Sunday, October 26, 2014

O'hana Means Family.....and Family Means Nobody Gets Left Behind

We had dinner reservations for Ohana at the Polynesian at 8:30pm.  We made it for later not knowing what time we might make it in.  Remember they now charge a $10 per person cancellation fee if you are a no show for a meal or cancel under 24 hours out.  So we wanted to be safe.  Booking meals or activities on arrival day can be risky due to those fees now.  We headed over via monorail (love it!) by 7:30 or so.  The line for the monorail at the Contemporary is usually pretty long unless you hit it at an off time.  So while I love the monorail access, it isn’t always all it is cracked up to be.  Since it is the first stop after the Magic Kingdom, usually folks are on there and NOT getting off until the next stop after our hotel, the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC – the MK parking lot).  So usually the monorail is packed when it stops at our hotel and we have to cram on or wait for another, which is a pain.  The resort monorail loop goes from MK, to our hotel (Contemporary), to the TTC, to the Polynesian and then Grand Floridian before back to the MK.  So it is a LOT of stops to get to the MK and usually is jam packed.  But my son still loves riding it. My tip, when going to MK from CR, just WALK!  But we were heading to Poly, so we had no choice.

We arrived and checked in and everyone got some drinks from the Tambu Tambu lounge area.  This area is always crowded with folks waiting on their reservation, and even worse now with the construction walls up.  My mom ordered the famous lapu lapu- extremely strong drink in a real pineapple.  I had my favorite Pina Colava (pina colada with raspberry puree).  We waited and waited forever- it was now  like 8:45pm- nearing 9pm.  

We kept checking and finally they seated us close to 9pm, so just know, even with a reservation, you can end up waiting a while.  We were STARVING by this point.  We were led to a great table front and center in the restaurant with a great view of the castle/MK. 

We were served the delicious bread and butter which the babies loved.  You used to be a great salad next, but they no longer serve it.  I hear if you ask for it they will bring it still, but we didn’t.  We were trying to get the kids fed as they were really starving this late.  Another tip- you can ask for kids food here- like hot dogs, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese etc.  They won’t offer usually, you have to ask.  So we asked and waited, and waited and waited.  The server was awful and slow and never brought the kids food until AFTER the adults had been served the meat/main course.  Poor kids were starving and I was about to track down a manager.  

We were asking other servers to help even.  Usually the service is good and they bring out kids food FIRST.  Nope.  Horrible service this time.  And don’t get me wrong, I love Ohana, but might skip it next trip.  It is a tradition for us each time, we haven’t missed it in like the last 6 trips, but might next time. 

So with the salad gone, they now offer lettuce wraps, which I am not a fan of but others enjoyed it.  They also brought out the pot stickers, sticky wings and more bread.  Then the veggies (mostly broccoli) and noodles, which I love.  They brought around the steak, pork and shrimp (of which I don’t eat, but DH did).  It was okay, but not as good as in the past.  I felt the food quality was below par for past trips.  Finally they brought out hot dogs, mac and cheese and fries for the kids.  William is a pretty adventurous eater, so he had eaten some of the regular food already, but had a hot dog too. The poor kids were starving by that point, very disappointing.

The kids enjoyed doing the coconut races and the music and then the moment we had all been waiting for…..dessert! 

The pineapple bread pudding with caramel bananas foster sauce and vanilla bean ice cream is my all time favorite dessert at Disney and I usually don’t like bread pudding (too mushy).  But this dessert is fabulous.  I even bought a recipe book and made it at home once.  So I did definitely enjoy the dessert. 

I knew getting our bill paid would take forever the way service was going, so flagged him down and gave him my Tables in Wonderland card.  The TIW card is for Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders to purchase for around $100 (varies) and gives you 20% off most sit down meals (and a few fast food ones) for up to 10 people and includes alcohol.  So since we are not fans of the dining plan (too much food for us and we don’t qualify for discounted dining since we stay DVC), we use Tables in Wonderland.  It works great.  There is an 18% automatic gratuity added, but we would have had that added anyways- as Disney adds that for any part of 6 or more, even if you have a baby sitting there not eating, they could as a 6th.  So we got our nice discount.  But the one bad thing with dining with large parties is that you can only pay with one method of payment when using TIW, so we couldn’t “split the check” with multiple credit cards.  Of course we could use cash for everyone to pay us back, but we ended up taking turns paying for each sit down meal and that just worked out easier. I think my parents got this first one.

We were able to catch the fireworks while eating, which was fun for the first night.  Of course from the Polynesian it is pretty far back, but still a nice view. The restaurant was emptying out and we were all beat.  It was time to call it a night.  My parents had driven over to the Poly and met us there, so they headed back out while we caught the monorail back to Bay Lake Tower, which meant a stop first at Grand Floridian and then MK.   We got everyone tucked in bed, the twins each had their own pak and play to sleep in.  The resort provides one in the room and we brought a second (we needed it for the hotel on the way there and back since driving- parents brought a second).  The resort also provides wooden style high chairs in the room for use in the villas! We requested a second one to feed the boys in the morning.

So everyone fell asleep with dreams of Disney in their heads.  What would tomorrow bring?  Princess, princess, princess!

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