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Florida Guide > Dining



Last year owing to an incident involving a rubber band, a trombone and some glue; my party’s booking for the character breakfast at Crystal Palace was accidentally booked one short. Ever the martyr, I volunteered to take one for the team and seek my morning sustenance elsewhere.

We all took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and I said a begrudging goodbye to my party who were taking an early entrance with their booking. With the park not open for an hour and with an empty and argumentative stomach I considered my options. Most of the resorts breakfast options are either very small scale or require booking. At this point I remembered the existence of Kona Café.

An overlooked option at the best of times (or lunchtime at least) Kona Café is situated in a non-more-convenient position for monorail access – just inside the Polynesian from the monorail dock. We have used it before for lunch with great success but not for breakfast.

I realised this could be a great option for people who want to arrive nice and early, but want to get something to eat before the park opens so they can have a full day’s touring BUT don’t want to bother with the fuss and expense of a full booked breakfast.

My main worry was “Surely everyone thinks of this, and with the resort guests AND the monorail guests it’s going to be heaving.”

I need not have bothered with my worry. In the middle of a busy Christmas season (18th December) 45 minutes before the Magic Kingdom opens this delightful nook was only a third full.

I was immediately offered a table (always awkward when there’s only one of you) and given a menu full of tasty, relatively cheap options to choose from ranging from the experimental (Tonga toast) to the more conventional (Eggs Benedict) resuting in a per capita food plus drink charge of around $14.

The staff at Kona is, I have found, the easiest to mingle with and chat to. This is partly due to the general laid back feel of the place (since it is so rarely full) and indeed also due to the fact that the staff wear the loudest shirts (male) and waistcoats (female) In Disney. Nobody could wear those shirts and look threatening. It seems a trivial comment but like the awe-inspiring desserts that come out onto the counter before lunch, it is the little things which make this little restaurant so unique on Disney property.

After a tasty omelette with crunchy potatoes and plenty of house coffee I rejoined the monorail. The Magic Kingdom had been open a mere ten minutes when I arrived and the initial crowd had disappeared. I felt rather smug when I met up with my party since despite their great thanks for my culinary and Pooh-related sacrifice, I had had a wonderful morning, a great breakfast and a full day of park ahead – not to mention a fuller wallet than them.

I would really advise anyone to try out this tip, as this doesn’t require pre-booking, going out of your way or using up park time.

I hope you consider it.

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Page added on: 10 March 2007
Viewed 4070 times since 1 September 2008.

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