While Disney’s Polynesian Resort is undergoing extensive renovations (including Captain Cook’s), it’s still a good time to stop by ‘Ohana for the Best Friends Breakfast featuring the adorable Lilo & mischievous Stitch. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott reviews her family’s morning meal at Walt Disney World.
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‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is an extremely popular dinner venue with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Its all-you-care-to-eat format of delicious Polynesian-inspired dishes and relaxed atmosphere earn it rave reviews from just about everyone that eats there.
But is the character breakfast equally as good? My husband, daughter and I decided to find out!
The Polynesian is one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts. I remember going to the luau when I was a kid back in the 70s and feeling like I was in another country.
As an adult, I recognize that there’s something decidedly kitschy about it. I half expect to see Elvis a la Blue Hawaii round the corner with Joan Blackman on his arm. The theming is fantastic, and consistent.
‘Ohana is on the second level of the lobby, just a stone’s throw away from the monorail. Guests are required to check in at the host stand before entering the restaurant. We found this a little confusing, mostly because there were a lot of excited children swarming the area.
We ended up walking right past the host stand. We were re-directed to the “cousin” in the lobby’s host area who was pleasant and efficient and whisked us to the photo area. (Cast members are called “cousins” to reinforce the feeling that everyone at ‘Ohana is family.)
We had our picture taken in front of a Tiki-inspired hut and waited for our buzzer to go off. When it did a few minutes later, we made our way to the host stand inside the restaurant, where we were greeted warmly by more exceptionally friendly “cousins.”
On the way to our table, our host gave us helpful information about the service for our meal and tidbits about the open kitchen and some of the menu items.
We were seated at a sunny table near the window with a sweeping view of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. (Editor’s Note: Views may be obstructed due to ongoing construction.) Our server quickly greeted us and also took a moment to explain the service style. Breakfast would arrive in a large skillet, with the ever-popular Mickey waffles brought separately. Before scurrying away, she uttered those six magical words, “It’s all you care to eat.”
Our server returned with a basket of Hawaiian welcome bread flavored with pineapple and coconut, as well as iced cinnamon bread. Both were delicious.
She also brought ‘Ohana’s famous breakfast beverage – a combination of passion fruit, orange and guava juices, known as P.O.G. I would drink this juice intravenously if I could. It’s heaven.
Next came a fruit plate, with cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and berries. Poor fruit plate. It barely got touched, because the gigantic skillet of breakfast yumminess arrived, heaped with delicious breakfast staples including:
• Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs)
• Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes with Carmelized Onions & Scallions
• Pua’a (The Pork Offerings – Sausage Links & Bacon)
As promised, Mickey waffles arrived separately that we loaded with butter and syrup. Everything was made fresh and served hot and delicious.
Throughout our meal, Disney characters greeted us at our table and posed for pictures. Even as an adult, I enjoy these moments. The cast members usually take great pains to make each guest feel special, and character dining offers even more individual attention than you get in the parks.
Lilo & Stitch (title characters of the Disney movie set in Hawaii) made the rounds along with Pluto and Mickey. They were all patient and funny and signed autographs.
Guests, especially children, are encouraged to participate in the ‘Ohana Family Parade. Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey form a conga line and dance and sing around the restaurant accompanied by a ukulele player. Small children especially enjoyed this.
There’s never a dull moment at the ‘Ohana character breakfast! The island theme lends itself to fun. Lots of character interaction make it an ideal venue for children. Service is prompt and friendly, and includes a steady flow of food that is hot and fresh. We had a great experience at this restaurant and highly recommend it to future guests.
Side Note: This is the first time I witnessed Disney’s response to a lost child in a restaurant. A little boy had gone to the rest room and had trouble finding his family’s table. He was confused and crying. A female “cousin” quickly swooped in, picked him up, comforted him, and walked from table to table, holding him, until she found his group. Other “cousins” joined in and helped until his family was located. It was very organized and efficient, and great concern was shown for the child. Hats off to the ‘Ohana team for handling this situation so professionally!
Rebecca Elliott writes and hosts the food blog Home Cooks Unite! She is a dedicated foodie and Disney enthusiast whose latest trip to the Magic Kingdom included some incredible dining experiences.
What’s your favorite morning meal at Walt Disney World? Have you dined at ‘Ohana for breakfast? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!