by: Cruisin’ Diva
Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort is by far my most favorite resort. It has always been my favorite resort for as long as I can remember, and as frequenters of ‘Ohana for the character breakfast too many times to count, I am ashamed to admit we have never tried dinner. I honestly don’t know why we’ve stayed away, but on this trip, with it being just hubby and I, we wanted to give it a try. ‘Ohana is located on the second floor of the main lobby. My first tip is to get your reservation as early as you possibly can. Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR’s) are highly recommended and the place is always, and I mean always, packed, so get those as early as you can (starting at 180 days out). When we decided to eat here, the only reservation I could grab was 8:30 at night, and we are not used to eating that late, but it was the only time slot left, so we took it and didn’t care!! My parents have been to the dinner service, so we had heard nothing but wonderful things about it, and we were eager and very excited to get that reservation!
When we got to the resort, we checked in and got our pager and waited. We only waited approximately 20 minutes, which we meandered through the gift shop to make the time pass quickly. On our way to our table, our “cousin” grabbed the ‘Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread and took us to be seated. We had no clue what we were in for, but we couldn’t wait to try everything! (Second tip: Eat a light and earlier lunch depending on your reservation time, because this dinner includes A LOT of food!) I enjoyed the bread, but thought it needed some kind of spread to go with it. Otherwise, the bread was amazingly delicious. (The Macadamia Honey Butter from Kona Cafe would be perfect with this, in my opinion. Kona Cafe review to come later.) Note: I only had two minor disappointments in this meal and neither of them will keep me from coming back.
We quickly met our server who took our drink order and brought the Mixed Greens Salad with a Lilikoi Dressing. It was absolutely delicious and we should have asked for seconds! (This is family style, so if you want more, ask for it!) Salad is actually a favorite food of mine now, and I could have eaten this for days!
The atmosphere is amazing. There is a Hawaiian type entertainment which includes someone serenading with a ukulele, the hula, limbo contests and coconut races. It is a kid-friendly restaurant so expect a little more noise than usual.
Okay, back to the food, because I know that is why you are continuing to read this review! This next course is probably my favorite course of all time. Pork Dumplings tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce, Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings served with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces, and Noodles, tossed in a Teriyaki Sauce with Fresh Vegetables. Oh my goodness!! The pot stickers were absolutely delicious dipped in the Peanut Sauce (we should have asked for more of this as well!). The chicken wings were good, but I would have been just fine with more pot stickers! The noodles and veggies were scrum-diddly-umptious! I can’t emphasize enough how good this food is and how everyone needs to try it at least once (or twice!)!!
Where’s the meat?!??!! Luckily, both my husband and I love meat!! And boy, we got a whole lot of it! They will bring you meat for days if you want it! Sweet-n-sour Chicken, Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, and Szechuan Sirloin Steak all prepared over an oak fire! The chicken was my least favorite of the three (the only other minor disappointment). I did ask for seconds of shrimp and steak, steak being my favorite, which is not a surprise, since steak is probably my most favorite meat!
We missed the fireworks while we were seated (either too early or too late), but we did catch a glimpse of the Seven Seas Lagoon Electrical Parade, which I haven’t seen in years!!
For the grand finale of the already amazing dinner, and even though we thought we couldn’t take another bite, our server brought out the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce. Wow! There are not many words that can describe the feeling of contentment and utter joy of the first bite and the feeling of deep and immense sadness on the last bite. My husband admittedly told me that he has never liked Bread Pudding, but that didn’t seem the case when his spoon kept going back for more. I am not ashamed to admit that my husband and I licked the plate clean and would have asked for more if we had any room for it!
All in all, this has gone to the top of lists and one of my most favorite restaurants, and we are already planning on coming back on our next trip in September 2016! Everyone should have this on their Disney Bucket List and try it at least once. ‘Ohana’s is a must do and fun for all ages, even though the menu may not be as kid friendly as some prefer. Our 9 year olds will be eating here for the first time on our upcoming trip and I will let you know how it fairs from their point of view. (I have read that you can ask for mac and cheese!)
Lastly, don’t forget this is family style. If there is something that you love and want more of, just ask! Also, make sure to check out some of our other Diva/Devo reviews of the restaurant here. This will become a staple on our Disney trips and look forward to September!