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)
'Ohana on Urbanspoon

‘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

4 responses to “The ‘Ohana Experience, a Walt Disney World Restaurant Review

  • over the years the value and quality at ‘ohana has plummeted. i can remember eating there for the first time in 1999, with the bill being a little under $20/person. after sitting down and munching on your bread, you got an appetizer tray featuring the chicken wings, dumplings and various other little bites. then, the server brought a second tray, featuring fish, some amazing sticky rice marinated in a banana leaf, as well as some delicious noodles, which was then followed by the various skewers of meats. the meal was accompanied three homemade sauces, including a fresh mango/papaya chutney that was the highlight of the meal. alas, as time went on, disney toned down the menu to remove the whole course that came with the skewers (fish, sticky rice, etc). The first course went from featuring great appetizers to stuff they could easily warm up in a microwave. And the delicious homemade sauces became bottled stuff. as the quality started to suck, the price still went up. the grilled meats are still great, though.

  • Justin, I couldn’t agree more. ‘Ohana has gone from a must-do, to a maybe. But as long as they keep serving that dessert I’ll probably keep coming back.

  • We LOVE O’Hanas, but for a different reason. Our son has severe food allergies. Chef TJ went out of his way to make sure our child had a safe and wonderful dinner. Not only did he personally come out to our table to discuss what he could or couldn’t eat, he kept coming over to check on him, and us, throughout our meal. But the most amazing thing was what Chef TJ did for our son’s dessert. As he watched all the other kids around him get cupcakes and other desserts topped with loads of ice cream (milk is his most fatal allergy), he started to feel left out. Then, in a grand entrance, TJ carries out a huge plate. On it was a large slice of pineapple for the base, with 2 12″ wooden skewers sticking out of it. One skewer was covered in cotton candy, the other was stacked with milk free ice cream scoops, allergy free chocolate chip cookies and banana slices. To top it off, he then started pouring a milk free chocolate syrup all over the ice cream, as my son’s eyes grew bigger and bigger, while TJ encouraged him to stick his fingers as it dripped down. That’s when we started hearing all the other kids remarking how they wanted THAT dessert. For that reason alone, we will continue to eat at O’Hanas.

Leave a Reply