Polynesian
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Jennifer Bortscheller - December 2004

Our family of 4 (2 girls - ages 5 and 7) stayed at the Polynesian Dec. 3-10 2004. It was fabulous! This was our 3rd trip in 3 years, and we have previously stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Caribbean Beach Resort. The Polynesian is our favorite out of the three. The rooms are a little dated, but very spacious. The grounds are BEAUTIFUL!

The volcano pool was a huge hit with the kids. Captain Cooks was adequate for a quick bite, and the Kona Cafe was fairly reasonably priced with good quality food for dinner and breakfast. The staff and housekeeping were all very helpful and friendly. You can't beat the location, especially when traveling with 2 tired children at the end of a magical day! Watching the fireworks every night from the beach was awesome. Transportation to Animal Kingdom, MGM, and Downtown Disney was quick and efficient.

On a scale of 1-10, I would give the Polynesian a 9.

*****

John - November 2004

Our group of 11 (age 3 through 68!) enjoyed a 5 day, 4 night stay at the Polynesian in November 2004. Fun was had by all! My wife, kids and I had last stayed there in October 2002. I am pleased to report that at some time during the 2 year span, that a new bus stop was put in place. The stop, which includes several benches and a covered area, is located directly in front of the Neverland Club. What an improvement from the thin strip of concrete across from the bell stand! This especially made our choice of longhouse, Raratonga, a convenient location.

The front desk cast members did a great job in giving us four rooms together. When we had booked our rooms in April 2004, we had requested ground floor, but we were given third floor rooms. This turned out to be great! Our rooms were right near the elevator, and we found that the stairs, which are located outside of the building, are much better than the typical concrete block stairwells found in many hotels.

The volcano pool is great, but my 5 year old son and I also enjoyed an almost exclusive use of the quiet pool one afternoon (and could speak to Mom from our balcony!)

One "perk" of the Polynesian which is hardly known to the general public: its proximity to the TTC. It's a pleasant walk through the Polynesian grounds- and a MUCH faster way to get to the Epcot monorail (vs. the resort monorail with stops at GF, MK, and Contemporary before arriving at the TTC- and once you do arrive, you must depart the resort monorail - down the ramp and back up another ramp to the Epcot monorail). As I've long said to others planning a Disney vacation - the Polynesian and the 2 other monorail resorts are perfect for "stroller families"- those with little ones who need strollers throughout the day and not just at the parks. A few years back, we stayed at Caribbean Beach with our then 2 year old son. After several episodes of lugging a folded stroller onto a crowded bus, the pleasure of rolling a stroller right onto the monorail can't be beat. Since most of your time will likely be spent at the MK with kids 5 and under, the proximity to this park also pays off. Also, first-timers may not realize that there is quite a bit of walking from your room to your resort transportation stop, then from the park stops to the front gate- so the notion of renting a stroller at the parks may not work unless you are prepared to lug your little one!

While everyone has their own vacation budget, I bly recommend that a 4 night stay at the Polynesian can allow for a more enjoyable stay than even a 6 night stay at a moderate, value or off-sight resort. Looking forward to our next trip!

*****

Melissa - November 2004

Our family - 3 Adults - stayed at the Polynesian Resort for seven nights (November 3 - 10th 2004) and overall had a nice experience. We have been coming to Disney World every year for the past ten years and have stayed at the Contemporary, the Grand Floridian (OUR FAVORITE!) and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This was our first time at the Polynesian.

We were in the Rarotonga building and had connecting rooms 3820 & 3821 on the third floor. I found the Rarotonga building to be very convenient all around. We were right next to the Great Ceremonial House, a 30 second walk to the bus stop and maybe a minute walk to the arcade and guest laundry. The volcano pool and beach were also close by. The view from our "Garden View" rooms wasn't that great - the parking lot and monorail - but I guess I could have improved upon that if I'd sprung for lagoon view rooms.

The rooms were spacious and nicely decorated but had a strange smell throughout them, almost like an old sponge. Even the bedding had this smell. Housekeeping was not very good at all, I had to complain a few times about dirty sinks & glasses and messy carpeting but nobody ever seemed to care. The rooms are also starting to show their age with peeling wallpaper and stained rugs.

As for the food, Captain Cook's was great for a quick snack, Kona Cafe was nice for breakfast but we didn't care for the dinner and Ohana was very good for dinner. On our last night we watched "Wishes" the Magic Kingdom fireworks show from the beach and it was awesome! We saw the whole show without any crowds and didn't have to ride an overloaded monorail back to the hotel!

I'd give the Polynesian 1 out of 2 thumbs up. It's a nice hotel but a little dirty, a little noisy and not as well suited for adults only families as it is for families with children. I think next year we'll return to the Grand Floridian for some quiet luxury.

*****

Lisa Iavelli - October 2004

The Polynesian is awesome! Sitting on the balcony listening to the island music was magical. The beach with the hammocks overlooking the Magic Kingdom was relaxing and the 'Ohana restaurant was to die for. Awesome interior and just wonderfully relaxing. I would highly recommend.

*****

Jennie - July 2004

Aloooooooooha! I have been staying at the Polynesian Resort for every Disney trip since I was 3 (now 20) and every time it has been a truly magical experience. We love the Hawaii (formally Tonga) building with the great view of Cinderella's castle! I love, love, love this resort, it is like a second home for my family and I and we highly recommend it. All the restaurants are great, the luau is a must do at least once in a lifetime (I think I've done 4), the Neverland Club is excellent for kids (by experience) as well as the arcade for teens. As I've experienced this resort from age 3-20, I can vouch that this resort is truly great for all those ages! I cannot wait to go again this August 2004!

*****

Angel - June 2004

My husband, my son and I spent 7 days in the Polynesian Resort in June. Check-in was insane and hectic. We spent last year at the Grand Floridian and for the difference in price that is where we will stay again. The resort had a pretty run down appearance and looked trashy in the hallway to our room. We also had an uninvited visitor on our balcony one afternoon - a 6 foot snake coiled up on the cement. We called the front desk and waited over an hour for them to come remove it. When pest control did not show up my husband went down to the front desk and informed them that by the time we got back the snake had better be gone. Thankfully, it was. On the positive side the view of the fireworks from the beach were beautiful. The pool was nice and the housekeeping and bell hops were nice. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be staying at the Polynesian again.

*****

Hope Hastings - April 2004

We stayed at the Polynesian Resort April 4 - 9, 2004. It was great! We have stayed at several resorts over the years, but this is by far our favorite. We were in the Fiji building, Room 1314. It overlooked the Marina - the view looked like a postcard. It was very convenient to the Great Ceremonial House and the Volcano Pool. Our kids absolutely loved the pool! We ate at the Kona Cafe' for breakfast twice and it was wonderful - highly recommend the Tonga Toast. We also ate at Ohana one night - what a treat! Our waiter was Jeff, and he went out of his way to order the kids pizza from Captain Cooks since they wouldn't eat the food. Very good experience. Here's a neat tip - our daughter is not very fond of fireworks, so we camped out on the beach one night and watched them. The noise from the fireworks is not near as intense and you could still hear the music that accompanies the fireworks (we could even see Tinkerbell's flight!). That was my most Magical moment of the trip. The only complaint that we had was the bus service was slow. Overall, everything else was wonderful!!

*****

Nikki - March 2004

We love the Poly! Just got back from a great trip. Samoa bldg. room 3606 was great. Close to the pool, ceremonial house, monorail. Some friends who were traveling with us had a mishap with their child's prescription. Not a problem for the Poly. Called the front desk, they got the prescription and within an hour the prescription was delivered to the hotel. Will never go to another Disney property again!

*****

Marian Hender - March 2004

Have just returned to the UK after staying in the Polynesian resort for our 4th time. We had room 3605 in Samoa which had a great view of the volcano pool and from the balcony and you can see some of the lagoon. Not the quietest room at night though if the pool is busy. At present the quiet pool is closed for refurbishment. The Polynesian is a wonderful place to stay, and without a car the Disney transport is easy. We reached the MK by boat or monorail very quickly. Buses to the other parks seemed more efficient this time. We will return (saving hard).

*****

Heidi Tremblay - October 2003

Overall, we had a great trip....hope you can find some tidbits that can help. First of all, we loved the resort. We have stayed on property for years, but this was our 1st time at the Poly. A little disappointed in the check-in, a bit anticlimactic. We did not receive a lai greeting, had to go back to the desk and ask for them. The souvenir mugs are now $11.99 plus tax and worth every penny.

Our room was great, but had a strange odor which I believe was from the crib we requested. Our room overlooked the "quiet" pool in the Rarotonga building, which is a location I highly recommend. Very short walk to the Great Ceremonial House or bus stop, 6 min. walk to the TTC and a 30 second jaunt to the quiet pool.

We ate several times at O'hana and loved it. Our 1st evening there we had dinner overlooking the castle and fireworks, which was a nice treat for the kids as we did not plan on leaving the resort on our 1st night. The food and service were outstanding, and the kids loved the games and fun in the restaurant. (coconut races, hula hoop contests). We had breakfast there in the morning are were equally impressed. The characters made it around to every table for photo ops and autographs, the food was great. We had dinner there again on our last night and were only slightly less impressed, our server wasn't nearly as friendly as in past visits.

Breakfast at the Kona Cafe was incredible! I highly recommend the "Tonga Toast" at $7.99. A huge portion of sourdough sweet bread, stuffed with bananas, then deep fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar, served with choice of meat! yummy! A real bargain considering Capt. Cook's charges $4.99 for a breakfast sandwich only.

Overall, great trip -- highly recommend the Poly.

*****

Joe and Eileen Timmermeyer - August 2003

We just returned from a 10-night stay 08/12/03 through 08/22/03 at the Polynesian Resort at WDW. While we all had a great time (my wife and 3 kids), there are a few things I'd like to say about the resort and parks:

We stayed in room 2601 at the "Samoa" longhouse. It was an excellent location, since it was close to the "volcano" pool and to the Capt. Cooks fast-food restaurant. It also was close to the Great House and the transportation.

The biggest complaint I had was about the awful tap water; I consider myself fairly tolerant to most tap water, but this stuff had an awful almost sulfuric aftertaste to it. Magic Kingdom seemed to be afflicted with the same problem, yet the other parks seemed to have decent tap water. Perhaps it has to do with different treatment plants and/or the heavy rainfall the area has been dealing with recently.

This wouldn't have been so bad, but we had to pay $2.50 per bottle for a 24oz bottle of Desani (Coke product) wherever we looked. Since we flew in and did not have a rental car, we were "captives" of the resort. Unfortunately that also meant we had no access to groceries. We had budgeted plenty of funds for this trip (and in fact ended up coming in under it), but it would have been nice to eat some "regular food" for a change. I was almost tempted to get a taxi and go to a normal grocery store!

We did take full advantage of the "refillable" mug deal (at $10.99 a piece I believe) thanks to your tip and knowing we were going to be there for several days. The other thing I was a bit disappointed about was our tub drain. It was very slow-draining, and when you have 5 people taking showers, it can be a little annoying. I had intended to report it to the management, but I never seemed to get around to it. I guess I was too busy having fun going somewhere everyday!

We managed to hit all six major attractions (Wide World of Sports being the only one we had no interest in) and made extensive use of the Fast-Pass system so we could ride all the most popular attractions without waiting excessively in lines.

On the whole, we were quite satisfied with our experience, but I think if we go back, we'll likely stay outside the property and hit some of the other Orlando attractions as well. When I look at the cost of staying at the Polynesian and compare this to other vacation options (such as cruises), I find Disney to be a little pricey. I think we ended up paying around $7,000 total (airfare from Denver, resort with ultimate park-hopper passes, and food), and there are several options (including cruises) that have a lot to offer for that price range. On a cruise, the food tends to be much better at that price as well. Who knows, we may try a Disney cruise sometime in the future.

Anyway, we did enjoy our trip immensely, and even the above-normal rainfall they are experiencing currently did not put a damper on our activities. Thanks to your tips, we came prepared with ponchos and other handy things to deal with the heat.

*****

Ludens Family - June 2003

We just returned June 8-12 from the Polynesian. It was wonderful!!! The resort is absolutely beautiful. It was relaxing and peaceful even with all the families staying there. The rooms are large enough for a family of 4 to be comfortable for a 5-7 night stay. The walkways are full of tropical foliage and animals roaming the grounds.

We stayed in the Tokeula building, connecting rooms, first floor, right by the entrance but heard nothing outside the room. We were not facing the pool, which was great because it was not a temptation for the kids to run out and it was more private to sit out on our patio each morning as the ducks came up to the patio. We had foliage covering part of the patio so it was even more private. Rooms 1929-1930. These rooms were just perfect. We walked right out the front door of the building and there was the quiet pool. It took less than five minutes to walk to the Volcano pool, beach or main house. The TTC was only a five minute walk.

Watching the fireworks and lagoon boat show from the beach each night was great. No crowds! We sat in a swing under the palm trees. If you have kids, the convenience of having the monorail on site and the TTC a short walk from you is worth the extra price of the room.

We also used the boat to go back and forth to the MK. That was very relaxing ride at night after a busy day. We ate a lot at the snack bar. You got enough food for the money. Big sandwiches and baskets of fries. One night we had drinks and appetizers at O'Hanas. Excellent food. The volcano pool is like walking into water from a beach, so there was a lot of area for our 2 year old to play without worrying about deep water. We ALL had a blast on the waterslide.

The staff was very friendly all the time. When we checked in we did not have our fridge, bed rail or coffee maker in the rooms. We called housekeeping and they were there within 15 minutes. Everyone makes you feel like they are there to service just you while they are helping you. We will definitely save to spend the extra money to stay here. It is worth it. We had a trip to paradise.

*****

Lisa Rourk - May 2003

We stayed at the Polynesian resort May 9-17, 2003. When we first entered the lobby, we were very impressed. The lush tropical greenery and multiple waterfalls made the atmosphere very relaxed and peaceful.

Since we had requested connecting rooms, the only availability was in Rapa Nui, rooms 1107 and 1108. Originally I was upset because of the distance from the Great Ceremonial House, but it turned out to be beneficial in many ways. We were on the first floor and it was very quiet. We weren't too close to the elevator or ice machine. We had a view of the parking lot and monorail. Normally, this would not be desirable, unless you have two children who get excited every time a monorail rides by. The room was clean (except for some dust in the corners and under the bed. ) The bathroom was large and very clean.

We walked to the TTC most every day (about a five minute walk) to take the monorail or catch a bus. You can take the express monorail directly to the MK, or take a monorail to Epcot, or you can catch a bus anywhere. We walked to the Great Ceremonial House occasionally to get to the MK. Coming home it was better to ride into the GCH because the walk from the TTC to the Polynesian was very hot as there was little shade.

The walk to the Volcano Pool was lengthy from Rapa Nui, but the walk was very beautiful. The quiet pool was somewhat closer. There are pros and cons to every building at the resort although I think Samoa would be best for pool proximity or Tokelau to be close to everything including the TTC. We left tips for mousekeeping and they delighted us with elaborate towel animals. We washed clothes one morning (the worst time of the day for this) and it is $2 to wash or dry a load of laundry. Small boxes of detergent are $1 a piece.

O'hana was the best meal we had this trip. We had a window view overlooking the gardens and volcano pool. We wanted to eat there again but couldn't get a reasonable PS for dinner, although we did manage to get a PS for the character breakfast. It was crowded, but the food is family style and delicious. I would recommend calling before leaving home for a PS. Kona Cafe was also an excellent meal. We at there twice for dinner and once for just desserts. They are to die for, especially the banana creme brulee and the cream puffs.

The staff was very friendly. Every cast member we passed on site would say "Aloha!". You couldn't help but smile here.

*****

We just got back from the Polynesian (2/9 to 2/16/03) and have to thank you for all your info-it helped us get a few "perks" not usually found! We live in the Boston area, so knowing a few extra warm places to hang was great!

Thought you'd like a few updates for your files:

The refillable mugs are now $10.95.

Complimentary turndown service is now only available for concierge guests. However, I asked for it and was then put on a "special list"; we got turndown service for 2 nights.

I had asked for a room on the 3rd floor of a lagoon view room (I wanted a balcony) with a good view of the electric water parade. They did better than I asked with a 2nd floor balcony room in Tahiti (2033) with a FABULOUS view of the castle, Space Mountain and a good view of the Grand Floridian; not to mention the water parade.

FYI: All the WDW resorts have an itemized list of the view of each room on their computer system; if you have an unusual request (water parade) you might find yourself getting a pleasant surprise as well (Teryl Sawosik, 2/2003)

*****

My family and I just returned from a Christmas stay at the Polynesian (12/24-12/29/02).

Although the view and the locality of our room was so much better than the moderate and value resorts that we have stayed at earlier this year, we were extremely disappointed in the services, especially transportation. We did not make one single early entry day for gate opening time. Two out of five days we arrived minutes before the gates opened to the public. There were always excuses- "scheduled maintainence" on the monorail (at peak hours???}, bus drivers not being told it was early entry day (but it's posted all over Disney???). Even at odd times we were waiting 45 minutes and over for bus service.

Staff were of absolutely no help in resolving the matter and left it to unwilling guests to speak up. The whole idea of Disney courtesy went up in smoke! One monorail attendant was actually drinking a beverage and talking on the phone regarding clearly personal matters for over 20 minutes while we stood by wondering when the train would arrive.

We actually had to pay a cab to get to Downtown Disney ($17/tip) to make dinner reservations. We had allotted 1 1/2 hours as we planned on shopping first, and were still 15 mins. late! Friends who stayed at the value resorts during the same time were happy with their transportation service. It appeared that Disney was waiting for the deluxe resort waiting areas to fill with guests before sending a bus. It was by no means "Deluxe Service" and defiantly not worth the price!

We lost a lot of valuable time and will probably not return to one of Disney's properties after this past trip. I would recommend to anyone with a scheduled visit to call and get more information on the transportation situation unless of course they like waiting, and waiting, and waiting for something that should be waiting for them! (Jill Titterington - December 2002)

*****

We checked into the Polynesian on July 15 and got our same honeymoon room, Rarotonga # 1825. To celebrate our anniversary on July 16, we started out with drinks at the Mizner lounge at the Grand Floridian. When we got back to the room, we sat on the beach at the Polynesian and drank champagne. The beach at night is our favorite place at WDW. We talked about how we practically raised our two girls at Disney World. I can still picture the girls at the old Polynesian pool sliding down the volcano slide. What great memories. That is why we keep coming back to Disney World.(Mark and Sherry Lewis, 7/2002)

*****

Brent Boyd, Texas - June 2001 - We just spent eight nights at the Polynesian Resort and did not want to leave! We enjoyed the Resort as much as any park, especially with the new pool and slide inside the volcano. There are five in our family with three kids - 8, 6 and 4 years old. The large rooms with the day bed were perfect. We had fun renting a surrey bike and wheeling around the resort saying 'Aloha' to everyone. The kids enjoyed the children's activities in the lobby. Best of all, I cannot imagine a more convenient resort for transportation around WDW. For Magic Kingdom, there is a Resort Launch and Monorail from the resort. A five minute or less walk gets you to the TTC, where you can catch the Express Monorail or Ferryboats. That means when you exit Magic Kingdom after the fireworks, you have four options to take you back - choose the shortest line. When going anywhere else in WDW (except Epcot), there is always the option of catching a bus from the Polynesian Grand Lodge or the TTC. Thus when returning from Blizzard Beach or MGM or Animal Kingdom, we caught the first bus going to either the TTC or the Polynesian. No other resort has two options like that. Also being on the Monorail line, we loved the convenience of popping in on the Magic Kingdom. We were swimming at 9:15 pm, put on a shirt and flip-flops, got on the Monorail, entered MK and watched the fireworks on Main Street at 9:30, and were back in the pool at the Polynesian by 9:50. I highly recommend the Polynesian to pamper and relax you and for its convenient transportation.

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Richard Stabile June 2001 - We just returned from a trip to Disney World and stayed at the Polynesian Resort. The snack bar downstairs at the Polynesian was very nice for families. We found it to be clean and had a great assortment to chose from. We enjoyed the Character Breakfasts at the Castle and at the Polynesian and found both the food and the atmosphere to be well worth it. We were disappointed that the Polynesian restaurant is no longer the Coral Isle Cafe and we missed the Hawaiian atmosphere--somehow the Asian emphasis just doesn't fit with the Polynesian idea. We had to wait a very long time to get lunch at Kona and did not return. Since I had hurt my back just before the trip, I was concerned I might not be able to enjoy the parks, but people should be assured that there really are benches at every ride (which I took advantage of) and there is a boat that runs from the Polynesian Hotel right to the Magic Kingdom so that saved me from walking up the ramps at the Monorail (the one thing I couldn't manage this trip). All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I thank you for all your information which we found to be so helpful.

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JULIEMHOUK May 2001: We stayed at the Polynesian and I wanted to let you and your readers know that while the Polynesian's new volcano pool does not have a separate spa/hot-tub, there are some spa jets located in the end of the pool opposite the slide (next to the small waterfall that runs from the creek entrance into the pool). While it's not a spa/hot tub per se, the jets felt mighty nice after a long day's walk in the parks. The new Polynesian Pool is very shallow (i.e., just over 4 feet in some places, much shallower in other spots) so it's nice for the little ones. On our recent visit this week (end of May), the pool was very crowded. I learned that a large number of the people in the pool with kids were refugees from the Grand Floridian where the main pool remains under construction. While crowded, most people tended to be very considerate. In addition, I learned that Florida law apparently prohibits kids 12 and under from being in public hot tubs/spas. That may be the reason why WDW has decided not to build them in their new pools as it might be too much of a hardship to make the little ones stay out of the whirlpools. Thanks for your wonderful web site. Julie.

The Lepak Family Granville, Ohio - In April 2001 we spent 7 days at the Polynesian again. We tried to save some money on other aspects of the trip and splurge by staying at the Polynesian. It is so convenient to everything, especially the Magic Kingdom. It is well worth the cost. This is especially helpful traveling with a 4, 5, and 8 year old. About mid-day the kids are usually tired and we just hop on the monorail and are back at the hotel for a refreshing swim. The newly renovated volcano pool is great. It was a much needed addition. Service was again exceptional. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. We also recommend the Neverland Club for a place to drop off the kids and enjoy a quiet evening. Our kids have as much fun at the Neverland Club as they do at the parks. In fact, it is a way for them to have fun without having to fight the crowds and wait in lines.

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Adriane Dennis Clanton, AL - My family and I recently spent a week at the Polynesian Resort. It was WONDERFUL!!! We stayed in the Hawaii building. This building has a concierge room which is located on the second floor. From 8:00am to 10:00pm, unlimited, free drinks and food are available. Everything from breakfast foods in the morning, fruits and cookies in the middle of the day, neat entrees in the evening, and desserts from 8:00pm-10:00pm in the evening. One also has the perfect view of the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle from this room as well. Words cannot describe how wonderful our stay was here. Also, we have kids, 9 & 5, who loved this resort. In the same location as mentioned above, kids snacks are also available such as, fresh fruit, gummy worms, sweet tarts, cupcakes, and much more. Our children felt right at home.