(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, see this)
THEMING AND ACCOMMODATIONS AT DISNEY’S POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT
There are currently 8 Disney owned and operated deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. In the order I recommend them for first time family visitors, they are
All of these except the Yacht Club in addition offer Disney Vacation Club studios and villas, which are also 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.
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 Rarotonga.
See the map.
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 offer 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 Rarotonga, Niue, Samoa, and Hawaii. All these longhouses border the Oasis pool.
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.
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).
Note: rooms in the Polynesian re-opened in July 2021 with a new Moana theme. The basics of the rooms are similar. I will update this review with images from them after I stay in one of these rooms! In the meantime, there’s more on these new Polynesian rooms on the Disney Parks Blog here.
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–on average about 45% more per night.
The image is of the fireworks from my Magic Kingdom view room in July.
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. Co-author Josh reviews a club stay at the Polynesian on easyWDW.com 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.
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 these longhouses even if you aren’t a DVC member. A photo tour of such a studio is here.)
Of what’s left, Rarotonga would be the recommended longhouse as it is convenient to everything, and Samoa next.
This review continues here.
TOPICS IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT
- Summary and overview of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Theming and Accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Photo Tour of a Standard Room at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Amenities at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Dining at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- The Pools at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- The Disney Vacation Club at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Photo Tour of a Studio at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Photo Tour of a Bungalow at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
- Where to stay–the Basics
- Where first-timers should stay
- Reviews of all the Disney World resorts, based on my 150+ stays in them