Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort was a bucket list item for us. Every time we rode the monorail past the resort Adolfo and I would look at the lush landscaping, the Polynesian themed out buildings and go “one day”. Occasionally, especially during the holidays the draw would be too strong and we would go stroll around the Great Ceremonial House (The Lobby) to admire all the wonderful decorations. We can now say it’s happened, we’ve stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
Overview: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the second Hotel on the monorail loop from the Magic Kingdom. It is inspired by the Polynesian Islands and the outbuildings are named as such. Hawaii, Samoa, Pago Pago, and Moorea to name a few. When checking into the Polynesian Village Resort you are greeted by the cast members with a Lei and a welcome home. One of the things we truly love about this resort is the lush greenery. It truly is a tropical paradise.
Within the Great Ceremonial House you will find:
Seven Restaurants / Lounges:
- Ohana– Their signature all you care to enjoy restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It features a character breakfast where you can meet Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey Mouse. Dinner is on a whole different level with family style sides and meat brought out on skewers. (the chicken is soooo good).
- Kona Café– this is a wonderful spot to get breakfast. The Tonga Toast (deep fried sourdough stuffed with bananas and covered in cinnamon sugar) is a family favorite. We have never had a bad meal here. So far we’ve only gone for breakfast but we look forward to trying the Dinner menu.
- Captain Cook’s Quick Service– This is your location to buy refillable mugs and grab a quick bite to eat. The menu is inspired by Polynesian flavors. They heavily utilize their signature pulled pork. It goes on everything, the fried rice, a sandwich and their loaded nachos. They might actually use the pulled pork too much. They also have pastries and some grab and go items available.
- Kona Island- coffee/ sushi bar- In the morning Kona serves awesome lattes and pastries. It’s a favorite of Elyse’s but make sure to hit it up early or later in the morning. Lines can get long as people want to grab coffee on their way to the Magic Kingdom. In the afternoon this location becomes a sushi bar. We have yet to give the sushi a try but have heard only good things.
- Pineapple Lanai- This is where you go for all things dole whip. Need we say more?
- Trader Sam’s- this is a continuation of the classic Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Resort. Take note that this location is very popular and unfortunately doesn’t hold too many guests. You may need to wait a while to get in but it’s well worth the wait. Specialty cocktails are a must here and don’t forget to watch for the erupting volcano!
- Tambu Lounge: Lounge connected to Ohana. Appetizers are available and if you want Ohana’s famous bread pudding without sitting through a whole meal you can get it here. YUM!
Two shopping Venues:
- BouTiki is the main shopping venue at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Clothing is the main item sold here. Disney branded as well as some Tommy Bahama clothing is available.
- Moana Mercantile is divided into two sections. A retail space for all of your Disney merch needs (more specially children’s merch), and a sundries store with medication, magazines, drinks, ect..
The Polynesian Village Resort is comprised of the Great Ceremonial house. Outbuildings (which are named for Polynesian Islands) and where the hotel rooms are located. The resort has two pools, a laundry facility, and a kids activity center.
The Great Ceremonial House holds the majority of the restaurants and all of the shopping. When exiting the Great Ceremonial House you will see Pineapple Lanai, outdoor seating for Captain Cook’s, the lawn and the Lava Pool. The lawn is where you will go to watch Disney Under the Stars.
The Lava Pool is amazing! You have a splash pad area for kids, a zero entry pool, and the Volcano rising from it. The Volcano itself houses an awesome water slide that seemed very popular with the kiddos. Kaitlyn is a little young right now but I can only imagine coming to hang out at the pool, grabbing a dole whip, and watching the fireworks from here. One of the many items on our Poly Bucket list (the other item is staying in a Bungalow, which honestly is probably a pipe dream.)
The Oasis Pool is located between the Samoa and Tokelau outbuildings. This pool also has a bar and grill. We really feel this is a great place to relax and get a drink. It’s very quiet compared to the Lava pool. It’s just a basic pool, there are no splash pads or slides but it is much quieter. Lots of families are hanging out and having a blast. The soda machine here can be used to refill your resort mugs.
Two and a half of the outbuildings are owned by Disney Vacation Club. Moorea is our building of preference, when booking with DVC points. It has what we consider to be the best views of the fireworks. Unlike some of the other DVC resorts you do not have a dedicated refillable mug soda machine, coffee dispenser or water available. Since DVC does not have a dedicated Lobby you will need to go to Captain Cooks or the Oasis Pool.
Disney’s Polynesian Villa’s and Bungalow’s Deluxe Studio Review (DVC)
WE LOVE THESE ROOMS!!!!!!!!!!!
When entering the room you have a decently sized closet and two restrooms. The bathrooms here are huge! (Maybe even a little too big). DVC studios at the Polynesian Villa’s and Bungalow’s have two separate bathrooms. The first holds the toilet, bathtub, and sink. The sink space here is very large which is much appreciated. The second bathroom has a shower and another sink. This is an improvement over some of the other DVC studios as both bathrooms have a sink area.
The kitchenette has a sink, coffee pot, glasses, paper plates and plastic utensils. Above the sink is a microwave. There is also a toaster. The space is more than adequate. I didn’t have to remove anything from the counter in order to set up a bottle cleaning station. I was also able to prepare small snacks for Kaitlyn without removing my bottle drying rack. This is a huge improvement over the Grand Floridian Studio Villa’s where I had to put several things away in order to use the counter space. One issue that we did have was the refrigerator was not cold enough. We weren’t comfortable leaving perishables in it.
The bedroom is huge! The design theme are colorful oranges and maroons with muted browns, really bringing in a peaceful Polynesian feel. The vibe is mid- century modern and portraits of tropical birds hang above the couch.
One thing we really enjoyed is that you have a queen sized bed and still have ample room to set up a pack and play or a crib. The room is so large that you still have room to walk around. Again, these rooms are massive and I really still can’t get over it.
In addition to the queen bed the living room has a sofa sleeper. A chest for additional storage. Two chairs and a table. The media consul which turns into a murphy bed with a flat screen TV hung about it.
Underneath the queen bed you can store your luggage and USB chargers are available underneath the two floating night stands.
Off of the bedroom is a balcony. During the day we would leave the slider open to enjoy the breeze and the sunshine. The balcony has two chairs and a small table. It’s a great place to enjoy dinner while the fireworks are going off.
We opted for the lagoon view and I can say without a doubt that it is well worth the points (or money). Not only do you get the watch the Electrical Water Pageant you also have a front row seat to the fireworks. We highly suggest staying in the Moorea building and asking for a third floor room. You have the most amazing view of Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain.
Pros and Cons we experienced staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
- Proximity to Magic Kingdom! Two monorail stops away from the park.
- The fireworks are amazing from the Moorea building.
- Largest DVC studio villas available, the room can comfortably hold four or five people.
- Amazing dining locations with Ohana and Kona Café.
- Great Pools
- You don’t feel like you are staying at a timeshare. Since DVC doesn’t have it’s own building at the Polynesian Village Resort you are right in the middle of it and have easy access to the main lobby and shopping.
- You can order Ohana for room service! We did this twice on our trip, it was so much easier with a fussy tired one year old. (This is an ample time to eat on your patio and enjoy the fireworks!)
- You can walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center to go to Epcot.
- Get off at the TTC to walk to your room if you are staying in Moorea. It’s less than a five minute walk. It’s much faster than getting off at the Great Ceremonial house.
- The DVC buildings are very close to the Ticket and Transportation Center. This means that you can hear the Ferry running very late at night and early in the morning.
- Only Studio Villas or the Bungalows are available. Unlike other DVC properties you don’t have the option of a one bedroom or two bedroom villa. While you can book a Bungalow if you so choose this is not a realistic option for most families. Studios do not have kitchens so you will not be able to cook for your family. Larger families cannot easily stay at the Polynesian Resort.
- You don’t have a dedicated DVC cast member. We had some issues with cast members giving bad information. For example, we were told if the DVC laundry facility is full we can get coins in the great ceremonial house to use the Polynesian Resorts other laundry facility. This is completely incorrect you only have access to the DVC laundry room.
- DVC laundry facility is not adequate for the amount of DVC rooms. 4 washing machines and 8 dryers are available. Elyse had to sit in the laundry room for a while for a machine to become available. If you need to do laundry you will have to wait for machines to become available at night. We would suggest trying to do laundry in the morning.
- Some of the DVC rooms are a bit run down. We stayed in a few rooms this vacation because we had a split reservation. The first room had very beat up furniture, the sinks were backed up and the tiles in the bathroom were very scratched up. The other room we stayed in was in perfect shape and there were zero issues with the room. This can be somewhat common with DVC rooms. Any time you see an issue with a room please let a cast member know so it can be fixed, these rooms are not serviced as often as the hotel rooms.
What do we think of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?
We absolutely love it! For starters it’s location is amazing. The view of the fireworks is hands down what makes this our favorite resort. The room size cannot be beat, especially when you have kids that want the space to run around. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is 100% our aesthetic and it played a huge roll in why we became DVC owners here. Oh Yea did we mention that before?! We own DVC now woot woot! 🙂