Sunday, December 8, 2013

I Finally Stay at The Polynesian...

The Polynesian was always the quintessential Walt Disney World resort when I was growing up. I had never stayed there, and only visited (for food) for the first time last year- but it was always the place I'd picture when I thought about resorts. Sure, I'd think about the Contemporary as well- what's cooler than the monorail going right into the building when you're a kid? But there was always something about the Poly that seemed extra special to me. Exotic, I guess...

I finally got my chance to stay at this storied deluxe resort, when I visited recently for Wine & Dine weekend.

Some of the highlights...

The grounds:
Beautiful, lush, winding paths. It's not super easy to find your way around (at least not for a first-timer)...but this is a good thing. It made it feel more natural, less over-planned.

The Great Ceremonial House:
This central lobby, shopping, and dining area really is beautiful, with its lush tropical foliage and immersive decor. So much going on in here, I think I'll save the details for its own post.

The Volcano Pool:
It was way too cold for a dip during our visit, but this looks like a really fun place to swim and splash around.
The themed slide, cozy alcoves, and beach side zero-entry end all made this seem like a top resort pool. It did seem a bit small, though- and I saw it completely empty. I wonder if it feels cramped when it's full of swimmers.

Our room location:
We were in Rapa Nui, which was one of the longhouses farthest from the Great Ceremonial House. I like a decent walk through the grounds, though, so I never really care about the distance to the lobby. On the other side, we were just a hop and a skip from the Transportation & Ticketing Center- so grabbing a monorail to Epcot or to to other areas on the monorail loop was very convenient.

The only thing that left a bit to be desired for me was the room layout- specifically, the bathroom. I guess I've grown accustomed to the sink-outside-the bathroom layout found in other deluxe resorts (as well as some moderates). This was actually the first Disney resort I've stayed in that didn't have a separate sink area- and I missed it. With three adults sharing the room, getting ready in the morning was a bit of a time crunch when the shower, toilet and sinks were all behind one closed door. The room itself, though, was spacious- that was definitely a plus! I slept on the daybed during this trip (the youngest sibling will always be the youngest sibling, no matter how old...), and I'm happy to report that it was perfectly comfortable.

Overall verdict: I really loved The Polynesian! With deluxe monorail resort prices being what they are, though, I would have a hard time justifying this expense again any time soon. The bathroom situation would make me consider this as an option only if I were sharing the room with no more than one other person. Any more than that, and too much time is wasted waiting around for the facilities. I love the feel of the resort, I love the Great Ceremonial House, and I love being on the monorail loop- so I won't count this one out! It's an indulgence I hope to partake in again one day soon...

Have you stayed at The Polynesian? Tell us about it in the comments...


  1. Hooray for living out those childhood dreams! I love the review you wrote here, it really gives a well-rounded look at this legendary resort. And also a well-rounded review of typical family dynamics- great comment about being the youngest sibling....I happen to be the oldest and it made me laugh out loud....

  2. I got a mega pixie dust for the 2012 PHM. I was booked at the (then) brand new Princess Rooms at POR but they weren't ready yet. So I got a call and for the same price got a room at the Poly for 4 days! I completely agree with your report- it felt like an affordable Hawaiian vacation to me. I loved the grounds and the size of my room! I'd stay there again... with a healthy AP discount though. Oh my those rooms are expensive!

  3. Aw yay!! The Poly is my main resort - been staying there for 30 years! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)it's the BEST!