By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Photo Tour of a Studio at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows

By Dave Shute

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, click here.)


Studio Floor Plan - Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The new Studios and Bungalows opened at the Polynesian in April 2015, and I had the chance to stay in a Studio late that month.

(At north of $2,400 a night including tax–you could rent a great hotel room just for the tax you’ll pay on a Bungalow–a Bungalow is not likely in my future…unless maybe via Kickstarter??)

At 465 square feet, the new Studios at the Polynesian are the largest DVC studios, are among a currently small group of DVC studios that sleep 5 (all Polynesian standard rooms sleep 5), and are alone in having one and a half baths. They are also the only DVC studios that can connect to another studio.

However, the extra square footage largely comes from not-useful extra width, and the half bath comes at the expense of living space and convenient storage. So for families paying cash (as opposed to using DVC points) the pros and cons of a studio and a standard room are a bit difficult to tease out.

Entry Art Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The entry to my Pago Pago longhouse had fun stuff tied to its theme.

Hallway Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The corridor walls and carpet are fun and colorful, and hint at the orange color scheme you’ll find in the rooms–frankly, more fun than the green of the Polynesian’s standard rooms.

Entry Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

You enter the Studio into long hallway–half of its total length.

Closet Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

One side has the connecting door, closet and kitchenette. This is the outside of the closet…

Closet Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from (2)

…and this the inside.  Note the small shelves under the large safe.  Storage is at a premium in these Studios, so I’ll be calling out all the options as we tour it.

Kitchenette Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

Next to the closet is the kitchenette. All Disney deluxe rooms have a mini-fridge and coffeemaker.  Suzanne notes that the mini-fridge does not have the small freezer compartment that some other studios have. Studio kitchenettes add another sink, a toaster and microwave…

Kitchenettte Supplies Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

…and some basic utensils and supplies. Note that you can gain a couple of shelves for storage by consolidating some of this stuff.

Main Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The other side of the room has the two bath areas. The first is a full bath with no interior walls–with a sink, tub/shower combo…

Toilet Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

…and toilet.

Art Main Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

On the side wall there’s this charming art…

Storage Main Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

…and note also the drawers under the sink and storage shelves to the side.

Shower Second Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The second bath has just a large shower and a sink. Note the blue accent wall. There’s one in each bath, and they really add a lot to the overall playfulness of the space.

Shower Second Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from (2)

I also really like the lighting in the shower.

Sink Second Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The sink in this space has a larger counter-top than the sink in the full bath…

Storage Second Bath Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

…enabling wider storage drawers.

The living/sleeping area takes up about half the square footage of the Studio–less than you’ll find in a standard room.

Bed Side Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

On one side is the queen bed and couch…

Bed Side from Back Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

This side from the back of the room. The colors are vibrant and fun.

TV Side Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

On the other side is a fold-down Murphy bed under a large TV and a table and chairs.

TV Side from Back Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The other side from the back. There’s no dresser.

Bed Detail Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

A closer view of the queen bed.

Couch Side Under-Bed Drawer Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

Near the head of the bed, on either side there’s a big drawer that slides out from under the bed. The couch side…

Bath Side Under-Bed Drawer Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

…the wall side. As you can probably tell, the wall side drawer is awkward to access.  The couch side drawer is equally awkward when the sofa-bed is pulled out.

Bedside Storage Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The small bedside tables have drawers with room only for the most important of books.

Bedside Power Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

On each side under the drawer you’ll find a power point, each with a couple of standard plug receptacles and also a USB charger.

Wall Art Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

On the wall between the queen and the baths is this charming art.

Couch Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The couch is pretty tight to the queen bed–this side of the room would have worked better with another 18 inches. The total length of this living and sleeping area is 16 feet–that’s two feet shorter than the longer wall in the bedroom space of a value resort room…

Storage Chest Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

In front of the couch is a chest that also serves as a coffee table or footrest.

Storage Chest Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from (2)

It opens to a fair amount of storage capacity, although two drawers might have been more useful than a chest.

Couch Wall Art Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

Above the couch there’s more fun art.

Sofa Bed Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The couch folds out into a bed that I measured as 76 inches by 59 inches–just a bit less than a queen–with a 6 inch cushion.  I slept fine on it.

Murphy Bed Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The Murphy bed pulls down from the enormous object on the other side of the room. I measured it as 72″ by 30″, but it sleeps a little shorter than that because of the way it is framed.  The cushion is 6 inches.  I napped on it fine, but it’s really not suited to anyone over 5′ 9″ tall for a full night.

Sleepy Lilo Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

Note the charming picture of a sleeping Lilo and Stitch revealed when the bed is pulled down.

Chairs and Table Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

In the back corner of the room is this table and chairs. Note the different chair colors–a fun feature. Above the table is a power point with one normal outlet and two USB power jacks.  There’s another regular outlet below the table, and more in the kitchenette.  This room is short on dressers but not on power!

Balcony Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The balcony extends the full width of the room.  All Studios have balconies or patios–in the longhouses with standard rooms, second floor standard rooms have no balconies.

View form My Balcony Studio Polynesian Villas and Bungalows from

The view from my balcony.

Compared to a standard room, Studios get you a toaster and microwave, a half bath, and guarantee a balcony or a patio.

They trade the desk for a table and chairs, and a queen bed for a pull-out sofa, at the expense of a smaller living space, a bit of cramped space along the bed/couch wall, and no dresser.

If you use it all and creatively, you’ll likely find enough drawers, shelves, chests and such for all your stuff, but it’ll be spread around more than if you had a dresser.

Most Polynesian Studio rooms have a better location than Polynesian standard rooms, and, at least to my eye, have lovelier baths and a more charming color scheme in the living area.


This review continues here.

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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1 Brett { 05.05.15 at 7:20 pm }

Hello and thanks for the great room tour, I am beginning to book my next stay and had some questions. I’m thinking abut booking a Poly studio for my family of 5 (me, wife, 16 son, and 2 14 yo sons) for 11/28-12/5. First, will this studio be a little tight on room in general for my bigger family of 5? Was also thinking about the same for the studios at the Wilderness Lodge Villas, is there the similar issue? Lastly when looking at the Poly, I can only book a standard view. Is this because they are already sold-out or b/c they are not finished yet. Any help is appreciated ! Thanks!

2 Brett { 05.05.15 at 7:24 pm }

Sorry forgot to state that the standard view rooms are available, not the lake view rooms when talking about them being sold-out vs. not ready. Thanks, Brett.

3 Dave { 05.06.15 at 7:39 am }

Brett, only half of one of the three Studio buildings has lagoon or theme park views, so I am guessing they are just sold out. The Poly studio will be a little cramped, but the WL variant will be even more so. Have you considered a regular Poly room? Less cramped–but also fewer baths…

4 Cyndi { 07.27.15 at 9:18 am }

thanks for the great and thorough review and walkthrough! In your opinion – totally crazy to have 4 adults and 2 children (6 and 2yrs) in a studio? Me, husband, both our moms, and our 2 daughters. The 2yr old doesn’t count so the room will technically fit us all – I think it’ll be fine, hubby is worried about the space. I’m a packaging engineer – my job is to fit things into the smallest possible space – so I’m sure I can get the storage/luggage to work out. Thought we’d bring hangers to make better use of the closet, kids will sleep on the floor, me/hubby in the bed, grandmas on the murphy and sofabed. Thoughts?! Crazy?!

5 Dave { 07.28.15 at 8:57 am }

Cyndi, not crazy, but perhaps impractical in a couple of ways.

First when the two fold out beds are down there’s not a lot of room for two beds/ or a bed and a crib on the floor. One or the other, and even then you’d have to stack up the chest infornt of the bed wiht the table and chairs, but not both. Putting the grandmas together on the sofabed would work, with the older kid on the Murphy bed…

Second, even if you could stick to yuor plan and fit the kid beds, whose mom gets the Murphy Bed? If you have an even number of nights, they can take turns, but honestly I’d have had a hard time putting my mom on a murphy bed when my wife and I had a big old queen, and after some glares from my wife the scheme would end up with me on the Murphy bed and my wife’s mom in her bed, my mom in the other big one…

6 Linda { 11.06.15 at 11:07 am }

I love your website and thoughtful insights. Do you know what DVC studio building would be the most quiet? We heard complaints from some who heard the horns blowing from the boats in lagoon until 3am and started up again at 7am.
Thanks for all your help!

7 Jennifer { 11.09.15 at 5:03 pm }

Like Linda, I’m wondering about the noise factor, but also the property overall. We’ve got a lake view studio reserved in April, and when poking around the interwebs for pictures and impressions, I’ve found a LOT of hate directed at the PVB. Complaints about pool overcrowding, disinterested and unhelpful staff, and low quality Mousekeeping abound, and now I’m worried. It’s of course too late for me to book anything else but SS or OKW, neither of which interest me. Can you offer any reassurances that the negativity is overblown?

8 Dave { 11.10.15 at 6:30 pm }

Jennifer, there’s no tactful way to put this…I’ve stayed in 118 different WDW-owned hotel rooms/studios/villas/suites/cabins/campsites, including 65 in the last 36 months, and based on that experience have no reservations about a Poly lake view studio…

9 Jennifer { 11.11.15 at 12:45 pm }

Dave, you are the best. Thank you VERY much. And I must say how much I appreciate the personal sacrifice that must be involved in spending THAT much time at Disney, you poor man. 😉 Seriously, thanks a TON for that!!!!

10 Dave { 11.12.15 at 10:39 am }

Jennifer so long as people find the site’s ads, my book, or my travel agent partners attractive, I’ll continue to be able to afford to keep the reviews real!

11 Alicia { 12.07.15 at 10:22 pm }

This was my first visit to your site (found it via a specific Google search – ‘Polynesian Villa Drawers’) because I couldn’t find anything about the storage space on my normal Disney websites. This was super thorough so thank you for explaining the drawer situation and taking pictures of everything. Very much appreciated and feel more prepared for my trip in the next couple of weeks!

12 Dave { 12.08.15 at 6:58 am }

Hi Alicia and welcome!! After my visit next week, I will have stayed in 120 different WDW-owned rooms, studios, villas, suites, cabins or campsites. In my reviews of them (all linked to from here) I try to focus on what’s special–and not so special–about each, particularly for families on their first visit.

There really is plenty of storage in these Studios. It’s just not in a dresser…

13 Jennifer { 01.08.16 at 1:23 pm }

Me again! Two quick questions: first, how large is that coffeemaker, i.e., could I bring my own filters and coffee (I’m fussy, I admit it)? Second, as you failed to provide your famous “six-pack for scale” picture of the fridge’s interior ;-), is it as it appears be, larger than the fridge found in a standard room? Specifically, is it large enough to hold a gallon container of milk?

Thanks again, Dave, I don’t know WHAT I’d do without your fabulous site!!! 🙂

14 Dave { 01.10.16 at 8:18 am }

Hiya Jennifer! I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of the fridge. Must have had too many scaling objects. Anyway, it’s about the same size as all the rest–not bigger. Shelves are movable so a gallon should fit. The coffee pot is definitely usable with other coffees.

15 Amber Pittman { 01.14.16 at 2:28 pm }

This may sound like a silly question, but if we book a Studio Lake View Polynesian Room, will we actually see the castle in the distance, or no? I don’t want to spend the extra money on it if we don’t at least get the castle view.

16 Dave { 01.14.16 at 6:40 pm }

Amber, it’s a great question, and the answer is that there are no guarantees.

In the non-DVC part of the Poly, you can buy “Lagoon View” or “Theme Park View,” and only “Theme Park View” has an unobstructed view of the castle.

In the studios, only “Lagoon View” is available. If you request upper floor (and get it) the odds are increased, but no guarantees.

17 Laurie { 01.24.16 at 10:35 pm }

Hi! This is super helpful! I’m still having trouble deciding between a dvc studio and a regular room. Can you tell me why you think the dvc studios are in a better location? Also, do you know when the east pool is expected to be completed? We’re going in May and worried about construction if we stay in a dvc studio. Also, any other tips you may have about choosing a room versus a dvc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help!

18 Dave { 01.25.16 at 9:13 am }

Laurie, they are a closer walk to the Epcot monorail. I’d guess that the pool will be done by May, but no one will know for sure until it opens. My other thoughts on the pros and cons of the studio vs a regular room are in the post.

19 Kristy { 05.06.16 at 9:08 am }

Hi I’m staying at a deluxe studio at the Polynesian I have a standard view you have any suggestions for online check in so I could get the best location and view . Trying not to get a view of the parking lot…thanks !

20 Dave { 05.07.16 at 6:06 am }

Kristy, avoid Pago Pago and you should be fine!

21 Kristy { 05.07.16 at 9:52 am }

Thank you Dave. Can I request a specific building at online check in?

22 Dave { 05.08.16 at 9:30 am }

Oh, good point Kristy. When I did it 15 months ago, no (see the image) but back then Tokelau wasn’t even open. So if you don’t get the option, call and request Tokelau.

PVB Room Request

23 Kristy { 05.10.16 at 3:58 pm }

Thank you so much Dave ..that’s the same options I get for check in . I will definitely call and request tokelau! Thank you so much for your advice !

24 Melanie { 05.12.16 at 8:40 am }

I have what may be a silly question, but I thought DVC’s had a washer/dryer? Did they leave that out in order to put the stand-up shower/sink area? Which, in my opinion, is a better feature. We’re staying in a regular room in late Sept/early Oct, but I’ve been checking these out since I think it might actually be a better deal to stay DVC Poly than standard room Poly, but this time I’m locked in. Thanks in advance and as always, I love your website and reviews!!!

25 Dave { 05.13.16 at 8:45 am }

Melanie, no DVC studios have washer/dryers–only one bedroom villas and larger spaces have them.

26 Melanie { 05.13.16 at 6:10 pm }

Thanks Dave! I was misinformed by a friend who said they all had them. Good to know.

27 Kar { 05.28.16 at 8:31 pm }

Hi Dave, We are deciding between paying cash for a Poly studio or a Poly standard room. I know with DVC members that housekeeping is less frequent than when on the main or traditional property. Do you know if the same is true when you pay cash for the studio? Would we only receive housekeeping service every fourth day or so or would it be every day as it is in a regular (standard) room when a patron is paying cash? We have two children under the age of seven so I think the studio would offer enough sleeping space. Thanks in advance for your advice and help!

28 Kelly B - Destinations In Florida { 05.30.16 at 7:53 pm }

Hi Kar – If you are booking your room/package directly through Disney (or a TA like myself), you will get all the perks of a regular resort guest – Availability to book Dining Plan, MagicBands, transportation and housekeeping and so much more. A studio will have plenty for room (queen bed, sofa bed and pull down bed as we. I would love to help you book and plan your Disney vacation. We can look at options and prices and see what will work best for you and your family. Contact me at or 980-429-4499.

29 Dave { 06.02.16 at 9:30 am }

Kar, when you pay cash you get housekeeping every day!

30 Kar { 06.05.16 at 6:33 am }

Thanks to both of you for your advice! It truly helps our decision process.

31 Lindsay { 07.17.16 at 11:15 am }

Thank you for this great tour! We are planning our first family trip to Disney World. We are traveling mid February 2017. A deluxe studio at the Poly has been my top choice (and available) due to resort location and feel, but we were worried about being cramped (2 adults, 2 kids; ages 8 and 6). Your tour shows that we will be more than comfortable for the little time we will be in the room. We are light packers and get creative with storage, if needed. I think we will go ahead and book! Our girls have no idea we are planning this and will be SO excited!

32 Dave { 07.18.16 at 12:25 pm }

Thanks Lindsay!!

33 Rm { 11.05.16 at 1:16 pm }

Hi Dave , my wife and I are planning a trip next year in November. We are DVC members and are using points for our stay . The question I had was would it be more comfortable to get a regular room which has two queen beds as opposed to having one queen and a pullout ? Is the comfort of two queens worth the loss of the 1/2 bath and kitchenette ? Are the regular rooms still nice even though renovated years ago ? Thank you so much for any help you can provide , we appreciate it ..

34 Rm { 11.05.16 at 1:18 pm }

Let me clarify , we also have two kids 7 and 3 years old with us … thanks

35 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 11.05.16 at 3:25 pm }

Rm – I was able to tour the studios last December and absolutely loved them. I’ve heard wonderful things about the sofabed and their comfort. With 3 children of my own, I know that kids will sleep anywhere. So it won’t matter to them. I love having 2 bathrooms. So my opinion would be the villa.

36 Dave { 11.07.16 at 12:41 pm }

Rm, the beds and storage in the regular rooms are better, but the studio wins on other dimensions. They are also more brightly colored. The regular rooms are still nice, so I’d view it as close to a coin flip.

37 Donna A. { 11.20.16 at 11:29 pm }

Studio vs Standard Room question for you. Hopefully staying 4/15-4/22. 2 adults and 3 teenagers. We are a tall family. Husband is 6″4, twin boys are 6″2, and 5″9 daughter will sleep in the pull out. Based on height would standard room be better for sleeping and/or extra space? We dont plan to be in the room other then sleeping, however the extra bathroom is appealing in the Studio. Help!?!

38 Dave { 11.22.16 at 7:47 am }

Donna, I would not but the twins on the pull-out couch–its mattress is just not comfortable enough for kids of that size. So that puts you in the standard room.

39 Brian { 01.23.17 at 10:20 pm }

Hello ,dave I found I listing for one night
At the Polynesian.
It says studio sleeps 2
My question. What are the smallest studios
I have 2 adults 3 kids.
Didnt. Know if all studios had pullout sofa
And a Murphy bed

40 Dave { 01.24.17 at 6:37 am }

Brian, what “listing”? Book your studio on the Disney site and you’ll be fine.

41 Meredith { 02.09.17 at 9:35 pm }

Which buildings at the poly have DVC deluxe lake view studio rooms? If more than one, which building would you recomend and why? We will have 2 adults with 3 small children.

42 Dave { 02.10.17 at 1:20 pm }

Meredith, “lake” (sometimes know as lagoon or theme park) views are available in Poly studios only in the Moorea building.

43 Jennifer { 02.13.17 at 4:03 pm }

Quick question: do any of the Moorea lake view studios NOT have a connecting door to another room?

44 Anna { 02.13.17 at 10:23 pm }

Dave, if staying in a studio, but paying cash (we aren’t DVC members), can we use all the pools in resort? Thank you! Anna

45 Dave { 02.14.17 at 11:16 am }

Jennifer, from Steve’s Tikiman site it looks like 100% connecting

46 Dave { 02.14.17 at 11:17 am }

Anna, you bet!

47 Patty B { 02.18.17 at 11:31 pm }

We booked a standard studio room for a busy April week. Which buildings are the studio rooms in and which building is best location to request? Also, how does the living space in the poly studio compare to a GF outer building standard room? thanks!

48 Dave { 02.19.17 at 2:41 pm }

Patty, studios are in the Pago Pago, Tokelau, and Moorea buildings. Tokelau is the best choice.

The living space in the Studios is smaller than in the GF rooms.

49 Donna A. { 02.20.17 at 11:46 am }

I rented DVC points for April stay. 2 questions…

1. Online check in opened up already however i was only able to choose 2 from the following categories: upper/lower floors, near elevator, near transportation, or near lobby. Does this mean i cannot request a building?

2. I am not concerned about views. I prefer top floor, quieter part of the hotel amd away from elevators. Is there a building you recommend that address these preferences? Or do i “get what i get from disney and not get upset?”

50 Dave { 02.21.17 at 6:35 am }

Donna, in your shoes I would just call (407-939-7675). Request upper floor and far from elevators.

Note, though, that all Poly studios have a fair amount of noise that comes from the nearby ferryboat docks–the ferries blow their horns morning til night. The studio building farthest from these (but not much different) is Tokelau.

If you don’t get what you want, try at the check in desk for a reassignment. But since WDW hotels run at around 90% occupancy, options can be slim, which is why requests are just that–requests–and not guaranteed.

51 Felix Tartaglia { 03.21.17 at 11:06 am }


I am hoping free dining will be offered in the fall of 2017 and have a deluxe studio booked as well as ADRs. Do you know if these rooms have been included in the free dining promotion in the past? I am assuming it is the larger bungalows that are excluded. Is that correct? Thanks!

52 Dave { 03.22.17 at 8:07 am }

Felix, the studios have been included!

53 Suzanne { 03.31.17 at 5:56 pm }

Thanks for everything Dave. I am really enjoying your book. If you remember, can you tell me if the fridge in the Poly DVC studio has a freezer compartment? I need to plan accordingly with my Garden Grocer order. Thanks.

54 Dave { 04.04.17 at 10:41 am }

Suzanne, I am so sorry that for some reason I did not take a picture of the fridge open. Similar studios have a small freezer compartment–here’s one at Kidani that I photographed in 2016 mini-fridge-disneys-kidani-village-refurbed-studio-from-yourfirstvisit-net. So my guess is that you’ll find something similar.

55 Brandy { 05.16.17 at 5:54 pm }

Hi there! Thank you for the detailed review! Do you happen to have a picture of the bottom floor patio in the deluxe studio? We have 2 small children and thought we may like the ground floor! Thank you!

56 Dave { 05.18.17 at 7:48 am }

Brandy, so sorry, but I don’t.

57 Holly { 05.23.17 at 11:58 am }

Will suitcases fit under the bed? It looks like there’s quite a bit of height, but I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

58 Dave { 05.23.17 at 12:59 pm }

Holly they might fit on one of the under-bed drawers, but you kinda need the drawers. The rest of the bed is enclosed.

59 Nicole { 05.30.17 at 10:04 am }

Hello! Thank you for the informative review. I have one question, do you have any idea about the hair dryer. Is is a small travel size or full size? I have seen a variation at Disney properties.

60 Dave { 05.30.17 at 2:34 pm }

Sorry, Nicole, I don’t know…

61 Suzanne { 08.10.17 at 7:26 pm }

Just for the record, the studio’s don’t have a freezer. You may want to include that info, since it is good to know when ordering groceries.

62 Dave { 08.11.17 at 9:01 am }

Thanks Suzanne!!!

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