Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review PLUS Tour of Bungalow!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is considered one of the premier deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Our Polynesian Village Resort Review will show you a full bungalow room tour and features of the resort.
Located on the monorail loop on the Seven Seas Lagoon, it is a favorite of many with lots of great theming and things to do. Our Disney's Polynesian Villas Resort review is going to break down everything you need to know about this classic resort!
Disney's Polynesian Village is known for its iconic longhouses and their beautiful overwater bungalows. In our most recent stay, we got a huge helping of pixie dust and found ourselves in one of the bungalows! We had a great stay and are eager to share our full review.
Let's dive into this Disney's Polynesian Village Resort review!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort: Overview
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, sometimes affectionally referred to as ‘The Poly' is the original Walt Disney World Resort that opened on October 1st, 1971. It is one of the two resorts that opened with the Magic Kingdom Park.
The resort pays homage to the South Seas region, known for its lush greenery and crystal-clear blue waters. The minute you set foot into this resort, you have immediately transported a world away and can easily forget that you're still in Florida!
You'll also notice that the resort looks a bit different than most other resorts in that the resort is broken up into smaller buildings called ‘longhouses.' Most of the longhouses hold either Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas or hotel rooms. In total there are 10 longhouses with guest accommodations and one Great Ceremonial House. The Ceremonial House is where you'll find the lobby, dining, and shopping. Although the lobby is only two floors high, it does feel very large and open considering that it has a glass ceiling.
As you can see, the decor and theming of the resort are fantastic. I appreciated the mid-century nod that is present in the colors and furniture. It was easy to see right away why so many people love this resort!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Accommodations
As I mentioned, this deluxe resort is both a DVC resort and a standard hotel. Unlike other DVC resorts, you can't tell the difference between the DVC side and the hotel side as it's all joined together in the various longhouses. In total there are 492 rooms on property which places it right in the middle compared to the size of other Walt Disney World resorts. One of the unique things about this Vacation Club resort is that as of now the resort only has studios and bungalows. Unlike other resorts, you find any two-bedroom or 3 bedroom grand villas. For some, this is a minus, but if you prefer studios, then this is the resort for you!
Safest Way to Rent DVC Points! If you're looking for the easiest way to rent DVC points then our partners DVC Rental Store and David's Vacation Club rentals offer the most secure ways to book your reservation. DVC Rental Store is the most flexible option (guests only having to put down a 25% deposit for trips booked at least 75 days out) while David's Vacation Club rentals often offers lower prices (they require a deposit to begin searching availability).
The standard hotel rooms at The Polynesian have just received a full makeover and now all sport the Moana theme. This has given new life to the rooms and added lots of new colors and textures to the room.
As you can see, the rooms now have beautiful wood floors and decorative accents throughout that bring the Moana film to life! If you have little ones who are fans of the movie, they'll get a huge kick out of the Moana hints splashed around the room. These rooms sleep 5 with the new addition of the twin bed in the sofa.
The bathrooms come with a double vanity and plenty of space for all your toiletries.
The hotel rooms do have a club-level concierge option that will provide you with lots of food and drink options throughout the day. This hotel room category is more expensive and may not be worth it if you don't plan on being at the resort much.
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Deluxe Studio Villas
The DVC Studio Villas do not have the Moana theme that is found in the hotel rooms, but they did recently receive a refurbishment that also brought new life to these villas. A perk of staying in a DVC studio at The Polynesian is that these studios come with two bathrooms where one room holds a shower and sink and the second a second sink with a tub and toilet. This is a premium perk for families with children who may need extra bathroom space in the morning!
The only other accommodation on property is the Overwater Bungalow, but more on that later!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Amenities
The Polynesian has tons of amenities to enjoy. Most of these are standard in the deluxe resort category, but since this resort is on the monorail, there are only two other resorts that can brag about being on the official Monorail loop!
- Minnie Van Service
- Online Check In
- Designated Smoking Areas
- Housekeeping Services – now daily as of 2023!
- Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services
- Mail Services
- Merchandise Delivery and Pickup
- Resort Concierge
- Disney Signature Services
- Disney Monorail Transportation
- Disney Watercraft Transportation
- Disney Bus Transportation
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Dining
The Polynesian is known for having fantastic food options. If you're a foodie, you won't be disappointed by the many types of restaurants at the resort. From the yummy Dole Whip to the fun Trader Sam's bar, there's plenty to experience when it comes to food and dining. Let's check them all out!
Barefoot Pool Bar
Starting with pool bars, we have the Barefoot Pool Bar located at the feature pool area. This pool bar serves plenty of tropical cocktails as well as delicious poolside food. Best of all, they will deliver your order right to your seat so you'll never have to travel far to get your meal.
Oasis Bar & Grill
The Oasis Bar & Grill is located in the second, and quieter, pool area. This bar also serves food and drinks, although Barefoot usually will have a larger selection when it comes to options. If you're enjoying this pool area, it is still a great option so that you don't have to walk too far to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing beverage.
Bars and Lounges
Tambu Lounge-Great Ceremonial Lounge
The Tambu Lounge, located in the Great Ceremonial House, is a bar and lounge with a full-service bar. The location also serves up some delicious appetizers unique to this resort. While no reservations are needed, it is a very popular bar that tends to fill up quickly!
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace
Perhaps one of the most famous Disney Bars of all time, Trader Sam's is both an experience and a memory you won't soon forget! The Grotto is the indoor, heavily-themed bar, while the terrace is the patio outside where you can enjoy the same servings as inside, but in a tropical outdoor setting.
The inside of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is really where, quite literally, the magic happens. You're going to love the decor inside and the total escapism that this bar offers. Order a particular drink and you'll have the bar attendants singing, ringing bells, and preparing for a ‘storm!' This place is incredibly popular so you'll want to arrive early. No reservations are taken for this location. Please also note that after 8 PM the bar is only open for guests aged 21+.
Grab-N-Go and Quick Service
Up next, we have Capt. Cook's. This eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night. Capt. Cook's is going to be your quick service option that will have quick bites to eat that all members of the family will enjoy. You can think of this location as having a food court vibe although the food here is delicious! Reservations are not required.
The Pineapple Lanai is your go-to spot for the famous Dole Whip. If you've never tried it before, you have to make it a priority on your next visit! I am a HUGE fan of this delicious treat and I know I'm not the only one! Even if you don't like pineapple, I'd still give it a shot as it's so refreshing on a hot day. Every so often, the pineapple lanai will serve new variations of the yummy dessert so you'll never get bored (although I think it's impossible). No reservation is required.
Kona Island is another quick grab-n-go counter where you can get your morning coffee and delicious treats. It's quite popular in the morning with coffee lovers, so you'll want to plan accordingly if you crave a cup ‘o joe in the morning.
Kona Café is another location that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but is a sit-down restaurant with a more robust and creative menu. Recently, this restaurant completed a complete renovation with new menu items and a beautiful and fresh dining room. This place tends to be very popular so we recommend getting your reservation in early!
Now for the ultimate Disney dining experience, the famous ‘Ohana. This family-style restaurant is famous for its character dining breakfast and its all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner service. We had the great fortune of eating here on our last visit and the food was out of this world. You'll want to come hungry because you're going to eat…a lot! The options are sure to please all members of your family with lots of options to choose from. Reservations are strongly recommended as this restaurant is one of the hardest reservations to get at Walt Disney World.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Pools
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort has two pools. One of the two pools is considered the feature pool, while the second is a quieter leisure pool. That said, both pools are a great size, have their unique perks, and make for a ton of fun. Let's take a look at them!
The Lava Pool
The Lava pool is The Polynesian's feature pool. It is located right in front of the Great Ceremonial House and is themed after an active volcano. As with all deluxe pools, you'll need your MagicBand or room key to enter the pool area. Once inside, there is plenty of seating around the pool deck. This resort does offer private area rentals, too. They are pricy, but if you don't want to worry about finding that perfect seat for your pool day, it could be a nice option.
Although we got hit with a pretty cloudy day, we still had tons of fun in the pool. This pool also has a 142-foot waterslide that was very popular. It is heated so even on the cooler days, the pool is still enjoyable.
From this angle, you can get a sense of the large volcano. The waterfall is a nice touch!
You'll also note that this pool has a zero-depth entry on one side. It was the perfect place to gently enter the pool and cast members used this spot to play pool games with the kids. There is a hot tub in this pool area, although admittedly it is not a large one.
Kiki Tiki's splash area is also located in this pool area and is loads of fun for the little ones. Unlike other pools, there's plenty of seating near this area so you're never too far from the kids! If you're curious to see how we rank the pools of Walt Disney World, be sure to check out our top 5 best pools!
The Oasis Pool
The Oasis pool is the second leisure pool. Like other leisure pools, this pool is located away from the hustle and bustle of the lobby area and is a more serene environment. Fortunately, the Oasis pool area also has a small bar so you don't have to travel back and forth between the two pool areas.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Activities
The Polynesian is one of those resorts that has tons to do. Whether you're looking for low-key activities or all-out fun, this resort has something for you. Given its location on The Seven Seas Lagoon, some of the activities will have water as their main focus, but that's just the start.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort offers:
- Two Pools
- Campfire Activities
- Movies Under the Stars
- Motorized Boat Rentals
- Jogging Trail
- Electrical Water Pageant
- Senses Spa and Fitness Center
- Note that although the official Disney site lists these two activities as part of the resort, they actually are not found on property. The Polynesian shares these two offerings with the neighboring Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. So, if you're looking to use the gym or get a massage, you'll need to walk over to that resort.
Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant is a neat tradition that takes place on the Seven Seas Lagoon. In fact, this is one of the few remaining shows that started in 1971 with the opening of the Magic Kingdom. Since The Polynesian sits right on the beaches of the lagoon, it's the perfect location to watch the pageant.
During the day, below, you can see the beach area and its view toward the lagoon. The chairs you see there are always out so be sure to swing by early to get a seat for the show!
Then, once nightfall hits, you're in the perfect area to catch the show! Here's a view of the show:
It goes without saying that this is also the perfect place to catch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks, but more on that later!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Transportation
With its prime location, The Polynesian has lots of transportation options to enjoy.
The most famous option is going to be the Monorail service. As I mentioned, this resort sits on the Monorail loop that goes to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, The Magic Kingdom, Disney's Contemporary Resort, and back to The Polynesian. Just last year, The Polynesian saw a revamp of its Monorail station. It's so nice to have this awesome mode of transportation just steps away from your room!
Water transportation is also a neat feature of this resort. From The Polynesian, you can hop aboard one of the boats that will take you straight to the docks of the Magic Kingdom Park! This is sometimes a faster option than the crowded Monorail.
Lastly, The Polynesian also provides bus transportation to the 4 theme parks, as well as Disney Springs. Again, the buses may not make the most sense when heading to the Magic Kingdom, so you'll want to check the lines to see what makes the most sense.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: The Bungalows
We've made it to the greatest part of this review! After some magical pixie dust, we were upgraded from our Deluxe Studio Villa to one of the 20 over-water bungalows at the resort-wow!
Opened in 2015, these bungalows are the epitome of a tropical vacation escape. These grand villas sleep 8 comfortably, have a full kitchen and dining room, 2 bathrooms, and a private deck with a plunge pool! Talk about paradise and the perfect excuse to not leave your room. Let's take a tour!
Here you can see the deck with several of the bungalows.
Upon entering the bungalow, you're greeted with beautiful, tall wood ceilings that immediately make the place feel warm and inviting.
Here you can see the entryway from the back. Check out the fun colors and beautiful wall art!
From there, the guest bedroom sits just to the right of the entryway. This room is generously sized, with a queen bed, and plenty of storage. The room also has a TV plus a window that lets out to the rest of the resort. This room does not face the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Right across from this guest bedroom is the main bedroom. This room was HUGE! It has a king-sized bed, TV, closet and drawers, private shower and tub, plus a private door to the side outdoor deck.
We were even more impressed with the size of the master bath! The double vanity was nice to have, but the star of the show was the huge soaking tub!
I don't know about you, but this was nicer than my bathroom at home! Now let's head into the second bathroom located in a small hallway off the main entry hall.
The toilet and shower are broken up into two rooms. This is a nice touch for large parties getting ready in the morning. Above you can see the guest shower room. The bungalows also come with a washer and dryer. Some will debate whether or not they want to do laundry on their vacation. I love not coming home with any dirty clothes in my suitcase!
Now for the really fun part. Take a look at this massive kitchen and dining area! You'll see here again the heavy mid-century nod that carries through the entire resort.
Just on the other side of this picture, you have the large living room with a murphy bed in the couch as well as a smaller pull-down bed under the TV. The colors are awesome!
Then, and as if that wasn't enough, the kitchen and living room have sliding doors that let out to your private deck right on the Seven Seas Lagoon!
If you turn the corner from here, you see the main attraction: a private plunge pool!
As you can see, in the distance is the Magic Kingdom as well as The Contemporary Resort. But, remember the fireworks we talked about? Here is your view at night!
Although this picture is a little blurry, and it was foggy, you get a sense of the amazing view you'd have sitting on your private patio.
All in all, our bungalow stay was a dream come true. We may never get this opportunity again, but it was one that we enjoyed to the fullest and will always remember fondly!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: New DVC Tower
Last year, Disney announced plans to add a new DVC wing to the Polynesian. This new tower will sit right beside the resort and in between Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. One of the exciting things about this new resort is that it's slated to have one, two, and three-bedroom villas! This means that this Disney Vacation Club resort will now be able to host larger families comfortably. Although no opening date has been announced, construction has begun and we're tentatively looking at an opening date sometime in 2024. It's still unclear if this new addition will be part of the current condo association, but we're excited to find out soon!
If you want to learn more about the Disney Vacation Club, be sure to check out our complete guide!
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Review: Is it Worth it and Final Thoughts
From the moment we stepped inside, we fell in love with everything about this resort. From the island vibes to the cool architecture, there's nothing we didn't like about our stay. Yes, we're a bit swayed because of our magical upgrade, but even so, the amenities and features of this resort are top-notch. You can't beat it's location as well as the fact that it's on the Monorail loop.
So, is Disney's Polynesian Village Resort worth it? While this resort is on the pricy side, we do think you get your money's worth, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in the Magic Kingdom park. We would stay here again!
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