Is something calling out to you … perhaps an escape to a tropical paradise? Retreat to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which is inspired by none other than the Pacific Islands. Best of all, the Disney Resort deluxe hotel is only a short boat (or monorail) ride away from Magic Kingdom Park. The Poly has undergone recent renovations not only for its guest rooms (which have been reimagined with a "Moana" theme) but also the monorail station and its porte-cochère. In addition to the upgraded accommodations, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has frogtastic dining options, easy access to transportation, fun recreational activities and immersive theming.
Overview of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has been around since the beginning of Walt Disney World Resort as one of the two original on-site hotels (the other being Disney’s Contemporary Resort). The property is divided into the Great Ceremonial House — the central hub for the main lobby, restaurants, gift stores and transportation — and 11 longhouses with guest rooms (three longhouses are dedicated solely to Disney's Polynesian Villas, which are part of the Disney Vacation Club accommodations). The two- or three-story longhouses are named after Pacific Islands.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Rooms
All of the standard guest rooms underwent recent renovations and reopened with a new “Moana” theme this summer. The rooms feature a new color palette inspired by the Pacific Ocean and its islands, as well as details, patterns and wall art inspired by “Moana.” You may even spot a few characters, including Maui, Heihei and Moana herself, and maybe even some hidden Mickeys!
There are several views you can choose from: a Pool or Marina View, Lagoon View, Theme Park View and Standard View (views of the garden, monorail or parking areas). Additionally, there are Club Level rooms that have a Theme Park View, Lagoon View or Garden View.
At about 415 square feet, the rooms are very spacious. Each room is furnished with two queen beds and a daybed, sleeping up to five guests — plus an accent chair, two small tables, bedroom benches, dresser and a flatscreen TV. Other room amenities include WiFi, a hairdryer, coffee maker, an iron and ironing board, in-room safe and mini-fridge. First-floor rooms have access to a patio, while third-floor rooms have a balcony.
The bathroom utilizes a pocket door, plus additional space for the toilet with its own pocket door and shelving unit. This creates extra privacy and allows two people to use the bathroom at the same time if needed. The vanity features a double-sink with limited counter space but there are shelves underneath the counter, as well as a long, narrow shelf above the counter. The shower now has a sliding glass door with the combination of a rain shower head and a handheld shower head.
Transportation at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Located on the shoreline of Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of the closest hotels to Magic Kingdom. To get to the park’s entrance, you can either hop on the resort monorail line, take a water taxi or even walk! If you take the monorail, there are a few quick stops along the way at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center. The boat launch is behind the Lava Pool and past the marina. The ride itself takes about 10 to 15 minutes one-way, as it stops at the Grand Floridian as well.
If you’re up for walking, there is a pathway that connects to the Grand Floridian and continues on to Magic Kingdom. However, it’s quite a trek since the Poly is on the opposite side of the lagoon (it generally takes about 25 minutes, give or take a little). Leap and I love this scenic stroll when it’s just the two of us with some time to spare during a nice spring morning. Otherwise, we recommend the monorail or water taxi to save energy and avoid the “Are we there yet?” question from tired tadpoles.
Traveling to EPCOT? Take the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the EPCOT monorail line. Bus transportation is available for other destinations around the resort, including Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the water parks and Disney Springs.
Amenities, Recreation and Shopping at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
You’re staying at a resort with tropical island theming, so of course, you’ll want to take a dip in the water and relax under the sun. The main feature pool — the Lava Pool — has a zero-entry point, a waterfall, a 142-foot-long waterslide and a towering volcano. There is plenty of expanded deck space with lounge chairs, a hot tub with an infinity edge overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon, a kids' water playground and a pool bar. For a more relaxed atmosphere, the Oasis Pool offers a tranquil swimming experience with its own pool bar and hot tub. Complimentary towels are provided, and the hours and lifeguard availability vary by pool (and are subject to change).
Other recreational activities include motorized boat rentals, catch-and-release fishing, volleyball and a jogging trail. At night, enjoy campfire activities or Movies Under the Stars. The Electrical Water Pageant sails by the shore in the evenings, and with the Poly being directly across the lagoon from Magic Kingdom, you’ll have some of the best outside-the-park views of the nighttime fireworks.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also offers the following amenities:
- ATMs and banking services (may exchange foreign currencies at the Front Desk or Lobby Concierge)
- Bell services
- Laundry and dry cleaning services
- Mail services
- Resort airline check-in (temporarily unavailable)
- Self-parking ($25 per night); valet parking ($33 per night)
Guests of the Poly can also enjoy certain benefits, including Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours and the ability to make individual Lightning Lane selections at 7 a.m. before non-Disney hotel guests can make their selections once the parks open.
For last-minute souvenirs, sundries and resort-specific merchandise, stop by either the BouTiki or Moana Mercantile. Both are located in the Great Ceremonial House.
Dining at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Whether you want a quick bite to eat or an all-you-care-to-enjoy feast, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is home to several table-service and quick-service restaurants, plus pool bars and lounges.
Capt. Cook’s is our go-to if you need a quick meal any time of the day, as it’s open during breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night hours. In the morning, load up on Tonga Toast and Mickey waffles. For lunch or dinner, you can get Polynesian favorites, such as Thai coconut meatballs and pan Asian noodles, or typical American entrees, including cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets. There are also plant-based options, as well as an assortment of baked goods and snacks.
Find tropical drinks and Hawaiian-inspired appetizers at this watering hole. The full drink menu consists of specialty cocktails, Hawaiian-sourced beer, hard ciders and wine (sparkling, white, red and rosé). Appetizers — flatbreads, barbecue pork ribs, hot wings and sushi — are served from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Pineapple Lanai is the place to get Dole Whip! Just outside of the Great Ceremonial House, grab a Dole Whip soft-serve or pineapple float. Feeling fancy? Eat it out of a souvenir Tiki Bowl or Tiki Sipper. Frog parents may also choose to indulge in a Dole Whip with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum.
If you’re in a hurry, Kona Island has plenty of grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Grab a pastry and coffee in the morning, or snag a sushi roll and a mini dessert for later in the day.
This casual table-service cafe in the Great Ceremonial House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before you hit the parks, start your day with Tonga Toast, plant-based Loco Moco or macadamia nut pancakes. Meanwhile, the lunch and dinner menus feature sushi rolls, poke bowls, Dashi ramen bowls and more. Sip on Keiki lemonade or a Polynesian Mai Tai — there’s a wide range of mocktails, cocktails, beer, wine and sake.
‘Ohana means family, but at this restaurant, it means family-style breakfast and dinner. Previously, the all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast included character dining with Lilo and Stitch, but they still have not returned. Start your day with a skillet full of scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, Hawaiian-style ham topped with pineapple compote, fried island-style potatoes, Stitch and Mickey waffles, biscuits and perhaps best of all, the pineapple-coconut bread! Dinner also comes with endless servings of salad, chicken wings, ‘Ohana bread, pork dumplings, a dinner skillet and ‘Ohana bread pudding. The skillet is filled with grilled teriyaki beef, spicy peel-n-eat shrimp, grilled chicken with Polynesian-inspired chimichurri sauce, ‘Ohana noodles and roasted broccolini.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
This hoppin’ tiki bar is modeled after its Disneyland counterpart, both of which are inspired by the character from Jungle Cruise. The theming is what sets Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto apart, as you’ll find many Easter eggs among the detailed decor and the cast members only elevate the immersive atmosphere (bring on the punny jokes!). It’s one of the most popular bars at Disney World, so you’ll want to arrive early or prepare to wait since there’s limited space inside. It’s family-friendly from opening until 8 p.m. when it becomes a tropical haven for adults 21 and older.
Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace
Enjoy island vibes and live music while you sip on a specialty cocktail on the outdoor lounge, featuring the same food and drink menu as Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. If the Grog Grotto is too busy and has a long wait, you can try the Tiki Terrace, which has more relaxed vibes.
Barefoot Pool Bar
Hungry by the Lava Pool? No shoes, no problem! Just hop over to the poolside bar to get appetizers such as the Oasis salad and black pepper parmesan chicken wings. If you want a heartier meal, opt for the sashimi, grilled fish tacos, cheeseburger or grilled chicken avocado wrap. For a sweet treat, try the malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts with passion fruit curd). Of course, it’s not a bar without drinks! From smoothies to signature cocktails, Barefoot Bar has a bunch of options to quench your thirst as you splash or sunbathe under the summer sky.
Oasis Bar & Grill
Only steps away from the Oasis pool, this poolside bar offers a variety of appetizers, entrees and drinks. The menu is nearly the exact same as the one at Barefoot Pool Bar.
Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Currently Unavailable)
As one of the more unique dining experiences at the Disney Resort hotels, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show features dancers, drummers and a fire-knife performer while you dine outdoors at Luau Cove. The all-you-care-to-enjoy feast highlights tropical flavors, such as Aloha pulled pork, Polynesian ribs and pineapple guava cake.
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is a standalone Disney Vacation Club Resort that shares the same theming as Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Accommodations include the Deluxe Studio rooms in the Polynesian Villas and the Bora Bora Bungalows, which boast the largest Deluxe Studios at any Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and the first-ever overwater Disney accommodations, respectively.
At about 450 square feet, the Deluxe Studios sleep up to five guests and feature a kitchenette, queen-size bed, queen-size sleeper sofa and a single pull-down bed. The villas are located in the Tokelau, Moorea and Pago Pago longhouses, with either a standard view or a lake view.
The luxurious Bora Bora Bungalows sit atop the Seven Seas Lagoon — it’s almost like having your own private island! Each two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow can sleep up to eight guests. In addition to a full kitchen, living area and dining area, a bungalow has a private back deck with a plunge pool overlooking the lagoon. It’s the prime spot to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks (and the back deck even has speakers that pipe in the music!).
What to Consider Before Staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The biggest benefit of staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village is its prime location. You may want to consider booking a room if you’re planning multiple days at Magic Kingdom or if you have tadpoles in tow. You wouldn’t have to fold up your stroller on the monorail, and you could return to your room for a midday nap without losing much time. That’s a big win for me! It’s easy to hop to the nearby resorts if you want to explore other dining options (or just to take a look around — the Grand Floridian is worth a visit!). Along the shoreline, you can get some of the best fireworks views outside of the park, and the music is even piped in! The recent room renovations (and overall tropical theming) may also be a deciding factor, especially for “Moana” fans.
Since the Poly is a Disney deluxe resort, it is one of the more expensive hotels on property, so that’s the resort’s biggest downside. Ultimately, you’re paying for convenience and more luxurious amenities. (If you book through us, we can help you save some green!) It’s also a very popular resort — not only can rooms book up quickly but there’s also a lot of non-guest visitors who might want to dine at the restaurants or check out the lobby, which results in more foot traffic. (Non-guests wouldn’t be able to swim at the pools though.)
Ultimately, the decision is up to you based on your family’s needs and wants, but we hope this guide helps you consider all of the important factors when it comes to choosing a hotel.
Have you ever stayed at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort? What do you like most about the resort? Share in the comments below!