Yes, it’s all about the show. It has to be!
We have a “champ”, my friends. It is the phenomenally-popular, Polynesian-themed meat-fest ‘Ohana!
This result doesn’t surprise me one little bit. After all, All in WDW’s polls are the epitome of popularity contests, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort (soon to be called Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort) is an extremely popular WDW destination.
Likewise, its flagship dining experience, ‘Ohana, is an absolute favorite of many. In fact, we, ourselves, have already named ‘Ohana as our Favorite Buffet/Family Style, Favorite Monorail Loop, and Favorite Resorts Table Service Restaurant!
One more “title” seems very fitting and falls right into place!
Why are we fascinated with this dining juggernaut? Many reasons! Take the restaurant’s theming, for example. ‘Ohana’s quasi-luau motif is fantastic.
Having said that, the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s theming – as well as that for Boma and Sanaa – is exquisite as well. Don’t you just love watching the zebras and giraffes roaming around just outside Sanaa’s windows?
How about California Grill? It owns that fabulous view of Disney’s Magic Kingdom! A late night dinner with Wishes, anyone?
Even Le Cellier’s cellar displays an alluring charm … a pleasant, comfortable, rustic Canadian charm. Come to think of it, I guess ‘Ohana doesn’t hold a patent on creative and enjoyable theming!
How about the food? Admit it … who here isn’t drawn to the prospect of being served endless skewers of meat? Of course, it would be better if chicken hadn’t been recently removed from their menu, but ‘Ohana does still offer steak, shrimp, and pork.
And, then there’s the Banana Bread Pudding!
Of course, did you know that Boma serves a great bread pudding as well? Not typically served with ice cream, we asked for a scoop on our last visit. Our server happily secured us a helping of vanilla … which elevated the dessert into the stratosphere!
In fact, as an alternative, consider the variety, creativity, and unique flavors of Boma. Probably the closest comparison amidst our Final Five, I’ve heard more than one fan comment that Boma’s offering surpasses that of ‘Ohana. Honestly, I, personally, tend to agree.
Indeed, the food offered by Sanaa, California Grill, and Le Cellier are impressive as well!
My point? All five of these restaurants serve a great meal, and some fans would argue that, although good, ‘Ohana might not necessarily be the best of the bunch.
So, what sets ‘Ohana apart, then? It’s the show. Billed by Disney as “Dinner with Hawaiian Hospitality”, “[t]he call of a conch shell welcomes you to an evening of Hawaiian-flavored specialties, storytelling, and games.”
Disney asks you to “… delight in coconut races in which children armed with brooms sweep coconuts across the restaurant’s hardwood floors.” They urge everyone “… to play with hula hoops and dance to island music.” You won’t find that when you dine at one of the other four finalists!
Look, in the spirit of its name, ‘Ohana is family. It’s an enjoyable evening with your loved ones and friends. It’s fun with, and for, your children in a tropical paradise that they might never get a chance to see. It’s the joy of the show!
Why do we vote for ‘Ohana? It’s the memories. Oh, we’ll have memories of eating at any of the other Table Services, as well, but will they stand out as much as those we make at ‘Ohana? Clearly not … or, we wouldn’t keep voting it “king”!
‘Ohana? You are our ultimate dining experience. You are the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Table Service Restaurant!