Aloha Disney dynamos! It’s Guru Joey with another review of a deluxe Disney resort. Today we take a dive into an atmosphere inspired by the beautiful islands of the Pacific, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Villas. Let me give you some insight on what this resort has to offer!
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Lobby: 7/10(Back to top)
Disney’s Polynesian Resort is one of the original resorts of Disney world. As such its exterior and a few aspects of its interior do appear a bit dated. Upon our drive up to the resort in the Disney World motor coach that was my immediate and brief first impression. That impression did not last long.
Disembarking from the coach you are immediately surrounded by tropical vegetation and staff wearing Polynesian style uniforms. The exterior of the lobby has a few beautiful water features with small waterfalls and more tropical plants. In typical Disney style, once you are in the drive up entry way the theming is immersive.
Though not the most expansive of the Disney lobbys, the Polynesian lobby is still impressively large. Its high ceiling and relatively open natural stone floor space allows for full views from all angles of the simple but true-to-form Polynesian architecture.
In the center on a modest pedestal surrounded by rock and tropical foliage stands a wooden tikiman waiting to welcome you. This is a popular picture spot for most guests. Previously the Polynesian had a large waterfall feature in the center of the lobby. There is a lot of debate on whether the resort is upgraded now or not. The old water feature took up the entire center of the lobby which is now more open and has more seating.
Hanging from the windowed roof of the lobby are various costal theme baubles and ornaments, which, though quite simple, are pleasant to look at.
Overall, the Polynesian Lobby is a comfortable, spacy, and esthetically pleasing place to check in, and even spend a little time relaxing.
Check-in: 9/10(Back to top)
We booked our room in the Polynesian through Dave’s Vacation Club rental. That is where you rent Disney Vacation Club points from a member. There usually isn’t any upgrading that happens when you book a villa via the Vacation Club. You get what you book.
The Check-in desk is moderately sized so I would assume it might get backed up if the resort is near capacity. In our case we had no wait. The staff members where very nice and helpful. They took the time to make sure we knew where everything on the resort was, as well as informing us on what things were going on around the hotel that evening, and which parks had extra magic hours that night. It took about 5 minutes to finish the process and we were on our way. As we didn’t have any trouble with check-in and the staff were very friendly and helpful I chose to give them a 9/10. The only reason it was not a 10, is because I could see the potential for a little back-up with how many check-in stations there were.
Room: 9/10(Back to top)
In this hotel, we stayed in the studio villa. This room has a queen sized bed, a queen sleeper sofa and a hide-away twin. Even though the hotel is one of the oldest in Disney World, it has recently been renovated and the interior is top notch. The Disney theming is subtle and mixed in with the room’s fun Polynesian atmosphere. Just take a look at the pull down bed!
One of our favorite aspects of the Polynesian studio is that it has 2 bathrooms. One of them has a walk-in shower and a vanity, while the other has a bathtub/shower, toilet and vanity. Its perfect for when you want people to get ready for the day quickly so you can maximize your time in the parks.
For a family with 3 or 4 small children this hotel room is perfect. There are few other hotels that can accommodate a modest sized family so comfortably.
Transportation: 9/10(Back to top)
The Polynesian Resort is one of only 3 resorts on the Disney Monorail system. All you have to do is walk out the front door on the second level and there it is. Within a short walk you can also find a large bus hub where busses will take you to almost any other destination in the park. The only reason this resort does not get a 10/10 is because it is located right next to the magic kingdom which puts it pretty far away from the other resorts. Due to the monorail system, though, getting to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom is a snap!
Food: 9/10(Back to top)
The main resturants of the Polynesian are Ohana, and the Kona Café. There is also a Luau type dinner at Luau Cove.
You can’t go to a Polynesian themed hotel without a Luau, can you? At Luau Cove you will enjoy an all you can eat Polynesian style Luau dinner. This is a dinner and a show, just like typical Luaus in Hawaii. If you like Luau style food you will love this, but realize not all people do.
The show is full of fire dancers knife throwers, and hula dancers. It is well done, of course, because Disney does it, but be prepared to pay the price!
Breakfast at Ohana is a character experience and is fun for the entire family. It is typical all you care to enjoy type. The selection is minimal, but the food is decent. Your children will have fun meeting the characters and doing activities with the restaurant staff.
Dinner is also all you can eat, where the staff will bring around skewers of different types until you are full. They also have activities for children during dinner, and while it does draw your attention, my wife and I did not feel it was disruptive. If you are looking for a quiet dinner, however, this may not be the place.
If you are looking for a moderately priced, but nice sit down meal, Kona is a good choice.
Breakfast has a few unique and tasty selections. It mostly consists of normal breakfast foods with a bit of Polynesian flare.
For Dinner, this restaurant serves typical American food, but also has a good sushi and seafood selection. If you are only interested in the sushi they also have a section of the restaurant called Kona Island, which resembles a typical sushi bar.
If you are looking for a nice sit down meal but you don’t want to spend the big bucks, the Kona Café is a great choice.
The Polynesian has an abundance of counter service eateries. This is the primary reason It receives a 9/10. The areas you can find counter service at the Polynesian are:
- Bare Foot Pool Bar
- Captain Cook’s
- Chip ‘n’ Dales Deli
- Oasis Bar and Grill
- Tambu Lounge
- Trader Sams Grotto
- Trader Sams Tikki Terrace
You can find almost anything you want to eat at the Polynesian. For those of you who like to drink, there are few other resorts that have so many options. It is also one of the only places not in a park you can get a Dole Whip. Just stop on by the Pineapple Lanai for that delectable delight!
Pools: 8/10(Back to top)
There are 2 pools at the Polynesian. The Lava pool and the Oasis.
The Lava pool really does have it all! This zero entry pool is expansive, allowing for plenty of play space for the kids and some relaxing areas for adults. Nestled next to a volcano, this pool also has one of the better Disney Hotel water slides, as well as a waterfall. Visually superior with plenty of visibility if you are trying to keep an eye on your kids, the Lava pool is one of the best! Near the Lava pool there is also a childrens splash pad perfect for your kiddos while you relax in the sun!
The Oasis pool is more of a typical no frills pool a little more secluded for guests who want to just lounge by the pool and relax. This pool is also next to the Oasis Bar and Grill, which will take your order and bring it to you while you sunbathe!
Overall you will not be disappointed with your options for swimming at the Polynesian.
Activities: 8/10(Back to top)
One of the best things about staying at the Polynesian resort is that you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks shows from the lakeside courtyard. When the firework show starts, the resort will play the audio over speakers on light posts throughout the inner patio. Though you are watching across the lake it can be a fun end to your night, and after it is over your room is mere steps away!
The Polynesian also presents various movies under the stars. Speak with the concierge or front desk staff for showtimes and info.
With those activities, the pools, a luau, and the eating establishments, you will have more options than you will probably want while staying at this hotel. One of the best if you ask me.