Resort Spotlight - Polynesian Village Resort!
On October 1, 1971, two resorts debuted with Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The original two resorts were Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This year, on October 1, 2021, Walt Disney World will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. So, looking ahead, which original resort should you try? Let’s look at some of the features of each of these great resorts!
This week, we are going to spotlight..Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
Located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon and situated directly across the lagoon from Magic Kingdom Park is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. If you are a fan of vintage tiki culture, and mid-century modern style this is the resort for you! Why just stepping into the lobby of this resort one tends to feel transported back to the 1970s.
In its most recent refurbishment, the demigod Maui has taken up residence in the center of the Great Ceremonial House atrium. Unlike the one from Disney’s hit Moana, this is a stylized version of the demigod that has been a symbol of this resort since the beginning. He welcomes guests with open arms and a mischievous smile. Peeking out from behind Maui you can now see Cinderella’s Castle rise above the trees from across the lagoon welcoming guests, beckoning them to enjoy the magic this resort has to offer.
Aside from picture-perfect views of Cinderella’s Castle, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers guests some amazing amenities. The feature pool of this resort has a volcano water slide, a kid play area, hot tub, and zero-entry from the beachside of the resort. There is also a very relaxing quiet pool with three large cabanas, perfect for a quiet family respite from the afternoon sun.
Both pools at the Polynesian Village have their own pool bar, and the main pool just steps away from the Great Ceremonial House, where the rest of the resort's shopping and dining is located. From family-style service meals at O’hana’s, to the ala carte menu at Kona Café, to the delicious quick service at Captain Cooks there is sure to be something to please every palate, and every budget. There is even a Luau operating from Luau Cove during normal resort operations.
Looking for something more exotic? Check out Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for tiki drinks with a Disney twist. The bar itself has some surprises in store depending on the drink selected. Or step on over to Pineapple Lanai, my personal favorite, and grab a famous Dole Whip to enjoy while you wander the resort.
Rooms here are in separate buildings called longhouses. On the resort side, or the original side of the resort, rooms are spacious, and are currently being reimagined for the 50th Anniversary to reflect a Moana theming. Something interesting to note, when they built the original buildings, the second floors were built with no balconies. Imagineers attributed this decision to the Polynesian legend of the Menehune, that they could climb up to the 2nd floor, and sneak in to cause mischief. They were going for authenticity and intrigue at the time, but if the longhouse has a third floor, those are equipped with balconies.
There are also villa-style accommodations here that come in two different floor plans. In the most recently built longhouses of the resort (Tokelau in 1978, originally Oahu, & Moorea & Pago Pago in 1985) reside the Deluxe Studio Villas. These rooms offer guests a pull-down murphy style twin bed, a pull-out queen-size sleeper sofa, and a queen-size bed with storage underneath. They also include a split-bathroom concept with two showers for families needing extra bathroom space, and a wet bar-style kitchenette with a mini-fridge, sink, and microwave. Again, these rooms are large as well but offer a bit of the convenience of home that a hotel room alone may not provide. These buildings have 2nd-floor balconies unlike the original buildings of the resort and are a short walk from the Ticket and Transportation Center. To get to Magic Kingdom, or Epcot there is no need to walk all the way over to the Great Ceremonial House to catch the monorail, it is just steps away at the TTC. **During this current downtime, this is especially important because the monorail station at the Great Ceremonial House is not operating, due to construction.**
The other villa style is the two-bedroom, over water Bora Bora Bungalows. Twenty gorgeously appointed, mid-century modern style meets tiki, villas with amazing views of Seven Seas Lagoon and Cinderella’s Castle beyond from your own private deck with your own private plunge pool! It is as awesome as it sounds, and there is a soundbox to pipe in the music for nighttime fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom, and Electrical Water Pageant (another WDW Resort original that debuted as a celebration for the opening of the Polynesian Village Resort) when they are operating.
There are also beautiful suites that come with access to a two-story concierge lounge with complimentary food daily during normal operations. This resort has hosted many famous people, and even was host to John Lennon as he signed the papers to dissolve the Beatles! While this resort comes at a premium price point, one stay will convince you that is well worth the extra cost for the beauty and history that resides here.
Check the blog next week for our Resort Spotlight on Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Towers!
Until next time, what Part of That World would you like to travel to?