Full Review of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

by Casey Morris on August 15, 2015

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QUICK RESORT OVERVIEW

Resort Category: Deluxe

Resort Size: 478 rooms, 360 Studios, 20 Bungalows,

Bed Options: Standard Rooms – 2 Queen Beds with optional Daybed, 1 King Bed. Studios – 1 Queen Bed with sofa bed and Murphy Style bed. Bungalow – 1 King, 1 Queen, 1 Queen Sleeper Sofa, 2 Bunk-Size Pull Down Beds.

Transportation OptionsMonorail, Ferry Boat, Bus

Dining OptionsTable service restaurants, character meals, quick service restaurants, pool bar, lounges, dinner show

Pools1 feature pool, 1 quiet pool, infinity edge hot tub, kids splash play area

Overall VibeTropical theme with a South Seas flair. Views of Cinderella’s Castle from certain room categories, and watch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom on the beach!


 

DETAILED REVIEW

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is by far my favorite resort, for many reasons. Some of the reasons are the lush tropical feel, beautiful beaches, zero entry pool, character dining and the biggest one…..monorail access!

If you are planning to spend most of your time between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, then the Poly, as many call it, is your most convenient option! This will be explained a little further down in the blog.

THE GROUNDS

When you first arrive, you will enter through the front of the resort, into The Great Ceremonial House.

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This photo does not do the outside entry justice, as the landscaping is beautiful! Here is a shot of the sides of the walkway leading up to the entrance:

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If you have visited this resort before, you will see here that it has received many updates over the last year. The first update you will notice is as soon as you walk in. The newly renovated Great Ceremonial House now looks like this from the entry:

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So why did they remove the beautiful waterfall and replace it with such a small statue? The answer, my friends, is that if you look closely strait through the doors, you can see Cinderella’s Castle from the moment you enter the resort! Of course you can not see it in this photo above, but I promise you can when you are there!

The check in desk is on your right as soon as you enter:

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Right off the bat, you are submerged in the tropics. The cast members will give your whole family leis to wear, which is so much fun!

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If you need a moment to relax and unwind after traveling, be sure to take a rest here:

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The Great Ceremonial House is home to several dining options which we will discuss later, as well as souvenir shopping!

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Let’s take a walk out the back of the building to explore!

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winding paths with lush landscaping everywhere you look

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Don’t worry about getting lost, there are signs to direct you where you need to go.

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If the words on the sign are hard to pronounce, all you need to know is that those are the names of the buildings. We will show you a map a little later.

every building has a sign out front with it's name

every building has a sign out front with it’s name

RECREATION

Grilling:

If you love to grill, there is a great area for your family to enjoy:

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Motorized Boat Rentals:

If grilling is not your thing, maybe private boat rentals are!

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Here is a link with more info on the boat rental options.

Beaches:

The beaches here are fantastic!

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Marshmallow Roasting on the Beach:

Every night, just before sunset, you can roast marshmallows on the beach for free!

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Remember I mentioned being able to see Cinderella’s Castle? If you look in the above photo, just over the tree line, you can see it! If you can’t, here is my camera zooming in:

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Movies Under the Stars:

On this same beach, once the sun sets, they have movies under the stars!

setting up the screen for movies under the stars

setting up the screen for movies under the stars

After roasting marshmallows, and waiting for the movie to start, we enjoyed some relaxing family time swinging on the beach with a view of Magic Kingdom!

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Check out this view of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort from the beach!

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Pools:

As nice as the beaches are, I can’t help but to love the pools even more! Poly has two pool areas, the East Pool, and the larger Lava Pool.

The East Pool is a smaller, more quiet pool.

The East Pool

This pool only goes to 4.5 ft deep:

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The larger pool which is located just behind the Great Ceremonial House, is called the Lava Pool. Here is a photo taken from the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House:

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view from Great Ceremonial House

This photo below, was taken behind the lounge chairs which are directly in front of the zero entry side.

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opposite view, you can see the Great Ceremonial House in the background

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water slide seen on left, water fall seen on right

At the Lava Pool, there is also a very nice hot tub. This photo here, you can also see the zero entry for the pool. This hot tub actually bubbles over, with an infinity edge.

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Opposite view of the hot tub, showing the infinity edge with water bubbling over.

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The Lava Pool is also home to the new water play area for kids.

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There are two slides, and lots of water spraying for extra fun!

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The Lava Pool is even beautiful at night!

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Supervised Children’s Activity Center:

The Poly is home to one of five supervised children’s activity centers in Disney World. The one here is called Lilo’s Playhouse. Children ages 3 – 12 (must be potty trained) can be dropped off (additional charge) for fun activities while adults play somewhere else.

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TRANSPORTATION

Monorail:

I strongly believe that the Poly is THE most convenient resort on property, especially if you are spending much of your time between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The reason for this, is due to access to TWO monorail stations! SONY DSC

There are a total of 3 monorail loops at Walt Disney World:

1. Resort Monorail: goes to (in this order) Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Transportation and Ticket Center, Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian Resort – back to Magic Kingdom again. One large loop, stopping at 5 places.

2. Magic Kingdom Express Monorail: goes from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom and back. This is primarily used for guests that are staying off property. They will park at the Transportation and Ticket Center, and board this particular monorail to go to Magic Kingdom.

3. Epcot Monorail: goes from Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot and back. Guests aboard the Resort Monorail that wish to go to Epcot, will get off at the Transportation and Ticket Center, and switch monorails to board the Epcot Monorail.

Now that you understand the 3 monorail loops, that makes understanding the convenience factor of the Poly that much easier. The second floor of the Great Ceremonial House has access to the Resort Monorail. You can board that to go to any of those locations that it stops at. Since the Poly is walking distance to the Transportation and Ticket Center, you can simply walk there and board the Epcot Monorail, and not have to switch monorails! They even have a dedicated walkway made for this trip!

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directions pointing to the pathway for Transportation and Ticket Center

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The short path to the Transportation and Ticket Center

Ferry:

Since the Poly is nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, there is a short ferry boat ride that can take you to Magic Kingdom. The boat also stops at the Grand Floridian Resort as well. The ferry ride is not any quicker than the monorail, but is certainly enjoyable!

Dock for the Magic Kingdom Ferry

Dock for the Magic Kingdom Ferry

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Bus:

The other parks and Downtown Disney are accessible via the Disney bus transportation system. In front of the resort, you will find a bus stop with covered benches. The buses that will come through include Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. A bus for each location typically comes through about every 20 minutes.

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DINING

The Poly is home to some of my favorite dining as well! Here is a list of all the dining options available, including links!

Quick Service Dining:

Capt. Cook’s

Kona Island

Barefoot Pool Bar

Lounge:

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (dining plan not accepted)

Tambu Lounge (dining plan not accepted)

Character Dining:

‘Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast

Table Service Dining:

‘Ohana

Kona Cafe

Dinner Show:

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Room Types:

Please see this link for a listing and photos of the different room types available.

If you would like free, concierge level travel planning services, please contact one of our PPDD travel agents!

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