Seven Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
We’re all fantasizing about a Disney vacation right now. It’s been a tough year, and we could all use a bit more magic in our lives.
Personally, I feel strongly that if you’re going to visit Disney, you should do it right.
Here are seven reasons why you should stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Disney strategists have always had an eye toward other parts of the tourism industry. They know what sells and want it available for their vacationers.
As Imagineers planned Walt Disney World, they invented twin hotels. One would celebrate modernity while the other would honor the South Seas.
After all, nothing soothes the soul like luxuriating in the sun on an island vacation. Well, that resort became the Polynesian.
Disney felt so proud of the theming here that park officials used the Polynesian as the PR hub for reporters and dignitaries back in 1971.
When these people wanted to know what Walt Disney World would be like, park managers shipped them to the Polynesian.
In other words, from day one, Disney knew that this resort was the best.
From the moment you approach, you’ll notice island-appropriate trees and vegetation along with the trickling sound of a pond.
Simply stated, the theming here is an island escape. And the premise is perfect since the resort resides so close to the kinetic energy of Magic Kingdom.
Guests go to the park to fill the day with excitement and thrills. Then, they return to the resort for relaxation and calming after a full day.
Ooh, that smell. I’ve bought candles, wax tarts, and a Smellitzer, and my goal each time has been to recreate the Polynesian’s fragrant scent.
A sweet aroma fills the lobby and your nasal passages, overwhelming your senses. You’ll never feel more at home on vacation than walking through this lobby.
Also, you’ll appreciate the style of this building, the Great Ceremonial House.
In Polynesia, buildings like this function as communal centers for all guests.
Disney has honored that tradition by making the hotel lobby the hub of activity.
You’ll find most of the restaurants and bars here, along with two stores.
On the top floor, Moana Mercantile offers all the food and sundries you need for your vacation…along with lots of Stitch merchandise.
Downstairs, BouTiki sells more Polynesian products than you could possibly imagine. You can spend $5 on macadamia nuts or $5,000 on wall art.
The place is majestic, and I’m partially saying this because I bought my favorite sweater here.
By the way, you can even get a lei in the lobby.
Obviously, Disney isn’t doing this during the pandemic, but the practice should return when the hotel reopens in Spring of 2021.
In its infinite wisdom, Disney constructed the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) right by the Polynesian.
For this reason, this resort qualifies as the hub of all Disney transportation. Guests who drive will park their cars at the TTC and then ride the monorail.
Yes, the Polynesian is a monorail resort and, in fact, the most essential one.
The monorail resort line and the EPCOT line both travel to/near the hotel. The monorail security area is right outside of Kona Café’s coffee counter.
You can also ride the ferry boat to and from the park, and the bus depot resides just outside the Great Ceremonial House.
The brilliance of the Polynesian is that you can get to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT via monorail. It’s the most efficient means of travel at Walt Disney World.
In terms of logistics, nothing beats the Polynesian.
The Nanea Volcano Pool at the Polynesian qualifies as one of the most unique play areas at Walt Disney World.
This pool resides just outside the Great Ceremonial House and, in fact, Capt. Cook’s diners can sit at patio tables and watch swimmers have fun.
You’ll have no problem finding the place, as a giant volcano serves as the landmark here.
In fact, you can take a volcanic water slide if you’re feeling daring!
For whatever reason, this pool’s sitting area feels more extensive than most, and it comes with an added benefit.
The Polynesian features a sandy beachfront area you can walk. So, many guests combine a beachy stroll with a swim.
By the way, I almost hate to mention it, but the Polynesian also features a lovely quiet pool.
For whatever reason, this pool is rarely crowded, even though it has a charming pool bar area.
Whenever we stay at one of the adjoining hotel buildings, we feel like we have this pool to ourselves, and I love that. I suspect you will, too. But remember I called dibs!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa possesses a strong claim to the title of the best resort for fine dining.
However, the Polynesian gets my vote for cuisine, and the bars are better here, too.
The most recognizable restaurant at the hotel is ‘Ohana, a family-style Polynesian feast featuring multiple decadent courses.
You can also add a show to your dinner by attending Spirit of Aloha, which serves much of the same food as ‘Ohana. Plus, it has fire-dancing.
Then, there’s Capt. Cook’s, probably my favorite Quick Service dining option at any Disney resort.
The foods here are so tasty that a simple ham and cheese sandwich forced me to reevaluate my position on pesto.
When you dine at the Poly, you should expect the unexpected like that. Island flavors pop, and unique offerings have become iconic.
To wit, Capt. Cook’s serves Tonga Toast for breakfast, although it’s big enough to count as three meals.
This stuff is like a quarter-loaf of sourdough bread sweetened with cinnamon and sugar and then spiked with bananas. It’s insane.
Kona Café also serves Tonga Toast, albeit at a higher price. So, the pro tip here is to buy it at Capt. Cook’s.
Still, you will want to dine at Kona Café. The bread and butter here are the best at Walt Disney World, and the steak is probably my favorite in Orlando.
Of course, Kona’s menu changes regularly. So, I can’t guarantee you’ll have the option of a steak.
Importantly, if the Kona Kone is available, BUY IT! If it’s not, tell the manager that you want it back.
You can also buy a Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai. And, when it returns, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is the best bar at Walt Disney World.
Food options at the Poly are ridiculous!
Coronavirus forced the closure of all Walt Disney World theme parks. Once they finally returned, guests could have chosen anywhere to visit.
I was highly amused by the sheer volume of vloggers and influencers who headed straight to the Polynesian.
During an ordinary year, people would debate the merits about which Disney hotels are the best overall and possess the finest theming.
After Disney closed for four months, everyone dropped the pretense. They went to this resort because it’s the most relaxing, and it also has the best view.
When you walk the beaches here, you’ll gaze across Seven Seas Lagoon. Waiting in the distance is the Magic Kingdom.
Space Mountain and sometimes even Cinderella Castle are visible. The serenity of this backdrop relaxes guests even more during their Disney vacation.
Every feature I’ve listed here is still available. The catch is that you can’t stay at the hotel portion of the resort unti Spring of 2021.Why is that? Well…
The Walt Disney Company recently confirmed that the Polynesian will undergo refurbishment. These changes will last until May of 2021.
During this timeframe, only the Disney Vacation Club section of the resort will host guests.
However, when the Polynesian returns, it’ll offer something that you and your family will love!
The Polynesian will introduce Moana-themed rooms!
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
“The rooms will include a move to a Pacific Ocean-inspired color palette as well as details, patterns and textures from Disney’s “Moana,” an animated film that takes place partly on the Polynesian island of Motunui.”
Doesn’t that sound amazing? If you book a trip for next summer, you can be one of the first people ever to sleep in a Moana room at the Polynesian!
Feature Image Rights: Disney