by Daisy Diva
‘Ohana might mean family, but for my one and only (so far) visit to ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, it meant just me and my husband celebrating our anniversary a few months early with no kids. (Shh! Don’t tell my kids we went to Disney World without them!) I had been wanting to give ‘Ohana a try, and I figured the words “large skewers of meat” would be all my husband needed to hear! I was right, but I’ll start with the restaurant itself.
‘Ohana is a table service, family style restaurant located upstairs in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Tables surround a huge open pit fire grill where meats are being grilled to be freshly served to the restaurant guests.
My husband and I had late evening reservations and checked in a few minutes early. We were given a buzzer and invited to make ourselves at home in the lobby until it went off.
We didn’t wait very long, and the lobby area is open, comfortable, and you can smell the delicious grilled scents wafting from the restaurant. Once our buzzer went off, we were greeted by our “cousin” who grabbed a plate of Pineapple Welcome bread and escorted us to our table. The bread is warm and has just the right amount of sweetness. Within minutes our drink order was taken and our green salad was delivered. (I have since heard that the green salad has been replaced with lettuce wraps.)
Not long after the salad delivery, our appetizers arrived—Honey Coriander Chicken Wings and Pork Fried Dumplings. I tasted both and enjoyed them, but I was saving room for the main dish.
Our side dish of Teriyaki Noodles and Stir-Fried Veggies arrived, and I really enjoyed the noodles.
Then our server arrived with the star of the show: the huge skewers of grilled meats. The pork arrived first, and it was quite juicy and tender. The flavor was perfectly Polynesian with a sweet and sour flavor but not overly sweet or seasoned.
I was still enjoying the pork when the chicken arrived. I love chicken, and this did not disappoint. It was really good, but sadly, it has also been removed from the menu since our visit. As you can see from the pictures, the pork and chicken look really similar, and they tasted pretty similar as well. But I’m still sad to see the chicken go.
The steak arrived next, and it was also quite juicy, tender, and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would being that I am not a huge steak-lover.
The item I was most looking forward to was the spicy peel-and-eat shrimp, but honestly, they were a little disappointing to me. Mine were slightly overcooked which made them a bit tough and chewy, and they were too spicy for my personal taste. According to some of the other reviews I have read, inconsistency of the meats’ doneness is pretty common, and I guess it kind of makes sense due to the massive quantity of meats that are being cooked. But it was still disappointing nonetheless.
As I mentioned, the dishes are served family style, and it is all you can eat, so even if you find one dish to be not to your liking, you can ask for more of your favorite. Our server came by our table several times with the various meat skewers checking to see if we wanted more of anything and was quick to return with our requested item.
The final course of your meal is dessert: Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. A huge serving of bread pudding with a perfectly round ball of yummy vanilla ice cream was placed on our table. Then the server poured a small pitcher of the bananas foster caramel sauce all over the top. It was quite heavenly, and we were unable to finish the large portion.
During our meal, Wishes began at the Magic Kingdom, and even though our table wasn’t exactly the front row seat I had hoped for, we could still get a small view of the fireworks and faintly heard the music and narration being piped in. It added a special touch of magic to our evening that really made it feel like Disney.
Overall, I enjoyed our meal at ‘Ohana, but I’m not itching to go back. We usually visit Disney World with our whole family, and their menu certainly would not please my kids and their burger-loving palettes. And my husband and I both agreed that while it was good and very different from your typical restaurant dining experience, it didn’t blow our socks off. I know for lots of people—maybe even some of you reading this right now—‘Ohana is a must-do during every Disney trip. But for us, it was just fun to check it off of our Disney Bucket List. If you’re a carnivore who loves the flavors of Hawaii, then I would definitely recommend that you give it a try. Personally, I plan to visit ‘Ohana again with my kids for breakfast where they can meet Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch!
To book your next magical vacation, contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel.