We stayed here in October 2013, before construction really got into full swing. We stayed on the third floor of the Rarotonga building, which was great - we were close to the Great Ceremonial House for food/Magic Kingdom monorail and it was a short walk to the Transportation & Ticket Center, which was GREAT for catching the monorail direct to Epcot, where we spent a lot of time. The grounds are beautiful and although nothing can really compare to the real Polynesian islands, Disney did a great job with the atmosphere - the music and tiki torches add to the experience, so walking around can actually be somewhat romantic, aside from any screaming children!
The room was much bigger than I thought it would be - we had a king bed which was surprisingly very comfortable, along with a chair, ottoman and a large couch. The bathroom was fine (great water pressure) and had plenty of room for the two of us. We also had a little lanai, which was nice to sit outside and relax after a full day at Disney, although it could get a little loud (we live in Manhattan, so the noise didn't bother us). The furniture was in good shape and bedding looked new, so happy on all those counts - there was more than enough closet and storage space, but again, only two of us, so we didn't really need that much.
Captain Cook's was a great quick-service option for us in the morning, although we're not big breakfast people. We stopped there at night a few times and it was very quick, plus they have Dole Whip! I also must say I ordered the kids meal (and I am 29) and no one gave me any trouble (everyone we encountered was very sweet and friendly!).
I do wish they'd provide a little more signage, however - the sign for our building was blocked by foliage so we were kind of wandering around for 10 minutes, not sure where to go. The elevators were also rather dingy and need an update, as do the elevator waiting areas - they just looked rather dirty and unwashed. Hopefully this is being addressed in the renovations.
The main drawback is that the hotel is obviously very expensive. We were staying at the cast member rate, due to a family member being a Disney employee, so the price wasn't bad at all. My parents stayed here with my brother and I often as children, and say the monorail access/Transportation & Ticket Center access is unbeatable with small children in strollers. it's very easy to get back to the hotel from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks, so you can take a midday break, which is essential in the summer heat. You're paying for location, location, location, as well as Disney history, so if that is important to you, you won't be disappointed! I consider this hotel more fun than the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary - the theme is kitschy, yes, but it's so Disney and you just enjoy it.
I love the atmosphere at this hotel, and won't hesitate to stay again, although I'm sad they removed the water fountain feature in the center of the lobby. I know construction has gotten more intense after we left, so I would recommend staying somewhere else until construction is completed, if you want the full Disney hotel experience. We will be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Disney's Polynesian Resort is a relaxing tropical paradise, featuring lush vegetation, thatched roofs, koi ponds and white-sand lakebeaches and offering a warm, welcoming world that celebrates the spirit of the South Pacific and ensures "Ho'Onanea"—the passing of time in languid tranquility. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Polynesian Resort Disney
- Disney Polynesian Hotel
- Polynesian Disney
- Polynesian Hotel Disney
- Orlando Polynesian Resort
- Polynesian Hotel Orlando Fl
- Disneys Polynesian Hotel
- Polynesian Resort Orlando
- Disney Polynesian Resort World
- Disneys Polynesian Resort