If you know much of anything about Walt Disney World, you probably know about Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It’s one of the original resorts on property. It’s right on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The monorail doesn’t run through it (score one for the Contemporary), but it’s one of only three resort stops on the loop. Still posh after all these almost-fifty years.
But what’s it like? Is it worth the cash? Will your kids love hanging out where Stitch lives? I could spend days writing about the Polynesian (and someday I will), but for now this quick overview should answer some of your questions. The Resort Like many of Disney’s deluxe resorts, the theme is everywhere. Polynesian culture, as viewed through the nostalgic lens of the 1970s, still lives on despite several updates from the original décor. The main lobby is amazing. Despite missing an admittedly fragrant and large waterfall, there is a lot to love here. Cool chairs and padded benches with dark wood accents encourage lobby lounging. Disney whimsy abounds, accented by a cartoonish tiki character posing over the new fountain. There’s also a darker, danker mystique around the main area, despite the open glass above your head.
Check in to your room or luau and wander the grounds. Decades of careful horticultural planning are evident around the walking areas. Bushes, trees, and leafy greens crowd the sides of walkways. Shade is abundant when you need it, and you will. The entire grounds dispel the attraction-obsessed pace of the Parks and force you to walk a little slower, enjoying your surroundings. It’s hot here, but relaxing. You know there is respite in the shade. The somewhat dense and perpendicular arrangement of resort buildings suggests a community instead of a giant hotel. People actually sit on their patios and enjoy the shared spaces. As you roam around, you will see people enjoying the beach, playing in the pool, or even just hula hooping. Half of the adults have a drink in their hand. Where many Disney resorts generate complaints about long walks between hotel buildings or to transport, the Poly always feels manageable.
Disney keeps investing in room updates for their deluxe hotels. Modern outlets and USB charging stations, sound-deadening doors, and updated showers combine with accents of dark wood and stone. Your family can stay in some of the expanded Disney Vacation Club rooms and enjoy an extra bedroom or two. Or three. Or maybe you want to go all out and take up residence in the bungalows extending into the Seven Seas Lagoon! The Feel My stay at the Polynesian was one of the most relaxing trips I took in a while. I haven’t spent this much time sitting around a Disney resort in years. A Disney World trip doesn’t have to be all reservations and running. Maybe it had something to do with our runDisney plans on this particular trip, but my wife and I spent a great chunk of time just talking with other guests and cast members as we sipped libations. We looked forward to a stay at the Polynesian for years and it in no way disappointed.
Be prepared for extra guests. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, the luau, Trader Sam’s, and ‘Ohana are super popular. When you’re staying at Port Orleans Riverside, you don’t get a lot of looky-loos checking out the property. When you’re staying at the Poly, expect to see non-resort guests enjoying a Dole Whip or queueing up for a meal at ‘Ohana. Admit it! You’ve been there before. And if you haven’t, you should. It’s a super cool location and it’s so easy to access. We’ll have to check back on all of the food, drink, and entertainment options at this amazing Disney destination. There’s just so much to write about. Even without all those details, it’s easy to ignore the hubbub of Disney life staying at such a relaxed locale. Take a quick nap and listen to the breeze through the mature plant life. Enjoy the omnipresent ukulele music. Ride somewhere on a boat. Maybe even consider a visit to that place with the castle across the lagoon. Relax, will you? It’s the Polynesian.