Today is Foodie Friday at Focused on the Magic and I would like to welcome a very special Guest Blogger! Sarah, from Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW is sharing with us her tips, tricks and dining review of The Spirit of Aloha at Disney's Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. Sarah is an amazing blogger, event planner and reviewer. Her site is a great WDW dining resource filled with valuable information so I was very excited when she agreed to share her thoughts on The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show with us.
One of my favorite resorts for dining at Disney is the Polynesian. I love the atmosphere and well, just everything about it! But one of my most favorite things is the food. Ohana and Kona Cafe remain two of my hands down favorite restaurants on property. But believe it or not, I’d never been to the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. I recently went with my family and discovered what a fun experience it was and how surprisingly good the food was too! I thought I would give you a brief recap of my experience there, which includes some tips and information about dining with a special diet.
For those that aren’t familiar with the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, it is located in an open air theater at Luau cove at the Polynesian Resort. It offers the sights, sounds, and tastes of Polynesia. Billed as a classic Hawaiian luau, guests are treated to a feast of traditional island fare, as well as authentic entertainment from various regions of Polynesia. As we found out, this is an excellent show and not to be missed!
My visit to the Spirit of Aloha (SoA) was in June, which is a bit of a busy time at Disney World. Normally, SoA is sold out during peak times, but we were really lucky and were able to secure a reservation for the 8 p.m. show in a Category 3 seating area. When you reserve dinner shows, table assignments are given in the order in which tickets were purchased. So, it really pays to book as early as possible in order to get the best view. Shows also frequently sell out during both the regular and busy times of year. But, with cancellations, you may get a last minute reservation if the show is not full. That’s particularly true during Value Season.
When I first found out that my family was booking the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, I really had no idea what to expect. I also didn't really find any other reviews out there for gluten & dairy free--other than people mentioned that they had been. So, I was really interested in seeing what they would have available. When we booked the reservation (we did it in person at the concierge desk at the Polynesian), they noted my special dietary needs. However, one thing they didn't mention was that I needed to contact Disney no later than 48 hours in advance. Thankfully, I had emailed the Special Diets Department and they let me know that I needed to let the SoA catering kitchen know ahead of time. They said I could call them or have them call me. Knowing how that can go, I had them call me by giving Special Diets my reservation information.
Two days later, they called and we discussed the menu. Now, I will say, the CMs were very nice but unless you talk to a chef, they may or may not know all of the complete details for what you'll get for dinner. They noted that I needed to have gluten & dairy free items, but they really only knew much about the gluten free. They said that the chicken was marinated in gluten free soy sauce and that they had it available. They also noted that they would have rolls. They mentioned brownies but as I discovered when I arrived, the brownies are gluten free but not dairy free (I think they are the OMG It's Gluten Free brand).
When we arrived at our seats, we noticed that they had food already set up. And at our table, I noticed that there was a special section for me. You can always tell the special section when you see GNI rolls which are gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free! I had gluten free tamari (San-J), a salad with honey lime dressing and two GNI rolls. My family's salad was segregated in another area (they had pasta salad and slaw, etc.)
As a special diets diner, I received my own platter of food. I had gluten free & dairy free rolls, plain white rice, gluten free soy sauce, marinated chicken, vegetables, pulled pork and the ribs. It was definitely a feast and very filling.
The food at SoA is plentiful! While not 100% authentic, Spirit of Aloha definitely offers a variety of Hawaiian inspired fare--from Aloha pulled pork, BBQ pork ribs, and Jasmine rice with nori. You won't go hungry with this tropical feast! And don't forget the famous pineapple-coconut bread. It's a SoA favorite! Save room for dessert. You'll want to enjoy the warm pineapple bread pudding with caramel sauce. For children, PB&J sandwiches, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese are also available on a limited kids menu. As a special diets diner, I got the fresh fruit plate, plus our server brought out a sugar free fruit bar.
Overall, guests are sure to enjoy this fun-filled Hawaiian luau. From the food to the entertainment, there's something for everybody. It's a true Polynesian Resort classic and and a show that you and your family are sure to enjoy and remember for Disney trips to come. Make it a tradition or visit for a once in a lifetime experience. We had a blast. It's definitely a new family tradition for us!
Thanks so much Sarah! What a great review! I've had SoA on my bucket list for a long time. I'm glad to know there will be special diet items we can choose from on the menu and they'll take great care of our special needs.
Have you dined at the Polynesian? What did you think?
This post is linked up to the Favorite Food Friday Blog Hop hosted by my Disney Foodie Friend Sean at Disney Day By Day. If you didn't get here from there hop on over and find out about more fabulous Disney foods!
Thanks for stopping by. Bon Appetit!