Located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, ‘Ohana offers Polynesian-inspired dinner and classic breakfast options all served family style. For dinner, ‘Ohana is one restaurant where we tend to make a reservation for each trip (usually during the fireworks but more on that in a bit!).
We haven’t tried breakfast yet, but it’s character dining with the likes of Mickey and Stitch, so if that appeals to you more than the food does that may be a neat way to meet some characters before a day in the Magic Kingdom.
Like I said, ‘Ohana is a personal favorite of mine, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% perfect. If you’re looking for a AAA Five Diamond dining experience a la Victoria & Albert’s, this is probably not the place for you. But if you’re all about a fun, Polynesian-inspired family feast, ‘Ohana is really an excellent choice. Let’s get into our review!
When you arrive at ‘Ohana you check in at the stand on the second floor of the resort near the elevators. There’s even stroller parking nearby, which I never seem to notice at other resort restaurants and I don’t find ‘Ohana to be particularly loaded with kids (at least not more than anywhere else in Disney) so I always find that kind of funny. If your reservation time is right around 3:30 when the restaurant first opens you may see a line to check in, but it moves along really quick and won’t make your actual wait time any longer.
If there is a wait, I always grab a drink and hang out by the Tambu Lounge, which is adjacent to the restaurant. If you’re not looking for a pre-meal drink however, you’ll receive a text message when your table is ready anyway so you’re free to walk around the Great Ceremonial House (the resort’s main building) and check out the shops if you’d rather do that.
When your table is ready, your server, or rather your “cousin” greets you with pineapple sweet bread and shows you to your table. Random, but when I finished my Disney College Program in DinoLand, I had “Cousin Britt” embroidered on a pair of Mickey ears, and everyone who saw me wearing them in the parks assumed that I worked at the Polynesian! I know DinoLand didn’t get the love back then that it apparently gets now, but COME ON!
Dinner at ‘Ohana is an all-you-care-to-enjoy family style situation, aka a time when I usually wouldn’t fill up on bread. I make an exception for this bread though because it’s delicious. The same goes for the salad. They recently added kale to it and I think it works really well with the citrus-y dressing and the bits of fried wontons thrown in the mix.
I should also mention that like Disney’s other all-you-care-to-enjoy dinners, soft drinks are included with your meal. When I was in college and looking to save every penny I could on a Disney trip, I really took advantage of this and I’d never order alcohol at a restaurant like this just to stretch my budget as far as I could. (If I don’t order and alcoholic drink I usually just have water anyway to help stay hydrated touring the parks.) But if you find yourself splurging for ‘Ohana on a budget, get yourself some soda since you’re technically paying for it anyway.
For cocktails, the Lapu Lapu, a strong mix of rum and fruit juices served in a hollowed out pineapple, is a fan-favorite here, and I’ve always enjoyed the Mai Tais and Backscratchers too. If you’re up for a drink and can spare the extra $10+, definitely check out the drink menu at ‘Ohana (or Tambu Lounge, they’re one in the same).
After bread and salad comes the appetizers, pork and vegetable potstickers, honey glazed chicken wings, noodles, and veggies. These noodles are my favorite carb in all of Disney. Is that a weird thing to know? Well, it’s true so whatever. If you’re going to have one night of splurging on pasta during your trip, make it these noodles from ‘Ohana. One time Chaz and I couldn’t finish them and our server graciously gave us a to-go box. We literally reheated ‘Ohana noodles at our resort all week, and it was amazing.
For mains, the servers come around with skewers of chicken, steak, and peel-and-eat shrimp. What really makes the meats here though are the sauces, one is sweet and sour and one is peanut. It works out perfectly between Chaz and I because I like the peanut and he likes the sweet and sour. They’re both really delicious though, and if you’re like us you’ll end up putting them on everything and needing to call for backup sauce.
Dessert at ‘Ohana is banana bread pudding and it’s A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I didn’t even know I liked bread pudding, but here we are. Last time I ate at ‘Ohana the table next to us ordered seconds of dessert and I was stunned. I struggle to have any stomach space left for dessert, and as delicious as it is I couldn’t imagine getting seconds. Still, make sure you save some room for this because it’s probably my favorite table service dessert in Disney.
On top of the fantastic eats, ‘Ohana has a live ukulele player who hosts activities for the kids in the dining room. And, if you plan your reservation during the fireworks (which we often do) the restaurant pipes in the music and you can get a view of Cinderella Castle from some of the windows.
Now for a quick dose of realism. I LOVE ‘Ohana, and I stand by it being one of my favorite restaurants. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and just because I love it that’s not to say you will too. If you’re looking for a high quality steak or a more relaxing dining experience (as it can get chaotic with the servers going around with the skewers and the kids’ games) this probably isn’t the restaurant for you.
I’ve heard of some guests complaining that they feel rushed when dining at ‘Ohana and I can definitely see why they’d feel this way. I don’t necessarily think I’ve ever felt “rushed” here but the food does come out quick. I don’t necessarily fault the servers for this because I think between actually waiting on tables and serving the food on the skewers they are WORKING HARD and they’re probably just trying to be as efficient as possible. Still, if they come around with something I’m not ready for, or ask if I’m ready for dessert and I’m not, I simply tell them that. So I imagine if this makes you feel rushed you could do the same and set the pace that you want for your meal.
Lastly, ‘Ohana is not cheap, so depending on your budget you may feel that the money is better spent elsewhere. Dinner for one adult is going to run you $50, and while I’ll happily pay this because I love the whole experience and the food, I can totally understand someone opting to spend $50 on filet mignon at a signature restaurant instead. (You could even “splurge” another $15 or so and see one of the dinner shows– it really depends what you see as the best value.)
If you’re looking for a casual and memorable family style dinner experience, perhaps with some fireworks vibes and near the Magic Kingdom, ‘Ohana is the restaurant for you. If you’re on a tighter budget however or are comfortable spending $50 on something with a higher “value” best to skip this one and opt for something like a signature restaurant or the nearby Kona Cafe instead.
Have you dined at ‘Ohana for dinner? Did you love the noodles or what?! Let me know in the comments!