My family and I stayed at Disney World's Polynesian Resort last summer, and it was incredible. Here's why we fell in love with the resort!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, was one of the first resorts to open when the park opened in 1971 with the Magic Kingdom (along with the Contemporary Resort). It is considered one of Disney World's deluxe resorts, and the rooms are spread out of the property in buildings that give it a village style. If you really want to splurge, you can stay in one of their bungalows over the water.
1. The Theme and Decor
Who doesn't want to start and end the day with the feeling of being on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean? Not only are you greeted with a lei, but with the Polynesian, even though you are spending your days in the parks with chaos and crowds, you can come back to get respite in an environment that gives you an island vibe of casual relaxation.
2. Transportation Options
One of the primary reasons I wanted to stay at the Polynesian was the convenience factor of it being on the Monorail line. This resort offers all 3 transportation options: bus, boat and monorail. With the Magic Kingdom just across the lake, it is especially easy to access this park by boat or monorail. With its speed and the ease of hopping on and off, the monorail is my favorite method of transportation at Disney World.
The monorail has a boarding stop right outside the door of the second level of the main building of the resort. We also had a nice view of the monorail traveling the rails from right outside of our room.
3. Fireworks View
As I mentioned before, this resort is just across the lake from the Magic Kingdom park. You can actually glimpse Cinderella's castle in the distance from the pool or beach area. Due to this proximity to Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian offers spectacular panoramic views of the nightly Happily Ever After fireworks show from various points at the resort. Our visit was during the 4th of July holiday, and we were treated to a truly amazing view of the show.
There are several pools to choose from at the Polynesian Resort. The central pool (the Lava Pool) offers a volcano, waterfall and a 142-foot waterslide to add to the ambiance and fun! There is also a lovely view of the lake from this pool and even the distant Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom.
There are several options for food at the Polynesian but Ohana (which means “family” in the Hawaiian culture), one of Disney’s most popular restaurants, is located here. In the morning it offers a family-style breakfast as a character meal. At dinner, it offers the wonderful cuisine of an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian luau. The servers bring skewers of shrimp, chicken and steak by your table for this all-you-can-eat feast. It is also a lot of fun for the kids with games and music.
This lavish meal is a great deal on the Disney Dining plan at only one credit. This restaurant also offers a view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom from its windows.
6. Character Meal Option
With Ohana, the Polynesian offers the option of a unique character meal without ever having to leave your resort. At Ohana you are able to get pictures with the more difficult-to-find characters of Lilo and Stitch, as well as Mickey and Pluto dressed in tropical attire. The characters are only available for the breakfast meal, however.
When we checked in at the desk, we then were able to wait in line for a photo with Goofy (wearing a lei) made by the Disney photographers. Once inside, during the breakfast meal, the various characters (Lilo, Stitch, Mickey in his tropical print shirt) made their rounds to the tables for photos and autographs. In my opinion, the actual food is superior at the evening meal, but the fun and photos with the characters made the breakfast meal definitely worth the reservation!
7. Multiple Food and Gift Options
With multiple restaurants, the snack bar with the legendary Dole Whip (yummy pineapple flavored soft-serve ice cream) and multiple gift shops, the Polynesian also offers you plentiful opportunities for dining and shopping without ever even having to leave the relaxed atmosphere of your resort.
I hope this information helps you as you choose lodging for your next trip to Disney World. Aloha!
© 2019 Christy Aldridge
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on May 14, 2019:
Man, 'Disney World' is huge.
Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on May 14, 2019:
Hi Liz, good questions! Actually, our rate was better in the summer than I can usually find rates at the Polynesian due to a summer savings rate promotion they were running at the time. Being the summer and a holiday, it was crowded overall at the hotel and parks but I didn't find it unbearably so. I have always found the pools to be pretty crowded any time I have gone to Disney. We still were able to do all the things we wanted to do in a reasonable amount of time. The fireworks were amazing and they did the same show twice - on July 3rd and 4th. It is hard to balance enjoying the resort with time in the parks. It is struggle always for me as well! We did take some rest time here and there and by eating at the resort restaurants that helped us have time to enjoy the resort also. Thanks for your comment!
Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2019:
This gives a great insight into the resort from a guest perspective. It looks like a great place to stay when visiting Disney. The firework view was especially impressive. Did you find prices rose over the 4th July period? The pools looks quite crowded. How did you find them? How did you balance use of the onsite facilities with time in the park? I would be torn between the two.