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Like anyone else, when planning our dining experiences at Walt Disney World, I take into consideration if it’s a good fit for my family. I’m slightly more adventurous than my husband and daughter, but not by much. ‘Ohana had been on my radar, but I didn’t know if my family would like it. Sometimes they humor me and go somewhere just because I want to try it; then we get them chicken strips or something similar later.
I’m happy to report that ‘Ohana at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort is a great match for us. We’ve been there for dinner twice, and I wouldn’t hesitate to eat there during any Disney trip. Sometimes it gets mixed reviews, but we’ve had great experiences.
Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort
We’ve never stayed at the Poly, but we love to stay a monorail stop away at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary. While the Poly is beautiful, it’s hard to beat walking to and from the Magic Kingdom when things get busy. Since I’m a teacher and we travel only in the summer, things are often busy, especially at night when the fireworks are over. Instead of waiting for the monorail or a boat, we simply walk back to our room. This is also handy for getting to the Magic Kingdom at rope drop–very handy if you’re there in the summer and take afternoon breaks.
While you’re at the Poly, be sure to check out the resort. So beautiful!
It’s such a lovely resort to explore.
Just checking out the plant life is worthwhile.
We try to get an early seating for dinner, but since ‘Ohana is popular, you may have to take what you can get. This is one to book at the 180-day Advance Dining Reservation, or ADR. You could get lucky and score one later, but if it’s somewhere you really want to try, book early. We like to have dinner early at Disney in the summer; it’s still rather warm at 5:00-6:00 pm, and the reservations will be less likely to run behind. We’re usually coming off of an afternoon break at that time, and after dinner, we head to a park.
Arriving at ‘Ohana
We try to arrive at our dining destination at least 15 minutes before our ADR time. After you check in, you’ll probably have to wait until your table is available. If you get a buzzer, you can explore a little. We like to check out the gift shops.
When your table is ready, your “cousin” will grab you some delicious pineapple bread and seat you in the dining room.
The dining room allows you to feel like you’re at a banquet with your family.
And you just may be able to see Cinderella’s Castle from your table!
The Food at ‘Ohana
Now this is why I loved our dinner here–the food. After we placed our drink orders, our “cousin” brought us a plate with pot stickers (aka fried dumplings), lo mein noodles, stir-fry veggies, and honey-coriander wings. You’ll get a couple of dipping sauces–peanut and sweet and sour.
She also brought out a big bowl of delicious salad. Pace yourselves! You could easily fill up on just these items!
Now Jeff and Kristin really don’t eat any of these foods. Jeff may have tried a wing. ‘Ohana is pretty accommodating for kids; they will serve you the kids food from Kona and Captain Cook’s upon request. So if your child (or husband) would rather have chicken nuggets or macaroni, no problem!
Luckily, the main course at ‘Ohana is skewered meats off the fire, so Jeff enjoyed steak and chicken.
I did, too. It’s also fun to have your “cousin” serve the meat. Just a note–they have shrimp also, but we aren’t huge seafood people, so we just did chicken and steak.
If you can, save room for dessert. Kristin and Jeff had the kids’ Rice Krispies treats.
But the best dessert, maybe the best on Disney property, is the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster sauce.
‘Ohana is all-you-can-eat, and it’s hard to save room for all the goodness. But try, you’ll be glad you did!
Fun at ‘Ohana
‘Ohana is also a fun place to eat. You’ll probably get to hear some ukulele while you’re there, and kids get to do coconut races. Kristin loved getting a flower lei.
‘Ohana is a great addition to any Walt Disney World trip. It’s a flexible place for kids and picky eaters, and you won’t leave hungry. We love making memories while dining at Disney, and I hope your family makes some great memories, too!
Other great dining experiences at Walt Disney World:
Click here to read more about the Disney Dining Plan written by Lisa at Planning Away!