‘Ohana means family and with a large group of your closest humans is definitely the best way to enjoy this popular Disney dining destination. Luckily for us, on our last trip we scored a coveted reservation the evening of our runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon! This was my first time dining there and Nate hadn’t been in awhile, plus we had some relative Disney newbies so we were all in for a treat! Let’s dive in!
First of all, ‘Ohana is obviously tucked into the Great House at the Polynesian Resort, next door to the Kona Cafe. It is a beautiful restaurant with tall thatched roof ceilings, large windows overlooking the lake, and the open grill is almost a dinner show in itself. For those of you who have thought that the food is the same as the Luau Dinner Show, you are luckily wrong. The themes are obviously similar – Pacific Island flavors but that’s about where the similarity ends.
A Little Nibbler To Begin
For starters, there is a communal salad with a tangy and citrusy lilikoi dressing. Plus the famed ‘Ohana pineapple-coconut bread. The salad is bright and fresh and that bread is to die for, but don’t fill up too much on these delicious amuse bouches!
Passholder Insights: If you arrive a little early for you reservation, check out the Tambu Lounge right next door. A great place for a Polynesian inspired cocktail!
Bring On The Apps!
It’s time for the appetizers – crispy pork pot stickers and glazed chicken wings. These were everything you hope them to be – not too fancy but the potstickers had that translucent wonton skin with a crunchy pan-fried bottom and succulent juicy pork and scallion filling. The chicken wings were in a teriyaki style sauce (yes the menu says honey-coriander, no I did not think they tasted like honey or coriander…) and cooked perfectly – grilled, crispy, juicy. I honestly could have made a meal of these little beauties. They are both served with an assortment of salty, tangy, peanuty, sweet sauces. Mix and match til your heart’s content!
Passholder Insights: If you have extra food left on the table, believe it or not you can ask for a to-go container. Nothing wrong with beginning the next with some extra dumplings!
The Stars of the Show!
Onto the main course! Along with your wings and dumplings, you also receive communal stir-fried vegetables and teriyaki noodles. The veggies are solid standard mixed vegetable fare and anytime I get a big portion of veggies at Disney World I’m a happy camper! The noodles are also delicious and standard fare which is what you want at this type of dining experience – they are toothsome and well seasoned and just plain fun to eat!
The star of the show however are the grilled skewers of meat. This is where Pacific Island meets Brazilian steakhouse – with a surprisingly awesome result! Servers start coming around with delicious oak-fired cuts of chicken, steak, and shrimp! The chicken was tender and juicy, the steak you could almost cut with a fork. The flavors are neutral preferring instead to showcase the oak-fire smokiness and allow guests to utilize the array of dipping sauces. This is fun for kids and adults alike! The winner for me was the grilled shrimp – these were monsters and there’s just something about grilling shrimp in their shell that gives them such a shrimpy smokey flavor – I had at least 2 servings!
Passholder Insights: If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, ‘Ohana is a great value. It’s only one meal credit.
There’s Always Room for Dessert!
But wait, there’s more! For those bread pudding lovers like me, dessert is the famous ‘Ohana bread pudding smothered in a Banana Foster-like topping and vanilla ice cream. Lordavmercy! This bread pudding is soft and decadent, the bananas are carmelized and sweet, the ice cream is good quality vanilla not too sweet. It is served again in a communal style.
Passholder Insights: After dinner we like to head downstairs to the beach, and check out the views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Contemporary Resort, and potential the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom (they play the music as well)!
The unique thing about this dining experience is that it’s all you care to enjoy! We definitely enjoyed a second helping of dumplings and chicken wings! In hindsight though I wish I had saved a little more room for the main meal, but oh well, you’re on vacation! Aloha!