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Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
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Reviews (3,510)
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Reviewed February 9, 2013

We chose to stay at this resort inside Walt Disney World largely for the convenience and transport links to Disney’s theme parks.

The Hotel is by no means a grand resort, but is a kid friendly sprawling Pacific Island themed option connected to the Monorail and transport hub. The staff are authentic and very Disney cheerful in a pleasant way.

For the uninitiated to Disney World, you have to understand that this place is huge. The drained swamp is now home to multiple resorts and locations all connected by a very efficient highway, bus and monorail system. If you don’t have a car you need to join this system of transport. This hotel is a good option. You can walk to the monorail to Epcot and join the frequent busses to other resorts.

The hotel is on a lake with Disney’s magical kingdom across the other side. If you want the best views, book a lake view room and you will be able to see the pretty castle and its fireworks as well as the paddle steamers and boats transporting guests. Around the lake is the Grand Floridian resort, an upscale huge Southern USA style mansion affair with good restaurant options and on the monorail loop. The contemporary resort is also across the lake and is a rather tacky affair with basic looking rooms, but a good restaurant on the top floor with great views of the Epcot fireworks.

We booked a lake view room close to the transportation hub. The view was nice. The room was somewhat gloomy islander themed with rattan bed heads, lots of carved dark wood and Disney themed tropical island art. The room felt a bit worn out. The vibe was Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii, if you remember that episode you will be feeling as old as the room. The mattress we had was a tad uncomfortable and if you need three people in a room the only option is two doubles. Bathrooms were functional with double sinks, shower over bath with good water pressure and nice soaps and personal care items.

I cant comment on the restaurants as we only ate a very basic cafeteria called captain cooks which provided fresh salads and any option of metabolic syndrome enhancing high calorie/ high fat combination you could wish for.

This place does not have a gym, but you can use the Grand Floridian gym an inconvenient walk or monorail stop away.
Two pools provide a fun zero entry / water slide / volcano main pool and an approximately 20m diameter second pool that is acceptable for lap swimming and heated in winter.

I suggest you stay here and take the monorail to Disney’s Magical Kingdom, Epcot and then buses to the other theme parks. You wont spend much time in your room and you will be comfortable if you do.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank DiboTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Bell desk and check-in are extremely efficient and friendly. Kudo’s go to the Bell desk and its personnel. Concierge was a little off. Did not know how to answer simple requests, such as if an older park ticket was still valid. Room was nice, clean and easily accessible to the Great Ceremonial house.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank TikiTex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

My family and I have travelled to Disney World for the past 13 years and the last 9 we have stayed at the Polynesian, last visit being July 2012 and going back in July 2013. This truly is our home away from home!! You have to understand what you're getting into before you come, and it bothers me to see any negative review on this place!!

Long Houses: Our preference is the Samoa building. No matter what side of the building you are on you have a pool view of either the main volcano pool or the quiet pool. We prefer ground level floors because you can walk right out to the pool to your room (or easier access to Capt’n Cooks to refill your mugs!). This is smack in the middle of the grounds so it gets pretty hectic. We are a family where we go on vacation to WDW to be nonstop, so we enjoy the business of this building! (Secret: if it’s raining you can cut through Niue to get to Samoa and won’t have to walk outside very much!) I have also stayed in Rarotonga. Great access to the Great Ceremonial House, either a view of the quiet pool or the monorail whisking by!

Food: We go to Disney to EAT! Our family loves food, and it is nice walking 8 miles a day to enjoy all the extra goodies WDW has to offer. We frequent Capt’n Cooks multiple times a day. Invest in the mugs, an initial $20 investment adds up when you have unlimited refills! Capt'n cooks is great for an easy breakfast or late night snack. I take full advantage of the grill with pizza's and cheeseburgers! OHANA is a must do, the food is excellent and the atmosphere as well. If you book early enough you can watch the fireworks at MK from your dinner table. Kona has amazing pineapple bread that you must try as well!

Access: Nothing beats the access Poly gives you to Disney! Jump on the monorail and you’re at MK within 10 mins. It is also a lot of fun to visit the Grand Floridian and Contemporary resorts. The beach at Poly is great to view MK’s fireworks and night shows. They dim their lights and play the music from the fireworks every night.

Atmosphere: You truly feel like you’re not in Florida and on a tropical island. From the music, to the flowers, to the Aloha’s from each passing Cast Member makes you feel very welcome! Do stroll around the property at night once the torches have been lit.

Price: Yes, it may be pricey, but you're paying for access, scenery, and the Disney experience!! If it’s too pricey then don’t book it in the first place and then complain about it later 
Cons: The only con’s I would give Poly is it is in need of an update to their rooms. They are clean but do seem a bit dated. But you don’t come to Disney to lay in your room! It has hidden mickeys in the room and a bed to lay my head on so I’m happy! Also parking can be a pain, especially on nights the Luau is going on. If you are travelling to different parks or resorts by car and come back late at night sometimes the lot is near or at capacity and you’re caught driving around for a while looking for spaces.

All in All this is THE BEST resort to stay at in WDW! I have stayed at 5 other resorts (mostly all Deluxe resorts) and this is by far our favorite.

Room Tip: If you're looking for access choose Somoa or Roratonga! Step right out of your room to the pool and middle of the resort. If you're looking for more quiet but still close to the main part go to the West side of the resort. FIJI is a great building overlooking the marina and the lagoon.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Jacob825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Just returned from four days at the Polynesian-Feb.4-8. There is a lot of construction going on there right now, but we were not bothered by it. It's exciting to know that some changes are ahead! The Polynesian is old, that's a fact, and a lot of the buildings are showing some serious wear and tear. For me, that really doesn't detract from the wonderful character of this place. It's a soothing, relaxing and fun place to be. The lobby is always such a welcoming place to come back to. If you take the time to slow down and really enjoy the amazing plants, and listen to the waterfall, it just erases stress. There is always a lot of chaos going on all around the Disney property, but it's easy to find quiet spots at the Poly.
I must say, I hate the dining plan at Disney. It has really put a damper on dining around Disney, in my opinion it has lowered the quality of the service and food, as restaurants are constantly in a mad frenzy to serve a never ending barrage of people. Why do I bring that up?
The dining plan has a constant stream of LOUD, large parties lining up in the upstairs area of the lobby, waiting to dine at 'Ohana. I think that it is unfortunate that there are not seats left open for resort guests, on a walk-up basis. Isn't part of the fun and convenience of staying at a hotel with a restaurant, being able to not have to leave property to dine?? The dining plan has forced you to have to make reservations in order to eat at any table service restaurant. I am not a reservations lover, I like to fly by the seat of my pants, and this just annoys me.

I strayed, so let me just say this: I can understand how people paying 350 a night or more to stay here would have high expectations. But you are not paying for the usual high end hotel perks. You're paying to stay on the monorail line, which is crazy convenient, and to stay in the middle of all the action. You can view fireworks from the beach, walk to TTC to hop on monorail to Epcot, ride monorail to Contemporary or Grand FL. for shopping/eating/etc.

Staying at the Polynesian is just fun. It's kitschy and silly, and all the things Disney should be. I love it. If you like to be in the middle of the action, buildings around the volcano pool are for you, like Niue. For those who like more privacy, and a quieter area, Aotearoa is a nice building. The south rooms of Aotearoa have a view of the monorail, which is fun for kids....the north faces a very quiet beach on the lake. It is a short walk to Grand FL from this building, but a long walk to TTC.
The people at the Polynesian are wonderful. Ruth at the front is so sweet, and our housekeeper, Judith was awesome. My daughter looked for her every day, and when we left, gave her a big hug.
The Poly rooms may have a little wear here and there, but we have found ours to be very clean, and comfortable.
We would have a difficult time choosing to stay anywhere else.

Room Tip: I wouldn't pay extra for a lagoon view, you can just grab a hammock or lounge on the beach to view fireworks.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank ACR37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Just got back from a 6 days and 5 nights at Disney's Polynesian Resort . Took my two young sons and my wife for a full week of Disney madness for the boys ( ages 4 and 6 ). The boys had a great time of coarse, and so did we watching them. But being someone who traces often for my work ( 4-6 times per month ) I felt like I should write about my experience. I can say that the Polynesian hotel has beautifully landscaped grounds with a very tropical feel but the Hotel rooms and buildings that house the hotel rooms are much like your average to below average roadside motel. For Ultra Premium rates I had expected this to be a very nice hotel.I have paid half as much to stay in some nice NYC hotels and San Francisco Hotels. Very dated buildings, dirty elevators, dated rooms, TV got just basic stations and no Movie channels, dark bathroom, toilet wouldn't flush, ants in our room. My other complaint would have to be the food. It was impossible for us to just walk in ( A very long walk ) to the "quality" restaurant on site and get a table. We were told it would be a 90 minute wait on two of the evenings. The restaurant we could walk in to was terrible- Kiosk ordering of very bland burgers and the worst pizza I have had. On one of the nights I ordered a Pizza from a local Orlando Pizza joint that delivered, that Pizza was great but came to find out they can't deliver to your room or building only to the lobby. The lobby was a 10 minute walk from our room- another real drag.

Disney is one of those places we feel like all of our kids should get to experience but I would not recommend this property. We have been before with our older children and we stayed in Orlando at a chain hotel for probably a third of the price per night and we had many great restaurants to choose form close by. On this most recent trip we were also convinced by Disney that we wouldn't need a car and that all of our transportation would be taken care of by their systems. It was, but it was not convenient. I am not one who likes to spend so much of my day waiting in transportation lines, taking long bus rides that stop at every hotel on the property, then wait again to be picked back up and take another very long bus ride back to the hotel to begin a very long walk back to our room. A couple times there were not even seats on the bus so we had to stand for the long 30 Minute or so ride- Imagine that with two young restless little guys. One bus driver pulled up to our stop that we had been waiting at for 15 minutes or so and said the bus was full and we would have to wait for the next bus which would be by to pick us up in about 20 minutes. GRRR!! If you must stay on the Disney property then I would definitely recommend renting a car so you can control when and where you want to go on property or off. The entire Disney Property is huge and the only advantage to the Polynesian or Contemporary hotel is they are on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. All the other parks within the Disney property you will have to take a bus, and should allow a lot of extra time to get there and to get back.
Our visit was on the "off season " Jan 31 to Feb 5 and the crowds were not to bad at the park but the transportation was not good. Can't imagine what it could be like during "Peak season".
If your kids are really patient, and you are really patient and have loads of time and money to throw away on an overpriced hotel with bad overpriced food then this is your place, for the rest of you beware!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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12  Thank fuzzydrums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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