The last two of our table service dining meals in October were both highly anticipated. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ had never fit into our plans because of the two-credit cost on the dining plan but we had heard so many things about it that I made it a must do for this visit. Shortly before our trip it was announced that the BBQ would be closing at the end of the year so I was extra happy to have included it and not be left scrambling to re-arrange plans.
‘Ohana was another meal that had many great reviews and I was finally willing to see what our picky taste buds thought of it.
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
The planning for the meal required some close looks at the schedule since it was only offered select days of the week. I ultimately picked a Friday evening when Magic Kingdom would be closed for the Halloween Party and I wouldn’t feel like we were missing out on precious park time. We had visited the park in the morning but spent the afternoon at the pool. Instead of hop on a bus to a park, then grab transportation to Fort Wilderness we opted to call for Lyft ride to the Ford Wilderness Campgrounds. Even with a ride directly to the property I had definitely underestimated its size and the time the internal shuttle needed to take us towards the BBQ Pavillion. We weren’t late, but there was a ton of ground to cover to make it to where we were going.
As we walked through the Settlement Depot area of the property towards the Pavillion we stumbled on a PhotoPass photographer walking on the path. He had a birthday sign and I asked if he’d be able to take Diva’s picture. I realized afterward that he may have been heading to lunch or off of his shift and then wondered if I should have asked. He didn’t seem to mind though. He was energetic and even had Peanut step in for a picture with his sister and then the whole family. It’s among my favorite family pictures from the trip.
Our seating was for “Category 2” so I had followed all the internet advise to arrive early for a good seat. We waited in line for the seating to be open. While we did that Peanut saw a boy about his age wearing a Cleveland Indians shirt playing around a picnic table near the line. He asked he could play too. We ended up striking up a conversation with the boy’s parents while we waited and ultimately asked to be seated together for our meal. We learned that they’re only about 25-35 minutes away from our home and that they were pros at the BBQ doing it on each of their visits!
We were sitting right around the main dance floor. I was next to a pillar but could easily look around it from either side. Music and entertainment started almost right away welcoming us to the show. We filled our plates with yummy BBQ offerings, but the kids only picked at it before Diva went off to dance with Chip and Dale and then both kids were drawn to the cowboy show.
I did manage to refill my plate once. By the time I was going for my seconds they were condensing the food into just a few serving stations. The time flew by.
Our new friends had a plan for pictures with Chip, Dale and Goofy and Mickey & Minnie that allowed the kids to play and moms to eat while dads waited in the picture lines. It was a win-win for everyone.
I couldn’t believe how quickly the night passed. Soon it was 7pm and the BBQ was ending. Diva and I made a bathroom run and almost missed one of the closing songs that she had been practicing for months, This Land is My Land. We caught it at the end and she sang her favorite parts.
The dads were still in line for Mickey & Minnie but it was almost our turn. Two and a half hours had passed in what literally felt like the blink of an eye. We said goodbye to our friends, but not before exchanging phone numbers.
I wish this hadn’t ended because I would recommend it to everyone, especially if you love BBQ and music. It was most definitely right exactly what our family enjoys!
It’s no secret I’m a meat and potatoes girl. The endless steak and chicken available at ‘Ohana was what finally pushed me to book the meal. Grumpy, as you’ve figured out by now, is constantly eating chicken. When I’m out I love steak. The kids will eat both. The rest of the meal made me a bit nervous, but we could fill up on the meat, right?
Our meal reservation was originally for the four of us, but my friend was in town to work at Animal Kingdom for a few days and I was able to modify the reservation so she could join us. She was also kind enough to come to pick us up after her shift and drive us to the Polynesian for the meal. We arrived, checked in the for the reservation, and before she had finished taking a picture of our family my phone had a text that our table was ready. She might be the only person to capture a great picture of our family in only one try!
My friend knew a secret about ‘Ohana — they offer Frech fries! She kept quiet though so Peanut and Diva had to try the food served first before filling up on fries.
Grumpy helped himself the stir fry veggies and teriyaki pasta right away. Diva and I tasted the pasta. I ate the serving I put on my plate but did not love it. She would only let two noodles on her plate and after eating them refused any more. Peanut was not tasting anything from the side platter instead choosing to pick at the bread.
Then our server, Abdel, came with the chicken! We still talk about the chicken in our house today. Grumpy and I both had several servings of it. It was perfectly cooked and flavored. Peanut and Diva both ate some but were not as impressed as the adults.
Steak soon followed and I was really excited, but then quickly disappointed. I had asked for several pieces of steak and they were all cooked rather rare. I cut each piece and ate the one closest to medium. I wasn’t pleased with the seasoning on the meat, so much that I didn’t feel like asking for more. Grumpy has a piece that he said was fine, but since he doesn’t prefer red meat so he was only sampling it. I didn’t even have the kids eat it because it was so undercooked for our liking.
We finally ordered the fries and I hadn’t realized they would be family style as well. The kids were now in heaven with what seemed like unlimited fries. Meanwhile, we were enjoying more chicken!
There were plenty of shenanigans all evening. Diva enjoyed in a kids hula hoop contest on the far side of the restaurant. The leis played into some of the silliness around the table. We also enjoyed the ukelele music right next to our table.
And then there was dessert. When adults are engaged in conversation and dessert arrives it gets captured by a sassy five-year-old.
And her big brother had my phone (camera) most of the night and was taking pictures and videos. This video and the commentary cracked me up.
None of us are seafood eaters so the entire table passed on the shrimp.
We paid out of pocket for this meal because of our split stay. It was cheaper than adding the dining to our last resort. I would absolutely return… and possibly give the steak one more try. The endless chicken, the entertainment, and the ambiance made the meal completely worth it!