All about the ‘Ohana dinner at Disney’s Polynesian resort:
‘Ohana is a popular spot to eat at Disney World – if you follow other Disney websites or facebook groups you’ve probably heard people mention it! It’s definitely a fan favorite, and while it is a bit on the pricey side I do think it’s a great meal and worth it. I’ve eaten there several times, but most recently we got the chance to have dinner there in early September with the new menu.
All about the ‘Ohana dinner
How does ‘Ohana dinner work?
The dinner at ‘Ohana is served family style, which means they will bring plates of all the various dishes in large portions to your table and everyone takes what they want. If you’d like more of anything they are happy to bring it to you. It is one set price per person which includes all of the food and basic drinks (soft drinks, etc.).
What is included in ‘Ohana dinner?
There are several courses that are part of the dinner. When you first sit down they will bring you bread and take drink orders. Up next is a salad course. Following that you have a selection of appetizers, which include noodles, vegetables, and potstickers. The main course is meat heavy – it includes chicken, beef, and shrimp (If you’re vegetarian or vegan they do have other options for you). Finally the grand finale is a delicious dessert.
How long is ‘Ohana dinner?
The length of your dinner will depend on a number of factors, including how busy the restaurant is and how big your party is. That being said, even though it has multiple courses dinner typically goes pretty quickly. Except for allergies or special diets everyone in the restaurant is getting the same dishes, which means the kitchen can produce them quickly and they all come out pretty fast. With only two of us dinner was still under an hour (which included being distracted by fireworks!). But like any meal at Disney, your mileage may vary.
Are there characters at ‘Ohana dinner?
No, there are no characters making an appearance at the dinner at ‘Ohana. This was true pre-pandemic as well. Prior to the shutdown ‘Ohana did have characters at breakfast but not for dinner.
Dinner is served family style and includes:
- ‘Ohana bread
- Mixed greens salad
- Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings
- Pork Dumplings Tossed In Garlic-Chili Sauce
- ‘Ohana dinner skillet
- ‘Ohana bread pudding
With the set price of the ‘Ohana dinner you get standard beverages included, which are things like soft drinks, juice, coffee, and tea. If you’d like a specialty drink they have a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Perhaps the most famous drink from ‘Ohana is the Lapu Lapu (Plantation Original Dark Rum and Tropical Fruit Juices served in a fresh Pineapple and topped with Gosling’s 151 Rum):
Yes, this drink is served in an actual pineapple. Just for that it’s fun to order because it really feels like it goes with vibe of ‘Ohana. It’s also pretty strong so be aware of that! But it is delicious and in my opinion it’s a great combination of the fruit juices and rum – not overly sweet, but it also doesn’t just taste like alcohol. There’s also a lot in that pineapple.
Many of the drinks offered at the Tambu Lounge are also available at ‘Ohana – you can see a lot of them in my post on the monorail bar crawl when we visited there!
To begin our meal the menu listed the ‘Ohana signature bread (with Honey Butter), which is normally a pineapple coconut bread. However, at the time we dined there (August 2021) the bread was not there and we were instead brought coconut papaya scones:
These were quite delicious, especially with the honey butter. They aren’t what I would consider typical scones, but I enjoyed them as a start to meal. It was hard not to devour these completely but I knew if I did I wouldn’t have room for all the other delicious food coming!
Shortly after the bread and drinks we got our salad course which is a Mixed Greens salad with Citrus Vinaigrette:
The salad itself is pretty boring and standard. The salad at ‘Ohana used to be more interesting – in the past it had included things like mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, dried cranberries, etc. Now it’s pretty much as basic as you can get from a mixed green salad. That being said, the citrus dressing is really excellent. I just wish it was a better salad to go with it. Unfortunately at this meal it’s just not worth the stomach space in my opinion!
The next skillet we were brought is kind of appetizers/sides. It includes Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings, Pork Dumplings (Tossed In Garlic-Chili Sauce), ‘Ohana Noodles, and Roasted Broccolini:
When ‘Ohana first reopened the noodles had been replaced with a fried rice and the internet rioted. So back came the noodles and while I do enjoy fried rice I’m glad because I’m a sucker for noodles. These are in some sort of delicious sauce (maybe a riff on teriyaki?) and they are pretty addicting. As for the rest of this skillet, I’m not a huge wings fan but I do enjoy the flavor on these more than others I’ve had. I really like the potstickers mostly for sauce – it’s so tasty! The broccolini is what it is. I will take one to eat just so I feel like I’m getting a few veggies in between all the rest of the madness.
The main courses were brought to us in three separate skillets. First we got the Grilled Chicken (with Polynesian-inspired Chimichurri Sauce):
This was good, but in my opinion it was the weakest option out of the main courses. The chicken was fine but nothing special. The chimichurri was okay, it just wasn’t as full of flavor as I might expect.
Up next we have the Spicy Peel-n-Eat Shrimp:
These were very good! I love shellfish and seafood, and these shrimp were great with some awesome flavoring. The menu lists them as spicy, and I didn’t find them particularly spicy, but I do think they had lots of flavor and spices. I could do with them a bit more spicy but all in all a great offering.
Finally the last meat was the Wood-fire Grilled Teriyaki Beef:
I’m surprised to say that out of the three, this was actually my favorite! I enjoy a really good steak, but beef in general just isn’t my favorite. This, however, was great. It was well cooked and tender, with some great flavoring and sauce.
And then comes dessert! The ‘Ohana bread pudding (À la mode with Homemade Caramel Sauce):
There is no denying that this is a delicious dessert. It’s hard when you’ve had so much good food already and you’re pretty full, because you can’t eat it all but it’s tempting because it’s so good! The bread pudding has bananas and coconut and it was just moist and delicious. Of course the caramel sauce and ice cream only helps add even more flavor and texture to a fantastic bread pudding. Pace yourself for dessert!
Is the dinner at ‘Ohana worth it?
I get asked this sort of question a lot about various restaurants and experiences, and the truth is that it varies so much depending on your preferences and what you consider valuable or worth your time and money. That being said I’m always happy to give my opinion – I just like to clarify that this is my perspective on whether it’s worth it for me, not necessarily for everyone!
It is definitely a pricey dinner at $55 per adult, but I think it was worth it for us. Jason eats a lot of food so a family style meal like this means that he is very happy. He also really loved everything that was served. I thought all the food was good too – while I wouldn’t say it was my favorite meal I’ve ever had at Disney it was definitely delicious. If you don’t eat a lot or you’re not big on meats I don’t know that you’d find as much value in it. I typically don’t eat so much food at once but the day we had dinner here we skipped lunch (we did a late breakfast) so I was prepared.
I wouldn’t eat here every trip myself, but I’ll be back again sometime in the future. If I was traveling with other people who wanted to eat here I’m more than willing to go back! As someone who goes to Disney several times a year, I’d consider this dinner an “every 5 years or so” event unless something major was to change.
FAQs about the ‘Ohana dinner
How much is ‘Ohana dinner per person?
Currently the cost is $55 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $33 per child (ages 3 to 9).
What does ‘Ohana mean?
‘Ohana is a Hawaiian term that means “family.” The Disney connection is from Lilo and Stitch, which takes place in Hawaii. In the movie one of the most famous lines is “‘Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
Can you see fireworks from ‘Ohana?
You can see fireworks from inside ‘Ohana. The view is decent but not great and also depends on where your table is. Since it’s only on the second floor of the Polynesian, some of the fireworks are a bit higher up and you can’t see them that well. The restaurant also has tables much further back from the windows so if you’re seated there your view won’t be great. Even though we were close to the windows I still sat on the floor next to my chair to get a decent view. They do pipe the music in so you can everything as well.
I wouldn’t make ‘Ohana my first choice if you’re looking for a restaurant to see fireworks from. I think you’re much better at California Grill or Narcoossee’s. But it is just a nice added bonus of eating at ‘Ohana in my opinion! My recommendation would be to eat at ‘Ohana earlier and then watch the fireworks from outside at the Polynesian. They have the music playing outside as well and your view is less obstructed there.
Are drinks included at ‘Ohana dinner?
Basic soft drinks, tea, etc. are included with your dinner. If you’d like a specialty drink (they have a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options) you would pay for that in addition to the set price for the meal.
Is there an ‘Ohana dinner show?
There is not a “dinner show” with ‘Ohana. Sometimes they have some entertainment going on at dinner, though it’s been a bit hit or miss lately in the post-COVID world. I believe officially they don’t mention a musician, but when we were there they did have a ukulele player walking around. The Polynesian does have a full dinner show in a different location called the Spirit of Aloha. That’s something totally separate from ‘Ohana.
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Have you experience the ‘Ohana dinner? Which dish sounds best to you?