by Canadian Diva
‘Ohana means “Family” and at this Family-friendly restaurant EVERYONE is included. For breakfast, ‘Ohana has the “Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch”.
We have eaten at most Character meals on previous trips to Walt Disney World but we haven’t tried the very POPULAR ‘Ohana Restaurant in the beautiful Polynesian Resort. ‘Ohana was definitely on our bucket list for years. ‘Ohana turned out to be an even more special place in our hearts, as it is the very first Walt Disney World restaurant that my toddler has eaten at. In fact, it was one of his first restaurant experiences. You see, my toddler has severe (analphylatic) allergies to Gluten, Dairy and Eggs. You can imagine how difficult it is to eat anywhere for our family, which is why we love Walt Disney World. They cater very much to everyone, including people with severe food allergies and food related illnesses.
if you have severe food allergies like my son, here are 5 allergy-friendly reasons to enjoy Breakfast at ‘Ohana……..
1. Walt Disney Company Service:
Everyone knows how incredible the Walt Disney Company service is and this extends to include all, who may not feel included on an everyday basis. This is evident for visitors with severe allergies or food related illnesses. From the moment you make your Advanced Dining Reservations or ADR online (it is strongly recommended to make reservations 180 Days before your reservation), you are then directed to a screen to note if there are any allergies in the party. You can also call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 to make a Dining Reservation and tell the Cast Member about allergies in your party. As our vacation was approaching, I also called a couple weeks ahead to confirm our reservation and to make sure the Cast Member (CM) I am talking to, had the allergies noted on our file. When it is the day of your meal, as you approach the front to let them know that your party is present, tell the host again about any allergies. When you are seated, the servers usually know about any allergies in the party by then, however, mention it one more time. Most likely they will have the chef come to your table to talk to you. On the day of our meal, Chef Jeff of ‘Ohana, greeted us at our table right before we were seated to talk about my toddler’s allergies. I was still breastfeeding my son so we were sharing from the same skillet. Chef Jeff assured us that everything is made on a separate area to avoid cross-contamination and any food my toddler eats will not have the ingredients he is allergic to. To have this kind of care, service and especially awareness was so impressive.
2. Mickey Waffles:
My toddler had MICKEY WAFFLES! I wanted to scream and shout at the top of my lungs how ecstatic I was! It was the first time ever that my son had waffles and to have Mickey-shaped waffles was so amazing. The Mickey Waffles were presented on a separate skillet from the Stitch-shaped waffles which were the regular waffles that my husband and tween daughter ate. And even though the server mentioned to me that the syrup was gluten-free, my son was content to enjoy his Mickey-waffles as is.
Yep, you heard me, ‘Ohana has gluten-free, allergy-friendly bacon! My toddler has only eaten Bacon at Walt Disney World and it was a real treat for him to have. Again, the bacon, as well as potatoes served were presented on a separate breakfast skillet than my husband and daughters, to avoid cross-contamination. It was really wonderful to see how careful Disney World is in regards to handling Food Allergies seriously. They also had sausage available, but I opted not to give it to my son.
4. The JUICE:
I cannot begin to tell you how delicious the “Stitch’ Juice at ‘Ohana is. Writer, Beauty and the Beast Diva expresses her LOVE for this juice in her fun review of ‘Ohana here. The “Stitch Juice” is a tropical blend of real fruit juices (pineapple, guava and passion fruit). My son rarely drinks juice when we are home, it is just too risky because a lot of companies do not list their juice as “gluten-free” or allergy-friendly, so I am never sure how safe it is. When we were served the juice at ‘Ohana, I asked our server again if it was allergy-friendly. She assured me that it was. When I let my son drink the juice (which they gave him in a cup with a lid and straw) he shook with excitement.
5. The Characters:
Okay, this doesn’t pertain to allergy-awareness directly but, it was really heart-warming to be able to go to a REAL FAMILY style restaurant and meet fun characters without worrying about an allergic reaction or worse, an allergy attack (we ALWAYS carry our son’s Epi-pens). At the ‘Ohana Character Breakfast, we met Lilo and Stitch of course, and we also got to meet Mickey Mouse in a Hawaiian shirt and Pluto as well! My toddler loved meeting these characters for the first time. My tween, an avid character autograph collector, had her book ready to sign. They also have a parade for kids to walk and dance around the restaurant with the characters.
Note: There are NO Characters at the “Dinner with Hawaiian Hospitality” at ‘Ohana, however Cruisin’ Diva raves about her evening meal at ‘Ohana here.
- THE VIEW! We waited a little longer so that we could be seated by the window. From our table, we could see Cinderella’s castle in the distance and below us, the gorgeous Polynesian Resort grounds and pool area! Disney Cab Devo also talks about loving the VIEW and his breakfast at ‘Ohana here.
Diva Tip: When you arrive for your reservation and would like a table by the window, you can request it with the host. They cannot guarantee it and you may have to wait a little longer than usual. We did wait and it was so worth it.
- Did you know children under 3 are FREE to eat at any Table Service meal? That means they can share off an adult plate, which in our case meant my son shared with me.
Diva Tip: When you make your reservation, your child under 3 (unless an infant that will not be seated in a chair) needs to be included in the reservation. I reserved for a table of 4 even though my son would be eating FREE. Remember to tell your host and then your server that your child is under 3 so that they do not charge for him/her. When we dined at ‘Ohana, I did notice on my bill that they charged for my son, when I mentioned it, they happily changed it. ALWAYS check your receipts, even if you are on a Disney Dining Plan as well.
You may be too full to have a treat when you leave ‘Ohana. But if you wanted to walk around, or come back to the Polynesian Resort, the Pineapple Lanai Counter just below ‘Ohana, outside, serves the Walt Disney Theme Parks’ famous DOLE WHIP. The regular Dole Whip is dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free (please check their allergy information chart if you are inquiring about ALL allergens). After our ‘Ohana meal we went resort hopping along the monorail and took a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge. We came back to the Polynesian Resort (our car was parked there) and had a DELICIOUS Dole Whip treat. I had happy tears as my son tried his FIRST ice “cream” treat outside of our home.
Diva Tip: ALWAYS mention to the Cast Member of your allergies. Ask for the allergy menu and request to speak to a Manager, even at a quick service restaurant or food kiosk. Be extra careful of Cast Members changing gloves to serve you and watch out for any signs of cross contamination that might occur. Walt Disney World is one of the BEST places for people with food allergies but you still must always be on your guard.
Do you or one of you family members have severe food allergies? Have you ever tried ‘Ohana? Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on Social Media and give us your thoughts!
And don’t forget, we all need help planning our vacation and a Vacation Specialist will help you plan your trip as well as SAVE YOU MONEY. A Travel Specialist like our favorite All for Dreams Travel Agent Patricia, can help you make the most of your all your vacation Destinations.
If you wanted to learn more about allergy-friendly dining at the Walt Disney Theme Parks, here are some of my favorite Allergy-friendly resources:
Tips from the Disney Diva/Devo has a new writer, Allergy Mom Diva! I am so excited to read articles from her on allergy-friendly dining at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
And check out…
Facebook: Disney Food Allergy Group (request to join). A FANTASTIC community of individuals and families with food allergies wanting to travel to the Disney Theme Parks. They provide great information and support as well as updates on restaurants and quick service places at Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and resorts. I highly recommend joining this group.
Also search the popular Allergy-Friendly hashtag #eatfreelydisney on Social Media.
Do you like to dress your children up as the various Disney characters? Take fantastic photos at the Walt Disney Theme parks and at Character Meals of your children while they wear well-made and comfortable costumes with high quality material at Mom Approved Costumes and check out our own special discount code: DISDIVA or if you want your daughter or granddaughter to match Lilo, you can check out the Lilo costume from SoCute2 Etsy’s shop here!