travel

Disney Day 1 | ‘Ohana & Downtown Disney

August 27, 2016

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I’ve been wanting to do this travel series for awhile now. It’s been a few months since I’ve gone, but I’m so excited to share all about my trip to Disney World! Back at the end of March I took roadtripped down to Orlando for my first ever time visiting Disney World with my niece, my brother, his wife and their daughter.

We left on Thursday evening, drove all through the night and arrived in Orlando early Friday evening. We ended up having to stay in a Super 8 hotel about 10 minutes away from our Disney hotel on Friday night because our reservation didn’t start until Saturday night. At that point though, we were so tired and anxious to get out of the car that all we really cared about was a hot shower and a comfortable bed. At this point, it was starting to sink in that we were so close to Disney World and I was beyond excited! We ordered pizza for dinner, took showers and crashed pretty early.

The next morning after packing up, getting ready, grabbing breakfast from the Dunkin’ Donuts next door and checking out, we drove over to our Disney resort. We stayed at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort during our trip, and really enjoyed our time there. The best part was that they say check-in is at 3pm and we got in at about 11:30am, which was super appreciated! I ended up choosing this hotel because it was basically the cheapest option while still getting to stay at a Disney resort. I highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking to do Disney on a budget. It was really nice. The room was small and a bit outdated, but clean and comfortable, the pool was amazing, and the grounds were beautiful and incredibly themed. Our room was in the Broadway section, and even though I was hoping for the Calypso section this one was pretty cool. Now obviously, it would’ve been amazing to stay at one of the higher-end Disney resorts like the Polynesian, Grand Floridian or even Art of Animation, but overall, I was really pleased with All-Star Music and would stay there again.

I had made a dinner reservation for all of us at ‘Ohana that evening at 4:30, so we ended up having about 4 hours of free time to get settled in our room and take some time to explore the hotel. ‘Ohana is a restaurant located on the second floor of the Polynesian Resort in the Magic Kingdom area of Disney World. This hotel is one of Disney’s luxury resorts and for good reason. It was the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever seen. Made me really sad that I wasn’t able to swing the $600 a night to stay there. Huge bummer! Anyway, we ended up getting there a bit after 4:30 and I was really anxious that they would give our table away if we were late, but we ended up being fine and only had to wait like 3 minutes to get our table after checking in. This restaurant is so pretty and decorated so well. The dinner at ‘Ohana is a little different than your average restaurant. There is no menu because everyone gets the same thing. Dinner is a multi-course meal served family style. Your waiter takes your drink order then starts you off with a loaf of their pineapple coconut bread. It is so good! I seriously could eat this bread all day, so moist and chewy with a subtle coconut flavor. Next up is a mixed green salad with a passionfruit vinaigrette. Again, really delicious. Those are technically the appetizers because next you get more of the “sides”. Honey coriander wings, pork dumplings, udon noodles, and stir fried veggies. Seriously you guys, so so yummy! I wasn’t a huge fan of the wings, but I LOVED the dumplings. Between all of us, we shared 3 platters of them. The noodles and veggies were super good too. Loved it all. For the main course, they come around with skewers of shrimp, chicken and steak that they grill at the center kitchen. It’s really cool to watch because you can see the flames flaring as they grill. For dessert, you get their famous bread pudding. It’s a slice of bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but they give you a small pitcher filled with warm banana caramel sauce to pour over it. One of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted! Seriously guys, don’t miss this one! Overall, ‘Ohana was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad I made reservations there. It was amazing from start to finish. As a heads up, the dinner price for adults is about $40 per person. It’s definitely expensive, but totally worth it. And honestly, it’s Disney World. Everything is expensive. After dinner, we explored the resort a bit because it is just so beautiful and upon wandering outside towards the pool area, I stumbled upon Pineapple Lanai (aka one of only like 3 places in all of Disney you can get the famous Dole Whip!!) and of course I had to get one. I was super exited to try this treat, and while it was yummy, it didn’t strike me as all that special. It really is just pineapple soft serve. But still, it’s good and very refreshing! We ended up getting to see Cinderella’s castle spires in the distance and I remember feeling so excited. We weren’t heading to Magic Kingdom for 2 more days, but I couldn’t wait. Seeing the castle in the distance during sunset was so amazing!

It started storming on our drive back to the resort, and then started downpouring once we were back in our room. Talk about good timing! After the rain stopped, my niece Maddie and I took the Disney transport bus over to Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) to end the night. I really wanted to see Downtown Disney and this was the only time block during the rest of our week that we would have a chance to go, so I was really grateful that it stopped raining. We walked around for awhile, checked out Goofy’s Candy Co. & World of Disney before heading back to the resort for the night. A lot of people say this isn’t worth visiting because it’s essentially just a big outdoor mall (which is kind of true), but still it’s a cool experience! I definitely recommend going if you have free time to burn. It will probably be the least exciting part of your Disney trip, but it’s still fun to explore and it doesn’t take a lot of time. We spent only about 2 hours there and were ready to head out.

Can’t wait to share more of my Disney trip with you guys! Happy Friday!!

Miranda ♥

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