Accommodations and Theming at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
By Dave Shute
(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, see this)
THE ACCOMMODATIONS AND THEMING AT DISNEY’S POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT
There are currently 8 official Disney owned and operated deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.
In their recommended order for first time family visitors, they are
Most of these also offer Disney Vacation Club studios and villas, all for rent to the general public–see this for more on the Disney Vacation Club resorts. The Polynesian offers DVC Studios and Bungalows. There’s more on DVC at the Polynesian here.
All Disney World deluxe resorts have
- Standard rooms with various names
- Preferred rooms, also with various names–rooms similar to standard rooms, but for which more is charged, because of better views, closer proximity to a resort’s central services, or both
- Concierge rooms, which Disney calls “club” rooms, and
At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, standard, preferred and club/concierge rooms sleep five, in two queen beds and a day-bed (some omit the day bed and sleep four. King bed rooms are also available).
The floor plan of a standard room is above; an image is below. A complete photo tour of a standard Polynesian room is here.
Preferred rooms include “Lagoon View” and “Magic Kingdom View” rooms. While this site generally recommends that first time family visitors should avoid preferred rooms (as the value is not there, since you won’t be in your room much) it makes an exception for the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you should always pay for a savanna view.
Magic Kingdom view rooms at the Polynesian are also worth it, but only if you can afford the substantial extra cost–35% more per night during the Value Season, when prices are lowest.
The image is of Wishes from my Magic Kingdom view room in July 2016.
Club rooms–which the rest of the world calls concierge rooms–are not worth the extra cost for most first time family visitors, since they won’t be in their rooms much.
The image is from one of the evening offerings in the Club Lounge in the Hawaii Longhouse.
However, they may be well worth it for families intending to spend more time at the Polynesian than implied by this site’s itineraries. TikimanPages.com has a great discussion of the value of concierge rooms here. Tom Bricker takes the other side of this argument here.
Suites sleeping 5 to 9 people are available at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for families seeking a particularly comfortable visit–see this for more on suites at Walt Disney World.
(To each of the capacity figures above, you can add one more kid under 3 at time of check in who sleeps in a crib.)
Bungalows and Studios in the Polynesian Disney Vacation Club program are also available to the general public–see this for Polynesian Studio and Bungalow floor plans and photo tours.
Disney’s Polynesian Resort is described on Walt Disney World’s website as “a relaxing tropical paradise, featuring lush vegetation, thatched roofs, koi ponds and white-sand lake beaches, and offering a warm, welcoming world that celebrates the spirit of the South Pacific and ensures “Ho’Onanea”—the passing of time in languid tranquility.”
The resort opened in October 1971, at the same time Walt Disney World was opened, and since has been expanded three times.
The latest room refurb was completed in 2013, and major other construction was completed in April 2016.
The resort contains 11 longhouses. All of the longhouses have elevators except for Niue, which shares the elevator in Raratonga.
See the map (as always on this site, click it to enlarge it).
Tuvalu, Aotearoa, and Fiji are the westernmost (left on the map) longhouses, and are closest to the building where the “Spirit of Aloha” luau dinner show operates–noise from which can be annoying, and which itself is not recommended for first time visitors.
These buildings are the least convenient to the Epcot and express monorails at TTC.
The walkway to the spa and exercise area at the Grand Floridian, which Polynesian guests are welcome to use, can be found between Fiji and Aotearoa.
Tonga is next, just west of the Great Ceremonial house, and is where the five suites at the Polynesian are located.
On the marina side, these include the 2 bay, 5 person One-Bedroom Princess, the 3 bay, 9 person Two-Bedroom Princess, and the 6 bay, 8 Person King Kamehameha Suite.
On the monorail side, there’s two 4 bay, 8 person Ambassador Suites.
Also in Tonga is the “Honeymoon Room”–not a suite, but a 1 bay king bed space. Until the Poly’s 2013 renovation, this was the only single bay space at the hotel with king beds. After the renovation, other longhouses have king rooms as well.
The walkway to Shades of Green can be found between Aotearoa and Tonga.
Four longhouses are just east of the Great Ceremonial House–in order of their nearness to it, they are Raratonga, Niue, Samoa, and Hawaii. All these rooms border the Oasis pool, which came out of a refurb in April 2016.
All rooms in Hawaii are club level.
Samoa and Niue are between the two pools–the volcano-themed Nanea Volcano pool, and the smaller Oasis pool. As a result, these buildings can be noisy, but are the favorites of many families.
The three easternmost longhouses–closest to the TTC–are Tokelau, Moorea (formerly Tahiti), and Pago Pago (formerly Rapa Nui). These longhouses, the most recently constructed, have all been converted to DVC Studios.
The final area at the Polynesian is the DVC Bungalows in the Bora Bora area on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Bungalows, which you can’t afford, come in “Ferry Noise” and “Boat Noise” options.
For more on the longhouses, see this.
The DVC conversion has taken away what used to be the best longhouses at the Polynesian (although you can stay in one of the studios in the longhouse even if you aren’t a DVC member. A photo tour of such a studio is here.)
Of what’s left, Raratonga would be the recommended longhouse as it is convenient to everything, and Niue and Samoa next.
This review continues here.