Meeting Disney Legend ‘Auntie’ Kau’i at the Polynesian Resort

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Hanging with Walt Disney Living Legend, ‘Auntie’ Kau’i Brandt.  She’s 84 years old!

Although not as well-known as Disney Legend Richard over at the Grand Floridian, Disney’s Polynesian Resort also has a Walt Disney Living Legend working there:  cast member Kau’i Brandt, better known as Auntie Kau’i to the guests.

At age 84, Auntie Kau’i has been with Disney’s Polynesian Resort almost since it opened.

She moved from the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1971 to first open the Polynesian show at Disneyland in California, and then moved to Florida to open a similar show at Walt Disney World. She was the master of ceremonies for both shows, and now serves as a cultural representative at the Polynesian Resort.

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Her lei-making table with beautiful finished leis for sale.

Guests can find Auntie Kau’i in the first-floor lobby of the Great Ceremonial House of the Polynesian five days a week making leis with fresh flowers and pretty ribbons at her table in the corner of the children’s area. She is quick with a friendly smile and delights in showing guests how leis are made.

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All the leis smelled so beautiful.  This is a carnation lei with rose colored ribbons (next to it is a candy lei for kids!).

She creates her leis from real flowers for guests celebrating their honeymoon, anniversaries, or family celebrations. (All resort guests receive a pretty, free silk flower lei when they check-in, and also get one when entering the Spirit of Aloha show.)

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Wearing our leis.

These special leis can be custom-ordered in specific colors and flowers in the adjacent gift shop for $10 – $20 apiece. Auntie Kau’i said she creates about 20 lei necklaces, bracelets, and headbands for guests each day.  How cute would that be if you were getting married at the Polynesian and everyone wore one of these?!

Children are invited to make lei necklaces and bracelets out of pasta and candy. Modern tradition holds that carnation lei symbolize love, but a fresh flower lei is a beautiful gift that needs no reason to give and enjoy.

Auntie Kau’i also teaches guests how to dance the hula. The lessons are complimentary and last about 15 minutes. Women and girls are invited to don grass skirts and are given instruments to play to accompany the ukulele music. During the lessons, Auntie Kau’i and another cast member take turns demonstrating the graceful movements while the guests mimic them. Then, the guests put it all together for their finale. So much fun!

Auntie Kau’i has been dancing the hula since she was 6 years old. On Saturday mornings, she also teaches free dance lessons for two hours at the Polynesian Resort.

Stop by and say hi to her!

You can read more about her interesting life’s story here:  Growing Up Hawaiian.

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Checking out the gift shop.

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The Great Ceremonial House Lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, entryway.

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The light fixtures high above the lobby.

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View from the monorail of the Polynesian Village Resort.

Don’t forget to try the delicious breakfast at Ohana’s!!!!

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Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

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Caroline having fun with Stitch.

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Brunch at Ohana’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Our Restaurant Review

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Ohana’s is on the 2nd floor of Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

We’ve eaten at Ohana’s several times now, but only for brunch.

Ohana, of course, means Family. The food is served family style to your table.

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Lilo and Stitch at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Brunch is a delicious Hawaiian-themed character breakfast with Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch all wearing their luau costumes and leis.

Reservations are hard to get, especially for breakfast, as it’s very popular.

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Ohana’s signature Pineapple-Coconut Breakfast Bread. So good!

We were on-time for our 10:30am brunch reservation and were immediately seated and given a basket full of yummy, freshly-baked Hawaiian bread.

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Mickey Waffles and Stitch Waffles!

Ohana’s serves the breakfast food family style to the table, in gigantic metal bowls with large spoons to serve yourself onto your individual plates.

We were really excited to get some chilled “moonshine” juice just like they serve at Trail’s End restaurant, but here it’s called P.O.G juice, which stands for pineapple, orange and guava juice.  It is perfection.

Carafes of P.O.G. juice.

Carafe of chilled P.O.G. juice for the table.

We love the Mickey Waffles and order them whenever we can.

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August 2019: Fruity Pebbles Mickey Waffles!  These might not be available all the time.

The day we were there, they not only had Mickey Waffles, they also had Stitch Waffles too!  Super cute!

Food photos!

Food photos!

While we were enjoying our breakfast, Polynesian Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch all came by our table to visit us.

We had a great time with the characters!

I had forgotten how short Stitch is!  Halfway through breakfast, Hawaiian music started playing and all the kids got up and started parading around the restaurant, laughing with the characters.  So fun!

Cost:  $40.47 per person. Tax is included; gratuity is not included. A standard, non-alcoholic beverage is included in this price.  Cast members get a 20% discount.

Note that the price of this meal varies based on the time of year (peak season vs regular season), and also on the day of the week (weekday vs. weekend).

We ate it all!

We ate it all!

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August 2019

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Breakfast Menu, August 2019

Served 7:30am – 12pm, $40.47 (includes tax, but not gratuity)

The ‘All you care to enjoy’ meal is brought table-side by servers. Sweet bread, fruit, breakfast skillet, and Mickey Waffles with warmed syrup are brought to your table as soon as you’re seated.  You may request seconds.

Basket of Sweet Hawaiian Breads

Seasonal Fruit

Hawaiian breakfast platter for the table includes:

Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs) – made fresh, hot & delicious

Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes) – island-style potatoes, with caramelized onions & scallions

Pua’a (Pork) – pork breakfast sausage links & smoked bacon

Mickey and/or Stitch Waffles – with warmed syrup

Beverages:

Unlimited P.O.G. juice – the juice is a blend of pineapple, orange and guava juices

Milk, hot cocoa, bottled water, coffee, and tea
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Some photos from our brunch:

Enjoying a Character Breakfast at 'Ohana

Enjoying our Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana.

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The food was so delicious!

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Yum!

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Mickey leading a parade of kids around the restaurant.

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Elly with Lilo. (Look at that basket of Hawaiian Bread!)

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Lilo was great!

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Having fun with Stitch.

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Elly & Hawaiian Mickey.

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Polynesian friends invite you to join Mickey for autographs and pictures. A family photo is taken before you are seated.

A photographer will bring the photo to your table during the meal for you to purchase if you wish.

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We love the theme-ing of this restaurant.

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It’s actually not a very big restaurant.

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Aloha!

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Throwback Thursday: Christian meeting his favorite character, Stitch. #TBT

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Cheers to the new year!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

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Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

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Two Disney Sisters

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Sprinkles is Open at Disney Springs

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Sprinkles at Disney Springs

The new cupcake shop – Sprinkles – opened up at Disney Springs Town Center a few weeks ago, and the crowds went wild!

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The Sprinkles cupcake ATM.

You don’t even have to go into the shop.  There’s a cupcake ATM right outside!  The cupcake ATM, which is open even when the bakery is closed, can hold up to 400 cupcakes.  It’s constantly restocked throughout the day to ensure freshness. Note:  The cupcake ATM  also carries dog-friendly cupcakes!

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How to chose just one???

Cupcakes are $4.95 each or $52 for a dozen.

They also carry ice cream, cookies, sodas, juices, and coffee drinks.

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And they carry mini cupcakes too!  $3.50 each

You can sign up here for perks like getting your first cupcake for free and getting a free cupcake on your birthday:  Sprinkles Perks.

Disney cast members get a 10% discount.

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Sprinkles menu, June 2016

Sprinkles Disney Springs

1676 East Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

(407) 560-9192

Store Hours:  Monday – Sunday, 10am – 12am

Click here on Sprinkles Cupcakes for our daily Disney menu!

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Yes, please!

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Now open!!!  Stop on by!!

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Sprinkles Cupcakes!

September 2016 Update!

Breaking News!!  A new Sprinkles Cupcakes location is planned at Downtown Disney Anaheim in California, right next to Disneyland!  The shop will be next door to the first Starbucks in Downtown Disney, in a portion of the space recently vacated by Quiksilver.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Disney Springs Cast Member Discounts!

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Welcome to Disney Springs!!!

There are over 200 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences at Disney Springs and most offer cast member discounts!

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Covered shopping!!!  Yes, please!

But, wait, what are the Cast Member Discounts you ask??

Well, here they are:

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Town Center discounts:  10%-20%

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The Landing discounts

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West Side discounts.

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The very popular Sprinkles offers Cast Members a 10% discount on their cupcakes!  Yum!

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So many places to eat and shop now!!!

 

Want more discount info?

Dining Discounts for Cast Members

Perks of Being a Disney Cast Member

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

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Adventure is out there!