Aloha! Next stop on the monorail resort loop is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The Polynesian is one of the original two hotels that were on site when Walt Disney World opened along with the Contemporary Resort. On October 1, 1971 it opened its doors to guests with 492 rooms themed to the South Seas and tropical islands of Hawaii. Few know that the resort was actually scrambling to be completed the very morning it opened as the crew was still finishing up things like wallpaper and painting to be ready for the onslaught of guests and media frenzy October 1st.
The Polynesian Village Resort had a very unusual construction process quite similar to that of the Contemporary. US Steel headed the project and just like the Contemporary, the rooms were built on an assembly line off-site. However, instead of sliding the pre-completed and furnished rooms into place they simply stacked them on top of each other. The resort opened with 8 Longhouses named: Bali Hai, Bora Bora, Fiji, Hawaii, Maui, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga in 1971. A mere 7 years later in 1978 Oahu was added, and in 1985 Moorea and Pago Pago were added along with a name change to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and in 2015 20 over the water DVC bungalows were added in the Bora Bora section and the
original Polynesian Village Resort name was restored. In 1999 all of the Longhouses were renamed with the exception of Fiji to the names of Polynesian Islands and they would correspond with their location on the resort to their location on a real map. Bali Hai was changed to Tonga, Bora Bora to Niue, Hawaii to Samoa, Maui to Rarotonga, Moorea to Tahiti, Oahu to Tokelau, Pago Pago to Rapa Nui, Samoa to Tuvalu, Tahiti to Aotearoa, and Tonga to Hawaii.
The Great Ceremonial House is the centerpiece of the resort and serves as a main lobby and a place for the entire resort to gather together for an abundance of dining and drinks! The food and drinks at the Polynesian Village Resort are second to none, upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House
you can find one of the best breakfast on property at Kona Cafe, where you can indulge in Tonga Toast, or come back for dinner to Ohana right next door for a family style buffet that you won’t forget, and don’t miss the Lapu Lapu (alcohol in a pineapple need I say more) just outside of Ohana at Tambu Lounge (you cannot stay at the Polynesian without it)! Finally in 2015 Walt Disney World Resort got a Disneyland Resort classic, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace and its located downstairs in the Great Ceremonial House. Inside at the Grog Grotto you can have some amazing drinks with the most fun staff of any at Walt Disney World (that’s saying ALOT). The ambiance inside takes you away to a mystical Polynesian Island bar that is run by the Tiki god’s and none other than Trader Sam from the Jungle Cruise himself.
Be sure to appease the Tiki gods or be ready to face the consequences but this place deserves a post all to itself! The resort also offers a dinner show called the Spirit of Aloha, where you can see some spectacular dances, from hula dancers to a traditional fire knife performance.
The resort also offers one of the best pools of any resort at Disney overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon just outside of the Great Ceremonial House you feel as if you are swept away on a tropical island even though you can see Cinderella’s Castle off in the distance. The pool features a volcano near the center that has a water slide inside and also waterfalls plummeting over the edges into the pool.
Usually when talking about a “Monorail Resort” the location is the biggest asset, but the Polynesian is such an amazingly themed resort that the location is just a piece of what makes it so special. It is one of three resorts located on the Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop, so you are a short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom or you can take the water taxi service right from the marina! Speaking of the marina, the Polynesian has a full service marina right next to the pool area where you can rent a boat and enjoy a relaxing day out on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake! Better yet the Polynesian provides some of the best viewing areas for Wishes fireworks outside of the Magic Kingdom. Grab a towel and lay out on one of the beaches and watch Wishes or better yet grab a table at Ohana enjoy a great meal and watch the fireworks out the window for a truly unforgettable dinner!
Mahalo! Thanks for reading and please share your experiences at Polynesian Village Resort, also share some of your favorite things to do at the resort!
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