Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review

Disney World resorts run the gamut, from larger-than-life characters and in-your-face theming to immersive designs with subtle touches. Disney’s Polynesian Village, Villas & Bungalows is the latter. Here, tropical landscaping, a waterfront setting, traditionally-inspired longhouses, and welcoming guest rooms carry guests on balmy breezes to the South Pacific, making for what feels like a 2-for-1 destination bonus. And having been opened since the park opened in 1971, it’s almost as iconic as the Magic Kingdom, the theme park it sits across from. 

So, how does the Disney Polynesian Resort compare to other Disney World resorts? Who should stay there? Read on for our guide on everything you should know about this enchanting island escape. 

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort During COVID-19

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been some changes at Disney World over the past year due to health and safety guidelines. However, with recent changes like the lifting of the mask mandate for vaccinated guests and the reopening of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort set for late July 2021, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. However, there are still some changes you should be aware of for your future Polynesian hotel stay. 

While many of the restaurants at Disney’s Polynesian resort remain open, there are still some dining experiences (Disney’s Spirit of Aloha dinner show, Kona Island, ‘Ohana, and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto & Tiki Terrace) that are temporarily closed. Please also note that while the Monorail is still running, you will need to walk to the Transportation & Ticket Center to get on as the Monorail stop at the Polynesian is currently out-of-service. 

Outside hotel building at night

In addition to these resort-specific changes, some amenities and services have also been altered or are temporarily on hiatus across the Walt Disney World Resort. They include:

  • No Disney’s Magical Express luggage delivery
  • No airline check-in service
  • No FastPass+
  • No Extra Magic Hours
  • No Minnie Vans
  • No in-room dining
  • No in-room celebrations
  • No arcades
  • No campfires
  • No marina rentals
  • No club-level amenities
  • No dry cleaning & valet laundry services
  • Increased housekeeping
  • Decreased bell services
  • Decreased package deliveries

Despite these temporary changes, the Polynesian at Disney World still has a lot to offer guests. All the pools are open with pool activities happening daily, Movies Under the Stars are happening, many outdoor activities are available, and there are plenty of restaurants that open as well. 

As the pandemic continues to recede, resort offerings should start to return to normal to match the changing health and safety guidelines. For the most up-to-date information, we suggest you refer to My Disney Experience or Disney’s website, or speak to a Polynesian resort cast member during or after check-in, for the most up-to-date details and offerings. 

Staying at the Disney Polynesian Resort 

One of the original Disney World resorts (the other is the Contemporary), the Polynesian Village hotel has been welcoming guests since 1971 and is a true Disney classic. This beloved resort boasts an equally beloved location on the Magic Kingdom Monorail loop just an easy walk from the Transportation & Ticket Center. Like other deluxe resorts at Disney World such as Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas or Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Polynesian resort transports guests to a different place and time. 

Pool surrounded by rock

this enchanting hotel is a tropical paradise, delivering guests from the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon to the beaches of the South Pacific. From the overwater bungalows and wooden longhouses that dot the lush landscape to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Disney’s Spirit of Aloha dinner show, Disney’s Polynesian is a sweet blend – like perfectly swirled pineapple DOLE Whip with a rum floater, if you will – of family-friendly fun and honeymoon ambiance. 

As with other deluxe hotels and Disney Vacation Club properties like the Wilderness Lodge, you will find a mix of guestrooms, studios, and bungalows. From standard view rooms with just a king-sized bed and a day bed all the way up to a two-bedroom waterfront bungalow and everything in between, Disney’s Polynesian Resort has options for parties of all sizes, whether you’re looking for a serene retreat for two, a guestroom to host a large family, or a bungalow worthy of hosting a small family get-together with an unforgettable view. Both the Polynesian Village and Polynesian Villas & Bungalows boast a 4 on TripAdvisor. 

Polynesian Village Standard Rooms & Suites

With dark wood furniture embellished with carvings evocative of the South Seas, a sprawling accent wall inspired by Maui’s tattoos from Moana, and island-themed art, rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort are modern yet rustic, airy yet colorful – all with a subtle Disney twist. Add in pops of ocean-like turquoise and seafoam mint green and a floor that looks as if it could have been made from the boards of an old sailing vessel and you’ve got a thoroughly tropical retreat. 

In general, all standard rooms and suites at the Polynesian come with the following amenities: a sumptuous soaking tub, hairdryer, iron, ironing board, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, in-room safe, telephone with voicemail, and free Wi-Fi. 

Standard View

  • Comes with 1 day bed AND 1 king bed or 2 queen beds
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the parking area, Monorail, or garden

Pool or Marina View 

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the marina or pool

Lagoon View 

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of Seven Seas Lagoon 

Two queen beds in hotel room

Theme Park View

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon

1 Bedroom Suite

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the marina

Ambassador Vice President Suite

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 king bed and 1 queen-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 8 adults 
  • Views of the garden 

King Kamehameha Suite

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 king bed and 1 queen-sized sofa sleeper
  • Sleeps up to 8 adults 
  • Views of the marina and Cinderella Castle 

Polynesian Village Club-Level Rooms

Two beds in a hotel room

Club-level guest rooms at the Polynesian hotel in Disney World feature the same tropical interiors and basic in-room creature comforts (see above for details) as the standard rooms, plus the following amenities as part of the King Kamehameha Club: complimentary access to the health club, complimentary fax assistance, evening turndown service, and access to complimentary newspapers and concierge services in the King Kamehameha Club, as well as a designated front desk and guest services. Guests staying in a club-level Polynesian room are also able to access the King Kamehameha Club with their key when refreshments are served from 7am to 10pm each day.  

Garden View – Club Level

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the quiet pool or garden

Lagoon View – Club Level

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the Seven Seas Lagoon

Theme Park View – Club Level

  • Comes with 2 queen beds and 1 day bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of the Magic Kingdom

Honeymoon Room – Club Level

  • Comes with 1 king bed
  • Sleeps up to 2 adults 
  • Views of the marina

Disney Polynesian Bungalows & Villas

As with the rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort, studios and bungalows at the Polynesian are similarly bright and welcoming, but, aside from an appearance by Lilo and Stitch on the rooms’ pull-down beds, each in very different ways. Disney Polynesian studios are warm and cozy with golden walls, dark woods, accents reminiscent of the scarlet macaw, and quirky tiki god details that would be right at home in the Tiki Room. 

Hotel with bungalows over water

While the tiki gods also make an appearance in the Disney Polynesian bungalows, these sprawling lagoon-front villas are decidedly more eclectic. Here, quirky touches like a headboard made out of surfboards, vibrant floral details, and a stunning master bathroom featuring glistening cerulean tiles and carved wood art make you feel as if you’ve been transported to an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora instead of the Magic Kingdom Resort Area at Disney World.

In general, all studios and bungalows at Disney’s Polynesia Villas & Bungalows include a flat-panel TV, hairdryer, iron, ironing board, coffee maker, microwave, toaster, in-room safe, telephone with voicemail, and free Wi-Fi. Deluxe studios specifically come with a kitchenette with a mini-fridge and a split bathroom with two showers. 

Bungalows are much larger and come with even more luxurious amenities like a private deck featuring a plunge pool and furniture, two full bathrooms, robes, a lighted makeup mirror, washer & dryer, vacuum, crib, and a fully equipped kitchen stocked with essentials like a full-sized refrigerator, stove & oven, high chair, dishes, utensils, pots, and pans. And best of all, with a dishwasher, you won’t have to worry about doing dishes. 

Deluxe Studio – Standard View

  • Comes with 1 queen bed and 1 queen-sized sofa sleeper and 1 single pull-down bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of parking areas or landscaping

Deluxe Studio – Lake View

  • Comes with 1 queen bed and 1 queen-sized sofa sleeper and 1 single pull-down bed 
  • Sleeps up to 5 adults 
  • Views of Seven Seas Lagoon

Bungalow

  • Comes with 1 king bed and 1 queen bed and 1 queen-sized sofa sleeper and 2 single pull-down beds 
  • Sleeps up to 8 adults 
  • Views of Seven Seas Lagoon

Disney Polynesian Hotel Prices

Hotel room with two sinks

If you’re thinking, “Well, it is a deluxe resort, so it’s gotta be expensive. How much is the Polynesian Resort per night?”, we’ll admit that Polynesian resort rooms aren’t the cheapest on Disney property. If you’re looking for a similarly tropical vibe that’s easier on the budget, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is an excellent substitute. However, if you’re needing a plush, comfortable room with an ideal location and some fun dining and recreation offerings and you’ve got a fair amount of space in your travel budget), then Disney’s Polynesian resort might be for you. 

That being said, just like when you stay at any other hotel, your room rate is determined by when you travel, the size of your room, and what kind of view you’d like to be guaranteed. For example, while staying during the low season in a standard room with a less-than-breathtaking view of the parking lot net you a lower rate, staying during Christmas and New Year’s in a club-level room overlooking Magic Kingdom will cost you over $1,700.  

With rates starting out in the low-to-mid $600s during the low season and climbing to the low $1000s, standard rooms at Disney’s Polynesian are the cheapest option. Meanwhile, with prices beginning in the low-to-mid $000s and reaching a little over $5000 up during the winter holiday, the bungalow is easily the priciest choice.

Below are some examples of what you can expect to pay at the Polynesian Village and Polynesian Villas & Bungalows:

Polynesian Village

  • Standard View: $618 to $1,053
  • Pool or Marina View: $706 to $1,116
  • Lagoon View: $778 to $1,286
  • Theme Park View: $875 to $1,384
  • 1 Bedroom Suite: $1,521 to $2,382
  • Garden View – Club Level: $844 to $1,335
  • Lagoon View – Club Level: $1,029 to $1,618
  • Theme Park View – Club Level: $1,140 to $1,742

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

  • Deluxe Studio – Standard View: $618 to $1,053
  • Deluxe Studio – Lake View: $778 to $1,286
  • Bungalow: $3,087 to $5,528

Disney World Polynesian Resort Amenities

Beyond its comfy rooms and idyllic, South Seas-inspired setting, Disney’s Polynesian Village, Villas & Bungalows boast a host of amenities such as several dining experiences (including a dinner show) and enough outdoor recreational offerings to keep you busy even when you’re not visiting the theme parks. 

Polynesian Resort Dining

Similar to other deluxe Disney World resorts, you’ll find an array of dining styles. Unlike other deluxe hotels, however, while you will find both quick-service and table-service restaurants, you will not find a signature dining option. However, standout dining (and drinking) experiences like ‘Ohana, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and the Spirit of Aloha luau more than make up for it. That being said, if you’re still in the mood for something fancy, you’re only a short walk or Monorail ride away from some of the best fine dining at Disney World, with the Grand Floridian’s Victoria & Albert’s and the Contemporary’s California Grill right next door. 

Plus, nothing says tropical paradise like a fruity drink or three. Fortunately, there is no shortage of places to grab a refreshing beverage at the Polynesian, whether you’re looking for a casual pool bar, a hotel lounge with some tasty bar bites, or a highly themed tiki bar unlike any you’ve ever been to before. 

Barefoot Pool Bar

Looking for something fresh and fruity but you’d rather not wait in line at Trader Sam’s? The Barefoot Pool Bar is perfect for sticking your toes in the sand while you sip on an icy mocktail, cocktail, beer, or wine. And with a location on the beach right next to the marina and Lava Pool, it’s also a great place to take in the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Go for one of their boozy specialties like the Lava Flow or the Pago Pago Painkiller.

Capt. Cook’s

Wanting a place to grab breakfast on your way out the door in the morning or a quick dinner before the Magic Kingdom fireworks begin? Capt. Cook’s is the Polynesian resort’s quick service restaurant, dishing up a mix of both island and Asian-inspired eats and American favorites. While the Kona Café is known for its Tonga Toast (Texas toast-sized slabs of sourdough French toast filled with banana), you can find it here as well. In the afternoon and evening, go for more tropical tastes like the Aloha Pork Sandwich or Asian-style Noodle Salad

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha

No trip to Hawaii is complete without a luau, the welcoming hospitality of the Hawaiian people, and mouthwatering food. At Disney’s Spirit of Aloha dinner show in the Polynesian’s Luau Cove, you get it all. Throughout the show, you’ll be greeted with music and dances from across the Polynesian isles, as well as a tempting array of bottomless dishes brimming with island flair like Pineapple-Coconut Bread, Lanoi Roasted Chicken, and the Kilauea Volcano Delight Dessert. To top it all off, the drinks here are bottomless too, including tropical rum punch, beer, wine, sodas, coffee, and tea. Keep in mind that unlike the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, the Polynesian luau is held in an open-air theater and is subject to the weather, so be sure to plan accordingly. 

Kona Café 

Not able to get a reservation at ‘Ohana? No worries, the Kona Café is an excellent substitute. Like many islands in the South Pacific, flavors here take their inspiration from East and Southeast Asia. While it doesn’t match Disney’s Spirit of Aloha, the onstage sushi kitchen puts on quite a show. Take it all in as you nom on Poke Bowls, a Turkey Banh Mi, Pork Belly Noodle Bowl, or the Kona-braised Short Rib. In the AM, fuel up for the day with Macadamia Nut Pancakes or Plant-based Loco Moco, a Hawaiian classic with a vegetarian spin. Or, of course, more Tonga Toast. While you’re eating, you’ll even get a visit from friends like Lilo and Stitch at this Disney character breakfast.

Kona Island

For those of you who need a place to get your daily caffeine fix, there’s no better place than Kona Island. Not to be mistaken for Kona Café, Kona Island is a convenient walk-up coffee bar with some to-go eats on offer. Everything from shots of espresso to iced caramel macchiatos are available here, as are Sushi Rolls and miniature sweets like Banana-Rum Trifle and Key Lime. Whatever you choose, Kona Island is the perfect little pick-me-up no matter what time of day it is. 

Oasis Bar & Grill

Staying in the longhouses surrounding the Oasis Pool and don’t want to walk all the way to the Barefoot Pool Bar for some poolside refreshment? Then sidle on up to the Oasis Bar & Grill. As the “grill” in the name implies, there should be some food options available here. Currently, however, only drinks seem to be available. The same drink menu is available here as at the Barefoot Pool Bar including a Frozen Margarita with DOLE Whip Lime and Frosty Pineapple made with classic DOLE Whip and rum. 

‘Ohana

In case you’ve never watched Lilo & Stitch before, “‘ohana means family”, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Disney World restaurant more family-friendly than this one. This table-service restaurant is open for both breakfast and dinner, with tropical-inspired, all-you-care-to-enjoy meals beings served for each. Breakfast features Pineapple-Coconut Bread and Breakfast Skillets mounded with island-style fried potatoes, Hawaiian ham topped with pineapple compote, and more. Dinners, meanwhile, are filled with Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings, Roasted Eight-way Chicken drizzled with chimichurri, and Island Shrimp Casserole. And be sure to save room for ‘Ohana Bread Pudding

Pineapple Lanai

There’s no need to go all the way to Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom to satisfy your DOLE Whip craving. Just stop by Pineapple Lanai. This convenient snack stand located just behind the Great Ceremonial House is the place to go for all things DOLE Whip. Well, not quite all things – the only flavors available here are pineapple, vanilla, and swirl. Top it all off with pineapple juice or a rum floater. 

Tambu Lounge

‘Ohana is a hot ticket, and even if you have reservations, you could be waiting a while before you get to your table. Pass the time with a tasty concoction – and an appetizer, if you’re feeling really hungry – from the Tambu Lounge. Hawaiian-inspired bar bites are on offer here, like Kaikane’s Barbecue Pork Ribs. However, the real draw is the drinks. Mocktails and cocktails are both available. We like the Keiki Lemonade and Backscratcher, respectively. 

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Take your tastebuds to the tropics with a visit to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. This immersive tiki bar is inspired by the Jungle Cruise and is easily one of our favorite places to grab a cocktail at Disney World. Kitschy details abound, from your skipper serving up drinks and jokes in equal measure to cocktails that bring the bar to life in a really fun, surprising way. 

While there are some appetizers available here, like Roasted Chicken and Pork Pâté Bánh Mì Sliders, the stars of the menu are the cocktails. Make your sacrifice to the tiki gods with the cinnamon-fueled fire and fruity flavors of Uh-Oa, drink away the stress of the theme park crowds with the boozy Shrunken Zombie Head, and so much more. Plus, if you want to spend the bucks, you can even take home the souvenir tiki glass it’s served in. 

Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

While we think the Grog Grotto is the only way to go, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is a good place to wait out your table when the line there is long. You can find basically the same menu here as the indoor Grog Grotto, while the Tiki Terrace also boasts live music and a beautiful waterfront view.

Disney Polynesian Pools

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a tropical paradise, and what kind of island retreat would it be without a place to escape the heat? Luckily, there are two pools at the Polynesian: the Lava Pool and Oasis Pool. Pay tribute to Pele, the volcano goddess in Hawaiian culture, at the Lava Pool. Featuring a massive volcano, a 142-foot waterslide through one of its lava tubes, a rushing waterfall, and a zero-depth entry beach, this is the place to go for an exciting dip. 

Or, if you’re looking for something decidedly more mellow, the Oasis Pool is the resort’s leisure pool. For your own private escape, rent one of the pool’s Oasis Patio cabanas. Fitting up to 6 guests with covered, cushioned seating, this first-come, first-served perk is great if you’re looking to spend a good deal of time by the pool. 

Disney Polynesian Hotel Merchandise Locations

Looking for that perfect gift or souvenir, or simply a replacement for that bottle of shampoo you forgot at home? The Polynesian has you covered with two different merchandise locations. BouTiki and Moana Mercantile are the main destinations for everything from Hawaiian shirts and souvenirs bedecked with the Polynesian resort logo to Disney character stuff and snacks. 

Other Recreation at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort 

With such a magical location and lagoon-front setting, the Polynesian resort at Disney World is bound to offer some incredible outdoor recreational activities. With a view as great as that from the Polynesian’s beach, many of them are centered around there. At night, the sky lights up with not one, but two different shows: Happily Ever After, the Magic Kingdom fireworks, and the Electric Water Parade. These are must-sees for any stay at the Polynesian and, best of all, they’re completely free. 

For more free, family-friendly fun, kids and kids-at-heart staying at the Polynesian will also love the Movies Under the Stars, daily pool party games, and nightly campfires (although you will have to pay for marshmallows if you do plan on toasting them). 

Interested in more active, outdoorsy activities instead? Get in a friendly game of beach volleyball or take a jog along Seven Seas Lagoon and past the Disney Wedding Pavilion. Or, get out on the water instead of just admiring with a guided, catch-and-release bass fishing excursion or a motorized boat rental. 

Disney Polynesian Resort FAQs

Want to know more about Disney’s Polynesian Village, Villas & Bungalows? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions. 

Is the Polynesian Resort worth the money?

It depends on what your priorities are. If you’re trying to save some money, this isn’t it. However, if you’re looking for an elevated yet comfortable stay with an enviable view and location, some must-try dining, and just the right amount of romance and Disney magic – and you’re not daunted by the price tag – then the Polynesian is worth it. Even if you don’t want to spend the cash, with one of the best views of the fireworks outside the Disney parks, Disney’s Polynesian is still worth a visit just to watch Happily Ever After with your toes in the sand and a Dole Whip in hand. 

Can you watch fireworks from the Polynesian?

Yes! In fact, the Polynesian actually tops the list of our favorite places to watch the fireworks for free at Disney World. We recommend grabbing a Dole Whip and heading to the Polynesian beach, where you’ll even be able to hear the Happily Ever After music play during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Of course, if you’d rather spend the cash to see the fireworks from the comfort of your room, you can also book a Theme Park View Room at Polynesian Village or a Lake View Studio at the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. 

Can you walk from the Polynesian to Magic Kingdom? 

Yup! Thanks to the new Grand Floridian walkway, you can now walk from the Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom in about 25 minutes depending on your pace. Alternatively, you can also take the Monorail or the ferry from the Transportation & Ticket Center. 

How long is the Monorail ride from the Polynesian to Epcot?

The shortest way to take the Monorail to Epcot is by walking from the Polynesian to the Transportation & Ticket Center next door. From there, it’s just a 15-minute ride from the station to the main entrance of Epcot. 

Do Polynesian rooms have balconies?

Yes, some Polynesian rooms do come with balconies. All Deluxe Studios and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows include either a balcony or a patio. Additionally, some rooms at Polynesian Village also come with a balcony. For the best chance at getting one, we recommend you request a room on either the 1st or 3rd floors as most 2nd-floor rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort don’t have them. 

Well Disney voyagers, that wraps up our tour of the Polynesian Resort at Disney World. Like most of the other deluxe Disney hotels, the Polynesian is an ideal stay for couples and families alike, thanks to its enchanting, island-inspired design, immersive amenities, and a host of playful touches with a pinch of pixie dust.  

During your stay, maximizing your time in the parks is crucial to checking everything off your to-do list. While you’re sure to save some time being so close to Magic Kingdom, make your day stretch even further with our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Plan. Hoping to save some cash instead? Then don’t miss out on our discounted Walt Disney World tickets

Have you stayed at the Polynesian? Are you daydreaming about staying in the overwater bungalows? Which Disney Polynesian restaurant is your favorite? Where is your favorite spot to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks at the Polynesian? Let us know in the comments!

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