Yes, ‘Ohana is worth the hype. It is also worth staying up until midnight and making an advance dining reservation the moment your window opens. The restaurant takes the magic of Disney dining to a new level.
The restaurant is located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and offers both breakfast and dinner. Families are introduced to Hawaiian customs and cuisine through the restaurant decor and friendliness of the cast members. The restaurant is decorated with tiki statues, figurines of white birds and fish, and many decorative touches that remind one of Hawaii. A large cooking area with a fire pit is situated in the middle of the restaurant.
Dinner is served family style and includes delicious skewers of seasoned sirloin steak, chicken, and shrimp. Wait staff deliver the meat portions on long skewers to each individual. You may eat as much as you would like of any meat. In addition, appetizers of chicken wings, salad, and pineapple-coconut bread are brought to each table. Side dishes of pork dumplings, teriyaki noodles, and vegetables are also delivered to tables famil- style (meaning you serve yourself from the bowl.) Even though it has been more than one year since we visited ‘Ohana, my family still talks fondly of the dumplings and noodles. The meal is topped off by the most unbelievable Bananas Foster bread pudding imaginable. I’m not a fan of bread pudding, but I could eat my weight in the stuff from ‘Ohana!
Children adore ‘Ohana. Several times during dinner, children are asked to leave their tables to participate in activities such as hula hoop tournaments, coconut broom races, and dancing. Wait staff come to tables and adorn everyone with leis, to the delight of both children and adults alike. During our dinner, my daughter was even taught the art of belly dancing.
If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, I strongly suggest the Lapu Lapu, which is actually served in a cored pineapple. Although the pineapple is heavy to hold, the drink is worth it. It is made with Myer’s Rum, tropical juices, and Bacardi 151. We ordered drinks from the Tambu Lounge adjacent to ‘Ohana while we waited for our table to be ready. If you were not lucky enough to secure a dining reservation for ‘Ohana, you can sample smaller Hawaiian cuisine such as pork sliders and coconut shrimp at Tambu Lounge.
‘Ohana does accept the Disney Dining Plan, but Tambu Lounge does not. Remember, you can always charge food and beverages back to your resort using your MagicBand or Key to the World Card if you are staying on Disney property.
I encourage you to check out ‘Ohana the next time you visit Walt Disney World. You won’t regret it. And be sure to get your little one a non-alcoholic slushie while there.