Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tangaroa Terrace

On the list of Walt Disney World 'shuttered treasures' is the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant, located on the grounds of Disney's Polynesian Resort. Tangaroa Terrace was the original home of the beloved banana stuffed French Toast, a staple of many a guests' culinary memories of the restaurant and the resort. Recreated (but never fully replicated) at the Kona Cafe and elsewhere, Tonga Toast surely serves as one of the Walt Disney World Resort's culinary conerstones.

Tangaroa Terrace opened in 1978 as part of the first expansion of this popular property. (This expansion also brought with it the official name change from the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel and a new longhouse.) The restaurant originally offered a B/L/D menu and featured a large seating area. Stringers on the PFTP staff fondly remember visits to this eating establishment (second only to memories of the Empress Lilly) and another correspondent particularly remembers an overly welcoming Goofy CM at one nosh who practially tackled him. (Editors note: We suspect this happened at Papeete Bay Verandah instead, which became 'Ohana in 1995. What, Papette Bay Verandah is too hard for you to spit out? Perish the thought. We think the French Colonial influence is what didn't sit well in the stomachs of many.)

As the pressure for open seats ebbed and flowed throughout the Magic Kingdom so did the fortunes of Tangaroa Terrace. It's location is somewhat unique in that it's not part of the Great Ceremonial House and occupied the same building as the arcade and the Never Land Club. In 1996 the restaurant closed and while some say it was used from time to time for 'special events' just as many say the current condition of the facility does not lend credence to that statement. The exterior, though, is a treat - especially at night - and deserves a momement or two of your camera lens if you find yourself out at night.

These photographs were taken by the author in March, 2008.

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