The Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels Are Making BIG Changes

Disney has been working on quite a few different projects as we lead up to the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebrations!

Cinderella Castle is getting decked out for the 50th-anniversary celebrations!

From new details on all four park icons to completely reimagining iconic stores, attractions, and hotels, there is a lot to keep track of. And, Disney is even revamping THREE of the most expensive hotels that are located on the Magic Kingdom monorail line — so, let’s take a look at what they have in store!

Here’s how the Magic Kingdom resorts are changing!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The first project to begin at the Magic Kingdom hotels was over at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It all started last year when Disney announced that they would be re-theming the Great Ceremonial House and guest rooms to Disney’s animated film Moana.

This space will be transformed!

This means that there will be more Pacific Ocean-inspired color palettes and “details, patterns, and textures” from the movie. And, if you’re wondering what that will look like, we’ve already got a sneak peek at the rooms opening in late July 2021!


Now you’ll find characters from the movie, like Moana…


…and Hei Hei hidden in the decor.


And you’ll be feeling like you’re walking in the sand with new “sandy ocean floor” details!


Over in the Great Ceremonial House (aka the lobby), the work is still underway to transform the space with new gardens, fountains, lighting, and a chandelier inspired by glass floats, fishing nets, and bamboo.

Concept Art ©Disney

And, the major project that is impacting guests currently is the refurbishment of the monorail station that is located on the second floor of the lobby. Disney completely removed the old station and has been working to build a new one that will be covered with “geometric patterns in bright, tropical colors.”

Recent progress on the new monorail station

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also reopened its Monorail station through the Great Ceremonial House. Colorful new panels along the roof and connecting to the lobby from the station.

Monorail Station

Click HERE to see more photos of the new ‘Moana’-themed rooms!

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney is also hard at work over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In January they announced that they would be refurbishing the rooms in the Main Tower throughout 2021 and they recently started the project. Now, there is a large tarp covering five stories of rooms on a portion of the hotel, making it pretty hard to miss (and much louder) for guests. The guest rooms are expected to be reopened in September.

That’s a lot of construction!

And, the rooms aren’t the only thing getting an update in the hotel! Down on the first floor, the restaurant, The Wave…of American Flavors is also closing for refurbishment “in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.” The restaurant closed on July 16th for the work to begin.

The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

However, Disney recently revealed that the new Steakhouse 71 would be replacing The Wave in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary on October 1st! The restaurant will have a subtle ’70s theme and offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as bites and drinks in a lounge area. You can already take a look at all the menus and pricing before making reservations, starting September 16th.


Learn more about the current construction in Disney’s Contemporary Resor here!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The last (and most recent) project announced for the Magic Kingdom Resort hotels is over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Like other deluxe resorts at Disney World, this hotel offers both standard guest rooms and has Disney Vacation Club Villas that debuted in 2013. And, now Disney has announced that they will be expanding the DVC Villas by transforming one of the current guest buildings into more Vacation Club Suites.

Villas at Grand Floridian

Building 9 (Big Pine Key), which is located next to the courtyard pool at the hotel, will be the building that Disney will take offline to create roughly 200 new Resort Studios that can accommodate up to five guests.

Courtyard Pool

The construction won’t wrap up before the 50th-anniversary celebrations begin and will rather be completed in the summer of 2022.

Learn more about the Disney Vacation Club here!

So, these deluxe resorts will be looking pretty different by this time next year! We’re keeping track of all the construction updates from Disney and will be sure to update you as these projects reach completion. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Disney news and updates!

Which Magic Kingdom Resort Hotel is the BEST?

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Which Magic Kingdom hotel refurbishment are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “The Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels Are Making BIG Changes”

  1. While we look forward to much needed updates , the sneak previews of the Polynesian are beyond disappointing.. They have taken out the unique pieces of furniture in the individual rooms and replaced them with cheaper, generic substitutes that have taken all the personality out of the hotel in favor of gimmicks. As the Grand Floridian is the epitome of Classic Disney in class and elegance-terms that no longer seem to apply to the Disney corporation, hoping they don’t forever destroy this beautiful masterpiece.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! We used to stay at the Polynesian (before it became a $500+ a night DVC hotel)….and it was wonderful. Now, yeah…we have gone to eat and watch the fireworks but it lacks what it once had. I don’t know who had the great idea to ruin this classic?! (Maybe the same person that turned down the Harry Potter franchise??:) Anyway, I love Disney World, my kids do too, but I find it is getting way too crowded and kind of well….not worth the cost. We have been visiting Universal more and their hotels, for the price, really are great and worth the cost. I don’t know….makes me sad. We are supposed to visit in August….but with Typhoon Lagoon (our favorite place ever) still closed and Port Orleans too (love Boatrights) I am not sure if we should wait or go somewhere else.