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 [Read more…]

First Look! 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise and Artwork

Excitement is building for the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

We got our first look at festival artwork at the recent Food and Wine Festival preview, and people are already talking about how much they love it! I adore how they’ve worked World Showcase landmarks into the colorful art.

2013 Food and Wine Festival Art Work

Today, we’re psyched to share with you some of the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival artwork and other merchandise that will be featured during this year’s event!

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Signature Artwork

This year’s signature artwork is quite a departure from last year’s more photojournalistic style. In 2013, the mood has turned whimsical, and the familiar motif of this year’s festival decor turns up in the background, but in a softer pastel palette.

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Poster

Look closely, and you’ll even spy Remy from Ratatouille perched in the top of the bumbling chef’s toque!

Other Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise: Figurines, Pins, Vinylmation, and More

The chef is also the star of a new 7-inch bobble figurine, made extra awesome because he’s balancing on top of Spaceship Earth!

Bobble Chef Figurine

Disney artists have also created new character artwork with Mickey, Goofy, and Donald in chef whites. The character pieces are reminiscent of similar vintage-inspired pieces that we’ve spied in the Italy pavilion.

We can’t wait to see all the cool ways these three will be featured!

Chefs Mickey, Donald, and Goofy will Turn Up at This Year's Festival

The merchandise team has come up with a great line up of must-haves for the 2013 festival. The bumbling chef turns up on [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Sneak Peek: New DCA Foodie Merchandise

Disney California Adventure is set to release a whole bunch of fun new merchandise when the construction walls come down this June! 

Check out all of the foodie-related items that I found at the recent Passholder Preview this week (where I also tried the new popcorn flavor and slushies that will debut!).  I absolutely love the new artwork being used.

California Adventure Cookie Jar

California Adventure Themed Lunch Bag

I just love the retro-looking image of Mickey and Minnie pulling the trailer on this lunch bag. It’s also insulated, roomy, and it has an [Read more…]

Disney Food Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 1

Remember when we had a little bit of Christmas back in August with these fun Star Wars items? It’s been a busy fall with all of the festivities going on around WDW and Disneyland, but now we can finally take a moment to share our weekly Holiday Gift Ideas!

Each week, we’ll share some fun gift-giving ideas for the Disney and/or food fans in your life. And isn’t shopping right there from your computer so much easier than trudging through the crowded malls? Consider this your shopping FastPass to beat the crowds!

Star Wars Hans Solo Chocolate Carbonite Bar

Um…this is just awesome even if you’re not a Star Wars fan. Hans Solo is frozen in this treat straight from Tattoine! This makes a great stocking stuffer for your Star Wars and/or dark chocolate fan. You can get your chocolate Hans Solo from a galaxy far, far away…where Jabba is apparently busy making seasonal treats.

Star Wars Hans Solo Carbonite Chocolate Bar

Alice in Wonderland Tea Press Gift Set

A perfectly classic and understated gift for your sophisticated tea-drinker friends! ;-) This tea set includes everything you need for a great cup of tea — just add water! To get it, visit [Read more…]

Guest Review: Garden Grill Restaurant

Jeff Kocan, an incredible writer and blogger over at www.CigarettesandCoffee.com (he was the evil photographer of this little ditty — don’t look if you’re hungry), kindly penned and photographed this review of the Garden Grill Restaurant in Epcot’s The Land. This rotating restaurant is in many of our childhood memories, but these days, it’s got a new “spin.” (Couldn’t help it.) Take it away, Jeff!

Garden Grill Restaurant

For too many Walt Disney World visitors, The Land pavilion on the east side of Epcot’s Future World is probably best known as the building you rush through twice per visit – once to get Soarin’ Fastpasses and once to redeem them. It’s worth spending a little extra time here, though, as the building also houses an above-average food court, a more-fun-than-it-sounds agricultural boat ride, and one of the park’s most unique restaurants, the revolving Garden Grill.

The Garden Grill has been around since Epcot’s (or, if you will, EPCOT Center’s) opening day on October 1, 1982. Back then it was known as the Good Turn Restaurant; it became the Land Grille Room in 1986 before taking its current name in ’93. Lunch service here ended in 2008, and the restaurant now exclusively hosts Chip and Dale’s Harvest Feast, a family-style character dinner.

Chip and Dale's Harvest Feast

The Atmosphere
I tend to think of the Garden Grill as one of Disney World’s “forgotten” character meals — it certainly isn’t mentioned as frequently as, say, Chef Mickey’s or Cinderella’s Royal Table. That said, during our Sunday-night visit, the restaurant was full and the adjacent waiting area was packed with diners waiting for their buzzers to buzz. Said waiting area is essentially a vacant corner near the public restrooms, and aside from a couple benches, the ground is the only available seating. Germophobes may prefer to stand.

Once you’re in the restaurant itself, you’re treated to an experience unlike any other in the parks: [Read more…]

Disney Canned Goods Sculpture — A Breakdown

So, being the person I am and writing the blog I write, it’s natural that I hung around after the canned goods sculpture reveal at the Disney “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” press event and took a few photos… :-) The world record-setting sculpture (yep — Guinness World Records authenticated it) was made up of 115,527 canned goods. The canned goods were donated to food banks in Orlando, Fla., Miami, and Atlanta.

This was part of a massive media event promoting what I believe to be one of the most game-changing Corporate/Non-Profit partnerships in the history of philanthropy. Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” volunteer program aims to encourage 1 million people to volunteer one day of service at a local nonprofit in exchange for one free day in a Disney park. Why is this game-changing? Because that 1 million people includes thousands of children, who will learn why it’s important to volunteer and help out in the community — and I don’t mean just getting a ticket to Disney World. This program will introduce thousands of people to the outstanding benefits volunteering can bring — both personally and to the community.

To date, Disney’s already hit the 600,000 person mark…and that’s in just six weeks. I’m guessing they’ll hit their 1 million person goal in no time flat.

But on to the Sculpture…
One thing I really wanted to capture was how many different types of items were used to create the sculpture, as well as the innovation of the “artists!” According to a Disney press release,

The sculpture contains approximately 44 tons of food – everything from albacore tuna and apricot halves to spaghetti, stewed tomatoes and mixed vegetables – destined to become more than 70,000 meals for the needy.

Let’s begin with a photo of the full sculpture. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see a cool time-lapse video of the sculpture being built!!:

NEW WORLD RECORD SET AT DISNEY

Here are a few breakdown photos that I thought were pretty interesting uses of canned, bagged, and boxed foods:

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse was made up primarily of flesh-toned Kirkland Salmon cans. Black olive cans were used for his ears and nose, and pineapple chunk cans made up his eyes. All of the characters had popcorn plates for pupils!

Mickey’s paintbrush was made out of boxes of lasagna noodles, bags of spaghetti, and [Read more…]

A Few Morning “Mugs”

Here’s how I feel this morning. How ’bout you?

mickey mug

Thought we’d start this Wednesday morning off with a pun (get it? “mugs?”), as all good English-Majors-Turned-Bloggers should do once in a while ;).

I’ve noticed so many different series of mugs at Disney-related stores recently, and I can’t figure out if Disney’s always released mug “collections,” or if this is new. (Maybe I’ve just not been paying attention…very possible… .)

Regardless, I first saw this Mickey mug at the Pop Century gift shop last year and thought it was just about the greatest thing ever. Once I saw the whole collection at a Downtown Disney store more recently, I couldn’t resist starting a new “series” of posts for the food blog. That means: stay tuned for more mug collections!

This one’s my favorite! She looks so peeved!
Tink mug

Yep — this fits my image of Grumpy in the morning…
grumpy mug

Minnie has hair?! And curlers?!
Minnie Mug

Hmm… a bit too “hypnotic” for me…
Tigger Mug

Aw. Who knew Dopey had footie pajamas?
Dopey Mug

Have a great day!