Decoding Disney World’s Controversial Hotel Announcement

When it comes to announcements from Disney, the responses from the Internet aren’t always the greatest!

Polynesian Village construction

Disney released some new concept art for the upcoming Disney Vacation Club Tower at the Polynesian Village Resort. Now, let’s say that the response has been a little less than stellar (definitely not what Disney was hoping for).

In case you had no clue, Disney has been constructing a new DVC tower at the Polynesian Village Resort.


The new tower’s design was inspired by the original concept art for the hotel, but there are a lot of fans who feel it looks a bit too different to really blend in with the Polynesian resort they know and love.


As we heard from readers, there are some common themes that emerge about the reactions to the building. As our reader Deb put it, “I know the lobby is Polynesian themed. However, my 1st reaction to the renderings was I thought it looked like the lobby of Bay Lake Tower. I’m sorry, but for years now, the plan has seemed to be to use the same basic blueprint/footprint & then try to disguise the sameness with some sort of themeing. You see it in the DVC layouts that came after Old Key West. This addition to Poly seems to follow the same idea. I’m sure a DVC addition could have been designed that felt more like the original concept. The highrises in Waikiki are also beautiful in & of themselves; but that doesn’t mean they feel Polynesian or enhance the shoreline, but there they sit.”


Our reader Lynn was on the same wavelength, saying, “In addition to the glaringly different architectural style of the new hotel tower to the original low-thatched buildings, they’ve bulldozed Luau cove. First they took away the magnificent tropical landscaping and waterfall in the lobby. Now they take away the luau, which was as good as many I’ve seen in Hawaii. These two actions have significantly degraded the theming and immersive enjoyment of the Polynesian Resort.”


Reader Carol was in agreement, saying, “Agree. It used to be such an oasis. Some of us used to stay there to get away from the standard cookie-cutter resort style.” These comment brings up a good point that many people love coming to the Polynesian Village Resort for the unique Polynesian vibes that you get from the construction and theming, which definitely has been taken in a different direction with this new tower.


Since we’ve been talking all about the tower, it’s high time that we take a look at the rooms. If you didn’t know, this new 10-story tower is set to welcome its first visitors starting December 17, 2024, and will feature a variety of room types.


The decor highlights original artwork inspired by the Polynesian Islands, wayfinding, and the 4 natural elements –- earth, water, wind, and sky. But don’t worry, each of the rooms will also feature custom pieces inspired by the animated feature film, Moana.


Each of these rooms will be included in the Disney Vacation Club inventory and will have kitchenettes.


A significant change in the amenities you’ll notice here will be that deluxe studio rooms and larger will feature dishwashers in all of the room categories (minimizing waste by reducing the need for plastic utensils and single-use dishware), and will also feature plush rugs and carpets inside guest rooms that are made from mostly recycled plastic bottles.


We briefly mentioned that there would be several room categories, so let’s take a further look into them!

If you’re planning a stay for just two people one of Island Tower’s cozy studios might work for you.


This room category takes inspiration from the stars and the sky that the wayfinders (just like in Moana) used for celestial navigation, and looks so bright and airy!

If you’re looking to take a few more people along in your room, the Deluxe Studio sleeps up to four.


These rooms pay homage to the lush flora and wildlife found on the islands. These rooms also include a cozy seating area across from the kitchenette.

Needing even more space for your family? Check out how spacious these one- and two-bedroom villas will be.


These bigger rooms will be capable of sleeping up to five in the one-bedroom villa and nine people in the two-bedroom villa, respectively. Through storytelling artwork, each of these villas will showcase “a voyager’s journey both on land and under the sea.” These villas will feature a full-size kitchen with appliances, a dining area, a washer and dryer, and an outdoor patio area.

A NEW room category for DVC will be added within this Island Tower — two-bedroom penthouse villas.


This new category of villas will sleep up to eight and boast a spacious living room, views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom from a large balcony, and will highlight the balance between water and the island vibes.


At the moment, the overall reactions to the new tower seem to be pretty mixed, but like any other Disney project, we need to experience the expansion once it opens before giving a full opinion. Stay tuned to AllEars for more Polynesian Village updates.

HEADS UP! Polynesian Hotel Tower Bookings Open SOON for Disney Vacation Club Members

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What are your thoughts on the new DVC Tower at the Polynesian Village Resort? Let us know in the comments below. 

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