Guest Review: ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Join us in welcoming back Guest Reviewer Katie Roth with a review of ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Note that this review was written before the most recent round of ‘Ohana Menu Changes. Currently the Chicken Skewer is not being served at the restaurant. Aloha!

I have been staying at the Polynesian for years, but I had never eaten at ‘Ohana until last year! I know, I know…utter blasphemy! I was psyched that my husband and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Disney World AND were able to score a dinner reservation at ‘Ohana.

I admit that it was I that brought my husband into the light of Disney, and I just love getting to share my favorite experiences and eats with him whenever we visit Walt Disney World. Knowing how much he loves grilled meat, I absolutely could not wait to eat here with him!

To help control our excitement, we went to Tambu Lounge to temper those jitters. My husband went all out and ordered the Lapu Lapu while I went with a pineapple mojito (regular mojito with fresh pineapple chunks added). We loved our drinks and were primed for dinner ;)

Lapu Lapu!

In my opinion, ‘Ohana’s location lends itself to be one of those ‘would have missed it if I didn’t know it was there’ restaurants. The location of the restaurant is on the upper terrace of the Great Ceremonial House lobby tucked away behind the Tambu Lounge. If you are in front of Kona Café then you have gone too far!

As I’ve seen in the past couple of years, the easiest way to spot ‘Ohana is by the long line of people checking in for their Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) or those hopeful souls asking about a walk-in reservation. When it comes to Disney food (particularly at ‘Ohana), never leave fate to chance.

Lately, I have been eating a lot less meat and more fish for health reasons. I informed the host at the check-in station that I would like a vegetarian/pescetarian meal to which he replied would be no problem. I have heard great things about the vegetarian offerings at ‘Ohana and couldn’t wait to try them out! Just remember, if you are going to make a special request like this, check in early and let them know.

Once you are checked in, you will be given a buzzer and told to wait by the Tambu Lounge for your “cousin” (server) to take you to your table. If this is your first time to the restaurant, they will take you on a [Read more…]

First Look! Mortimer’s Market on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure

Walking into the newly opened Buena Vista Street, one of the first things you see (if the Red Trolley is not parked at its station) is Mortimer’s Market

Designed as a place to pick up some “healthier” snack options, Mortimer’s hits you before you have the chance to grab a churro or popcorn!

Mortimer's Market

Mortimer’s Market Back Story

The “story” behind Mortimer’s is that this fresh fruit and veggie stand was run on Buena Vista Street by “Mortimer McKenzie.” Mortimer was said to be a small man with a high voice; friendly and unassuming, with an enthusiastic personality. 

A certain young animator might have found inspiration for a very famous character here…

Shelving Decor & Beverage/Fruit Cooler

For those who don’t know the story of how Mickey Mouse was created, he was originally called “Mortimer” Mouse! Walt’s wife thought that Mickey might be a better name, and the rest is history…

And before we jump into atmosphere and eats, I wanted to share another fun part of Mortimer’s and the rest of Buena Vista Street! To bring the story of Walt’s first few days in 1920’s California even more to life, Imagineers have introduced a wandering troupe of characters, or “citizens,” to interact with guests…

Citizens of Buena Vista Street

And these “citizens” of Buena Vista Street play a role at Mortimer’s too. While I was perusing the market, this friendly police officer walked through to ask all the cast members how “biz was going” on this “fine afternoon.” It was hysterical.

"Officer Clyde Blue"

Officer Clyde Blue Checking in on Business at Mortimer's

He then proceeded to hang out in front of the market and write some “tickets” to people who were doing good deeds or just looking nice. I literally saw him give a ticket to someone for having a “good hair day!” My friend Amanda’s daughter was written up for “Exemplary neonatal vehicle navigation.” Hysterical.

Behave yourself & You might just get written up for it!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled review!


Mortimer’s is pretty small, but it is packed with fun decor.

Vintage food cans, “Branded” crates of fruits & veggies, printed aprons, food scales, and even a bin of “vintage” Buena Vista Bugle newspapers adorn the shelves of the quaint market. 

I zoomed in on the Buena Vista Bugles to notice the headline & date. The papers are dated May 4th, 1927, with the headline from the grand opening of the Hollywood Tower Hotel; the inspiration for the Tower of Terror. After doing a little research, I found that the [Read more…]