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Guest Review: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

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.

‘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!

Atmosphere

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.

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

Pluto Makes His Way Through the Dining Room

‘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.”

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Baskets of Welcome Bread Await Diners

Eats

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.

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Live Kitchen Elements, Including This Grill, Are a Focal Point

Our server returned with a basket of Hawaiian welcome bread flavored with pineapple and coconut, as well as iced cinnamon bread. Both were delicious.

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

Welcome Bread with Pineapple and Coconut, and Iced Cinnamon Bread

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.

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

P.O.G. – Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juice

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)

• Biscuits

Everything Is Served in Skillets, Family Style

Everything Is Served in Skillets, Family Style

As promised, Mickey waffles arrived separately that we loaded with butter and syrup. Everything was made fresh and served hot and delicious.

A Little Bit of Everything!

A Little Bit of Everything!

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.

Lilo, Like All the Characters, Made Her Way to Every Table

Lilo, Like All the Characters, Made Her Way to Every Table

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.

Children of All Ages Are Encouraged to Join the Parade

Children of All Ages Are Encouraged to Join the Parade

Overall

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!

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16 Comments

  1. Lyssa says:

    “I would drink this juice intravenously if I could.”

    in·tra·ve·nous adjective \ˌin-trə-ˈvē-nəs\
    : through, in, or into a vein : entering the body through a vein

    I think you mean incessantly (incessant is an adjective that means continuing without stopping : not stopping).

  2. Disney Rocks says:

    I remember when Ohana’s was a breakfast buffet. In fact, it is one of my children’s favorite memories sitting in the beautiful “Polynesian Morning” eating the “most delicious” breakfast buffet” ever, and we even had characters visit! I recently went to breakfast at Ohana’s and did not enjoy the food offerings as much, as well as the staff did not wait on us for 1/2 an hour. Needless to say this experience was not my “grown-up” children’s favorite. This is just my personal experience, but would really like to see the original Ohana’s Breakfast Buffet return. I do not mind serving my self, even with 3 litte ones in tow at the time. I especially enjoyed the fabulous potato casserole they use to serve. Hopefully Disney with remodeling the Polynesian back to its “glory” days will reinspire the Ohana”s Breakfast Buffet. I hope everyone will try this restaurant after the remodeling though, as you should decide for yourself. Let me know your opinions.

  3. Kristi says:

    We love breakfast at ‘Ohana (our dog is even named ‘Ohana lol). I notice in your photos that nobody is wearing the leis…have they stopped giving them out? It’s a shame if that’s true because it was a nice touch that added to the theme.

  4. Sue says:

    We loved our breakfast there! One visit put this at the top of DD’s character meal list. The food is great, the service was wonderful and we had a (very distant) view of the Castle across the lagoon. I think my son drank a gallon of POG while we were there and raved about it for a month afterwards. (We’ve tried to make it at home but can’t quite get it to match our memories.) I’m starting to regret that I chose Crystal Palace for our next trip instead of returning to ‘Ohana. I know my older kids (10 & 12) would chose ‘Ohana every time.

  5. AJ says:

    Lyssa — It’s kind of a colloquialism to say that you’d “have it on an IV” if you could, when you really enjoy something. :-) I think our guest reviewer was just making that joke that she’d love to have this juice all the time.

  6. Harvey says:

    Just to add my testimonial to Disney’s reactions to lost children…

    I went to the parks with my family when I was in college, and as I’m one of 5 siblings, we split up into two groups. My sister, probably about 13 at the time, got separated from her group and wanted to try and find my group, but we were in a different park. She got on a bus but managed to get incredibly lost in the process, and eventually just sat in a bus stop at AK in tears. A young woman was on her way to work but saw her and immediately stopped everything to try and figure out how to reunite us. She took my sister to get some juice while she called a bus driver to personally escort her to our park, where she was met by more cast members ready to help her find us. It just goes to show how incredible everyone at the parks is when someone is in need.

  7. Hey Kristi! No leis. Total bummer. I hope they bring that tradition back. And thanks AJ! It was a little joke. Like Sue, I will attempt to make POG at home so I can drink it all the time!

  8. Sharon Curtis says:

    I will never forget our breakfast at the Crystal Palace – approx. 1978. Our 1st visit to WDworld. Just the beautiful bldg., especially the Crystal Dome, was breathtaking. The Belgian waffles with strawberries & whipped cream were SO fresh & delicious!
    Sure would love to go back ( with the grandkids some day!!).

  9. Essie says:

    I went there for breakfast years ago when it was Minnie’s Menuhini Breakfast. My favorite character breakfast is the Crystal Palace because I love the Puffy French Toast they have and the breakfast lasagna and the omelets; all of their food is so yummy. The Pooh Bear characters are also soooo cute! :) We like Chef Mickey’s also, because you get a fun Monorail ride. Thanks for your report; you did a great job on it.

  10. LB says:

    Great review! I’ve never been to this character breakfast and everything about your article makes me want to book a trip just to go to ‘Ohana! I’m sad to see that instead of enjoying your real-world view on your experience, someone attempted (and failed) to give you a literary lesson. If I could hook up an IV of Dole Whip, I would roll that cart around day after day! Mahalo!

  11. Chris UK says:

    For me, I’d mix up an IV bag of Goofy’s Candy Company Character Gummies, Dole Whip and School Breas from Epcot’s Norway. Mmmmmm why is everything so good?

  12. Nikki says:

    As big fans of Lilo and Stitch, I always thought Ohana would be a great option for my family. Unfortunately, I am vegetarian and do not know what I would eat other than the fruit here. Does anyone know if they have a vegetarian option? I would hate to pay that price for meat I won’t be having. That pineapple bread looks amazing though, yum!

  13. Mark Hickson says:

    Dear Kim, Funny how two peoples opinions can be so different! I had exactly the same meal there a year ago and was completely disappointed in the food.

    Let’s be honest, This meal was not “Polynesian” or “Hawaiian.” None of the made-up names equate to being cuisine from the pacific ocean. Living in Hawaii I was offended that the resort would try to use names that in no way represent Polynesian culture. It was bland, tasteless, and showed no imagination. Also the caramelized onions & scallions were a no-show with the potatoes.

    OK, let’s be honest… it was also COLD, Everything was COLD. OMG, I’m paying $30 plus for a COLD and tasteless breakfast that even McDonald’s can beat. My advice is to avoid this breakfast… at all costs!

    Want a great breakfast? Go to Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Cape May Café. It has the best Character Breakfast and the best Breakfast buffet at Walt Disney World. Mahalo, Mark Hickson

  14. Chuck says:

    I cannot agree more with this review, especially the P.O.G. juice, which not only have I made at home which is really simple anyone (even me) can do it. In fact the Juice is the biggest draw for me to go back.
    The food is good, but not great the characters are different and good but once again, not great especially for the cost.

    However this is a great review!

  15. Miranda midas says:

    Thanks Rebecca for a great review!

  16. Pigletyyz says:

    Totally agree with the POG juice IV dream, it is that good! We always ask for a to-go cup which they are more than happy to supply. O’Hana is probably one of the most fun and entertaining character meals in the kingdom and we try to do it as often as we can. Even without children the characters spend plenty of time at each table with Pluto and Stitch being complete riots! Highly recommend this experience for anyone who loves good food, fun character interaction and, of course, amazing juice!

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