This week in “A Taste of Disney” we will explore the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I first attended this dinner show when I was very young, but I had a second chance to experience it this past Christmas. To be completely honest, it is one of those Disney experiences that just doesn’t thrill me. I believe there are so many other options for dining and entertainment to go experience instead. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice family night out, but I believe it would be better suited for younger guests to enjoy.
When you first arrive, you are greeted by lit tiki torches, beautiful Hawaiian flowers, and Cast Members carrying leis to put around your neck. You check in and then take a group photo, which they later present to your table for purchasing options. The grounds of the luau show are very pretty! Especially on a warm night, it has a welcoming, tropical feel. As you continue winding along the stone paths, you finally arrive at the show venue and are seated. The seating is arranged in a semi-circle surrounding the stage where the performers come out later in the night. When we arrived, our appetizer plate and drinks were served almost immediately.
The appetizer plate consisted of fresh pineapple, a mango salad, and pineapple-coconut bread. While we finished our appetizer plate, the first performers came out for the night. The first portion of the show was a musical story played out with Hawaiian dancers. Next, our dinner was served in an all-you-can-eat family style platter. The platter included barbecued pork ribs, seasonal vegetables, barbecue pulled pork, Polynesian rice, and roasted chicken. I’ll admit, I was surprised by how good the main course tasted. The pork and chicken were full of flavor and delicious! We asked for seconds. During dinner, there was a break in the show to allow us to eat without missing anything. Finally, was dessert. We were served some type of fruit cobbler, which was pretty average. However, the second part of the show started during dessert and it was fun to watch! I’d describe the second part of the show as comparable to parts of the Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. There was a flame thrower and more adventurous acts. The complete dinner and show lasted for about 2 hours.
Overall, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is nice to experience once, especially with children in your party. However, for the expensive cost, I wouldn’t recommend it on more than one visit. If your kids don’t like the Polynesian menu items, make sure you ask for a children’s meal!
This week’s recipe is for the Spirit of Aloha Rice. Recipe courtesy of http://www.thedisneydiner.com/2013/01/spirit-of-aloha-rice-recipe.html.
Spirit of Aloha Rice
1 lb. white rice, cooked
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon clarified butter (butter oil)
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and diced
8 ounces of cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Saute vegetables (onions, carrots, cabbage & garlic) in butter until tender. Add in cooked rice and soy sauce. Sprinkle in seasonings and mix well with a large spoon. Serve.
(Image from the author’s personal collection.)
Have any of you experienced the luau? What were your thoughts?
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.