resorts, and I could see why. It's a slice of the Big Island with a breezy tropical lobby, two authentic Hawaiian restaurants, and even a sandy [faux] beach. In fact, one of the best meals of the trip was our breakfast at the Polynesian's casual Kona Cafe on our final day, with macadamia-pineapple pancakes, smoked pulled pork hash and eggs. Recommended! (Check out their menu).
This evening however we were not dining in one of their restaurants, we were attending an outdoor "all-you-care-to-eat", family-style luau featuring hula dancing and fire knife dancers.
Once we were lei'd and had our photo taken, we were lead to a table in a large bamboo dining hall. A server took our drink orders (I got a tiki cocktail served in a carved monkey coconut shell) and brought out heavy silver platters holding fresh cut pineapple, salad with mango poppy seed dressing and Mandarin oranges, and my favorite, lightly sweet coconut bread. A very refreshing start.
The main course consisted of barbequed pork ribs, roast chicken, Polynesian-style rice and seasonal vegetable. The ribs and chicken were smokey and tasty, but the sides left something to be desired. A picturesque chocolate mousse volcano (that ironically I did not capture a good image of) was a passable dessert, but second fiddle to the show which by now was well underway.
The talented performers represented the many nations of the South Pacific, with traditional dances and costumes from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Climaxing with the crowd favorite fire knife dances, the Spirit of Aloha was an entertaining dinner theater event, though my itchy aversion to pure "tourism" flared throughout. I would recommend this to families with children, but perhaps dinner at 'Ohana for a slightly more adult Polynesian experience.

For reservations:
(407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463
or book online

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