Character meals at Walt Disney World parks or resorts are a great way for your family to meet several Disney characters, especially if you have young children as there’s no waiting in a queue and they just come to you while you have your meal. One of the three character meals we booked during our May 2017 trip to Orlando was at the ‘Ohana in the Polynesian Village Resort, where we met Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch while having a family style breakfast. In this post, I’ll be sharing a review on our experience at the ‘Ohana;
The ‘Ohana Character Breakfast came highly recommended for its lively atmosphere and opportunity to meet Mickey and friends. The Polynesian Village Resort is a Disney resort and anyone, whether you’re staying on or off property, can book a table at the restaurants up to 180 days in advance. I made a reservation for a late breakfast a couple of days after our arrival in Orlando.
Tip: Sign up to the My Disney Experience website or app and start booking your dining reservations up to 180 days ahead of your trip – popular restaurant bookings go quickly! You can always cancel or amend your reservation up to 24 hours before. Phone numbers must be 10 digits, so to book with your UK number, drop the first ‘0’.
When we arrived at the ‘Ohana for our reservation, we were given a buzzer to hold onto during the wait for our table. ‘Ohana is located on the floor overlooking the lobby, where you’ll also find a couple of merchandise shops and the Kona Café. We browsed the shops and Mr. G and I had a delicious Kona coffee at the café during the wait.
The wait eventually ended up to be around an hour to be seated, which was disappointing considering we had a reservation and the restaurant was half empty when we arrived. We also ended up being seated just after 12pm and breakfast – as well as the opportunities to meet the characters – was due to end at 1pm.
Family Style Breakfast
We were first served pineapple bread, a plate of fresh fruit, and some fruit juice, which was a blend of passion fruit juice, orange juice and guava juice.
Breakfast was served in a big pan: waffles, bacon, sausages, biscuits and scrambled eggs to share family style. It is a good value in that you can keep having the items topped up and served to your table.
Our waiter was very accommodating when Mr. G asked to have something other than what was offered on the platter. He brought over a pan, the same huge size as the one above, full of egg whites, and also continued to check in to see if we wanted anything topped up.
Meeting the Characters
As for the character experience at ‘Ohana, the characters were wonderful at engaging with 3 1/2 year old Little T and taking the time to sign autographs and take photos. Our table was a bit tucked away from everyone else, so we were always the last to meet the characters, but the restaurant manager checked in regularly with us and made sure we were seen.
Tip: Bring an autograph book for the characters to sign. There are some that you can also add photos and other mementos to that make a wonderful souvenir. You can find customizable autograph books on Etsy or, of course, purchase ones at the resorts or parks, with prices ranging from $8 to $17.
Little T absolutely loved seeing the characters and asking for their autographs. He actually didn’t really eat until the very end, because he was mesmerized watching the characters moving around the room.
Pluto and Stitch were particularly friendly and lively to watch. Lilo was very sweet and kept waving at us every time she passed by.
The highlight was meeting Mickey Mouse – Little T had been waiting weeks for that moment. He had just purchased a small handheld fan that had Mickey riding a plane and loved showing it to Mickey, who made the motions that it was him riding the airplane and had Little T cracking up – such a sweet moment!
At one point, there’s a parade around the ‘Ohana with the characters and kids shaking maracas and dancing. It goes by very quickly but it is fun having that extra moment interacting with the characters.
The Polynesian Village Resort
I’d recommend making some time to explore a bit of the resort itself before or after your meal. Located by the Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Village Resort is connected to the park with the monorail, so we had our first monorail spotting while there.
The Polynesian Village Resort is decorated beautifully, with Hawaiian design elements, fountains and tropical plants. There’s a fun swimming pool (for resort guests only) and a beach on the lake, which is open to non-resort guests.
The resort beach is a good spot to relax in the evening and watch a night show on the lake right before watching the fireworks display at Magic Kingdom in the distance – you can ask the concierge for current fireworks times. Below is a view of the lake and part of the resort from the ‘Ohana.
There’s a quick service stand, Pineapple Lanai, right outside the lobby (on the way to the pool area) where you can pick up the famous Dole Whip soft serve or pineapple float. Aside from the Polynesian Village Resort, the only other place at Walt Disney World where you can pick up this scrumptious treat is at the Aloha Isle at Magic Kingdom.
There was no wait at all when I visited the Pineapple Lanai, so it was a great opportunity to give the Dole Whip a try – and it is absolutely delicious!
While we were very disappointed with the long wait to be seated despite having a reservation, the service at the ‘Ohana was very good and the restaurant manager and our waiter frequently checked in on us. The breakfast food was fairly average, to be honest, and we would have preferred more variety. Aside from that, it was a fun experience and Little T absolutely loved meeting the characters. There aren’t that many opportunities to meet Mickey during these character meals, so that is the top reason why I’d recommend it especially for visiting with young children, and the characters overall were lovely and so friendly with Little T.
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