After all of the times I’ve been to Walt Disney World since I was a kid, I had never been to the Polynesian Resort near Magic Kingdom until our last visit. One of the original resorts that opened back in 1971, the resort’s 11 longhouses (named after island nations like Fiji, Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti) sit on the scenic shores of Seven Seas Lagoon with white sandy beaches.
We decided to visit the Polynesian for a character breakfast at the resort’s ‘Ohana (which means family, if you’ve seen “Lilo and Stitch”), and is one of the most popular spots for kids of all ages to have some quality one-on-one time with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch.
Let’s take a closer look at the raucous family experience at ‘Ohana…
The South Seas’ theme is all over – from the waterfalls, fresh flowers and tiki Gods. The restaurant is located on the second floor of the resort’s main building, called “The Great Ceremonial House,” where you can also find registration, shops and several other restaurants. There’s also a Wyland Gallery, so you can look at gorgeous paintings and sculptures of ocean wildlife before or after your meal. You can also hop on the monorail and visit the other Magic Kingdom area resorts – the Contemporary or Grand Floridian.
Once you check in for your reservation, you receive a buzzer, which will notify you after a short wait that your table is ready. Next, your group is greeted by a cast member and everyone in your party receives a lei before having a group picture snapped. You can either get one to purchase (for a pretty steep price) or they will take one with your own camera (but you can’t guarantee that it’ll be in focus).
As you’re waiting, there are some chairs you can sit on near the photo area or you can head over to the little bar area (shown above), which wasn’t open when we were there for breakfast, for your short wait.
Once your wait is over, you’re whisked into the main dining area that is wrapped with windows overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon. From your seat, you can see Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom.
A little glimpse at my first round of breakfast treats! Remember, it’s all-you-can-eat so just ask your cast member if you’re still hungry for more. Don’t want more eggs? No problem! They’ll bring over just what you want!
Me and my good pal Mickey. Oh, cool thing – Mickey and friends are all decked out in Hawaiian shirts. This is a great chance to get some serious time with the characters if you have little ones who love Mickey.
The restaurant does get a little loud. They do a little parade with all of the kids around the restaurant and sometimes will do some coconut races and other shenanigans. But, it’s all fun and the food is pretty good, too.
While my favorite character spot is still Crystal Palace with Pooh and Friends, ‘Ohana is one of the best restaurants that I’ve found to get some quality time with that uber-famous rodent. Oh, another plus!? You can get a Dole Whip at the Polynesian’s food court – so no need to head over to Magic Kingdom to get your fill of the frosty treat. Score!