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“Awesome stay at Polynesian!”

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Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Ranked #92 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
new jersey
Level Contributor
54 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Awesome stay at Polynesian!”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

We had the pleasure of staying at the Polynesian resort in October and really enjoyed our stay! It was a great atmosphere with the Hawaiian theme yet you really felt the disney-ness with the fireworks and vibe of the resort. I was a bit reluctant to return to disney after staying elsewhere and having a difficult time. But this time I went to an expert disney agent and they suggested the Polynesian and were spot on. They also suggested the club level and it really worked for us, we ate breakfast every morning and we're always stopping in. Now, I feel it's only worth the extra cost if you are really going to use their services. There was always food and drink available and the staff was beyond helpful. I also liked the location of the club level building-close to pool and not far from the main entrance/exit. Some key points--monorail access makes this resort a winner. Captain cooks is ok but more of the disney junk food that I can't handle too much of. Ohana was impossible to get a reservation for-crazy lines. Pool was awesome and staff are really on it. View of nightly fireworks and water parade make it more magical. Tried the much celebrated dole whip at captain cooks and it was too tart for me but if you enjoy it, the staff told me you can pile it as high as you can in your cup. Got tix for Halloween party and felt it really wasn't worth it-high cost, hard to find trick or treating post and then lines, crazy busy, too humid, some things were a bit scary for kids-would pass until they are older. Awesome time at this resort!

Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank chachibean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Nanuet, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

I have been to Disney World many times and have stayed in different hotels -- I like to try them all. The Disney Polnesian Resort is wonderful. The lobby is very inviting. My daughter and I stayed here in early 2012 for a 5 day vacation. The staff and service is excellent. The Captain Cook coffee shop had everything we needed from breakfast to snacks. The pools are delightful. The monorail service is terrific. I have stayed at other resorts with bus service and the monorail service is great especially if you are travelling with children. We ate dinner at Ohana's Restaurant. It was a special meal -- abundant and with entertainment for the kids. I would highly recommend this hotel when staying at a Disney property. I felt like it was the South Pacific.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Machie3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Missouri
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

This is our family's second trip to Disney (Two grandparents, daughter with 4 year old twins and husband, son with wife (me) and four kids). This is our party of twelve's second stay at the Polynesian. Both times we stayed in the Tokelau building in three rooms. On our first trip, two years ago, everything was a bit overwhelming, especially since the six kids were little. Their ages ranged from 2-6. This time, with experience under our belt and all the kids two years older, things were much easier. The rooms are nicely sized. On our first trip, we brought our own front-back double stroller. There was plenty of room for luggage and the stroller in the room. The rooms have a mini fridge. We ate breakfast in the room each morning saving time and money. The bathroom was nice and spacious. The beds were very comfortable. On such an exhausting trip, that was a great surprise. The resort is gorgeous. The theme makes you really feel like you are in Hawaii. My only complaint the first trip was the layout of the resort. It is beautifully landscaped, but the gently winding paths are not labeled or lit very well. My three year old and I got lost in the dark and rain one night on the first trip. On the second trip, I studied a map ahead of time and felt much more oriented. The main building has a stick structure on the top to help you figure out where you are if you get lost. The other buidings all look the same.

Having the monorial and transportation and ticketing center right there were the key selling points. We found that busing to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were incredibly simple as well. Our building was right behind the Neverland Club. The bus stop was right in front of that. The pools looked amazing, but a short trip in the fall did not make for the best swimming trip (we didn't bring our suits). The refillable resort mugs were great. We ate twice at Capt. Cook's, the quick place in the main building. The food was pretty good. I loved the Stir-Fry Asian noodles with chicken.

We had some issues with front-desk employees not really knowing what they were talking about, in addition to issues with the person who booked the trip. We did not receive our magic bands, or even know that we would be getting them, until we arrived. This led to problems with fastpasses and photopass syncing. Once we got the bugs worked out, I think the magic bands are the best idea Disney has ever had. My four year old loved unlocking our room door with his bracelet.

Our trip both times spanned the end of October and beginning of November. We did the Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Almost a month later, my kids are still scared of monsters and the dark. They are not usually scared kids. The parade was long and freaked them out. My favorite part (it didn't change much in two years) was the grave diggers that dance with shovels and make sparks with them on the parade route. However, their makeup and costumes, as well as many of the other performers, were creepy. I thought the party was pretty crowded. I wanted to skip the long candy lines, but my sister-in-law insisted on eating up more of the limited time on "the trick-or-treat experience." I would be fine with skipping the party in the future. The weather was great and lines were short this time of the year, but being forced to leave Magic Kingdom early every night there was a party was a bummer. I believe there was a party 3 out of our 5 nights.

My kids keep asking to go back. I don't think they understand there are other places to stay. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: It is possible to hear fireworks and shows at the magic kingdom from within the room. The wait for...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013

I'll be perfectly honest: the price per night at the Polynesian was quite intimidating. But I am so glad we chose this hotel for our recent Disney trip, our kids' first. While the price is indeed high, the convenience to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot as well as the overall relaxing theme at the Polynesian cannot be beat.

Travelers should be aware of the ongoing construction going on at the hotel, as well as the recent renovations that took place in the longhouses. When the very nice cast member was checking me in, I noticed her writing down the name of our longhouse -- one of the only two there that hadn't been renovated. This was hugely disappointing to me, as I knew it was near the construction of the new vacation villas in addition to being non-renovated. I asked if she could move us to a different longhouse. She made a call to check availability and moved us to what was actually an amazing location near Luau Cove. I highly recommend this location -- even when construction is not going on -- as the noise from the luau seemed minimal and it is very close to the Grand Ceremonial House (and therefore, Kona Café, Captain Cook's, O'hana, etc.).

Our room was clean and spacious. It was especially nice to have such a big bathroom, with our family of four. As we had a third floor room, we had a balcony (first floor rooms have patios). I was a bit disappointed that, despite tips, housekeeping didn't leave any towel animals or something similar for the kids, but the room was cleaned nicely every day nonetheless.

Resorts on site are good, though chaotic. The food at Captain Cook's, the quick service restaurant, is very good. However, more seating is certainly needed. Kona Cafe's food was very good -- really, it's an underrated Disney restaurant -- though the service was bit slow during both visits. We'd return to both places and hope to try O'hana during a future visit.

The cast members were helpful. I do think the kinds need to be worked out in the Magic Band system. We had numerous problems with these. I understand the bands are still in the testing phase, but a little more needs to be done for paying guests who experience repeated problems. We lost count of the times we had to approach the cast members at the Polynesian and in the parks.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this hotel (though check on construction updates before booking). The convenience can't be beat. It is the perfect hotel to return to mid-day from the Magic Kingdom if you have young kids who need to rest. The theme is very relaxing and informal, perfect for a vacation. Yes, the place is not as posh as the pricetag justifies, but we opted to splurge in order to minimize our young kids' meltdowns and streamline travel time. We're glad we splurged because it made for a far more enjoyable trip for the adults.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank JessNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
165 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013

We attend an annual conference in October and so we have been fortunate to experience many of Disney's resorts on the company dime. I have always wanted to stay at the Polynesian, and this year we did so. For those of you not on the company dime, I will give some objective feedback.
I love all things tropical and exotic, so in my eyes the Polynesian is a beautiful place; I enjoy the imagery of Hawaii and their Kona Cafe restaurant on site (their desserts are worth a nightly stop by to take to the room). But that being said, would I stay there again? Probably not. This stems not from my disdain with my room (they are fine but not luxurious) or the resort amenities or even the service; it is all about it being just too crowded and too popular.
We stayed during October but I have seen it in June. The amount of guests at any given time moving through this resort makes it feel like grand central station and I never feel relaxed. It is right on monorail stop to MK (which is a billed as a convenience but is also a curse making it easily accessible to everyone).
I'll elaborate a little. The first morning we had breakfast in the Kona Cafe, which has no characters and the price for Tonga toast (a family favorite) is double what it is downstairs in the quick service/food court type restaurant. So we decided the following morning we would go to the "quick service" and order it there and have a nice, relaxing breakfast at a table outside by the pool. Let me say…never again. It was nothing short of a madhouse in there. The lines, the waiting, the confusion…my husband and I had to split up so he could go get a table and it was too crowded to all stay together. Certainly not worth the money we saved and stress we had to endure to obtain a breakfast. I knew any further breakfasts would be back upstairs in the sit down Kona cafe restaurant and we would just pay the premium to have our sanity.
Also, it might be worth mentioning that the resort is quite a bit spread out. I had difficulty finding my room one night after dark and the resort is not as clearly marked, so it can be a little hard to navigate at night.
Our favorite onsite resorts have been the Beach/Yacht Club and the Animal Kingdom lodge. You still get the same exotic feel at AKL if that's what you're looking for, but without quite the mad house atmosphere. Possibly because it is more remote, but that's a good thing. When I'm on vacation I want to be able to relax and unplug a little from the parks. I love the Polynesian, but I find it too costly at this price point to still have to deal stress of the Disney parks while in my hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rockmama12052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Bay
Level Contributor
171 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

We've done Disney World twice as a family. The first time we stayed at The Wilderness Lodge and the second time here at the Polynesian Resort. Location is fantastic with the monorail at your fingertips. Evening view of the Magic Kingdom is beautiful and the parade on the water is unique. We had dinner at the Kona Cafe one evening and it was good, not great. Service throughout the hotel was good, again not great. I have memories of visiting Disney as a kid and thought the service was over the top. I have not experienced that in my adult visits. Again they are accommodating and friendly, just not over the top.
Hotel rooms are nice and spacious and they were able to get us connecting rooms. What I don't understand is that we have four kids and Disney expects us to pay for a suite versus a standard room because they only allow up to 5 in their guest rooms.

Room Tip: Magic Kingdom view is great.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Geno M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

This was a 3-girl, 3-generation trip to Disney World - myself, my daughter, and my 4-year old granddaughter. I was probably the most excited of the three of us and couldn't wait to return to Disney after an absence of 22 years!

I chose this resort for its location on the monorail line to the Magic Kingdom. The trip was geared for my granddaughter, and since we only had four nights here the plan was to just do the Magic Kingdom and relaxing swimming/beach time at the resort. This proved to work very well for her age, with a combination of busy park time and down time to recharge.

I had read all reviews before making my reservations, and they ranged from glowing to "not worth the price". What all reviews lacked was much information about the ongoing construction project at the resort, which will most likely last for a year or more. Our stay was from November 4 through 8 of 2013. It was very difficult to find any information about how the addition of the vacation villas to the Polynesian would impact our stay.

We were lucky to be assigned to the Aotearoa longhouse, the furthest away from the project. I can't imagine a stay in either the Hawaii or Tokelau longhouses, the closest to the activity. At the very least, the views from these two would be affected. I'm assuming the Tahiti and Rapa Nui longhouses have been closed for now, but don't really know for certain. With the exception of the closest longhouses, for the resort as a whole the main effect of the construction is the view from the beach and Nanea Volcano pool. There's no escaping the sight of the barriers, the working equipment, mounds of dirt, and bright yellow tubing of some sort which floats on top of the water around the project. This is the view as you look toward the Contemporary Resort. There is some sound, but it isn't bad, and once in a while a whiff of a petroleum type construction smell. All of this did not bother us, and it didn't seem to be bothering our fellow resort guests on the beach either. But anyone considering this resort in the time frame of the construction work should be aware of this.

We had a second floor room in the Aotearoa, and it was comfortable for the three of us. We particularly liked the double sink bathroom and the H2O toiletries, which were replenished regularly for our stay. I did miss having a balcony, and it didn't appear that any of the rooms in this longhouse had either balconies or patios. Our building was near the "quiet beach", near the Luau Cove, and an easy walk over to the Grand Floridian Resort.

We enjoyed the beach and both pools. At this time of the year they were not crowded. The water is warmer in the East Pool, or "quiet pool". And we had it to ourselves, pure bliss. If you plan to view the fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant from the beach in the evening, get there early if you want a seat. This is popular and really fills up. My daughter liked the running paths in the early morning, and I liked quiet walks on paths through the lush landscaping (until reaching the construction barriers).

The only restaurant we tried was Captain Cooks for breakfast in the morning. It is chaotic and confusing. If you want to place an order, use one of several self-serve kiosks. It gives you a ticket. Then you can pick up your juice or milk from coolers. Proceed to the cashiers. Once you pay, they give you the buzzer for your ordered food, which you pick up when ready. Seating is limited, and we ate outside mostly.

We used the Disney Magical Express service from the Orlando airport. It was quick and efficient. We chose to bring our luggage with us both coming and going, and many others on our bus did as well. That worked just fine for us, but some may like the luggage delivery service.

The Polynesian is definitely pricey, but we enjoyed our stay. The location is great if you're traveling with a little one. We used both the monorail and the ferry over the lagoon to the Magic Kingdom. The South Pacific theme is relaxing. All "cast members" (staff) we encountered were friendly and helpful. It will be interesting to see how the appearance of this resort will change when the vacation villa construction project is completed.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Seabirds
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

Property: 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
#34 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#105 Family Hotel in Orlando
#121 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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