The Polynesian at Walt Disney World is a deluxe class resort in the Magic Kingdom area. The Polynesian (or “Poly”, as frequent visitors refer to it), was one of the first resorts to be built at Disney World.
The close proximity to the Magic Kingdom makes it a very popular hotel choice for Walt Disney World guests. The Polynesian hosts a theme of the South Pacific islands, from the lush vegetation in the grand lobby to the intimate details found in the resort rooms. As you enter the main building in the Polynesian complex, you will be in the two-story lobby, also known as the Great Ceremonial House. In addition to the front desk area, here you will also find shops, restaurants, and a lounge.
The resort guest rooms (which number 853) are in small village areas, known as Longhouses. There are 11 of these Longhouses, each named for a different Pacific island. These longhouses are either two or three stories and are set along different areas of the resort.
The Polynesian has two pool areas, one main pool with a zero-entry feature and a volcano slide, and one “quiet” pool. You will also find a beach area, complete with beach chairs, rocking swings and a breathtaking view of Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. There is also a splash area located near the main pool, where children love to play.
You will also find a marina on the property, where you can rent small speed boats (for one or two people), or larger canopy or pontoon boats. These can be used to explore the Seven Seas Lagoon and you can practically drive your boat up to the Magic Kingdom entrance area and watch the crowds enter the park.
Although the Polynesian has many things that make it one of the most popular resorts, one of the best features is that the monorail system stops at this resort. This makes for very convenient travel to the Magic Kingdom Park.
From the Polynesian Resort you can travel to the Grand Floridian Resort using walking paths. You can also walk to an area on the Polynesian property known as the Luau Cove, where a nightly luau dinner and show takes place. This popular performance books up well in advance.
Overall the Polynesian is one of the popular Walt Disney World Resorts and it is easy to see why. The location, room amenities, resort features, entertainment options and cast members make this a resort that guests return to again and again.
- 853 Guest Rooms
- Check in time – 3pm Check out time – 11am
- Transportation: Monorail, Buses, Ferryboat
- Dining Options – O’hana, Kona Café, Captain Cooks Snack Shop, Tambu Lounge, Luau Dinner Show.
- Watercraft Rental
- Two Heated Pools
- Beach Access
- Neverland Club – babysitting services
Review of the Polynesian – 2001, September
Just arriving at the Polynesian is exciting – as you drive up to the resort area you realize you have to drive into the Magic Kingdom Park area just to reach it! The Polynesian is one of the closest resorts to the Magic Kingdom. As you approach the resort you will notice that the Transportation and Ticket Center is within walking distance from where you are staying. Arriving at the resort you will be entering the Great Ceremonial House, which is the main lobby area. Here you can check in and are greeted with flower lei necklaces for your entire group. When we arrived a group of singers and dancers were performing in the lobby. The Great Ceremonial House is breathtaking, as you take in the cascading water and all the tropical plants and vegetation.
We were then taken outside where a bell person took us to our longhouse by riding us in an open air cart to where we were staying. When we arrived at our longhouse, Samoa, we were taken to a second floor room. The location of the longhouse was good – it was near both pools and close to the fast food area in the Great Ceremonial House.
Our room has two double beds and a daybed. The room was a nice size, included a balcony area, a table and two chairs inside, TV/armoire and bathroom area. We had booked two adjoining rooms, so with the connecting door open our rooms seemed even bigger.
While staying at the Polynesian we traveled to the parks via the monorail and the boat launch. Both were great forms of transportation – it was wonderful to leave the Magic Kingdom on a busy night and be able to get right onto a direct monorail to the resorts.
We enjoyed the main pool area and loved the zero entry pool – as you could just walk into the pool as you would the ocean at the beach without a steep drop-off. The kids loved the volcano slide and I loved the underwater seats in the pool where it was great to relax as the kids enjoyed the swimming.
The beach area is my favorite, as you can relax on a hammock, rocking swing or beach chair as the kids play in the sand. You can stroll on the beach area, around the Seven Seas Lagoon and enjoy the view of Cinderella’s Castle and the Contemporary Resort. As we were enjoying the beach we were able to view people parasailing at the Contemporary. It was quite a sight to watch! We also enjoyed watching the nightly fireworks shows from the beach at the Polynesian. There a speakers throughout the beach area to allow you to hear the soundtrack to the performance. The view is truly magical.
I liked the eating options at the resort. We grabbed a quick breakfast bite (bagels, muffins, coffee) at the Kona Coffee Bar – as we headed out the door to the monorail. The Kona Café restaurant was a great sit down breakfast option (the Mickey pancakes were a winning choice). We also ate dinner at the Kona Café, where the meal was terrific but the dessert was phenomenal. We had heard great things regarding Ohana’s but did not have time to have a meal there. We did buy many meals/food items at Captain Cook’s – which is the quick service food area. Set up like a cafeteria, you will find fruit, cereal, yogurt, sandwichs, etc set up in a self serve area. You can also order cooked to order foods such as burgers, pizza and hotdogs. At this food area you can purchase the refillable mugs that can be used on your entire trip.
I would give this resort very high marks in service and amenities. The location cannot be better. It is one of the highest priced Disney Resorts – but if you can afford to stay here you will be very happy with your choice of resorts.
photo credit: Christian Lambert Photography