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family-style restaurant


Sometimes I think I would be better off if I never knew that ‘Ohana existed.

But the fact of the matter is that I do know that ‘Ohana exists, and I know that it’s roughly 1000 miles away from my tummy in New Jersey. For the first few weeks after my first experience at ‘Ohana, a family-style restaurant serving up fresh, Polynesian inspired food which resides in the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World, I was experiencing withdrawal of the worst kind. I missed WDW, naturally, but I really, really missed ‘Ohana.

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While getting my birthday trip together, I had finally snagged a reservation for ‘Ohana, which was no easy feat 50 days away. (Yeah, I know, you’re supposed to do it 180 days out, but this was a somewhat last minute trip. Always use a Disney travel agent, kids.)

When the evening arrived, my husband and I moseyed on over to the Polynesian Resort and waited for our names to be called. We sat in the bar area, mouths agape as we watched the skewers of pork, chicken, steak, and shrimp bask in the open flames that gave them their unique taste. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, our first cousin (everyone there is your cousin – ‘Ohana means family, so everyone is family here) picked up a slab of bread and led us to our cozy table. I’m in love with this place already.

family-style restaurant Disney

We broke into the banana-coconut bread (my husband’s two favorite fruits combined into my favorite carb) and it melted in our mouths. If this is just the starter, how good is this going to get? Our other cousin came over and explained that everything was family style: that they would just keep bringing food over to us until we said “no more.” He then brought out a metal platter of honey coriander wings, pork dumplings, and salad with a honey lime dressing. We had barely spread the butter on our new favorite bread and were already presented with new, delicious options.

The wings were the best I’ve ever had. I usually don’t like wings, what with the stickiness and the bones, but these were worth a second and third helping of. The food just kept coming. Our cousin brought over the fresh lo mein noodles and stir fried vegetables. I could have stopped here and been happy, but then he brought over the skewers of meat. I opted for the chicken, the steak, and the pork, whereas my husband dove into the shrimp as well. Holy. Cow. And I’m not just talking about the steak. Every last morsel was heavenly and worth the hype.

Christina Ravnholt

Avid Disney Fan & MickeyTravels Blog Contributor!

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