We’re back at ‘Ohana again for the second time this summer (not that we’re complaining)! ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort updated their menu recently to bring back a few old favorites that we know and love.
Of course, we had to head over to try out the updated menu! Let’s head in to see what yummy dishes have returned and which are not available anymore. More importantly — do the changes make it BETTER?
‘Ohana likes to keep guests on their toes, apparently. When ‘Ohana reopened last month, they had changed their menu quite a bit from what many guests knew and loved. (Like…REALLY loved. ‘Ohana love runs DEEP.) Although some dishes stayed (like their famously amazing noodles), others were gone (like the peel-and-eat shrimp). New food like the Island Shrimp Casserole and Coconut Papaya Scones took their place.
It was different. Not good or bad, just different. We actually were pretty big fans of most of the new items at ‘Ohana, but a lot of people were upset that their previous favorites were missing! Every time ‘Ohana has changed anything on the menu, guests get loud FAST. Whether due to guest backlash or simply longing for familiar old favorites, the menu was changed up almost as soon as it was introduced! All we can say is, we ain’t mad about it.
We arrived at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and followed the walkway up to the resort!
Once inside, you’ll go through the Polynesian’s lobby…
…and up the stairs at the back on either side to get to ‘Ohana’s check-in desk.
Don’t forget to appreciate the view of the lobby from the second floor!
We let the cast member know we were here for our reservation, and then we waited to get a text that our table was ready!
When we got the text, we headed back to the restaurant’s entrance and a host took us back to our table.
‘Ohana has one big dining room with tables and chairs and huge windows along one wall.
At night, you can see fireworks from the Magic Kingdom through these windows! For now, we just looked at the views of the Polynesian resort.
Our table settings were pretty basic, with a plate and silverware.
‘Ohana just has QR code menus for now. We asked about paper menus, but the restaurant is not carrying them at the moment.
Let’s scan the code and see what’s cooking!
The dinner is still an all-you-care-to-eat meal, and it’s still being served family-style. Before Disney World shut down last year, ‘Ohana servers would walk around with skewers holding the meats and serve you whatever meats you liked tableside (like a Fogo de Chāo type Brazillian steakhouse). This portion of the meal didn’t return with the reopening — it’s still unlimited meats, just served in a skillet!
The prices for dinner stayed the same as well, with $55 for adults and $33 for children. It’s definitely on the pricier side for a meal, but you get a TON of food for that cost. So make sure you come hungry! The food here is Polynesian-themed, with tangy flavors and big portions.
For the dinner, you’ll get all of the items listed under the “All You Care to Enjoy ‘Ohana Dinner” section.
There’s also an option for a plant-based dinner with plenty of items there as well!
If you’re not drinking during dinner, you can order a non-alcoholic drink from their specialties menu (including a Press Pot of Kona coffee for 2, if you’re in the mood for some hot java)…
…or check out the mocktails menu!
But there are also a lot of signature cocktails available to choose from. Since Tambu Lounge sits at the entrance to the restaurant, it does double duty as both a standalone bar as well as the restaurant’s alcoholic drink service. This is the same menu you’ll find over there.
For a more classic drink, ‘Ohana has a long menu of draft beers from all over America, including a few from Hawaii.
Finally, there’s also a decent selection of wines!
For our drinks, we ordered off the cocktail menu! We got the Polynesian Mai Tai and the Dragon Iced Tea.
So…uhh…they look the same. But we promise they’re different! The Polynesian Mai Tai (with the pineapple wedge on top) has Plantation Original Dark Rum, Bacardí Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curaçao, Lime Juice, Orgeat (Almond), and Pure Cane Sugar. It costs $13.
This is a fairly classic Mai Tai. Fans of the drink will likely be pleased. It’s sweet but not aggressively so. This tastes like chilling on a beach.
The Dragon Iced Tea (with the dragon fruit slice) is Hendrick’s Gin, Lemon and Ginger Herbal Tea, Tropical Juices, and Blood Orange, and costs $14.
We really loved the Dragon Iced Tea, with its strong herbal flavor mixed with tropical juice. Just don’t see “Iced Tea” in the name and assume it’s a Long Island Iced Tea…it is not! We do recommend liking that herbally gin flavor though, as it’s prominent in the drink. In the past, we’ve also enjoyed the Hawaiian Mule, with Pau Maui Handmade Vodka, Lychee-Citrus Reduction, and Fever-Tree Ginger Beer for $14. We think it’s the perfect mix of a classic cocktail with a fun Hawaiian twist! Truth be told, we’ve tried most of these drinks over the years. All lean sweet and fruity with strong tiki drink vibes. You can’t go wrong with the drinks here!
Now we’re getting into the bread service part, and unfortunately, we’ve got some not-so-great news for you ‘Ohana Pineapple Bread lovers: It’s not actually back. (We know, we know!) BUT you can get the OG bread at Kona Cafe, also located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Let’s all remember how wonderful the old bread was:
We were given the Ohana Coconut-Papaya Scones that we tried from the new menu when it reopened last month again, and our server told us this change is here to stay. Even though we miss the old bread, we still really enjoyed these scones! They’re more like biscuits in our opinion, and the coconut flavor is awesome in them. It’s pretty strong, so all the coconut fans will love them! Here’s the bummer though — the Cheddar Bacon Biscuits these came with when ‘Ohana first opened…did not stick around. Cheesey bacon biscuits may not scream “TROPICAL” quite like coconut and papaya, but those were some solid biscuits we didn’t mind inhaling!
The scones still came with Honey Butter as well, which is never a bad thing. 😉 The salad was the same as last time we were here. It’s the Mixed Greens Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette dressing. We thought it was great — a good, light dish to start out an otherwise very heavy and filling meal. The salad often gets neglected at ‘Ohana, hiding in the shadows of the MVPs like the dumplings and noodles, but this is actually a really refreshing salad. Give it a go.
The real hero of the salad? Definitely the dressing. It was tangy and delicious, and it set off the sweet flavor of the carrots and tomatoes beautifully. You’re served a small pitcher for pouring on your salad as you like.
Next, we got the Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings and Pork Dumplings Tossed In Garlic-Chili Sauce, which also came with a big helping of the famous ‘Ohana noodles and some Roasted Broccolini!
The wings, dumplings, and noodles were as amazing as ever. These are all the same as the ones on ‘Ohana’s previous menu. The wings had crispy skin with tender meat and just the right amount of sauce coating them. The sauce wasn’t too sweet, and it went well with the spice coming from the wings.
The dumplings were another expected winner. They were nice and crispy on the outside with a tender, flavorful filling. They had just the right amount of spice for us, meaning we could taste a kick but weren’t desperate for our water! Seriously, if we have one warning for new ‘Ohana diners it’s to watch the dumplings — it’s SO easy to stuff yourself on these before you know what’s happening.
The broccolini was fine — how awesome can plain vegetables be, really? It didn’t wow us, but it had a good amount of salt and pepper, and it was cooked well. Hear that mom voice in your head telling you to eat your green veggies.
And then there were noodles. Oh, what more can we say about the ‘Ohana noodles? We LOVE them. They’re savory, but you can detect a bit of sweetness in the teriyaki flavor as well. The texture is like lo mein noodles you might find at a mall Chinese food kiosk, but it’s like regular lo mein went on vacation to Hawaii.
OK, OK, we hear you — let’s move on to why you’re really reading this — the meats (AKA the stuff that’s actually different!). In the ‘Ohana Dinner Skillet, you’ll get Wood-fire Grilled Teriyaki Beef, Spicy Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, and Grilled Chicken with Polynesian-inspired Chimichurri Sauce. The noodles and broccolini are also listed under this skillet, but ours came out with the dumplings and wings.
As a quick note, with our skillet, we also got some of the Kielbasa Sausage, which was a new item from the menu last month. Our server told us it’s not here to stay, though. They’re just serving it now because they still have some leftover, so if you’re not going soon, you probably won’t be able to get it.
We’re a little bit bummed about that because we actually really liked the sausage this time.
The chicken was just a little different, served grilled instead of roasted. It was still bone-in, though! The chimichurri sauce served on top of it was the game-changer here.
That sauce was delicious! It made the chicken a much better dish than it would have been otherwise. It’s a pretty mild flavor, but the notes of parsley, garlic, and oregano made it bright and tasty. We do miss the boneless chunks of chicken though — much easier to eat!
We were super excited to have the peel-and-eat shrimp again!
It was just as delicious as we remember. It comes peel-on (as you can probably tell from the name 😂), but it’s split so that it’s super easy to take the shell off. Even those who think they’re a mess with peeling shrimp should have no trouble here. The shrimp came with peppers, covered lightly in a peppery sauce that we really enjoyed as well.
Just a reminder: the peel-and-eat shrimp replaced the shrimp casserole that we had last time we were here. The casserole was definitely a unique choice. We actually enjoyed it for the most part but this component seemed to be the most debated of the old-new menu. Regardless, we’re happy to see the good ol’ peel and eat shrimp back on the menu. These were great before and great once again. The roasted peppers are a nice bonus!
The Wood-Fired Grilled Teriyaki Beef remains unchanged but still had a great flavor. The meat was pretty thick and tough. It’s not the best steak you can find in Disney World, but considering all the other goodies you’re getting here, we don’t suspect too many people come here looking for the most perfect steak of their lives. It’s still got a nice flavor though. You can definitely taste that wood-fired char. Mmm.
The sauce was the best part of this dish as well (we’re starting to see a trend here — A+ on your sauces, ‘Ohana). It was thick and tangy, and it really made this dish.
Remember, this is all you care to eat, so if you want seconds or thirds or 50ths of anything (cough…cough…pork dumplings) just ask your server and more will appear! Finally, after we were just about as stuffed as we could be, dessert came. And then we realized we could probably stuff in just a little more because it’s the classic ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, and who can say no to that?
Well, it’s ALMOST the classic bread pudding we knew and loved. When ‘Ohana reopened, the bread pudding remained the same but the sauce served with it was switched to a straight caramel sauce instead of the Bananas Foster-type sauce used previously.
The bread pudding is served À la mode with Homemade Caramel Sauce. Bananas in the sauce or no, this is still a delight. The pineapple bread pudding is delicious and ever so slightly fruity, and the creamy vanilla ice cream complements it perfectly. (Anyone else love how ‘Ohana scoops of ice cream are always just SO perfectly round?!)
The caramel sauce is gooey and sweet, so it’s really just a perfect dessert. We might be biased but we heart ‘Ohana. We’re still so happy to have it back.
Nosh or Not
Definitely hula on over to ‘Ohana if you:
- Missed the peel-and-eat shrimp from the old menu and can’t wait to eat it again.
- Are very hungry and looking for a delicious, filling meal. You’ll less likely walk out of this meal and more likely roll out!
- Want something different from all the other Disney sit-down meals. This is full of Polynesian flavor and not like any other meal offered at Disney World.
Consider a different dining spot if you:
- Are looking for a lighter meal or one with more Disney-themed decorations. This isn’t in your face DISNEY, though it is steeped in Disney World history.
- Really loved the shrimp casserole and just can’t bear to be in ‘Ohana without it (hey, it had its fans!).
- Don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on dinner. For the price, this isn’t the cheapest meal around and you really gotta put in the time and tummy space to get the most out of it.
We were really impressed with the return of the old menu items. All in all, it was a great meal, with fun atmosphere and excellent service. Our waiter was very attentive, helpful, and friendly the whole night! We still miss the skewers, although we understand why it’s not a good idea to have people walking around the dining room then hovering over you and your plate a lot right now. If you were hesitant to return to ‘Ohana when it reopened with a different menu, we think you can rest easy now knowing that the restaurant has heard your cries and brought back many of your favorites. Though we’re still scratching our heads a bit about that bread change and the change to the bread pudding sauce though.
What’s not to love about endless plates of noodles and dumplings and grilled meats? Even you non-meatasauruses will get down here — the plant-based menu is equally inventive and seems geared to please those that don’t love to eat meat. But if you do like meat, you’re in for a treat. This is definitely a hands-on type meal though, especially with those shrimp and the bone-in chicken and wings. We usually just grab for the dumplings too! Prepare for messy fingers.
As for the changes, we liked them. We remember the old days at ‘Ohana with the skewers and bowls of dipping sauces and more. Things change. ‘Ohana knows this better than most places — over the years they have changed a LOT. Some for good. Some not so much. It’ll just go down in the annals of ‘Ohana history as one of many menu changes here. The big deal here really was the swapping of the shrimps. The rest of the menu didn’t change too much. Would we pick the peel and eat shrimp over shrimp casserole? Definitely. But both had their own merit. It just comes down to personal taste and preferences. Is this the ‘Ohana you knew and loved in (insert X year here)? Probably not, but that doesn’t make it not still a tasty meal. Nothing tastes as good as nostalgia, y’know?
After all our fawning over ‘Ohana, we’ll say this — $55 bucks a person is still a big price tag. You get a lot of food here and can certainly make it into a MASSIVE meal if you keep ordering seconds, but it’s still going to set you back a couple pennies. Even though it’s more expensive than some other spots in Disney, we’re not sure if there’s a more filling meal on property! ‘Ohana is one of a few Disney World hotel restaurants that, even if you’re not staying at the hotel, we recommend making the trek to visit if you’re even remotely interested in the menu. It’s that good. All we know is, we’ll definitely be back for more soon. ‘Ohana may mean family but, for us, it means eating so much hearty tropical fare we can’t see straight! 🙂
Keep following DFB for more updates on menu changes in Disney World!