On our first night in Walt Disney World, none of us slept well. I think it’s pretty clear that this was our last regular Value Resort room stay. As much as we love Pop Century, the four of us in two double beds is just too crowded. It didn’t help that I was stressing about the Convention – it was one of those nights that I just could get my brain to shut down. Add on top of that the usual dollop of first day of Disney parks excitement, and I think I got about 3 hours of sleep. 😕
Our morning was starting early anyway – we had a 7:30 a.m. breakfast appointment with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto! I’ve been wanting to do a (non-Princess) character meal since our very first trip. But Jonathan is EXTREMELY character shy. It’s not that he’s afraid, he’ll look at them from afar. He just doesn’t like them getting near him. But there’s one exception – he LOVES Stitch. So when we were planning this trip, I talked to him about the possibility of breakfast with Stitch, and he was willing to tolerate other characters being around, in exchange for getting to have breakfast with Stitch.
I really like the Best Friends’ Breakfast at ‘Ohana. The experience starts with a family photo, taken at check-in. It’s a nice photo, with a Polynesian backdrop. But I was a bit disappointed that the photo didn’t include any of the characters, like the pre-meal photos at the princess meals do. The food is relatively standard Disney breakfast fare – scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage and bacon, fruit and Mickey waffles. But a couple of the offerings are unique (or nearly so). First, they serve POG juice (passion fruit, orange, and guava juice), to which we’d become addicted in the Concierge Lounge at the Polynesian a few years ago. And they serve the ‘Ohana pineapple/coconut bread, which is excellent.
I appreciate that this meal is served family-style, instead of as a buffet. Buffets are such a hassle when traveling with kids – taking turns going up through the line, the inevitable back-up at popular items, and (at a character meal) constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure you don’t miss a character coming by. Being served family style meant that we all got to stay at our table together and both the food and the characters came to us. Our waitress did a good job of keeping our table stocked with fresh Mickey waffles and making sure that we had what we needed (though she was a bit slow with the much-needed coffee). I’d meant to ask if we could get a press pot from across the way at Kona, but was thwarted by the paradox that I needed caffeine so badly that morning that I forgot to ask for the good caffeine.
‘Ohana did a great job accommodating our special dietary needs. Miriam and the kids don’t eat pork (but I do). So they brought out turkey bacon for them, and still kept my own personal bacon and sausage plate filled. The chef gets bonus points for initially promising to substitute chicken sausage for the usual pork sausage, and then coming back out to the table to apologize and tell us that he’d checked and the chicken sausage has a pork casing. He gets credit for both going the extra mile to double-check the sausage casing and for personally coming out to apologize, instead of leaving that to our waitress to handle.
We were pleased with the amount of time that each of the characters spent at our table. Lilo, Mickey, and Pluto all did their best to get Jon to allow them to come near, but by the time Pluto came by (he was the last one out) Jon was just about hiding under the table. Overall, the Best Friends’ Breakfast at ‘Ohana was a terrific experience, and I expect that we’ll be back. In addition to the meal and characters being good, the pricing is remarkably reasonable. At only $21/adult and $11/child, it is one of the least expensive character meals in all of Walt Disney World. Good Food, Good Experience, Good Price – it’s hit the DISDad Trifecta!
By 8:30 a.m. we were finished with breakfast and were making our way across the Lagoon via the Resort Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
(Next up: New Fantasyland and Conquering Mountains)