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“Not worth it and potentially unsafe”

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Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Ranked #86 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 November 2013

There are many reviews to read of this hotel but no one seems to stress the fact that with the many buildings and terrible night lighting and almost no directional signage it requires both a sense of security and a great sense of direction to find anything-mainly your room!
I have stayed at the Contemporary and Floridian and both are far more user friendly.
The "cast members" which is what the service people are called are poorly equipped to handle guests in what should be a luxury hotel-given the price point which is quite high.
I wonder if the least qualified personnel are at this hotel and the better ones for the main areas or hotels.
If you need to come ti DisneyWorld ,as we did,for a family event, try very hard not to stay here.
Finally - the resort itself retains it's special "character" and if you can afford it go there at least once if you have kids who want it. Just stay elsewhere-even off campus.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank Vern B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 November 2013

I wasn't sure when I first booked this hotel but after reading everyones reviews about how great it was to be close to Magic Kingdom we decided to try it out. The price is a little high for what i thought we got but then again look where we were. We arrived in the evening on friday and found check in took along time. We then were so hungry we decided just to grab something at Captain cooks and call it a night. Well, it was so busy there and so disorganized it left us with bad impressions the first night. My son just wanted a hamburger bun nothing on it. I asked for that and it was a huge deal. I was charged $3.50 for a plain bun! And the food here was actually pretty bad. The next morning we went and grabbed breakfast and went to our room to eat. Thankfully in our room there was a nice hidden table under the desk. (very smart!) The room was nice and we had a renovated room. Stayed in the Rarotonga building. The room was very quiet! Overall the whole hotel really does need a good reno but it was nice. The idea was neat. Very lush greens. I didn't really think people were overly friendly at the hotel. We never tried any of the restuarants at the Polynesian cause the lineups unbelievable! Way too long to wait for a 4 year and a 1 year old to have to wait. The first night we went and drove to Downtown Disney and on a sat night be prepared to walk cause it is so busy there. And one more thing, if you go to MK go early very quiet at Fantasyland. But later was crazy! The second night we took the monorail (another big plus) to Contemporary hotel to have dinner there. And on that actual day we went to the Premium Outlet (in the morning) just outside of Disney then spent the afternoon at the pool and beach. Very relaxing! We only had a few days at Disney but it was a fun trip! The main reasons staying at the Polynesian was the location to MK and the pool and beach area and we were able to watch the fireworks from our hotel too at night. For the amount of people in the hotel the hotel has a hard time accommodating all these people we thought.

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated building.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lisa F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Let me first start off with a disclaimer --- I LOVE Disney and all things Disney. That being said, I do not want to sound negative -- just give a true and accurate description of our experience at the Polynesian. We went to Disney to participate in the Run Disney Wine & Dine. After much research we decided it would be wise to stay in a "run" hotel for the convenience of the transportation to run events, roads being closed, etc. Because we are a family of 5 we are limited on hotels/rooms that will sleep 5. Our typical day at Disney is get up early, be at the park when it opens, stay until they close, fall into bed at 11 and do it all again the next day. We are not in our room much, however we do like to stay in nice accommodations. Due to some failures on Disney part on our reservations they put us at the Polynesian at the same rate of two rooms at a value hotel. If I had been paying regular price for this room I would have been highly disappointed. Lots of pros --- but definitely NOT a deluxe resort. The carpet in the main building is filthy and bubbling up. The bathroom in the main building, also old and dated and dirty feeling. Every time I went in there were paper towels on the floor, counter tops soaking wet, etc. Just the feel of a dirty bathroom. This is a very old hotel that has been "repainted." The rooms have been redone -- but again, nothing special for the price. Laminate that is supposed to look like wood, laminate that is supposed to look like tile, the hardest bed I have ever slept on. While the hotel employees that we spoke to or asked for help from were friendly, no one went out of their way to speak or help. They just sort of stood there. In my opinion the uniforms were rumpled, old, worn looking as well. No one struck me as having a "sharp" appearance. My husband and I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria a year and a half ago --- our room rate was under $200 and they gave us complimentary breakfast vouchers for Oscars ($40 per person.) We were treated like VIP by EVERYONE our whole stay. WA went out of their way to open doors, greet, speak, help, etc. They had an attendant in the lobby bathroom area 24/7 keeping it spotless. Rooms had marble counters and floor in the bathroom, robes, turn down service every night with different specialty chocolates, a Nespresso machine in the room -- the list goes on. The breakfast buffet at Oscars (WA) is AMAZING!!!! They have a full time person making 10 different fresh juices every morning. If you could imagine it on a breakfast buffet, it was included at Oscars. So, if you are interested in staying at a Disney property so that you can ride the monorail and have a Disney store in the lobby of your hotel and pay an incredible high price for a hotel room then Polynesian is the place for you. The monorail is convenient if you are going to Magic Kingdom. However, keep in mind that ALL Disney hotels have transportation as does Waldorf. When riding the monorail to Epcot you have to disembark one monorail at the Transportation Center and get in line for another monorail. You must use a bus for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. So basically you could stay in another hotel and take bus anywhere.
Pool:
Pros -- Nice volcano water slide. Love the sand area around the lake.
Cons -- VERY CROWDED in November. Cannot imagine how crowded it would be in the summer. The actual concrete area around the pool is very small and very few chairs around the pool. You would not be able to see little children from the chairs in the sand. All the chairs had towels hanging on them but who knows if people were actually using the chairs or not. No one was actually "attending" the pool. There were life guards but no one cleaning up or straightening up around pool area.
Restaurants:
Pros -- None that I can think of.
Cons -- Again, VERY crowded. This hotel has 847 rooms. I think the restaurants seat about 50. Capt'n Cooks is crazy hectic for three hours during each of the three meal times. I hate eating hot food on a paper plate. Breakfast is $10 to $12 per person and you will eat it on a paper plate. Finding a seat is crazy and there is no one actually cleaning the table area during the meals. It is more like a self serve food court. Floors had spilled food etc. My kids are older --- I could not imagine trying to order food and drinks at this place with small children. It bordered on insanity. The food is prepared en masse and just reheated during the crowded times. Kona's was equally crowded during the meal times with long waiting lines. At 9:30 a.m. they were not taking any more names for the breakfast wait (although they served breakfast until 11 a.m.) b/c they already had too many signed up to eat. And keep in mind -- we were here during their low season so the hotel was not at peak capacity and still crowded restaurants and pool. The hotel was built in 1971 and there is just not enough space -- even with renovations --- to allow for the number of people who are trying to eat.

Bottom line --- it is WAY overpriced for what it is --- a glorified Holiday Inn. If you like burning money this is the place to do it. There is absolutely no personalized service or anything special about this hotel. Again, comparing it to the Waldorf Astoria is like comparing a hamburger to filet mignon and paying the same price. We had superb service at our Waldorf stay with special little treats every day. The pool area was very well attended with someone helping to find chairs for you, asking to assist, etc. The beds were plush. We never waited longer than 5 minutes for a bus to take us anywhere we wanted to go.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank maconbartows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

With one side facing the indoor garden waterfalls and the other side having windows that look over the Polynesian Resort's grounds towards the Magic Kingdom, this should be a haven of serenity. But the Tambu Lounge is adjacent to the popular 'Ohana restaurant so the tables are usually appropriated by familes waiting for their 'Ohana reservations. However, if you get there soon after they open or late after the 'Ohana crowd has dwindled and you manage to score a seat, the bites are worth a try. I made a special trip on my own to try out the pork and pineapple nachos and the beef skewers with chimichuri sauce. I'm glad I made the effort because they were worth it. The nachos (almost more like home made potato chips) were covered with pulled pork, pineapple, diced tomatos, and spicy mayonnaise. These would be a good fix for those who love the Hawa'ii pork slders at the Food and Wine Festival. And the beef skewers were a good stand in for the ones at the Argentine booth. And when I topped it all off with a virgin pina colada...well, the "Ohana crowds just sort of melted into the background.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank IMBELLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

We stayed at the Polynesian club level and had the best time! The rooms were clean, the service was amazing. Yes, they are doing construction, but it did not take away from our trip. The pool is super nice and kids LOVE going down that water slide! Stay here you won't be disappointed. Some people say club level is too high? Maybe, but I honestly think we get our money's worth. We ate breakfast there every morning, and usually had snacks before bed. I love it there.

Room Tip: Stay theme park view if you can and go ahead do the club level!! Also November the 9- 12 perfect wea...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank bitbok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Booked the Polynesian Resort at Disney, as we've never stayed on property and were looking to make the 5 day trip as stressfree and easy as possible. We also booked the concierge level, as we heard good things about the morning breakfast, the firework viewing in the lounge, and the beer/wine, etc. Arrived and were whisked through the main guest house and to the Hawaii building. I had advised that we had a dinner reservation and needed to get into the room quickly. Concierge Jayme was trying hard to do her job, but oh my...reading from teleprompter, looking at notes, asking questions when I asked a question and just dragging the process out SO long that my 11 yo child was rolling her eyes at me and asked out loud why she was reading the directions to us! Finally got into our room, which was lovely, although facing a construction site straight on ( when we paid for lake view). Decided to go to pool bar for drink before dinner to have a mojito. What florida bar doesn't serve mojito's? Nope. They serve one kind that is cocunut, but they were out of the ingriedients every day that we were there ( I asked every single day, and commented that I never heard of a florida bar without Mojitos) no one offered a substitute drink or offered apologies.
Overall Room was nice and large, and clean. Shampoo / soap not replenished day to day
Service was ok. Would expect more personal service at Concierge Level.
Pool - lovely, but lacked chairs. Should have staff clear chairs that have been left with a towel, but are actually vacant.
Pool bar - lacking in so many ways.
Should also deliver food/drink at pool - all resorts I've been to do this.
Concierge lounge = nice but had to request a small cup of yougurt at breakfast by knocking on pantry door and finding someone. Why can't they keep yogurt out for guests?
AC wasn't working and I had to explain to 4 people what was wrong. Then they asked me if I turned it on. GRRR. I may be blonde, but I have put on a ac before.
Door to Hawaii building was not working for most of the trip.
Concierge lounge says you can get beer/wine all afternoon/evening, but you must knock on door and find attendant and if he/she is there then you are in luck, if not, you aren't in luck
Best concierge at the Hawaii building is Tom. I would request to have him help you and not allow Jayme to help you until she has more training.
Overall very nice place, but for 500+ a night I would expect a little better and more personal service.

Room Tip: If in Hawaii building ask to be on third floor facing the lake/magic kingdom and request to be away...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank TravelDaisy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Argh, Disney how I love you in ways, and then want to yell at you in other ways. This is my second stay at the Polynesian. I lucked out in that the room I was staying in was renovated, and much nicer than previous visit. Large, nice bathroom, and more update. Yes I completely got lost trying to get to it my first night, but who is counting. The downside to the room, as it was last time was cleanliness. I had glasses of water left sitting beside my bed every night, not touched. They did not even clean my room until after 3pm most days (so on the day of the Wine and Dine race it did not get cleaned at all.)
The sushi bar was where I had dinner two nights while there, and bravo to Chris the great server who grabbed me a chair both nights, and recommended good wines to go with. The other restaurants looked like they could be good...they also looked like you would take your life in your own hands by attempting to get to the hostess stand.
Pool area AMAZING!!! Beach area AMAZING!!! I loved watching the fireworks at night...these were the main reasons I came back to the Poly.
So why 3 stars...I wish it could be 3.5. The room cleanliness is always going to knock you, and the price. I spent more for the four days here at Disney than I did staying at a similar 4-star resort in Chicago. It's pricey! And I'm not sure quite worth it.

Room Tip: Rooms that have been renovated are the way to go, just make sure if you don't like walking you g...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank mcr0132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Address: 1600 Seven Seas Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8423
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#32 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#105 Family Hotel in Orlando
#121 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: £515 - £889 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Polynesian Village Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 847
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Celebrate the spirit of the South Pacific at this oasis of tropical palms, lush vegetation, koi ponds and white-sand beaches. Conveniently located on complementary Resort Monorail, enjoy moonlit nights on our torch-lined waterfront to the exotic tastes of our world-class restaurants, discover the signature tropical ambience that's made Disney's Polynesian Village Resort a favorite Disney destination since 1971. ... 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

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