Dole Whips are back at the Polynesian Village Resort at the new and disappointing Pineapple Lanai

| September 1, 2014 | 11 Replies

Capt. Cook’s at the Polynesian Village Resort just recently reopened after a lengthy refurbishment and several big changes were made. The most insignificant was the new decor of the seating area, which now features posters of the Polynesian islands some of the longhouses are named after (some of the longhouses are expected to be renamed). The menu change, dropping popular items like the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, was met with a lot of criticism, but the biggest difference between the old and new Capt. Cook’s is the removal of the self-serve Dole Whip machines. Disney Parks Blog reported after Capt. Cook’s reopened that Pineapple Lanai, a window in the courtyard, would be the new spot at the Polynesian Village Resort to satisfy Dole Whip cravings and it is now officially open and officially a letdown.

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doleLet’s start with the obvious reason why Pineapple Lanai can’t live up to the self-serve machines inside Capt. Cook’s. Before, anyone could buy a cup from the cash register and fill it up with as little or as much Dole Whip as they desired. Pineapple Lanai is a quick-service window and Cast Members are in charge of serving up the delicious treat, meaning you get the serving size that Disney wants to sell, which is never enough. The price for a Dole Whip, without a souvenir cup, is $3.99, but the portion size appeared to be slightly less than what is being served for the same price at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom. The Pineapple Float is $4.99, which is the same price at Aloha Isle and the portion size seemed to be roughly the same. The good news is the souvenir bowls that were released a couple months ago in Disneyland have made their way here along with the sipper cup that has also been available at Aloha Isle for awhile.

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Moving past the portion issues, the next big problem is the hours. Capt. Cook’s is open 24 hours a day, meaning you could satisfy your sweet tooth with a Dole Whip any time of the day. Pineapple Lanai hasn’t nailed down their operating hours, but right now Cast Members are saying the window will open somewhere between 12:00 and 1:00 PM and stay open until a half-hour after Magic Kingdom’s fireworks. I want to believe Disney did some kind of research to prove those hours were the peak times guests would purchase Dole Whips, but even if it’s true it isn’t as good as being able to have Dole Whips whenever you want. What was once a great perk to staying at the Polynesian is now just a memory.

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Beyond those issues, the rest of the problems stem from the fact that the Polynesian Village Resort is still a construction site. The patio style seating is a great option for those who want to enjoy a Dole Whip right by the window, but the seating is cheap porch furniture that sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, there is no music loop currently playing in the area so you are forced to listen to obnoxious fans and vents from Capt. Cook’s. Hopefully the music is addressed soon, because piping in the Polynesian loop would change the feel of the area a great deal.

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One thing worth noting – we heard a rumors about a lobby window for the Pineapple Lanai so those who are inside don’t have to go outside. Unless this is in the plan for what’s behind the wall blocking the old Wyland Gallery, then it’s not going to happen. Some have reported that a DVC kiosk will be occupying that space, which means there is little to no room for another Dole Whip window. Also, it would have to be a separate location, because the Pineapple Lanai window is about ten yards away from the lobby and is more of a closet space than a kiosk.

Pineapple Lanai may be the new home for Dole Whips, but it’s not the home that it deserves. Disney may be regulating the amount of soft-serve guests can have, but the experience of getting a Dole Whip at the Polynesian has changed in a bad way.



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Category: Dining, Disney World, Disney World Dining, Photos / Video, Videos

  • Captain Earl

    It’s a sad day for sure. But I think we all saw it coming… People nowadays feel the need for greed. It’s not just that some people were making foot tall plus Dole Whips from the self server machine, but that people would just consider it an all you can eat machine. I’ve seen people make two or three trips for Dole Whip refills without an CM saying anything about it.

    So just like the soda fountains, Disney had to control the dispensing of Dole Whips. Don’t blame Disney, blame greedy entitled adults which are more prevalent now then during decades past…

  • marebear

    Thanks for the review, but I feel like this post is a no-win situation. We complain that Disney isn’t working fast enough, and then they give us something, in this case the Pineapple Lanai, and one of the major complaints is that there’s still construction site?!? I never felt the need to get a Dole Whip as high as me, so I don’t mind that there is a stand alone place to control how much people take. I actually think it makes it feel like more of an experience to go up to the Lanai. I’m willing to give it some time to work out the kinks and am happy to hear there are once again Dole Whips available at the Poly!

  • JoshK47

    Sounds like it’ll be a pretty great place to enjoy once construction is done at the Polynesian Village. It’s a shame people were abusing the self serve dole whip station, but greedy people have a tendency to ruin everything for the better folks.

  • http://www.wdwmax.com Todd Slater

    Really? I can think of many ways to describe portion sizes at Disney, but “never enough” is definitely not one of them!

  • peter

    I Love Dole Whip as much as the next guy, but really it is just Dole Whip. An entire blog surrounding how things used to be and how “terrible” the changes are seems a bit of an over-kill to me.

  • Nicole L. Mancini

    I love the new bowls and cup! A friend of mine was there two nights ago and was told that they’d be open at least an hour after Wishes with the possibility of going beyond that in the future. Sounds good to me!

  • James

    This will be one of the first things we do when we arrive in November! Thanks for telling us about it.

  • wishicouldgomoreofte

    I can’t picture where this is located. You said about 10 yards from the lobby. Can you give a picture or diagram to locate it? thank you

  • DOLE Soft Serve

    We are happy to see that DOLE Whip fans can get their favorite soft serve treat again! We know some are disappointed about not having the self-serve feature, especially those who have perfected the art of making a tall twist, but we feel confident that if it doesn’t go back to self-serve, the Disney employees will take pride in making each guest an adequate serving of DOLE Soft Serve. We don’t know any more than you do on what is in the future for DOLE Whip at the Polynesian but we are happy the treat is available again!

  • Disneynut

    Dear god how much dole whip can you eat? Everything disney does is over the top for portion size if you ask me. If you want to eat it buy it, if not just go to MK on the monorail for the”bigger” portions. seems like this blog is always about whining about changes. Change is good people! I like change. It makes it feel like a new vacation every year I visit. Does it really matter if you go outside or inside for a dole whip in Florida?

  • Marla R. Stevens

    All the discussion about Dole Whip greed doesn’t address the very real issues of unthemed seating and the unpleasant Captain Cooks fan noise — nor does it address the shortened hours. I will be one of those headed over to Aloha in the MK for my morning spear and whip. Dole whip is not just an after meal treat!