Resort dining is one of my favorite things to do at Disney because it is very different than the in-park restaurants. How so you ask? They are less rushed, have so many more options, and are each just a hop on a monorail or bus to a resort! This article is all about ‘Ohana (which means family).
‘Ohana is a table service restaurant at the Polynesian Village Resort. To get to the resort from Magic Kingdom, simply take the resort monorail or the resort ferry. You will need to take a bus from any other park. I highly suggest that you choose ‘Ohana on the day you’re attending Magic Kingdom. Make your reservation for 40 minutes before the nightly Wishes fireworks and ask for a firework viewing seat when making the reservation. This restaurant is a family style buffet so be sure to bring your appetite!
Your experience begins by being seated at your table (hopefully you requested firework viewing) while the hostess drops off the Welcome Bread. The bread is a delicious, freshly baked pineapple bread. It is moist and the pineapple is not overpowering at all. It’s a nice little variation from the normal bread that everyone, even the picky eaters, will enjoy!
Not only does this restaurant serve food but it’s also filled with entertainment! All guests are invited up to the stage area where hula lessons are given. Guests get a free souvenir lei for participating. It is really fun for kids as well as adults! The atmosphere of this restaurant really makes you feel as though you are on an island – from the tiki totem pole carvings to the island music. Plus, if you have window seating, you see the water and the palm trees swaying. You will also have a perfect view of Cinderella Castle! Now on to the food!
As an appetizer, I chose honey chipotle wings, lettuce wraps with all the fixings, and pot stickers. The wings were to die for, not spicy at all and filled with island flavor and zest! The lettuce wraps were very good also. They were light with an amazing fruity sauce which made it very unique. The pot stickers were amazing! They came with soy sauce which added more flavor. Overall, for appetizers, I thought there was a wide variety of choices and the quality of each item was impeccable. Remember, it’s family style. If you want more of any of the appetizers, feel free to ask! It’s all included in the buffet price!
The entrees were served on a skewer. The food is pushed off the skewer onto your plate. The entree round consisted of pork lion, peel-and-eat shrimp, and sirloin steak. It also came with three dipping sauces; peanut butter, spicy mustard and sweet and sour. My personal favorite combination was the sirloin steak with the peanut butter sauce! It is a taste I never experienced before. It was truly a moment when I closed my eyes and felt as though I was on an island. I appreciated being given 3 sauces to put on as I chose rather than having them already on the meats. This should help to satisfy a large variety of guests’s preferences as well.
By this time, Wishes was about to begin. This was perfect for me because I was just finishing my entrees and my second round of chicken wings! The view of Wishes from the tables is completely breathtaking. When you watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, it is very close and you don’t always see everything from ground level. ‘Ohana is at the height of the monorail and directly across from the castle. For a better viewing experience, the restaurant dims the lights and plays the music to perfectly sync with the fireworks. Its just like you are watching it in Magic Kingdom. The view is remarkable. You are able to see the fireworks in full as they cascade around Cinderella Castle. The view alone is worth the price of the buffet!
After the firework show, dessert was served. This round included bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and bananas foster sauce. Oh my goodness! This was so delectable and huge. The sauce definitely topped it off with a different flair which make it much more reminiscent of the islands. It is very light and, while I am not a fan of bread pudding, this was absolutely one of my favorite desserts at Walt Disney World!
What I love most about this restaurant its convenience from Magic Kingdom, the family style of service, and the great view of Wishes. Best of all, if you are on the Disney dining plan, this is only 1 table service credit! It’s a great place to escape to the islands, have some fun, and eat your heart out. It’s also a good opportunity to try some different foods that aren’t too adventurous, even for those picky eaters. Most importantly though, it is a great place to spend a lovely dinner with your ‘Ohana.
See Ya Real Soon!
– Monica L. Gillis