'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort
Walt Disney World Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 10-26-2012
It's not very often that I find a Disney restaurant that serves up a breakfast that I enjoy just as much as their dinner offerings.
'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World falls into that rare category.
Polynesian - 'Ohana
The shrimps served up as part of the dinner offerings at 'Ohana.
Located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney's Polynesian Resort, this is not the place to head for if you want to a quiet, romantic dinner. However, if you want some great food, and some fun into the bargain, it's a perfect choice.
One of the main reasons I love the "Lilo and Stitch Best Friends" character breakfast here is the line-up of characters who are present, including that loveable, and mischievous blue alien, Stitch. Whenever he’s around, you're always guaranteed to have fun, and that's been our experience every time we've eaten there. And of course, the same applies to both Mickey, and his faithful pooch, Pluto.
The last time we visited was with friends and their four year-old son, and he was absolutely enchanted by the characters, pretty much to the point where he wouldn't sit still, and wouldn't eat, so parents beware of that aspect to the meal!
The food is served family style, meaning it’s brought out to your table on platters to be shared by all. Be sure to go there hungry, as the food mounts up as you go through your meal. We find that there’s always loads left over, as it’s far too much for us. Even as a non-meat eater, I always find plenty to enjoy, and particularly the wonderful pineapple bread – heaven on a plate! I cannot get enough of this stuff, and that would be enough to bring me back here time, and time again. However, there’s so much more to enjoy here, such as scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and of course, bacon, and sausages.
Breakfast runs daily from 7:30 am to 11:00 am, and as your trusty PassPorter’s Walt Disney World guidebook tells you, budget around $31 per adult, including tax and gratuity.
‘Ohana re-opens at 5:00 pm, serving dinner until 10:00 pm, and this is another superb meal on Disney property. Once again, dinner is served family-style, and just like breakfast, there’s always way too much, to the point where we usually find the table absolutely packed, with no more room for anything else! I think it says something about the quality of the food here, that every time potential changes to the menu are rumored, there’s usually an outcry from Disney fans. One recent example was the arrival of the ‘Ohana bread pudding with bananas and caramel sauce. I have to say that I wasn’t as enamoured with the bread pudding, which is a shame, as the rest of our meal was so good.
Talking of bread, just like at breakfast, I couldn’t get enough of the pineapple-coconut bread that starts the meal, although if you want something lighter (and I wouldn’t blame you, as there’s a lot of food still to come) there are mixed greens, and fresh pineapple. Other early offerings are the pork fried dumplings, and honey coriander chicken wings. Remember though, these are just the appetizers!
It’s at this point that the skewers of grilled meat and seafood start to arrive, and they just keep on coming! I only ever get the spicy grilled peel’n’eat shrimp, and despite the description, the last time we were here, I certainly didn’t find it spicy at all. Everyone else at the table tucked into the oak-grilled chicken, marinated sirloin steak, and Asian barbecued pork loin, and I didn’t hear a word of complaint from anybody. This all comes with noodles (as if you could find the room for those as well!) and stir-fried vegetables, which are beautiful, along with a selection of dipping sauces.
Polynesian - 'Ohana
Fire on! Cooking some of the dinner items at 'Ohana.
As I alluded to earlier, this restaurant is not all about the food, it’s also about fun for the whole family, and that means games for the kids. There are coconut races, and if you’re near one of the walkways, you could find yourself in the firing line as the kids roll coconuts around the dining room. In the past, we’ve gone for an early meal, and specifically asked for a table away from a walkway to avoid this problem, although if you’re there at peak times, you may not have this option, as ‘Ohana is often completely full.
If you can snag a table by the window that overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom beyond, then you may be lucky enough to be treated to the nightly performance of Wishes fireworks, or even the Electrical Water Pageant on the lake outside. However, don’t hold your breath for one of those tables, as they do go quickly, and there aren’t that many of them.
Expect to spend around $40 per adult, including tax, and gratuity for dinner at ‘Ohana.
If you do want to dine at ‘Ohana, then bear in mind that it is extremely popular. We find breakfast is easier to get into, but we’ve had vacations where we simply weren’t able to get a dinner reservation for the entirety of our stay, despite checking back frequently to see if there was availability. It’s definitely worth ensuring that you make reservations at the 180-day mark, or as early as you can. Will it be an experience worth booking that far ahead for? In our experience, definitely. This is a true Disney restaurant, not only offering excellent food, but also a fun, family atmosphere to boot
Updated 10-26-2012 - Article #864
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