The ‘Ohana Experience, a Walt Disney World Restaurant Review
One of my favorite dining experiences is dinner at ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort. A variety of freshly grilled meats & crowd-pleasing sides served “family style,” a relaxing tropical environment, and lots of fun is in store for anyone who visits this popular Disney restaurant. Having an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) is almost a necessity, even during WDW’s slower times ‘Ohana is always fairly busy.
While you’re waiting to be seated try one of the Polynesian’s famous drinks at the Tambu Lounge, located right at the entrance to ‘Ohana. The oversized “Backscratcher” & “Lapu Lapu” are legendary amongst Disney regulars & mix a dreamy combination of rums with fresh tropical fruit juices; both served with a surprise! These speciality drinks are just enough to prep you for a hearty Hawaiian meal amongst wood-carved tikis & tropical greenery.
On the way to your table you’ll walk past the 18-foot oak fire pit getting a first glance & smell of juicy steak, perfectly mesquite-grilled turkey, tender BBQ pork loin, and spicy shrimp. If delectable meat on skewers isn’t enough to inspire you to become a competitive Disney eater than wait until you try everything else ‘Ohana has to offer!
After appetizers of ‘Ohana’s signature “Welcome Bread,” salad, pork dumplings, & specially seasoned Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings (which are fit to be a meal in themselves) your server will bring out side dishes to share amongst your party. Lo mein noodles & stir-fried vegetables are offered with the variety of meat skewers that come to your table.
Sounds filling, right? Well, you aren’t done! One of the highlights of ‘Ohana is dessert; ‘Ohana Bread Pudding served a la mode with Bananas and Caramel Sauce. Imagine warm bread pudding with creamy vanilla ice cream melting down the sides as you pour sweet warm caramel sauce over the top. This combination of warm, sweet, & creamy secures a place for ‘Ohana’s Bread Pudding in my top 3 WDW desserts!
Atmosphere is also a key ingredient to the ‘Ohana experience; children are encouraged to play games & dance to tropical island music, there are storytellers & musicians who make appearances in the dining room, and large glass windows overlook the Polynesian’s expansive pool area, beach, and gardens setting the tone for a completely immersive dining experience. ‘Ohana also pipes in the soundtrack to the Magic Kingdom fireworks, so if you’re lucky enough to be dining during the show you can hear the narration & music while viewing the fireworks from across Seven Seas Lagoon.
In Hawaiian culture the term “Ohana” means family & this restaurant embraces that notion by bringing together Disney guests for delicious food, great fun, and unbeatable atmosphere.
- Tropical atmosphere, entertainment, & child participation activities
- Marinated Sirloin Steak
- Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings
- Pork Dumplings with Sweet and Sour Sauce
- ‘Ohana Bread Pudding dessert! (worth the trip alone)
‘Not so high’-lights
- Lo mein Noodles (kind of bland & a little too salty)
- Stir-fried Vegetables (oversaturated & a little soggy)
- ‘Ohana is a big draw for Disney guests and the restaurant can be very crowded, even with an ADR you may find yourself with a little bit of a wait
Click this link to read more about menus and discounts at Disney World Restaurants: Disney World Restaurants Guide