Restaurant Review – ‘Ohana
‘Ohana means Family… and lots of good food!
On my most recent visit to Walt Disney World, I made it a priority to eat at some restaurants that I had never experienced. It is so easy to just pick your time-tested favorites and there are only so many meals you can eat in a day! I was excited to finally try ‘Ohana. It is one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World and now I know why.
Located on the second floor of the Polynesian Resort’s Great Ceremonial House, the atmosphere is Hawaiian, naturally. There are dark wood accents in a room surrounded by huge windows. The focal point of the restaurant is the open oak fire pit where you can see the chefs preparing all of the grilled meats you get to eat.
This is a loud, festive restaurant… not someplace I would recommend for a romantic, adult meal… but it is a fun place where you certainly won’t feel nervous if your child decides to make some noise at dinner.
We made one of the first reservations of the evening, so that we wouldn’t have to wait for tables to clear out. Also, having dinner close to 5pm worked best for our kids. Speaking of reservations… they are a must. As I said before, this is a very popular restaurant and you will have to wait a long time for a “walk up” table, if they have anything at all. Often, you will just be turned away if you do not have a reservation.
I requested a table in the main room, because it is more fun for the kids to see and participate in some of the activities throughout the evening. If you are an adult couple looking for a quieter evening, you may prefer to be in one of the areas outside of the main dining room. If you are eating close to Magic Kingdom fireworks time, you can request a window table and you may have a great view of Wishes. We were dining too early to hope for fireworks, but I did have a nice view of Cinderella Castle from my seat.
Now… to the food! As soon as you are seated you are treated to some yummy, warm pineapple-coconut bread. It is slightly sweet and delicious. I am not a fan of coconut, but this bread just tastes good… and not very coconut-y.
The server also brought out a refreshing green salad with a honey-lime dressing. It was good, but I didn’t eat too much of this. I knew we were in for a lot more food… and I didn’t want to fill up on salad! ‘Ohana is all about pacing yourself!
Soon, food started arriving at our table at a very quick pace. We received fried pork potstickers and asian chicken wings. Then came asian noodles and broccoli. Soon after, servers started arriving with skewers of chicken, pork, shrimp (peel and eat) and beef.
I felt a bit rushed, so if you want to slow down your meal, just tell the servers that you aren’t ready for the meat skewers until you finish your appetizers. Don’t feel pressured… they will come back around (this is all you can eat, so they will continue to come back if you want seconds or thirds).
During your meal, the children are rounded up for some Hawaiian fun. Coconut races, dancing, etc. They are even given leis to share with their family.
The food was all delicious, even the broccoli was tasty! All of the grilled meats were good, and I think that the pork was my favorite. Very flavorful. It didn’t even need any of the dipping sauces that are provided.
It was difficult, but I stopped myself from eating too much meat and shrimp, because I was really looking forward to dessert. The ‘Ohana Bread Pudding served a la mode with Banana Caramel Sauce. Oh my God. I love bread pudding and this did not disappoint. I have heard people say that this is one of the top desserts on Walt Disney World property and I definitely rank it right up there with the best. I don’t even like bananas, but the caramel sauce was so good that I didn’t even notice them.
Kids are given scoops of ice cream with Mickey sprinkles.
‘Ohana costs approximately $35-$40 per adult (and $17-$19 per child 3-9, children under 3 are free) depending on the time of year. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, ‘Ohana “costs” one Table Service credit per person. Although it seems expensive if you are paying out-of-pocket, I feel it is a good value for the quality of the food and the fact that you get a non-alcoholic drink and dessert included. I am also a big fan of restaurants that bring food to your table if you have young kids (buffets can be more difficult).
Overall, ‘Ohana was a great experience. Fun atmosphere and plenty of good food. You will not leave here hungry. I am adding it to my “favorite restaurants” list!
Is ‘Ohana one of your favorite restaurants? What is your favorite part of the meal?
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