Hi guys, so this morning takes us to dinner. Well not dinner this morning but dinner on our first day of our trip at Ohana (means family) at the Polynesian Resort near the Magic Kingdom.
This is one of my favorite places, maybe because my family has always been fond of it, I am not sure. But I do love the laid back feel and the food is always great.
As you read last post to get to the Polynesian Resort we took the monorail from Epcot, this is a great option for this Epcot and Magic Kingdom because they are the only ones that you can utilize the monorail and just sit back and enjoy.
From the Epcot monorail you go to the ticketing area and can hop aboard another monorail straight to the Polynesian or you can walk which is what we did.
The really pretty walk from Ticketing to the Polynesian
First view of the Magic Kingdom
Can you tell that we are in Florida
Trail into Hotel area
bubbling water feature at Polynesian
Remember I said that the buses go from hotel to park and park to hotel, well we could have taken the bus in this case since we were at Epcot and going to a hotel. However, the monorail is faster and only available between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, so we opted for it.
We will be showing many of the various ways around the parks throughout this trip. So hopefully you will get a good idea of how to get around. Now off to dinner.
This little Tiki is all over the Polynesian hotel, even on the trash cans, he just makes me smile
Our reservation was at 6 and I think we got there right at 6, they gave us a pager and we walked around looking at Kona Cafe and checking out some fun sushi on display at Kona Island.
Check this beautiful presentations
Not sure which one this is but the flowers really make the plate look happy
Caterpillar roll, this one is too cute
Shortly after checking out this pretty displays our pager buzzed and we were off!
Here is the gorgeous view from our table
You can see all the way to Thunder Mountain
These yellow flowers in this tree are so pretty, I couldn’t stop staring at them
Grand Floridian from our seats
Now I know you have all been waiting for the real highlights, the food!
Ohana is a family style buffet, since Ohana does mean family, everyone calls you cousin and all the food you want is brought out on platters, so no having to get up for more 🙂
Mixed Greens Salad with a Honey-Lime Dressing
It was pretty good, had bits of fruit and the dressing was nice
Pork Dumplings with Sweet-n-Sour Sauce & Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings
The dumplings had a nice flavor but were kinda too crunchy for me, but hubby liked the crunch. The wings however are one of my favorites and I do not like wings really. In fact I have replicated this sauce at home several times for drumsticks and chicken breasts, yum!
Here is the recipe for the honey coriander sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan.
Heat until hot.
Remove from heat and let cool. Serve with chicken wings.
Noodles, tossed in a Teriyaki Sauce with Fresh Vegetables Stir-fried Vegetables
We truly LOVED these noodles, they were well seasoned and slightly sticky, yum! Will be looking for this recipe soon. Plus the veggies were nicely cooked and still had a crunch to them.
Grilled Chicken Skewer
These were nice, flavorful and tender
Char-Sui Pork Loin, Marinated Sirloin Steak, and Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp
The steak and the shrimp were really good, in fact I normally steer away from peel and eat cause they are so messy, but these were delish.
The Pork loin was not my cup of tea though, the sweet glaze seemed more like a separate component then a compliment to the pork.
Kris digging in to his steak, seems shocked by all this food!
Now on to my favorite part of Ohana, Dessert
‘Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas Caramel Sauce
I mean come on, look at this, doesn’t just make your mouth water?! Yum!
This is something that I have made at home and man, I thought mine was good until I tried this one and remembered just how much I love it.
Here is the recipe if you want to try it at home
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup sugar
8 cups french bread
1. In bowl mix eggs, milk, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. Cut bread in medium (usually 2-inch) pieces and place on cookie sheet pan. Put in 350 degree oven.
3. Bake bread until lightly toasted: about 15 minutes. Remove bread and place in egg and milk mixture.
4. Place mixture in a greased 10-inch cake pan, and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
5. Let stand 5 minutes; serve hot with ice cream.BANANAS FOSTER SAUCE
4 oz sugar
4 oz brown sugar
4 oz corn syrup
4 oz unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup spiced rum
1 cup banana slices1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and half of heavy cream in a large pan. Bring to a boil and slowly add remaining heavy cream keeping mixture at a steady boil.2. Add spiced rum and flambe.
3. Candy will brown slightly; cook 3 minutes until candy forms into a firm ball in cold water. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add sliced bananas. Serve warm.
I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂
The bread pudding was just the right temp. and texture and the ice cream was great, but that sauce, oh my (as voiced by George Takei!) That sauce seemed to be magic, hubby kept pouring it on and it seemed like that little carafe would never empty. It was the clown car of the condiment world.
I have to say Ohana never disappoints which is great cause we had reservations to do it again for breakfast to try out the character dining with Lilo and Stitch!
So who is up for the Magic Kingdom?!
With full bellies (probably more full than should be allowed since we had just had a full meal in Italy only hours before dinner) we waddled our way back on the monorail to head to the Magic Kingdom.
We got there just after sunset with the hopes of enjoying the Haunted Mansion and maybe the fireworks. As with everything on this trip, we made every moment count.
Let the memories begin!
I am actually amazed these pictures were posed for truly, seeing I was so excited I could burst, oh wait, maybe that was just cause of dinner!
Main street usa Theater, this is where you can meet Rapunzel and some of the other Princess and Mickey (separate lines)
Main Street, USA just after sunset
We ran through the park to get to my highly anticipated favorite ride of all the Haunted Mansion, I had heard about the new interactive line and had forbid myself from looking at any pictures, so it would be all new to me and I couldn’t wait.
Welcome Foolish Mortals, to the Haunted Mansion
And as I look at the beautiful mansion, I notice something in the distance shining, oh my goodness! It is Rapunzel’s tower! Eek! I know I must have squealed at this first glance, I was so excited. My two favorite things right next to each other (but you will get to see plenty of that in a bit, I promise.) Let me get back on track, lol!
The Interactive Queue
The five newest additions to the house, this new murder mystery
The new ghosts are
Bertie – Avid hunter and expert shot, in the end that’s what he got.
Aunt Florence – Never did a dishonorable deed. Yet found face down in canary seed.
Uncle Jacob – Greed was the poison he had swallowed. He went first, the others followed. His killer’s face he surely knew, now try to discover who killed who.
The Twins, Wellington & Forsythia – Departed life while in their beds, with identical bumps on identical heads.
Cousin Maude – Our sleeping beauty, who never awoke the night her dreams went up in smoke.
I was unable to get great pictures of them the first night, but I promise there are more later in our trip.
Supposedly this busts will whisper to guests about who killed them and let us help solve the mystery. Should be pretty neat. I liked their presence but as an avid Haunted Mansion fan, I would have preferred more new story lines with our more familiar ghosts.
That being said, I was THRILLED by the addition of a Tombstone for the Organist!
This piece is a work of art and when you touch the keys the organ plays, grim grinning, ghosts!!
Another very exciting modification is Master Gracey’s grave has been relocated from the yard to inside the queue for a much closer look for those who wish to pay their respects.
Another fun addition is the Captain, which is a nod to the original concept of the house being owned by a sea captain
Detail on the Captain’s grave
Another fun thing about the Captain’s grave is every few minutes you hear a sneeze and water and bubbles shoot out the top of the tomb, frightening and dampening unsuspecting guests.
There is also Prudence Pock, the “poetess” of the Haunted Mansion, she is working on her poetry. A glowing animated book resides inside, adorned with some decaying flowers.
She can be overheard working on her poems and asks guests for rhyming suggestions and other questions if you speak to her.
Along with the new additions all the old tombs can be seen, some have also been moved closer for better viewing
Good Old Fred
There are also more interactive spaces which I just couldn’t get great shots of with the crowds, they are…
Two tombstones in the crypt are for the musicians of the Haunted Mansion. They have interactive wall plaques featuring numerous instruments that act as buttons. When guests press these instruments, the melody of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” can be heard playing from the crypt in that instrument’s sound. Guests pressing multiple instruments will hear all of them harmonize together.
Also a large new crypt area which represents the library scene. The two sides of this library crypt feature stone books that push in and out by themselves, much like in the actual library scene inside the Haunted Mansion.
The books on either side of the library crypt feature familiar Haunted Mansion images which include a dynamite barrel and a bust with an axe in its head. Supposedly these make up a “cryptogram” to be solved. Can’t wait to go back and figure that out.
As you finish going through the new area, you make your way towards the front doors and encounter the best tomb of all
Dear Sweet Leota
Beloved by all
In Regions beyond now,
But having a ball
By far my favorite tomb, she is animatronic and can be seen on occasion looking around with her beautiful green eyes.
Once inside I took one picture of my favorite parasol girl and decided to absorb the ride and atmosphere with hubby in our doom buggy
The wonderful parasol girl before her chilling transformation
The ride was better than I imagined, seeing as the last time I was there was over 5 years ago.
New art has been placed in the house, including the Hatchet man, whom some claim is the ghost host.
My Favorite addition to the attraction is the new hitch hiking ghost scene!
After the ghost host warns you of their intent to follow you home, you see the gruesome trio standing just outside your doom buggy, then, you travel into the room of mirrors while Phineas, Ezra or Gus boarded your buggie and now they are much more active, we had our heads swapped and are spirits pulled out playfully by Ezra and Gus throughout our trip, never got Phineas. Was really funny and such an improvement to the previous interaction where Gus for some reason was always sitting in my lap!
Was so exciting, but what was just around the corner was just as magical and maybe a little more magical to us because it was a Tangled area!
Look Rapunzel’s Tower!!!
I am not sure if you can see the huge grin here, but believe me, it is there!
I was simply in awe, I mean we were just making our way to Space Mountain and figured we would check out Fantasyland the next day when we had our Anniversary dinner at Be Our Guest but Wham! We walked right in to paradise!
What is so funny about this area, is that it is restrooms and seating area, by far the best themed restrooms in all the parks.
Sending a lantern into the sky
I wonder if Disney would let us do a vow renewal right here, it is just amazing and wait until you see it in the day time!
Check out these bathrooms
Rapunzel hair on the traditional bathroom women’s sign
Entry to the women’s room
The sink area
Book and Knick-knacks on a shelf
I also sent my prince to scope out the Guys side
Wanted posters and they are too cute, has that Flynn was pardoned and his nose is still not right!
And Frying pans, who knew?!
Wow, I have never been so awe-struck by a bathroom before, but these are really amazing.
Phew, I know this post has been long, so I will finish the Magic Kingdom tomorrow, complete with fireworks, The Electric Light parade and a surprise cake (yes, we really could eat more in one day!)