14 Reasons We Love Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
I always say that every Disney fan has a favorite hotel, and mine is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
I vividly recall standing at this resort in the 1980s alongside my sister. She and I fantasized, as kids do, about the idea of living at the hotel forever.
Nobody that age ever wants to leave Disney. Still, that memory has kept my wife and me going back to this hotel over and over again.
Here are 14 reasons why we love the Polynesian, Disney’s oldest and best resort.
The Great Ceremonial House
Oh, that glorious smell.
When guests enter the hotel lobby at the Polynesian, that aroma instantly transports them to the islands. It’s so relaxing and tranquil.
Of course, the Great Ceremonial House features so much more than just its lovely fragrance, but we’ll get to that!
By the way, the lounging chairs and sofas here rival anything at Walt Disney World.
Some of my favorite Walt Disney World memories have come on the beaches of the Polynesian.
During the day, you can take your shoes off and feel the sand beneath your toes.
Then, at night, you can find a seat on the sand and watch one of Magic Kingdom’s nighttime presentations.
Currently, your option is Disney Enchantment, but that may change again in 2023.
No matter the show, you’ll love evenings spent on the sand, savoring the beauty of Disney fireworks presentations.
When you enter the Great Ceremonial House, you’ll naturally roam toward an inviting shop on the first floor.
Named BouTiki, it’s one of the best stores at any Disney resort. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my favorite shirt came from here.
This place is massive and runs the gamut from clothing to tech toys to tasty Polynesian treats. You’ll want some of the candy here. Trust me.
As you’re about to realize, you’ll eat exceptionally well at the Poly. Islands flavors course through the menus of all the restaurants here.
Right now, I’m wondering how I’ve never written a lunch or dinner review of the place since I’ve probably eaten here 10+ times since MickeyBlog opened.
Our staff is that emphatic about the flavors here. Several of us want to praise it to our readers.
Have you ever tried Kona Coffee? It’s one of the most popular blends in the world.
This restaurant and adjoining coffee shop embrace the flavors of Kona, straight down to a coffee-flavored steak.
Kona Café lives in the shadow of another restaurant on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House. However, it’s still an amazing dining experience.
The Lava Pool
All roads lead to the Lava Pool at the Poly. While it’s not the only pool at the hotel, it’s the most memorable due to its giant volcano landmark.
The pool and play area here have entertained guests for generations now, but they’re even better now!
Disney recently refreshed everything for Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary party.
By the way, call me a shameless tourist if you like, but I always get a kick out of swimming in a pool located right beside a sandy beach.
The Longhouses (mention Moana re-theme)
Every longhouse (i.e., building) at the Polynesian comes with its own identity.
Sure, most of the interior features are the same, but I’m oddly attached to places with names like Moorea, Tokelau, and Pago Pago.
Over time, I’ve picked favorite longhouses and feel strongly enough about the subject to request certain buildings for my hotel stays.
By the way, some of the longhouses have redesigned their rooms with a Moana theme. It’s a thrill for Disney fans to spot Moana and Maui on the walls.
Kids especially love this game.
Here’s the store located directly above BouTiki. I mention it for two reasons.
The first is that the Mercantile in the name reflects that it’s partially a general store. So you’ll find food and sundries on one side of the place.
On the other side, you’ll discover PLENTY of merchandise, stuff that’s not available at BouTiki.
That store emphasizes the islands with its gear. At Moana Mercantile, you’ll find decidedly more Disney items like Lilo & Stitch and monorail toys.
While we’re on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, we should mention the amenity that you’ll appreciate the most during your stay.
As a monorail resort, the Polynesian operates its own monorail station.
So, you can take a ride to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT without ever boarding a bus or boat!
I’m addicted to this particular piece of logistics, as it makes park visits so much more convenient/less stressful.
If you asked the average Disney fan to name the best place to eat at the Polynesian, ‘Ohana would win the popular vote.
Disney serves an endless wave of Polynesian courses here, including noodles, chicken wings, and pork dumplings.
People flock to this place so much that you’ll struggle to book an Advanced Dining Reservation here. And without a reservation, your chances of eating here approach zero.
Still, ‘Ohana justifies the effort since the entire meal experience is so satisfying.
You walk out the backside of the Great Ceremonial House. You’re staring straight toward the Lava Pool.
Then, you turn left, and you’re looking at Pineapple Lanai, a place that will hand you a Dole Whip for a modest fee.
Then, you can sit by the pool or at a nearby table and savor your Dole Whip you watch people play.
Whoever set up the Pineapple Lanai here was an absolute genius.
Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace
We’re talking about glow drinks and a magical setting. In fact, this bar tells a story, one that changes depending on what you order.
For example, here’s what happens when you pick an Uh-Oh!
Trader Sam’s delivers a remarkably communal drinking experience, one where the choices of others impact what happens during your visit.
Seven Seas Lagoon connects the Polynesian to Magic Kingdom. In fact, you can take a Friendship Boat back and forth from the park to the hotel.
Hotel guests benefit from this location, especially when they roam the beach.
The Polynesian faces Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle, providing glimpses at various points.
Also, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa resides beside the Polynesian. So, some of the rooms and restaurants claim the Grand Floridian as a backdrop.
Of course, some views are better than others…
Okay, these unique hotel rooms are more aspirational in nature. Few guests can afford the price even once.
Still, you should have a Polynesian Bungalow on your bucket list of Disney experiences.
Disney has built some two-bedroom Bungalows beside the Polynesian’s beach. These suites face Magic Kingdom, providing the ultimate view.
You can stare at Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain from the deck of your hotel room! Also, said deck features a swimming pool!
The Polynesian Bungalows represent the ultimate in Walt Disney World hotel rooms. Everyone dreams of staying here…and for good reason!
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