3 Reasons ‘Ohana might become your family’s favorite restaurant

‘Ohana means family and apparently family means no one leaves the table hungry. ‘Ohana, the restaurant, is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Located on the backside of the resort, if you arrive by monorail, simply follow the signs and you are mere steps away! ‘Ohana’s prime location affords you a great view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. Here are three reasons everyone in your family will love ‘Ohana:

The open grill at Ohana

A view of the oak fired grill that is the centerpiece of Ohana

  1. The food.You start with warm pineapple-coconut bread; but as good as it is – only have a small taste – there is a lot of food coming! Next, your server will bring you a bowl of tossed salad. The salad is tossed with honey-lime vinaigrette and it was so good I could have made a meal out of just salad. No sooner was I digging into my second plate of salad (I forgot my cardinal rule of pacing myself) then a huge platter of potstickers and honey-coriander wings appeared along with a heaping bowl of broccoli and lo mein noodles. And again, I could have made a meal out of wings and potstickers. Empty your bowl? Don’t worry, with
    Potstickers and honey coriander chicken wings

    The appetizers at Ohana – as good as they are, make sure you don’t fill up on them!

    the help of Disney magic (and your server) it will continually refill itself – but be warned, we haven’t moved onto the main course yet! The main course is served churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) style. All of the meats (sirloin shrimp, pork, and chicken) are cooked over an open oak grill in the show kitchen in the center of the restaurant. The meat is cooked and served on swords. Your server will bring skewers of each type of meat to your table and you simply tell him or her if you would like some (and how much). Since there is such a great volume of meat passing through the kitchen it was always hot and fresh – not sitting over a warming burner. We did have a couple of pieces of meat that were fatty/tough but given the nature of the restaurant, we simply asked for more as the servers came around. Then, once you have gone through the sword, eat, repeat until you are confident you couldn’t eat another bite – dessert is served! Dessert is bread pudding with banana caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, served family style. While it was very tasty, I was too stuffed to eat more than a couple of bites.

  2. The fun. Yes, having your dinner brought to your table on a sword is fun but ‘Ohana has nightly entertainment for the keiki (children). Each night there is a hostess/singer/ukulele player who leads the children in song, hula instruction, and coconut races. And once all of those activities are done, the keiki bring a loved one to dance with them while you are serenaded. This show lasts about 30 minutes and gives the children activities and games to play during dinner. Grown-up kids are welcome to join in the fun too. Then before returning to their seats the keiki and their loved ones receive a flower lei. In all fairness, this entertainment can be a blessing or a curse. For us, it was a blessing – at 6 and 7 our kids were old enough to partake in the festivities without mom and dad; thus giving my husband and I some time to eat dinner and talk. If you have younger kids who wish to participate it will mean mom or dad has to stop dinner to go supervise, which is not always as fun for the grown-up as it is for the little one.
  3. The drinks.The kids can’t have all the fun! We sampled several of the Polynesian’s specialty drinks (we ate there multiple nights – it wasn’t all at once!) The lapu lapu is perhaps the most famous drink from the Polynesian. While it is fun sipping out of a hollowed out pineapple, the drink itself was not my favorite, lacking any distinctive “island flavor”. The Island Sunset had no fun gimmicks but it’s smoothie like consistency and tropical fruit taste definitely
    Backscratcher at Ohana

    One of the grown-up concoctions available at Ohana.

    won me over. Finally we tried the Backscratcher. This one is no joke! It definitely packs a punch – and a 2 foot long bamboo backscratcher as a garnish. The drink itself is quite tasty, although strong, and nothing is funnier than the odd looks you get for having a giant backscratcher sticking out of your drink!

‘Ohana is an all-you-care-to-eat restaurant. Adults can feast for $39.40 and children can enjoy for $19.16. These prices include tax but not gratuity or alcoholic beverages. They also accept the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal. This popular restaurant books up fast so advance dining reservations are strongly recommended. ‘Ohana is also home to the Best Friends character breakfast. ‘Ohana means family and our ohana loves ‘Ohana and I think yours will too!

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