Friday, January 23, 2015

O'Hana Review | Disney's Polynesian Resort

This review is actually going to be a two-for-one. I've eaten here twice within a year and had two very different experiences. All of the photos included here are from my most recent trip in September 2014. But first, let's backtrack.

O'Hana is a family-style restaurant located in Disney's Polynesian Resort (Is it officially called Polynesian Village Resort with the new sign?) and it's very popular. So popular, that our first trip together in 2011 was O'Hana-free because I couldn't get a reservation on the morning that reservations became available. I vaguely remember going when I was younger with my family and enjoying it, but my memory didn't provide anything further than that.

I always research travel destinations to the bone and pick restaurants ahead of time. This is a requirement for most Disney table service restaurants because you'll need reservations, and you start making your reservations 60 days ahead of your arrival date. O'Hana always has marks of the highest honors on most review websites and blogs. So it was one of the main ones on my to-do list and we were really bummed we couldn't get a reservation in 2011. However, when we went in 2013 I was able to snag it and we were both pretty excited about it. (Sometimes, we're known to be just as excited about the restaurants we try as the actual destination. It's part of the experience for us.)
I'll try to keep this short and sweet... our first time around was an epic fail. The starters/salad were delicious and the assistant server was fantastic but we had a terrible server and waited so long for our meat that our assistant server asked if we were ready for dessert. I was completely underwhelmed by the meat once we did get it, as well. All dry and not tasty. It could've just been that I had lost my appetite, too, due to the extremely long wait. I think beginning to end the meal took nearly three hours. All in all, I was upset that we left over $100 poorer.
Our next trip in September 2014 was planned sort of last minute and I was browsing reservations just to see what we could grab and there was an unclaimed O'Hana reservation. Ashley convinced me to try it again because we both kind of felt like our previous bad experience was sort of a fluke given the large amount of great reviews. So I went ahead and made that reservation. Our second time around was a completely different story. We had a wonderful chat with the hostess who seated us, our server was fantastic and hilarious. Our drinks were never empty and our plates were always full. We were out in about an hour. Our favorite is always the appetizers. It was the only thing we liked from our first experience and they seemed even better this time around. We honestly can probably just have a meal of only those and be fine. But no need, because the meats were juicy and tasty this time around as well. They threw in a birthday cupcake, too. You'll almost always win me over with a cupcake. I was so relieved that we had a good meal. I would absolutely go to O'Hana again. (If you'd like, you can see our vlog of this day here.)

Have you ever had a bad experience and tried a place again? How did it turn out?

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