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View Full Version : 4 Adults, 6 Days/5 Nights on DDP: Days 1 & 2--Kona Cafe and Coral Reef


Conservative Hippie
07-30-2006, 08:32 PM
The Cast

:hippie: Me—24, will eat anything that doesn’t have a bone, and NO NUTS!
:earsboy: DH—26, will not eat anything that comes from the sea, very picky about steak.
:surfweb: Mom—46, coffeeholic, espressoholic, cappuccinoholic…
:crazy: DB17 (Michael)—17, first time to Disney, loves spicy food (the hotter the better), dubbed this trip “Operation Stuff My Face.”

Day 1—Kona Café and Flame Tree Barbeque

We arrived at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at about 9:00 Monday morning (a three hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale) and were very excited to hear that we were given a free upgrade to a Savannah view room, and that our room was available right away. After settling in, we headed to Magic Kingdom for my brother’s first view of the castle. Then I had to find out what all the fuss was over the Dole Whips at Aloha Isle in Adventureland, so we used 2 Snacks on 2 Pineapple Floats. THEY. ARE. WONDERFUL. Sweet, refreshing, and perfect on a hot day. These were only the first of many…

We had a 1:05 lunch reservation at the Kona Café at the Polynesian Resort, so we hopped on the monorail at about 12:45 and were promptly seated at Kona. The restaurant was pretty empty and quiet. My mother is a coffee connoisseur, and was really looking forward to a press pot. I asked our server if we could get a press pot for two of our drinks, and she told us that we could each get a press pot as a drink! I know that this is not a common thing, and that some people have not been able to get a press pot on the dining plan at all, so we were very grateful to the server. Mom got her first press pot with the meal, and the Lump Crab Cakes appetizer (I rarely drink anything other than water, so she would use my drink for a second press pot later). I also had the crab cakes, which were served with a light green salad and ginger. Very good! DH had the Pot Stickers (duck dumplings in a ginger sauce), and Michael had the Sticky Wings. He said the sticky wings were very sticky, and not as spicy as he thought they would be. The sticky wings came with a moistened hot towel to clean your fingers, but I think Michael just licked them! For entrées, Mom had the Chicken Caesar Salad, which was topped with strips of Romano cheese. It was very good and a good size for an entrée. I had the Asian Noodle Bowl, which was very pretty, but way too much for me to finish. It was strips of beef, crispy snap peas, onions, carrots, celery, and noodles in a beef broth. There was a spicy chili sauce on the side, which I found too spicy to have any more than a tiny bit on the end of the chopstick, but Michael said it was very good, and he dipped his sweet potato chips in it. The boys both had the Island Chicken Sandwich, topped with bacon, Swiss cheese, and a curry mango mayonnaise on a Kaiser roll. DH substituted fries for the sweet potato chips. Mom’s second press pot came with dessert, and I even tried a little bit. I’m told it has a light full-bodied flavor. Those who enjoy stronger coffee will want to steep it for at least four minutes (the server recommended two, and the first pot was too weak).

Now this part was interesting--while discussing the dessert menu with the server, I asked if the Apple Brown Betty had nuts in it. She asked if I was allergic, or just didn’t like them, and I said I was allergic to cashews only, but didn’t like nuts in general. She immediately got the chef to make sure I had not been exposed to any cashews, even though I told her it was a mild allergy and I wasn’t worried about my food touching cashews. Turns out the Betty has walnuts in it, so I decided on the Caramel-Banana Crème Brulee, which was very impressive and definitely the right choice. I love crème brulee, and this one had a bananas foster twist to it. I was afraid the bananas would be squishy, which is why it wasn’t my first choice, but they were not--very fresh tasting. My fellow crème brulee lovers will appreciate the shallow dish that allows for a larger surface area of caramelized sugar! Mom had the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Tart, which was similar to a pecan pie, extremely rich, with a flaky crust. It may look small, but it was plenty. The vanilla bean ice cream (that I finished off) was also just right. Michael had the Kilauea Torte we’d heard so much about. It was also very rich, and he really enjoyed all the gooey chocolate “lava.” The presentation was very artistic, with raspberry and pineapple sauce “art.” DH had the White Chocolate Cheesecake, also a very artistic presentation with raspberry, pineapple, and lime sauce. We gave this the “prettiest dessert award.” Overall, the atmosphere was very pleasant, the service was excellent, and the food was good. I think Kona had the prettiest desserts overall, and I would definitely go back. For those interested in the value of the DDP, this bill came about to about $150.

We were at Animal Kingdom for EMH that night, and had dinner at Flame Tree Barbeque in Asia for our CS. Mom and Michael got the ½ Slab of St. Louis Ribs, DH got the Smoked ½ Chicken, and I got the very boneless Smoked Pork Sandwich. All the entrées came with baked beans and corn on the cob. Mom was very impressed with the ribs, very tender, very meaty. Michael complained that the “spicy” barbeque sauce was not spicy, but I thought it was spicy enough for those of us who do not want our tongues on fire. Everything was very good, although DH says the beans are too sweet for his tastes. For dessert we had a couple each of the chocolate cake and key lime pie. The pie is not as tart as key lime pie should be, but still good, with a graham cracker crust. Being in AK after dark was pretty cool. We ate down by the lake near Flame Tree (where you can spot the boat during the day) and were treated to an awesome view of Everest!


Kona Cafe

Left to right: Lump Crab Cakes, Sticky Wings, and Pot Stickers. Kona Press Pot in the middle.
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp347%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A795%3B524nu0mrj

Asian Noodle Bowl
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp347%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A793%3A677nu0mrj

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Tart
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp352%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A793%3A67%3Anu0mrj

Kilauea Torte
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp347%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A793%3A67%3Cnu0mrj

White Chocolate Cheesecake
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp348%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A795%3B52%3Cnu0mrj

Caramel-Banana Creme Brulee
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp348%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A795%3B534nu0mrj



Our view from Flame Tree area...
http://images1.snapfish.com/347753%3A77%7Ffp348%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWS NRCG%3D32339%3A793%3A686nu0mrj



Coming up in Day 2...Coral Reef....

bluejasmine
07-30-2006, 08:37 PM
Wow all the reviews from Kona sound amazing I feel like I have really missed something not going there! I cant wait to here the Coral Reef review!

deany
07-30-2006, 09:14 PM
I just loved your review of Kona. We have an ADR there in Oct and since reading your review I am going to get the crab cakes and banana cream brulee. All the desserts just look so good.... :love: We will be going there for dinner though.

Just curious - what is open at AK during EMH? I would assume only the rides are open as it will be dark in Oct when we go. We have an ADR at Boma's and I am really excited to see the resort. You are so lucky to be staying there!! :simba: :simba: :simba:

daisy_77
07-30-2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the review! :wizard:

averill94
07-30-2006, 09:30 PM
Ooo everything sounds delish-then to see the pictures-yum.
Wasnt sure about Kona but now I am keeping my ADR.
Thanks

DisneycrazedX6
07-30-2006, 09:54 PM
Loved your reviews!!! I really want to eat at Kona but am choosing Coral Reef instead...Can't wait to hear if I am making the right decision! :wizard:

Conservative Hippie
07-30-2006, 09:55 PM
We are flying home to Texas tomorrow morning (in Ft. Lauderdale right now), so you may have to wait a day or two for the rest of the reviews, but here is Day 2...

Day 2—Casey’s Corner, Columbia Harbor House, and Coral Reef

We spent Tuesday at Magic Kingdom, but split up a little around mid-day. Not before stopping at Aloha Isle for more Pineapple Floats! The boys and I had lunch at Casey’s Corner on Main Street. We each had Grand Slam All Beef ¼ lb Hot Dogs, fries, and icy Cokes. Our only complaint was the shortage of indoor tables at Casey’s. We saw only two two-chair tables, and although the “stadium seating” really adds to the theme, I wished for a few more tables so that the majority of the diners didn’t have to try to balance hot dogs and fries on their knees. The outdoor tables were also completely full. But the meal was good on a hot summer day, and the baseball theme even tempted me to drink a soda. Our CS credits came with choice of brownie or Cracker Jack, but we gave all of ours away. Mom went to Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square, and had the Captain’s Special—2 strips each of chicken and fish with fries. The fish was very crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. She also got a chocolate cake (only dessert option) with her meal, which we all nibbled off of.

We had a 6:00 reservation for Coral Reef in the Living Seas at Epcot. We checked in at about 5:50, and waited until 6:15 to be seated. We had a table near the back, but a decent view of all four aquarium panels. The waiter referred to DH and my mom as “Mom and Dad” and to my brother and I as “the kids,” and apparently we were flagged after our Kona experience, because almost first thing the waiter asked which one of us had the cashew allergy and if I wanted to talk to the chef. I declined, but was told to watch for nuts in the dinner bread. For appetizers, DH had the Caesar with chicken, and Mom and I had Caesars with scallops (the waiter said the add-ons were included in the dining plan). Michael had the Shrimp Cocktail (with “spicy” sauce), and really enjoyed it.

Even though we put in our appetizer and entrée orders at the same time, we waited until 8:00 for our entrées, with at least one hour between our appetizer plates being cleared and our entrées brought. There is a line between not feeling rushed and feeling forgotten, and we definitely felt forgotten. When the entrées came, we didn’t even wait to take pictures, and were finished and ready for dessert in 10 minutes! Mom had Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Israeli couscous and honey glaze, which was light, and the couscous was a nice textured compliment. Michael had the Blackened Catfish with pepper jack cheese grits and smoked tomato compote, which was slightly spicy. He doesn’t eat much fish, preferring shrimp, but really enjoyed it. DH does not eat seafood, and had the Grilled 14 oz NY Strip Steak (one of three non-seafood choices), which he did not like at all—way too tough and chewy. He compared it to a steak from Denny’s, and said it was very forgettable. I had the Pan-Seared Crab Cake with chorizo hash. I thought crab and sausage sounded a little weird, but they actually complimented each other. The spicy chorizo sort of kicked up the crab a little. For dessert, Mom had the Chocolate Wave, which was decorated very nicely with a birthday message and candle. Michael also had the Wave, and poked a little hole so the white chocolate filling would spill out prettily for the picture. DH had the California Gold—orange pudding surrounded by vanilla sponge cake and orange zest ("Prettiest dessert award" went to DH again). I had the Butterscotch Brulee, which was very good, but could have been a little more butterscotchy. Overall, the long wait really knocked this restaurant down a quite few points. I had heard horror stories about the noise, but did not find it overly noisy. We probably will not be back, due to the poor non-seafood choices for DH and the excessive wait. (Actually, I would be willing to give it another try, just not with DH, and definitely not during peak hours). DDP value: $250.



Coral Reef

Shrimp Cocktail
http://images1.snapfish.com/347754475%7Ffp348%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWSNR CG%3D32339%3A795%3B55%3Bnu0mrj

Chocolate Wave (Birthday Edition)
http://images1.snapfish.com/347754475%7Ffp347%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWSNR CG%3D32339%3A795%3B55%3Cnu0mrj

Chocolate Wave (Inside)
http://images1.snapfish.com/347754475%7Ffp347%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWSNR CG%3D32339%3A795%3B565nu0mrj

California Gold
http://images1.snapfish.com/347754475%7Ffp352%3Enu%3D3238%3E952%3E5%3C3%3EWSNR CG%3D32339%3A793%3A6%3B3nu0mrj



Day 3...ABC Commissary and 50's Prime Time Cafe...

3princesses4us
07-30-2006, 10:48 PM
Uh oh... I cancelled Kona but kept Coral Reef! Me thinks I may have made a mistake since I am the non-seafood eater in the family. :rolleyes:
Thanks for the heads up. Can't wait to read about 50's!

Conservative Hippie
07-30-2006, 10:54 PM
Just curious - what is open at AK during EMH? I would assume only the rides are open as it will be dark in Oct when we go. We have an ADR at Boma's and I am really excited to see the resort. You are so lucky to be staying there!! :simba: :simba: :simba:



That's right--no animal-related attractions were open for EMH, but Bug's Life, Everest, Kali Rapids, and all of Dinoland were. I'm sure there are more that will be open that I don't remember. I do remember that there was not a late Festival of the Lion King, because I was really hoping for one!

We :love: :love: :love: AKL!!! Make sure you go to the Savannah viewing area and check out all of the displays in the lobby while you are there!

WAHMto5
07-31-2006, 10:30 AM
I am soo looking foward to our Kona reservations even more now. I have only heard great things come from there!! That is soo nice with the pressed coffee pot:) Glad you ejoyed it!

John's Mom
07-31-2006, 11:25 AM
I really enjoyed reading your reviews.

OKWMom
07-31-2006, 12:12 PM
Thank you for the reviews. We are really looking forward to our first meal at Kona.

SnowWitch
08-01-2006, 08:52 AM
Encourage your DH to try Coral Reef again. We ordered the Strip med and it was fabulous and tender. Not cut with a fork tender such as the fliet at Kona but very good for a strip. Maybe just a bad steak night. We were in and out in an hour and a half but our friends who were dining at the same time had a different server who sounds alot like yours Very SLOW. They skipped dessert just because they were sick of waiting.

heather360
08-01-2006, 12:05 PM
Loved reading your reviews. It's always nice to see that people are enjoying Kona. It was our favorite 1TS restaurant last trip.

MyTalula
08-01-2006, 12:30 PM
LOVING your reviews! Especially of Kona, we could only fit it in for breakfast last time, but I really want to fit it in for dinner or lunch next time! :thumbsup2

janets
08-02-2006, 01:46 PM
Really enjoying your reviews and pictures.

We also had a slow experience at Coral Reef but the food was really enjoyable. Did you complain to the server or manager about waiting 1 hour for entrees to come out? I don't think we would have managed to sit there without complaining to someone about it.

Of course, I've also heard that people have complained, but nothing came of it. At least you had a good attitude about it.

dawgfan
08-02-2006, 03:40 PM
Thanks for sharing your review with us.

jackskellingtonsgirl
08-02-2006, 04:44 PM
We love Kona! Going there on Saturday for my birthday dinner! :)

I will NOT be very happy if we have to wait almost 2 hours from the time we are seated until we have entrees at Coral Reef. In fact, I will be complaining. LOUDLY. I have read mixed reviews, so I think it is probably luck of the draw. Hopefully nobody in our party will order steak. I think we are all OK with seafood. Glad the experience was OK other than the long wait! :thumbsup2

luciloo
08-03-2006, 07:26 AM
Great Reviews, can't wait for more :cool1:

Conservative Hippie
08-12-2006, 11:20 AM
Really enjoying your reviews and pictures.

We also had a slow experience at Coral Reef but the food was really enjoyable. Did you complain to the server or manager about waiting 1 hour for entrees to come out? I don't think we would have managed to sit there without complaining to someone about it.

Of course, I've also heard that people have complained, but nothing came of it. At least you had a good attitude about it.


DH is easily embarrassed, and I was going to say something after 30 minutes, but he asked me not too.....although after 45 minutes, I don't think he would have had a problem with me saying something, but we were all thinking, "surely it's coming any minute now!"

Minniespal
08-21-2006, 10:21 AM
Enjoyed reading your report ~ Thanx for sharing.

Kiddeokee
08-22-2006, 11:21 PM
I enjoyed your report on Kona. We haven't scheduled that into our week, simply because they just opened up one a quarter block from my house. Would it be worth doing at Disney since it is now available anytime??? I am on the dining plan, so we can splurdge more than usual... What to cancel if we do Kona? Ohanas, Teppanki? We're also going to Captain Jacks, Prime Time 50's, Le Celliar, California Grill. All these choices are driving me crazzzzy!!!!!!! But I am enjoying every moment of the planning process.

ExPirateShopGirl
08-23-2006, 12:24 AM
I enjoyed your report on Kona. We haven't scheduled that into our week, simply because they just opened up one a quarter block from my house. Would it be worth doing at Disney since it is now available anytime??? I am on the dining plan, so we can splurdge more than usual... What to cancel if we do Kona? Ohanas, Teppanki? We're also going to Captain Jacks, Prime Time 50's, Le Celliar, California Grill. All these choices are driving me crazzzzy!!!!!!! But I am enjoying every moment of the planning process.


Is it the same Kona Cafe? :confused3

Kiddeokee
08-23-2006, 02:54 PM
Is it the same Kona Cafe? :confused3

honestly, I don't know. I haven't been there yet as it just opened up a couple weeks ago. I should possibly try to find out :)

purpliequeen
08-23-2006, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the pictures and reviews. I want more! :thumbsup2

tkitty
08-23-2006, 07:41 PM
We ate at Coral reef on 8/15, 5 adults 1 child. Had 6:20 ressie (DDP) We were seeted within 10 min of that time. Had Cathy for our server (she was very good) Our food flowed out to us pretty quickly, barely finished appi's and main couse was there. Desert was a short wait, less than 10 min from ordering, and Cathy let us know that the kitchen had gotten backed up.
I really enjoied the food, heard no complaints from our party. I had the greens w/lime something vinigrette. I loved it, DD, not so much. DH had the shrimp cocktail, which he liked. Liked the bread also.
DH got the Mahi Mahi, which he said was very good, most of us had the NY steak. Mine could have been just a bit pinker. Ordered med rare, it was slightly pink, more like med. The steaks were very tastey, We really did enjoy them.
For desert, the Chocolate wave was the winner :goodvibes . YUM! And pretty to look at.
I'd give CR a :thumbsup2 I'd eat there again.

Tink_Or_Belle
08-23-2006, 07:55 PM
honestly, I don't know. I haven't been there yet as it just opened up a couple weeks ago. I should possibly try to find out :)


I may be wrong but I bet you had a Kona Grill open by you not Kona cafe. We have a Kona grill not far from where we live it is good but not at all like the Kona cafe (Kona Grill has sushi, Pizzas, Lots of Pasta, Macadamia Chicken and REALLY good Chicken Tacos) you can find their menu online