Editor’s Note: This article was written prior to the parks closing due to COVID-19.
Walt Disney World offers so many amazing dining locations. From delicious grab-and-go snacks to multi-course, dress-code required signature restaurants, they offer something for everyone. One of our family’s must-do dinners is ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World.
‘Ohana is a family style restaurant located on the second floor of the main longhouse- The Great Ceremonial House- at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. To get there, the easiest way would be to take the monorail or boat from Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian. Check in at the welcome desk on the second floor. ‘Ohana is open for breakfast and dinner. While Lilo and Stitch make an appearance at breakfast, dinner is character-free, but still full of fun. Dinner consists of several courses of foods with a Hawaiian flare and is accompanied by a fun atmosphere and engaging activities for kids of all ages. Dinner at ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World is part of the Disney Dining Plan and requires one table service credit, which is actually an incredible value based on the amount of food you get!
So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons to consider dinner at ‘Ohana at Walt Disney World.
‘Ohana is a Hawaiian term for family, so when you walk in, you are greeted as though you are part of this extended Polynesian family. Upon arrival, you’ll be surrounded by Polynesian décor, from lush greenery to statues representing cultures from the Pacific Islands. Your “cousin” will serve you, while another plays the ukulele- it’s all part of the joyful atmosphere at ‘Ohana. Throughout the meal, children of all ages will be invited up to participate in various activities. At times, our kids have enjoyed coconut races, using a broom to push coconuts around the restaurant, while other times they have joined a conga line or taken part in hula lessons. And, ‘Ohana is one of the best restaurants on property to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion, as the cousin playing the ukulele will recognize celebrations in the restaurant.
Located along the monorail line and facing Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, ‘Ohana offers incredible views. You will catch glimpses of Cinderella Castle, the Polynesian Resort Beach and the main Lava Pool. If your dinner reservation will overlap the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, you can place a request that you have a table with a view of those fireworks. Obviously, requests aren’t guaranteed, but they will do everything they can to seat you at a table with that view. Outside of the fireworks, you will also be able to see the main pool area, the beautiful gardens and even the Hawaiian Kukui nut tree, said to be the only one in the continental United States.
Because of the location along the monorail line near Magic Kingdom, ‘Ohana is relatively easy to get to. Just find the quickest way to the Magic Kingdom from your resort and take the monorail or boat to Disney’s Polynesian Resort from there. Once you have finished dinner, make your way down to the beach overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon. On most nights, you can enjoy roasting a marshmallow over the fire pit. Then plan to stick around to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach.
Have a dream of enjoying a tropical drink straight out of a pineapple? This is your place. The drinks served at ‘Ohana come from the adjacent Tambu Lounge, where you can also enjoy drinks before and after dinner. This is the only place on Disney property that you will be able to find a tropical rum drink called the Lapu Lapu served in a pineapple. Or, perhaps you would enjoy the Backscratcher, made with rum and whiskey and served with a bamboo backscratcher. The menu also includes non-alcoholic drinks, which also they make a great addition to the meal.
This is our number one reason for returning to ‘Ohana trip after trip! Although they serve kid-friendly meals, like chicken tenders, our kids have never chosen those. We all love the options we get on the regular dinner menu. Fresh bread starts dinner, followed quickly by a salad.
After the starters, your appetizers come in a skillet and include dumplings, noodles and mixed vegetables. Because it is all-you-care-to-enjoy, be sure to let your server know if you would like more of anything in the skillet!
Once you have had a chance to enjoy the skillet appetizers, cousins will walk around the restaurant with three-foot-long skewers of meat and shrimp. Chefs prepare all the skewers on the wood-fire grill in the center of the restaurant.
Be sure to save room for dessert. ‘Ohana’s bread pudding is one of the best dessert you will find on Walt Disney World property. Served warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, it is the perfect way to end your meal.
Have you dined at ‘Ohana? What is your favorite part of this dining experience? Let us know in the commentsor on Facebook or Twitter!
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When I am not teaching or running one of our three kids to their activities, sports and clubs, our family can be found lounging by the pool at the Polynesian (our DVC home resort) or riding People Mover in Magic Kingdom.