Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review
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Editor’s Review of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
The Polynesian Village Resort was one of Walt Disney World's first resorts, opening in October 1971 (along with the Contemporary Resort), to coincide with the debut of Disney's first Florida theme park -- Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian followed in 1988, Wilderness Lodge in 1994. Now all four make up what is considered the Magic Kingdom area resorts. While all are in close proximity to Disney's flagship park, each has its own distinct vibe.
The Polynesian is a colorful island casual to Grand Floridian's crisp white Victorian-era elegance; warm to the Contemporary's cool; and spread out across nine longhouse buildings instead of vertically designed from one central soaring lobby, as is the case at Wilderness Lodge. ... more
And speaking of spreading out, the Polynesian's 409-square-foot standard guestrooms are larger than almost all other Disney resorts (Wilderness Lodge standard rooms, for example, are 340 square-feet).
The resort's lobby, guestrooms, and kids' club underwent an extensive refurbishment -- or re-imagination as the Disney folks like to call it -- that began in 2013 and is in its final stages with the renovation of the property's smaller East Pool.
One of the first things repeat guests will notice (Polynesian has one of the highest guest return rates of the Disney resorts) is that the place has become a whole lot brighter, from lighter bed linens and room accents, to the now sun-filled Great Ceremonial House, home to restaurants, shops, and check-in.
For decades, a massive tropical garden occupied the center bulk of the Ceremonial House and condensation from the foliage and trees often darkened (and dirtied) the glass ceiling. Not anymore. The new lobby is breathtaking, with colorful nautical bulbs suspended from the clear glass ceiling, a smaller tropical hibiscus garden center stage and seating areas with oversized rattan chairs and plump sofas.
In addition, two of Polynesian's former longhouses were completely gutted and transformed into 360 deluxe studio villas. Those villas, combined with the newly constructed 20-over-the-water two-bedroom Bora Bora Bungalows form the new Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney's newest Vacation Club Resort.
While parents will appreciate the resort for its spaciousness, we originally fell in love with it for its volcano pool, meandering pathways and streams (where you frequently spot lizards, rabbits and ducklings), and large soft-sand beach. less
- Bright guestrooms
- Fun entertainment venues
- Easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot
- Theme Parks
- Water Sports
- Water Parks
- Children's Program
- Connecting Rooms
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids'/Theme Meals
- Laundry Service
- Onsite Dining
Independent childcare provider Kid's Nite Out offers one-to-one babysitting in resort rooms and villas. ... Get more Planning and Tips
Rooms & RatesAs a TripAdvisor company, we searched 200+ sites to find the best hotel prices.
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The majority of the resort's standard rooms have two queen-size beds and a day bed, sleeping five. Thirty-three rooms were converted to Polynesian's first king-bedded ... more rooms during the refurbishment. They're perfect for couples or families traveling with one child.
Additional room amenities include an armoire with a flat-screen TV, desk, full-size hair dryer, coffeemaker, small refrigerator, safe, free Wi-Fi, and use of playards. Rollaway beds are not available. While most of the rooms are identical, the views are not and pricing depends on the views.
These rooms have the widest variety of views, some -- gardens, pool, marina -- better than others. They are located by the monorail or parking areas.
Lagoon View rooms overlook Seven Seas Lagoon.
Theme Park View
These overlook Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, and many feature views of the nightly fireworks show.
Once you've selected a view (price) category from above, a building preference can be noted -- although not guaranteed -- in your reservation. Tips: For a room with a pool view, request the Samoa building. Rarotonga and Niue are closest to the Ceremonial House and a short walk to pools, too, and many rooms in Fiji are priced at standard view rates, but have partial views of the lagoon or marina.
Tonga longhouse is home to all suites including the Honeymoon Jr. Suite, one-to-two bedroom suites that can accommodate up to six people, and the King Kamehameha two-story suite, two-bedroom suite. Suites offer assorted extras like whirlpool tubs, clock/iPod docking stations, two to three bathrooms, mini-kitchens and dining room areas (in the larger suites). Access to the concierge club in Hawaii longhouse, as well as Tonga's own club lounge, is included.
Concierge Club Rooms
These are located in Hawaii longhouse and similar to the other resort rooms, however, club level guests receive added perks, such as complimentary newspapers, evening turndown service, a flat-screen TV with DVD player, and access to the King Kamehameha Club concierge staff who help arrange everything from pre-arrival itinerary planning to restaurant, golf and spa reservations. They're also a great resource for park and restaurant advice.
The club itself has a loft and offers a fantastic view of the Magic Kingdom's fireworks with the soundtrack piped in. Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., it serves continental breakfast each morning, afternoon snacks (think tea sandwiches, cheeses, veggies and cookies), and wine, beer, after-dinner drinks and dessert in the evening.
Note: All rooms are non-smoking. Designated smoking areas can be found outside and on a few decks adjacent to longhouses. less