I’m sure that you’ve already found many reviews on Ohana, probably mostly positive. However, whether or not this experience is a good choice for you all depends on how you vacation. This restaurant is likely to be the perfect fit if you have someone who thinks they are “too cool for a character meet” and you’re hoping to change their mind. But might not be the best fit for those with a busy day planned. Let’s go on a closer tour.
Our most recent experiences at Ohana breakfast were nearly identical and occurred 8 months apart. The first was in September and the second was in May.
I’ll cut to the chase first: Ohana is really not a “must” for everyone, though for some people it’s perfect. I feel the Ohana breakfast experience is more suited to a sedate crowd – adults or people with older kids (like teenagers) who want a calm experience and still meet a few characters. I think it would be a wonderful choice on a honeymoon or anniversary trip, especially for those staying at the hotel. It’s also a must for Lilo and Stitch fans.
The characters seem calmer here overall than they are at most of the character meals. This means it also might be a good “first character” experience for nervous kids or adults. If you are planning a relaxing day, this could be a great fit for you.
However, if you have a tight schedule or are trying to fit as much of the parks into your day as possible, you may want to pass on Ohana. The restaurant is huge and (as I’m sure you know) is almost always fully booked. Both times we waited an hour to be seated. This is not always a bad thing. Here are the two main reasons why:
There is a large sitting area outside of the restaurant, so you can usually find a place to rest. Around the area, you will find a lounge and a coffee bar. The lounge has a large assortment of cocktails. It’s a great opportunity to order a drink and sit and sip while visiting with your loved ones. It’s sort of like having your pre-meal cocktails in a more comfortable setting than a dining table. While I wouldn’t call the area “intimate,” it’s definitely cozier and potentially more romantic than sitting at a table.
Example of two pages, this is by no means the full drink menu.
The second reason this can be a perk is that Ohana will text you when your table is ready so you are able to explore the grounds and stores while you wait. While it isn’t recommended that you wander far, you are able to do some souvenir shopping and enjoy spectacular views with great photo ops.
The restaurant is relatively dark and tiki-like, yet still fresh. Hawaiian styled carvings abound, as well as other “island” touches. While sticklers may not feel that the decor is “authentic,” it definitely keeps with the overall theme of the hotel and is very pleasant. It’s kept very clean as well and has a calming Hawaiian “vibe.” I think it’s quite romantic, while still being family friendly.
Seating can accommodate both small and large parties easily. It features mostly dining tables with very few benches/booths. Larger tables are round, so it’s easy to converse and see everyone.
Views from the windows are from the second floor and include overlooks of Bay Lake, the pool, some of the lovely garden-like grounds, and the docks.
Because the restaurant is so large, there is a degree of background noise, though it isn’t obnoxious or overly loud.
You are greeted and referred to as “cousin,” which is a charming and unique trait of Ohana. It makes you feel at home.
When seated, the hostess provides “stitch juice” which is included with your meal. It’s a tasty blend of pineapple, orange, and guava. You are also given “Hawaiian Welcome Bread,” which is amazing. It’s like a very light, homemade cinnamon roll – but replace the cinnamon with coconut and pineapple. The coconut flavor is very faint and the bread is not-too-sweet. There are pineapple chunks on the bottom.
You might notice at this point that there is probably not ketchup or salt/pepper at your table. If this is important to you, ask now because your meal will be brought out soon and you’ll want to be ready. There is, however, jam.
A short time after you are seated, you’ll receive a tray of fruit (ours was only for two people so it looks a little small in the picture). Then after a brief wait, your family style meal arrives, which is served in a single giant skillet. It includes the following:
- Mickey and Stitch themed waffles
- Southern style biscuits
- Scrambled Eggs
- Island Style Thick Potato Wedges
- Ham with Pineapple Topping
As far as the quality of the food, it’s what you will find at most Disney breakfasts, which is tasty and hearty. The sausage is a spiced a little different than your usual sausage and the potato wedges are definitely unique to the location and are mild.The pineapple topping on the ham has a spicy kick (but don’t worry, it doesn’t cover the ham). It’s a good and hearty breakfast and is all-you-can-eat.
The characters are unique in that this is usually the only place where you will find Lilo and, of course, Hawaiian Mickey. The Mickey at this location tends to be more reserved than other places while still being friendly and warm. Stitch usually offers cute antics that aren’t over-the-top. He is definitely the most animated of the characters. Pluto is usually available as a meet-and-greet outside of the restaurant.
This is a place where you’ll want to leave a large block of time in your schedule to visit.
As mentioned earlier, toddlers and very young children that enjoy a lot of stimulation might be a little antsy at this one just because of the wait time to be seated. The fact that you are allowed to wander will help keep anxious young ‘uns under control. Food does tend to arrive pretty quickly, so that helps a lot.
If you are rushed and have a busy day planned and limited time between events, you may be frustrated by the wait times, as they seem to be typical of the restaurant. Don’t plan a fast pass less than 2 hours after your reservation start. Remember, budget your time to accommodate riding on the monorail or other transportation for another 20 – 30 minutes after you finish dining.
However, this restaurant is ideal for adults who want a calm dining experience and those who think they are “too cool” for a character experience. I think it’s nice that this option is offered because it shows how Disney really does try to create an environment for everyone. If you have a couple of hours to spend to really enjoy the experience, you’ll get a lot of out of it. It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be – a great place to connect with your “Ohana” (family) in a peaceful, calm and not-rushed way.
For our family of two adults and a toddler, other character breakfasts are a better fit for us – even though this was a positive experience and I’m glad we went. Bug loved Stitch especially and all of the characters took their time with him.
We didn’t record our Disney experience, but Sarah Sterling did and you can find it on Youtube here if you want a more “in-action” view of the experience