Saturday, February 15, 2014

'Ohana Dinner - Disney's Polynesian Resort

Initially, our Valentine's Day dinner plans were to eat at Rose & Crown at Epcot, but then my brother and his family managed to book some last minute advance dining reservations at 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  Thankfully, yesterday morning, we were also able to make reservations for one of our family's favorite Disney restaurants.  'Ohana's all-you-can-eat Polynesian specialties are pretty incredible.  Because this is such a popular restaurant, I suggest you make advance dining reservations as soon as possible.  ADRs can be made up to 180 days in advance.  

For starters, 'Ohana serves bread and salad.  The online menu describes it as a mixed greens salad with a honey-lime dressing.  I think it had papaya and some kind of orange citrus fruit in it.  Whatever it was, it was really delicious.  

The GNI gluten free rolls were heated perfectly and soft all the way through, which is often not the case at Disney restaurants.  I only had a few small bites because I wanted to save room for what was to come.  

My special plate from the chef included chicken wings, rice, pork, vegetables, and sweet & sour and teriyaki sauces.  I really enjoyed my rice, pork, and chicken wings with the teriyaki sauce.   The vegetables were very good too.  The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the sweet & sour sauce.  

Last time we dined at 'Ohana, all of my meat came from the back, but this time, I got to enjoy the grilled chicken, marinated sirloin steak, and spicy grilled peel-n-eat shrimp that is brought to the table on huge skewers.  Of the four meats served on skewers, only the pork loin was not gluten free.  The chicken was so tender and flavorful, and was my favorite of the three.  I also really enjoyed the shrimp, but the marinated sirloin steak was a little tough.  

Chef Jessy promised that she would make me something really special for dessert, something that would make everyone else jealous.  Wow, did she deliver!  While my family ate bread pudding, I didn't feel like I was missing out at all.  I started with the beautiful and delicious chocolate covered strawberry.  Next up were the Mickey ears, which I ended up sharing with my daughters because I couldn't wait to dig into the warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries on top.  

I asked Chef Jessy if the brownie was an OMG...It's Gluten Free Fudge Brownie, and she said it was.  I absolutely adore these brownies, but I avoid the sugar free version that is available in some Disney restaurants.  

My nephew and my brother always seem to have crazy food challenges at all-you-can-eat restaurants at Disney.  Logan ate 50 shrimp!  When he was done, I heard him tell my brother that he might not be eating shrimp again anytime soon.  :-)

I got some great photos of my husband sporting my nieces' new Disney headbands.  

My family loved the food at 'Ohana, and had a great time with my brother's family, who was visiting from South Carolina.  

March 22, 2015 Update

Friday night, we had dinner at 'Ohana with my parents.  Over the past year, I have read about many menu changes at 'Ohana.  For a while, I was hearing that the salad was gone, but we were served a mixed greens salad with Lilikoi dressing.  We all agreed that it was one of the best salads we have ever had in a restaurant.   It was a little different than our last visit because of the addition of edamame, and it did not contain any fruit, but I loved the slightly sweet dressing.   I was also served GNI rolls that were heated well, and tasted pretty good.

Chef Juan brought me my own plate of wings, rice, and vegetables with teriyaki sauce.  I loved everything on this plate, especially the wings, which were so good dipped in the teriyaki sauce.

The pork has been eliminated from 'Ohana, and I was told that the chicken, steak, and shrimp are all gluten free, so I was served directly from the skewers like everyone else.  I asked to be served first once I noticed that our server was getting the skewers way too close to my familys' plates, which contained food with gluten.  I enjoyed the sweet-n-sour chicken, but it has a different sauce than it used to, and is now dark meat instead of white meat.

Again, the szechuan sirloin steak was my least favorite of the three, because I didn't particularly enjoy the seasoning on it, though it was much more tender than on our last visit.

We all agreed that the spicy grilled peel-n-eat shrimp was our favorite, and I enjoyed it dipped in my teriyaki sauce.  The sweet-n-sour sauce served at 'Ohana is also gluten free, but the peanut sauce is not.  

My daughters do not like the bread pudding served at 'Ohana, so Chef Juan brought them each an adorable dessert put together with Enjoy Life cookies, ice cream and fruit.

He brought me my favorite Kilauea torte chocolate cake from Kona Cafe next door, and served it with ice cream and fruit.  

Overall, we all really enjoyed our meals, and look forward to dining at 'Ohana again.  You can view my breakfast review of 'Ohana here.  

You can read more about 'Ohana and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

If you are gluten free and dairy free, or gluten free and vegan, you definitely need to check out my friend Sarah's review of 'Ohana on her blog Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at 'Ohana?  


  1. I was just there in the beginning of March. I am allergic to all grains including rice. I have been to WDW many times but this was my first trip to Ohana. My dining partner has no allergies. We were both disappointed in the meal. The salad at the start was quite good, the plate with the chicken wings etc (mine had mashed potatoes instead of rice) was all right. When they served the meats from the skewers, all three were cold when delivered. Also extremely salted, I hate to leave food on the plate and have a big appetite but neither of us could finish the main part of the meal. I wasn't impressed that the shrimp were previously frozen and kind of mushy.
    The chef also told me I would be served something very special for dessert. I got a bowl of sliced fruit, no ice cream, no chocolate sauce, plain cut fruit . . . needless to say, after all the years of hype about Ohana, I won't be going back!
    I am very glad you have enjoyed your meals there, hopefully our not-so-great meal is not the norm.