WDW Resort Food SMACKDOWN: Polynesian Resort VS Animal Kingdom Part 2


Ohana Polynesian Resort


We continue this week’s competition of Animal Kingdom Lodge vs the Polynesian Resort by discussing dining options before declaring a winner.

If you missed Part one of the smackdown click HERE then come back to see the final.

Let’s talk yummies at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

  • There are three Table Service Restaurants accessible at the Animal Kingdom.
    • Jiko is fine dining with West African flair, but only serves meals at dinner.
    • Boma has a buffet for breakfast and dinner. This means no lunch options! However, it is a great way to get your children to try some West African foods for dinner with no risk (If they don’t like it, they can get another plate).
    • Sanna is more East African in flavor. If it’s not dark, you can see the Animals exploring the savanna while eating at either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
    • There are NO Character Meals at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • AKL has five lounges. Sanna lounge serves wines and beers, Maji is a Pool Bar, Uzima Springs is also a pool bar. Then there is Cape Town Lounge & Wine and Victoria Falls.
  • There is only one Quick Service option at ALK, the Mara, which is more of the typical food court style Disney has in every resort.

As far as unique experiences, AKL provides some pretty cool ones. You can have lunch with an Animal Specialist, enjoy the Jiko Wine Tasking, or splurge and reserve your spot for the Wanyama Safari & Dinner, which includes gourmet dinner & private guide through the savanna.

Now let’s explore the Polynesian Resort dining options:

  • The Polynesian Resort has two table service restaurants:
    • ‘Ohana, which has Polynesian-themed food Character Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch and a Dinner menu with more meat than you can imagine.
    • Kona Café has breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, including the famous Tonga Toast for breakfast and a Lunch & Dinner menu that includes sushi.
  • There are four lounges at the Poly. Including their Pool Bar that serves drinks & lunch, Barefoot Trader Sam’s has live music, and Tambu Lounge.
  • There are two quick service options at the Polynesian. Capt. Cooks serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night foods, but has a HUGE bonus in the form of its own Dole Whip machine.
  • Kona Island is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has quick options like Coffee & Pastries, and sushi, the second half of the day.
  • There are also Special Dining options at the Poly, including the Highway in the Skies Dine Around. This experience hits all three Monorail Loop Resorts in one meal. It ends with a private patio on the Contemporary to watch the fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom.
  • The Spirit of Aloha Luau is also a fantastic special dining opportunity, especially for people who think they may never be able to handle the long plane ride to Hawaii. It’s a great way to get a taste of a unique cultural experience even if you don’t visit the islands.

The most significant advantage has to be that you can also get to the dining options at the Grand Floridian. GF has 5 Table services total, 3 Character meals, four lounges, and 1 Quick Service. The Contemporary has three tables of functions: one character, six lounges, and 1 Quick Service with ease just by jumping on the resort monorail. This means when you stay at the Poly, you not only have the eight dining options INSIDE the resort, but you have easy access to 24 places as well.

So let’s do the math…

AKL has 9 options
Poly has 32 options

That’s quite a difference. This isn’t to say that the food at any one of these dining establishments is BETTER than one at another resort, but I have to go just on sheer volume of choices and give this point to the POLYNESIAN.

Final Tally:

Location – Poly +1

Transportation – Poly +1

Theming – AKL +1

Dining – Poly +1

SMACKDOWN WINNER = POLYNESIAN RESORT  Disagree with the smackdown result? Let me hear why YOU think Animal Kingdom Lodge should win!

WDW Resort Food SMACKDOWN: Polynesian Resort VS Animal Kingdom Part 2 1

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Kristin S
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