It’s been a while since we visited the Polynesian Village Resort and we’ll take this opportunity to head upstairs for breakfast at ‘Ohana on the morning of March 30th, 2017. In the near future, hopefully I will find some time to write my DVC Studio review, theme park view room review, Bungalow review, Kona breakfast review, Kona lunch review, Luau review, Concierge review, Oasis pool bar review, and Trader Sam’s review.
‘Ohana (note the apostrophe placement and the lack of an ‘s’) serves two popular meals – breakfast with seating from 7:30am to noon and dinner with seating from 3:30pm to 10pm. Demand has increased the hours considerably from what they would have been a couple of years ago. But popularity does come with what are usually longer-than-average waits to be seated. You’ll typically see the waiting area and Tambu Lounge jam packed with people waiting. I’d budget 20 minutes to be seated and be happy if it’s any faster than that. We waited about 15 with an 11:30am reservation, which is one of the last available.
I last reviewed the dinner experience here.
I feel like “E oli” at the end of the Good Morning, Welcome! paragraph is a typo advertising e. coli. The meal otherwise runs $32/adult and $19/child ages three to nine.
Here’s dinner, which is sans characters at a cost of $43/adult and $24/child.
And Kona breakfast if you were considering your options.
The meal begins with what may be the best part, at least food-wise, in the Hawaiian Welcome Bread with coconut and pineapple. It was fluffy and naturally sweet from the chunks of pineapple, in addition to the frosting glaze.
A small plate of fruit was delivered shortly thereafter, but three pieces of watermelon only go so far among four people. One thing I appreciated about the restaurant was that the serving dishes were all the proper temperature – the leaf plate here was ice cold, while the syrup pourer thing that arrived with the Mickey waffles was warm. Nice touches.
Tambu Lounge is actually open from 7:30am through midnight these days. Nothing says breakfast like Monarch 151, Mom always used to say.
The popular “POG” juice, which is a mixture of passion fruit, orange, and guava juices, is complimentary as are soft drinks, tea, sodas, and “regular” coffee. The Press Pot is quite good if you’re in the mood for an elevated serving of caffeine.
The meal is served family-style, which means a skillet will arrive with just about everything offered. This may be a big selling point for those that don’t want to deal with buffet lines and crowds, but there’s obviously less variety. I thought the food was on par with Disney character buffets.
The bacon was your standard issue – much more greasy than crispy.
I’m a Mickey Waffle guy and these were prepared very nicely – soft, thick, and fluffy with a sweet malty character that’s further enhanced by the warm syrup.
We ended up getting two skillets and I thought the eggs in the first skillet pictured above were a lot better than the second. I’m not sure if “real” eggs are involved.
The second helping was soft and slimy with little flavor while the first tasted like they had been freshly prepared. So at least some of this is going to come down to luck and may be why reviews run the gamut from being “the worst breakfast ever” to “AH.MAZE.ING.” The breakfast potatoes were also seasoned and prepared well on the first go-around and under-cooked on the second. It’s possible that they don’t want you to ask for a third.
Rounding out the options are sausage and biscuits. The sausage is pretty basic – mildly spicy with little snap. I’d budget the carbs on more of the Welcome Bread – the biscuits might have been better with some honey or a more interesting butter spread than what’s provided.
Overall, I would rate the food that we received as “just fine” – quick service quality in quantities much larger than you’re probably going to eat.
But the main event is of course the characters with the kids enjoying the parade around the restaurant. Maracas will be shaken.
Matthew and family were nice enough to invite me along to their breakfast.
It’s way less awkward going to character meals with a child than it is when you are a party of four grown(?) men. You can see how much fun Bruin is having and that’s something that should probably be emphasized more during these reviews. There’s a reason they’re so popular.
Lilo and Stitch receive top billing with Mickey and Pluto joining them.
I suppose that it’s possible that other characters would appear in very rare circumstances, but it should be Mickey/Pluto in their Polynesian finest.
Lilo and Stitch (in particular) were once common sights in the Parks, but are now much rarer.
Lilo doesn’t meet anywhere else other than potentially Typhoon Lagoon.
Stitch is only here and Town Square at Magic Kingdom, in addition to meets at Typhoon Lagoon during the hotter months.
I did not receive the memo on the Buzz Lightyear shirts.
The tables that line the windows are particularly scenic.
Speaking of Mother, whenever I mention ‘Ohana, she always goes on about this one time we ate dinner there 20 years ago and sat at this exact table waiting for the fireworks to start, only for 8,000 kids to come over and largely block our view.
There are otherwise some fun Polynesian details around the restaurant, though it’s not one of Disney’s more ornately decorated spaces.
A lot of areas are potentially on the darker side, making photographs more difficult to take. That’s another benefit of being near the windows. Only Stitch had a PhotoPass photographer with him.
Polynesian Village is a beautiful resort to visit and with an 11:30am reservation, you have about two hours at Magic Kingdom before it’s time to head over. You might remember that I started my day with Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise before hopping on the monorail over as part of this post. The later reservation also affords far fewer people inside the restaurant. By the time we left at 1:10pm, or about 65 minutes after we were seated, there were only three other occupied tables in the restaurant. It was a nice respite from the heat of the day and the crowds inside Magic Kingdom. After breakfast, you can enjoy looking around the resort a bit and perhaps grab a Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai. If you like Lilo and Stitch, ‘Ohana is probably on your short list. If you’re kind of “eh” on them, then Crystal Palace is a lot more convenient and offers much more variety. But the overall experience is a lot of fun and you’re certainly not going to leave hungry given you like anything that’s offered.