Polynesian
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Bryce Goebel - December 2005

We visited the Polynesian in December 2005 for our 10th anniversary. We've stayed here several times and always enjoyed the resort. Our room wasn't ready at check in, but the cast member as the desk said it was worth waiting for since it was one of the newly refurbished rooms. We were finally able to get to our room around 4:00. We were told their room policy is now 5:00 pm.

My husband and I weren't very impressed with the new rooms. We were in Fiji which is one of the older longhouses. The Disney touches are gone! The new tv was VERY nice. The closet has been split into 2 small closets with a fridge in the middle. Above the fridge is a shelf with coffee maker. One of the closets had the ironing board, iron, and larger electronic safe making it practically unusable for hanging garments. It did have shelves which were nice. We were no longer able to easily store our suitcases in the closet like before. The new bathroom was nice too. The daybed had been replaced with a 'sofa.' EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS WARNING: THE SOFA IS A SLEEPER SOFA. We did not know this and were not told at checkin. I couldn't tell by looking it. I stood on the sofa seat to hang a Christmas wreath on the shelf above the tv and suffered an accident when the sofa bed started to go down in the back and rise in the front (so you could pull out the mattress). I lost my balance and fell on the armrest which is made of WOOD. I would have cracked my head open if my husband hadn't been there to grab me. Sooooo, the sofa ate my foot and I got a bruise approx. 8" x 8" on my thigh from falling into the wooden armrest. PLEASE BE CAREFUL around the sofa bed. All I could think of was some poor child playing or jumping on the 'sofa' and having the bottom shift on them like it did on me. A child could easily be seriously hurt.

Changes at 'Ohana also made our meal run over 2 hours long. I like the old style of family dining better. The food was still good I just didn't want to spend that much time eating. As much as we love the Polynesian I don't know that we'll be staying with them again.

*****

George - December 2005

My family and I stayed in the renovated Rapa Nui. It is located nearest the Transportation Center. The accommadations and location made the whole vacation a breeze. Our son is four years old and wheelchair bound. He had so much fun at the resort and the parks. Manuvering was easy and worry-free. Everywhere in the park had a 'no-problem' attitude' to all our requests and needs. This is very refreshing compared to the real world. We were able to eat in all the restaurants and negotiate our surroundings without a problem. Wheelchair transportation by Magic Express to and from the airport was well organized and punctual. The 'cast members' who handle everything were so cheerful and addressed even our smallest requests. My kids had a wonderful time. We plan in staying again.

*****

Dave - December 2005

Just got back from six days at the Polynesian. Our room was a recently-refurbished one in Hawaii. The re-do on the rooms was fantastic. A great touch was replacing the armoire that held the TV with a desk and a very large flat-screen TV mounted above. It made the room feel much bigger. We had not stayed in the Polynesian since 2001 since the rooms were a little tired. But the refurbished rooms are definitely some of the nicer ones we've seen at WDW.

*****

Eric Sabatella - December 2005

We just returned (Dec 10th) from our first visit to the Polynesian. We had stayed in the Value and Moderate resorts previously, but this was our first Disney Deluxe resort. We were very pleased with our choice. We checked in at 11 am and, to my great surprise, our room was ready. We were on the second floor of the Samoa building. We booked a standard garden view room, but the view we had was terriffic. We were directly across from the Volcano pool and could easily see parts of the lagoon and the Grand Floridian. We could not have asked for a better, central, location. The landscaping at the resort is top notch. We once stayed in Hawaii at a Four Seasons resort, and the grounds of the Polynesian were comparable to that. It was gorgeous and very relaxing. Our kids (7, 5, 4) loved the Volcano pool and slide, and it was not crowded in the least at this time of year. I expect it would seem pretty crowded in the peak season. The other, circular pool, behind our building seemed to be the "adult" pool and had small cabanas around it.

Contrary to previous comments, Captain Cook's Snack Company was quite good. The breakfast fare (eggs, bacon, sausage, Mickey waffles, potatoes)is identical to what is served at the character breakfast at Ohana (at one third the price). The lunch/dinner fare was standard burgers, fries, pizza, chicken fingers, and a Great Kaluha Pork sandwich. A very good, low cost option for any meal of the day. It is true that space is limited. The gift shops seem to have been reorganized, as there is no longer a Robinson Crusoe's, News for Polynesia, etc. There is a downstairs gift shop called Bou-Tiki, and a small one upstairs, along with Samoa Snacks.

The walk to the TTC was manageable, even with small children in tow. The bus rides to AK and MGM were not bad, but the Downtown Disney trip took 30-40 mins with stops. Location to the monorail was fantastic.

Only complaints were that packages from the parks were not delivered to your room, and some of the "smoking" buildings that we walked through to stay out of the rain really reeked of smoke (I guess if you're smoker you don't mind that). Overall, we were thrilled with our visit and are struggling with the decision to return to the Polynesian or try out the other Deluxe resorts.

*****

Karen Regan - November/December 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Polynesian for my 50th birthday celebration, November 28 thru December 5th, purchasing a lagoon view. Check in was a nightmare!!! We arrived at 9 AM knowing check in was not till 3. The CM was very difficult and did not give proper info and had an attitude! Our room was not ready, so we went to the AK for the day, returning at 4 PM as she instructed. When we returned, we were told that rooms are ready between 4 and 6 PM--however, a manager assisted us and we were immediately checked into the Tuvulu, room 1405 (terrific view), which had not yet been rehabed.

DO NOT valet park at this hotel, there is no one to assist you. I always had to go in search of someone to valet park my car! We began to self park after two days. The Kona Cafe was wonderful, as always, but I will not be going back to the Poly...the Grand Floridian is the only way to go as we have stayed there 4 times and never had a problem. In fact, the GF remembered my birthday on a stay there 4 yrs ago...I told the CM of my special day at check in but I guess that she did not see the need to note it. Beware of the Poly....you can sit on the beach and have the same view of the fireworks that I did.

*****

sadie - November 2005

I want to start by saying I live about 1 and half hours away from Disney World. But we wanted to stay on site for 4 days for Thanksgiving. After finding your site, we decided on the Polynesian Resort. We were so happy with the choice, it was so pretty and the staff was out of this world. What a perfect vacation we had for Thanksgiving. We stayed in one af the new remodeled rooms very nice. Our view was great - I got up every morning and went out on the balcony to watch the sun come up over the volcano (the pool slide). We had the charactor breakfast at 'Ohana, I had just as much fun as the kids did. I would have to say that the Kona Cafe had wonderful food, not alot to choose from but great if anything have dessert there. Oh we also took hula lesson for free, they even gave us skirts to use we got some great shots for my 5 yr. old to look back on. Thanks for all your tips they were great. One tip I would bly use is bring a case of bottle water. Oh and only coke products anywhere on Disney so if you are like me and need your dew bring it with you. And also we found out that papa johns will deliver there.

*****

Amy Sullivan - November 2005

Hi, we just returned from our Disney vacation. During the planning stages we spent a lot of time exploring your website and found it very helpfull. Our trip was great. Beautiful weather etc. We travelled with 3 children (4, 2and 7 mos.). The kids had a blast. I would have to say the only minor dissapointment was the hotel. We stayed at the Polynesian and were kind of bummed out. We had requested a room in Fiji based on its location. We found the rooms to be very dark and dated and also dirty, there was heavy dust on almost all surfaces. My parents found what appeared to be dried blood on the shower walls in their room! For a deluxe resort and the price we payed for the room it was not worth it. We did really enjoy the volcano pool and the ease of the monorail with 3 small kids. We found the beach to be very dirty and littered with cigarette butts. I saw the workers raking the beach but they never move the chairs. Despite all of this our trip was fantastic and we were sad to leave. Next trip I think we will try the Grand Floridian.

*****

Jeff Knox - September/October 2005

My mother, wife, and 2 yr. old daughter stayed at the Polynesian from September 27-October 1st and absolutely loved it. I had always wanted to stay there, and finally got the opportunity on our 10th trip to Disney. All of our requests were met, a 3rd floor room in Aotearoa with a monorail view. My daughter LOVED watching the monorail go by and would go out to the balcony to wave at the them as they went by. (No they don't keep you awake at night. Can barely hear even with the balcony door open) As everyone always says, the theming in incredible and the staff is very attentive to the guests. The rooms are large and very comfortable, perfect after long days at the parks. Also, being on the monorail is worth the extra cost of the resort. Were at the front gate to the Magic Kingdom less than 15 minutes after walking out of the room. Your dining options are also excellent with 'Ohana and Kona Cafe'. Highly recommend the resort with our without family. Disney delivers again.

*****

Mark - September 2005

We just returned from a weekend at the Polynesian and I must say for what they charge for a room it was nowhere near the quality I was expecting. We stayed in the Tahiti building and while the room was only average, the view was spectacular and convenient to the TTC and kennel (I guess that's why they can charge way more). At check in I had to ask for room keys. With do not disturb signs out we get knocks on the door from a maintenance guy wanting to deliver a fridge we didn't order, and the next day same thing only housekeeping this time. We had breakfast at Capt. Cooks and it was absolute confusion on Disney's part. We got in line at 10:15, while there weren't that many people in front of us it still took 15 minutes to get to a register. By that time we were told no more breakfast!! After some loud grumbling from everyone in line they continued to serve breakfast. After 20 minutes they finally had our meal ready but it was wrong!! We've stayed at every one of the deluxe resorts at least once and loved every one of them (Yacht Club being my favorite) and this was far from deluxe. This was definitely our first and last time at this resort.

*****

Cheryl Maxwell - August/September 2005

Just returned from the Polynesian, August 28 through Sept. 1. This was my first time staying here. LOVED the resort. Traveled with my mother, who is in a wheelchair, daughter and 4 year old granddaughter. Treated like royalty the entire trip. We all could not say enough about how wonderful this trip was. The room was very clean and our needs were always met quickly. We arrived very early A.M.(8:30) and after having breakfast in Kona were in the room by 10:00. We also were able to get a late check-out of 2:00 P.M. All 4 generations were happy with the resort, pools, restaurants and the ease of transportation using the monorails. Have stayed before in Movies, which my granddaughter loved, and Wilderness lodge and the trailers. Don't know if I will ever stay anywhere but the Polynesian from now on. Watching the fireworks fron the beach is the best. Going back with my husband in December and had planned to stay at the Beach Club, but am thinking about changing to the Polynesian.

*****

Jessica - August 2005

My husband and I just came back from our fifth anniversary trip to Disney World. This was our first time staying at the Polynesian and it is now our favorite hotel. The theming is impeccable and the volcano pool, relaxed atmosphere, easy access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well as fine dining at the other hotels, really can't be beat.

We had asked for a room away from the monorail and after some debate with the front desk, we were given a second floor room in the Tokelau longhouse, facing the little pool. This was an ideal location, as it was a two minute walk to the TTC, the Great Ceremonial house, the boat dock and (when forced to use them) the buses. The room was enormous, and the decor is full of hidden Mickeys. Even though it was a standard view room, we could see the Magic Kingdom fireworks by standing up on our balcony and looking right. This view, however, didn't beat the amazing view of the fireworks over the castle from our favorite viewing spot - something I will keep a secret so we can have it to ourselves again! However, just about anywhere along the many beaches on the lagoon are perfect. After seeing the fireworks from the California Grill and Narcoosee's, we decided that the Polynesian really is the best possible place to see them. The presentation is designed so that you get the full effect from its beach.

The only real drawback at the Polynesian is the wretched food at Captain Cook's. If you are planning to eat a lot of counter service meals at your resort, the selection here is awful, the service is slow and the space itself is in desperate need of renovation. It's also clear that the shops and some of the longhouses are undergoing renovation right now, so the resort does not seem as luxurious as the Grand Floridian, even though the location and theming are much better. Once the renovation is done, I have no doubt it will be the best hotel on the property.

*****

Lois Lajoie - July 2005

Our family of 7 (4 adults & 3 children, ages 5, 2 & 10 months) arrived at the Polynesian on July 27, 2005 for a 5 night stay. Since I have stayed at the resort before and my 5 year old granddaughter loves the Luau, we were really excited to be staying there. We arrived via Magical Express (which went very smoothly) at around 1:00 pm.

Upon checking in I was told there were no connecting rooms. The cast member that waited on me was not very helpful and actually said nothing to me and left to go into the back office. When she returned after about 5 minutes she told me that she could put me in Coronado Springs! I told her this was not acceptable and she went to get the manager. After a very lengthy wait while at least 5 or 6 other people checked in, I asked another cast member to please go and check on the delay. She was very nice and tried to be helpful.

Finally after 15-20 minutes, the manager came out and said she was very sorry but there was no rooms available at all at the Polynesian! To say the least I was dumbfounded. I told her I had made the reservations in March and had the confirmations with me. She offered to put us up at the Contemporary (in a wing room, I'm sure) and I told her that we had stayed there previously and if we had wanted to stay there again we would have made reservations there. At this point, nearly in tears I asked when could we check in and why had so many people checked in while we were standing there discussing this? She finally relented and apologized and said that they could put us up in a room in Fiji for one night and that we would have to switch rooms in the morning because they were going to start a rehab of that building. Of course I said yes. It was a hassle with 3 childen under 5 but it was better than leaving the resort.

The next morning we had to pack up and have our stuff stored and then I had to check in again that afternoon. They put us in Tokelau on the first floor which was a good room and close to the quiet pool. The manager did comp us for the one night stay. But I know if I had not been a frequent visitor (2-3 times a year) and knew my way around Disney, having stayed in many of the resorts, that I would have ended up at the Coronado Springs which may be nice but not in the same category as the Polynesian.

Just a word of caution, I have never had this happen to me before and I am a frequent traveler and not just to Disney. I knew the airlines overbooked but was amazed that a hotel especially with name Disney attached to it could be full upon checking in 2 hours before official check in time!! Overall we had a great vacation and tried not to let it bother us but I would really like to hear from anyone else who has encountered this problem.

*****

Beverly - July 2005

We stayed at the Polynesian the first week of July. The room we had was quite a bit aged and was not as clean as when we visited the Polynesian two years ago. We only had one towel animal the whole week - the kids were not to happy. I will try the Grand Floridian on our next trip.

*****

Ryan - July 2005

My family has visited the Walt Disney World Resort about five times. The first three times, accommodations were outside of the resort. In 2000, we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside (called Dixie Landings at the time). This year, the Polynesian Resort was our resort and I must say...IT WAS AWESOME. The entire resort stay was comfortable, the rooms were spacious and the service was courteous and friendly. The lobby with the waterfalls and the foliage was impressive and the restaurants were delicious. My family enjoyed Kona Cafe for breakfast and dinner. The 'Ohana Feast was excellent and we considered it the best restaurant on the property. I encourage any one who wants to stay at a Deluxe Resort, consider staying at the Polynesian. You will enjoy your stay!!

*****

Patti - July 2005

The Polynesian was everything I had hoped it would be! The relaxed and casual resort atmosphere was splendid. Our 8 year, 7 year and 5 year olds had a terrific time in the Rapa Nui room we had. They took turns sleeping on the "day bed" since we had 5 people in our group. We were in between the TTC and the Great Ceremonial House which made it convenient for monorail or bus. A few employees were not as nice as one would expect them to be and a few others were very hard to understand but these were not enough to deter our wanting to return. The pool/beach were a group favorite...too bad we didn't have a chance to enjoy the fireworks from there. We can't wait to go back and will probably stay there again (we're looking at the "value" season as well). ALOHA :-)

*****

Jennifer Berrong May 2005

We have always stayed in a moderate or value resort, but this time we had no kids! We decided to splurge for our anniversary. I had always wanted to stay at the Poly, ever since I was a little kid. That has always been my favorite resort. Actually staying there was a little different.

Checking in was fine, I had wanted a room close to the Ceremonial House because I was pregnant, and they accommodated. I also told them in advance it was our anniversary, and they gave us a cute card with Mickey and Minnie's picture. They also had Mickey and Minnie leave us a message on the phone wishing us a happy anniversary. It was very cute.

I thought the room was huge compared to the others we had stayed in. The bathrooms were great, also. But it was a little worn, inside and out in the hall. We could not shut our door because the carpet had come up. We called and it was fixed ASAP. When we arrived, the maid's carts were out, and when we went to bed around 10, they were still out. I thought that was unusual. They were blocking the hallway. It happened almost every day.

The volcano pool got so crowded; we went to the quiet pool. It was almost as crowded! Neither pool was very big. So we devised a plan to go swimming early, go to the parks, and then swim at night. Those were the best times because you could watch the fireworks from the volcano pool and see everything! I really never saw the fireworks in their entirety because we were too close, or too far away. This was perfect!

We also did a Character Breakfast at 'Ohana. We got up 15 minutes before our reservation - that was nice! We also went to the luau; my husband had never been and loved it!

Took the boats to the park and other MK resorts, which was great! The buses were slow, but our room was close to the bus stop. We only took the monorail home, not to anything.

All in all, I don't think I would pay that much again. I had just as much fun at all the moderates. I guess I just expected a lot more than I received.

*****

Lisa Apple - May 2005

My husband, 14 year old daughter and I stayed at a newly renovated one-bedroom Princess Suite in the Tonga building over Memorial Day weekend. It was wonderful - two flat screen TVs (one in an armoire in living area - one in the armoire in bedroom), dark wood and rattan furniture and a perfect view of Cinderella's Castle from an oversized balcony. The bathroom was elegant with beauiful lamps and granite tops. In the living area, there is a glass table with 2 chairs and a couch with a side chair and an upholstered bench. The colors are sage green, dark wood - very understated. The mini bar area has closets with beautiful glass doors with reeds and light wood. Also, they presented us with a beautiful tropical floral arrangement, a basket of Hawaiian treats and a plateful of cupcakes and brownies. The mini fridge also was stocked with waters, cokes and sprites - all free of charge. We have stayed at a suite at the Wilderness Lodge, villas and concierge rooms at the Boardwalk, but this was the best. Boating, lying on a hammock drinking a mai tai, watching the Disney fireworks from the room balcony - it doesn't get any better.

*****

Cristen - May 2005

We just came home from our first trip to the Polynesian Resort (5/20-5/22). We have previously stayed at the PO French Quarter, so this was our first "deluxe" resort as well. The things that set this stay apart for us were the ease of the monorail to the Magic Kingdom (where we always spend most of our time with a 2 & 8 year old!) and sitting on a relaxing, uncrowded beach with the sounds of the luau while watching the "Wishes" fireworks. The volcano pool was fun, but got crowded easily as it wasn't very big. We only ate at Captain Cooks' Snack area, but found the food there seemed better than the FQ food court for the same money (just avoid the personal pizzas).

We reserved a "garden view" room and checked in at 11:00 a.m. We had requested Tokelau when we made our reservation, but since there wasn't a room ready yet, the CM put us in Aotearoa. I told her I was totally flexible as long as it was non-smoking and somewhat close to the Great Ceremonial House/monorail. She put us in Aotearoa (room 2227) and we ended up with a beautiful view of the walkway to luau cove, beach, lagoon and the Grand Floridian - it was then I realized she must have upgraded us which was totally unexpected! We had a tree in front of us to the right which must have just barely blocked a view of the castle as well, but my husband said he could still see part of the fireworks from the room.

The room was impeccably clean and didn't seem to be worn much at all. Noise level was the same as any hotel (could hear little feet running in the hall, doors closing, etc.)We had requested a crib, but it didn't arrive until sometime after we had gone back to MK (after 6 p.m.) for the fireworks our first night and after 2 calls to the front desk. There also was no refrigerator in the room. They said you have to specifically request one still, but they brought one in with the crib. No special towel animals or cute things with our stuffed animals.

All in all, it was a nice hotel with great theming and the monorail, but as far as the overall amenities, service and the rooms themselves, I don't think it is really worth the HUGE price difference (3x more) from the moderate we have tried so far. It was fun for a weekend splurge though (with a deep passholder discount ;-), if you just have to try it yourself! Would probably go back in value season, if I can get another good discount, just for the proximity to Magic Kingdom!

*****

Karen Miller - April 2005

We just returned from the Polynesian. It was wonderful! We have a 7 month old and a 3 year old and the Polynesian was perfect for us. We requested a first floor room in front of the volcano pool and we got it. We had a view of the pool and I was able to lay out in the sun by the sliding glass doors while the baby slept. We saw fireworks every night from the Magic Kingdom. We enjoyed the beach so much. My daughter played with a new friend every day and my baby was easier on the beach. The pool is great with a big slide! The rooms have been redone recently and they were spacious and nice. They quickly brought me a fridge and crib.

My family loved the character breakfast with Mickey! My daughter loved the bucket she received at 'Ohana and played with it on the beach. We were right next to the ceremonial house and got the refillable mugs for coffee. The monorail was so convenient! We went to the Magic Kingdom 5 times!

Our stay was great! It was casual and we loved sitting outside our room while our kids slept, sipping wine and listening to the waterfall and seeing the tiki torches. I guess it is all in what you are looking for. This is it for our age kids and our love of the beach!

*****

Brenda - February 2005

We just recently stayed at the Polynesian (Feb. 14 - 18), and enjoyed every minute! I requested a building near the TTC and received a room in Rapa Nui, third floor, near the elevator - perfect. Rooms were clean, seemed new. No complaints there. Watching the fireworks from the beach at night is always a treat. Transportation to Animal Kingdom and MGM was hassle free. One thing I noticed is a lot of people waiting for the character breakfast, so we bypassed that and ate at the Kona Cafe. We were seated promptly and had a decent breakfast there. Can't wait to come back to Disney!

*****

Gina Ravaschiere - February 2005

We just returned from a marathon 10 day trip. This was our first time at the Polynesian after staying at Wilderness Lodge last February. Although we loved the Lodge, with two little boys 5 & 3, we wanted the convenience of the monorail so we went with the Polynesian and we absolutely loved it. We were in the Tokelau longhouse Room 3937. The room was huge and very centrally located to everything.

We loved the theme of the resort and thought Kona and 'Ohana were terrific. We also thought the volcano pool and beach were fun and very clean.

All in all this is a great resort and the monorail made our trips to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, the Contemporary (Chef Mickey's) and Grand Floridian (1900 Park Fare) a breeze. We would definitely stay here again!!

*****

Janet Bates - January 2005

We recently returned from a 7-night stay at the Polynesian. (Jan. 3 - 10). It was our fourth stay in 10 years. I'm sad to report it will probably be our last. The property is fading fast especially in the areas of housekeeping and guest services. We had two rooms in the Tahiti Building. When we checked in, there were some crumbs and other debris right in front of our door. When we checked out a week later those same crumbs and dirt were still there, plus more. The hallways were not vacuumed once during our entire stay. In one room we found candy wrappers and other junk under the drapes the first time we closed them. I don't believe the rooms were vacuumed at all during our stay. The dust was so thick on the rungs of the daybed that even my teenaged son noticed it...and he's about as far from a "clean-freak" as you can get.

The coffee from the new coffee makers wasn't replaced. I tried to get help through guest services, to no avail. Finally I left notes for housekeeping. I would only get more coffee, if I left a note. The used coffee mugs were not replaced daily with clean mugs. They were simply rinsed out and returned to the tray with my lipstick stains intact. The coffee stained paper coasters were not replaced the entire week.

We happened to be at WDW during the marathon in early January. We spent 30 minutes waiting to speak with only one of two Guest Services Castmembers. We wanted to know how to avoid the marathon the next morning to get to MGM. She told us to take the monorail. When I pointed out that it doesn't go to MGM, but rather it goes to EPCOT, she got out a map and showed us that it was just across the street and we could walk. (And she didn't mean through EPCOT and around past the Boardwalk - she meant cross the highway) YIKES! She didn't know the hours of the marathon and she didn't know the route and wasn't able to find any information about it. She found all this rather humorous.

But the saddest part of all this is that the overwhelming lack of response I have been getting to my feedback. I specifically wrote to the general manager of the Polynesian detailing the service problems we encountered. Close to three weeks have passed and there has been no response. I didn't ask for a refund or "freebies" and I'm not after that. But I did expect at least a form letter thanking me for my feedback. Disney used to represent best-in-class customer service. That's one of the reasons we have visited over 10 times in 15 years. I'm saddened and disappointed in our latest trip. The Polynesian is wonderfully convenient and the rooms are very large, but the upkeep and the service are marginal at best.

 

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