Visiting Walt Disney World is an experience like no other. It's a place to make magical moments that your family will cherish for a lifetime. While park time is typically the highlight of your visit, choosing the right resort can make, or break, your vacation. With so many choices onsite at Walt Disney World, we've decided to give you a more in-depth look into some of the places we love to call "home" while visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth.
We're kicking off our resort showcase at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. This South Pacific-themed resort is a fan-favorite for both its location, but more importantly, its tropical island feel.
The Resort Details
While this first part may seem a little boring, it is important to know the make-up of this resort! Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is technically a two-part destination. It is comprised of both a normal deluxe Disney resort, as well as a Disney Vacation Club resort known as Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. The most important factor to the average Disney goer is the THEMING and this resort is bringing its A-game!
"See the line where the sky meets the sea..."
Admit it, you sung that in your head, didn't you? Don't worry, we did too! Who doesn't love Moana? She quickly paddled her way into our hearts and we are so thankful for it. Why do I bring up this Polynesian princess? Because she's the inspiration for the traditional section of the Polynesian Villiage Resort!
Photos Courtesy of Walt Disney Travel Company
LOOK AT ALL THE COLORS! These rooms really pop!
Most of the rooms in this newly remodeled section of the resort can sleep 5 people! Each room features 2 queens and a day bed. This means it's a great way to fit the whole family into one room, or have extra room to bring a friend along. Inside these adorable rooms, you'll also find a small refrigerator to hold drinks and snacks and a coffee maker .....because let's face it, we're rope-dropping the parks and will need some caffeine!
** The Ambassador VP suite and King Kamehameha suite both sleep 8 and the Honeymoon Room sleeps 2. All three of these rooms also provide Club Level access. **
"Ohana means family and family means..." you may need some extra space and possibly a kitchen to cook your own food!
Ok so that's not how that line ends, but you get the point. .... and it brings us to the second section of the "Poly," Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.
If you guessed it's theming is out of this world, you're right! This section of Disney's island paradise is Lilo and Stitch-themed. First, let's point out the most important thing to remember about this half of the resort.... it is first and foremost a Disney Vacation Club section. This means Disney Vacation Club members have "first dibs" if you will, at rooms found here. The reason this is important is because your MMV agent may have to practice a little patience when it comes to acquiring a room in this part. Rooms tend to become available a little later than the other half to give DVC members plenty of time to claim their spot.
Here's the 626, we mean the 411 on these rooms...
At Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, worrying about space is not a problem. For the average family, a Studio is the room of choice. These rooms sleep up to 5 and feature one traditional queen bed, a pull-down queen bed (don't worry it's an identical mattress to the stationary bed), and a day bed.
Photos Courtesy of Walt Disney Travel Company
For families who want to kick it up a notch, or may want a little more privacy, then a bungalow may be the choice for you! These over-the-water escapes are top of the line. Each bungalow features 1 king bed, 1 queen bed, 1 pull-down queen bed, and 2 single pull-down beds. They also have a full living room, kitchen, patio for ideal firework views at the Magic Kingdom, and a personal hot tub. YEP, your very own hot tub to sit back and relax after a long day in the parks.
Photos Courtesy of Walt Disney Travel Company
Let's take a stroll around the resort!
Picture this... the warm Florida breeze gliding through your hair, the perfect Polynesian soundtrack playing down the paths, and all the greenery you could ever ask for. This resort is lush! Need a little beach time? Disney's Polynesian Village Resort has that covered too. You can kick off your flip-flops and dig your toes into the sand, while the kids run off some extra energy.
**Tip: If you choose to do online check-in for this resort, make sure to still swing by the front desk to still pick up your complimentary lei! **
Is that your stomach rumbling?
You're in luck. At this resort, you've got a variety of options to grab a bite. If you're in a hurry or want something low-key, Capt. Cooks is the place to go. This quick-service dining is the place to grab some Tonga Toast for breakfast or a Pan-Asian snack. Have picky kiddos or picky kids at heart? No worries, there are plenty of chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers to go around.
Another great dining option is Kona Café. This relaxed café infuses a bit of Asian zest into traditional American meals and features an onstage sushi kitchen. While you can get Tonga Toast at Capt. Cooks, at Kona you can truly give it the love and admiration it deserves. Trust us, it's yummy, you'll want to take your time enjoying this meal. There's also a super fun option on the kid's menu called "Kids Sushi," but if you look closely you'll realize this isn't your average sushi, it's chicken nuggies on rice! Baby Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, would be so proud. While not required, snagging an Advanced Dining Reservation for this location is recommended.
We're not done with food just yet. One of Walt Disney World's most popular restaurants also calls Disney's Polynesian Village Resort home...Ohana. While this restaurant has seen some changes since the pandemic, it's still an ideal place to eat, eat, and eat some more for both breakfast and dinner. The current heavy hitter for this restaurant is easily the dinner, which offers a family-style, all-you-can-eat set up featuring things like Wood-fire Grilled Teriyaki Beef, Spicy Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, and Grilled Chicken with Polynesian-inspired Chimichurri Sauce. But one of the items it is most known for are the 'Ohana Noodles. These noodles are so good that when they initially didn't appear on the reopening menu, the Disney community banned together to shout to the heavens they needed these noodles. Luckily they showed back up on the menu shortly after. For Ohana it is always recommended to snag an Advanced Dining Reservation. Since its reopening, a walk-up list has been available but this list does fill up. Check your My Disney Experience app to check wait times and to join the list!
On top of these 3 dining options, there are still EVEN MORE places to grab food when you're feeling a little "rumbly in your tumbly." Places like the Tambo Lounge, which is upstairs next to Ohana, is a great place to grab a drink and a snack (including those noodles we just talked about). ....as well as Kona Island (next to Kona Cafe), the various pool bars, and possibly the most important location for the 21 and older crowd, Trader Sam's.
"How do you get a hippo out of a tree? Two shots (of rum)."
This is just one of the many catchphrases you'll hear inside Trader Sam's Grog Grotto when you order a drink. In fact, most drinks have a slogan that your Skipper (aka your waitress/bartender) will shout as they place your drink in front of you. The phrase above belongs to the HippopotoMai-Tai, which is delicious but is as strong as a hippo. Trader Sam's is hopping most times and it's one of the places to be on the weekends in Orlando. If you are familiar, even just a little bit, with tiki culture, this location has a major following. So, if you want to sit down inside, doors open at 4 and it's packed by 4:01... so come early to drink early, or plan to get in later and close it out! Don't drink alcohol or have the kiddos with you? Not a problem. The atmosphere inside this unique hideaway is still worth your time. Grab yourself a fruity Non-Alcoholic drink and some pulled pork tacos. Once inside, you'll come face to face with the Goddess of Disaster and experience adventure at every sip. Take time to check out the details of this bar and learn the backstory. Your skipper will happily answer your questions about the mysterious Trader Sam. Plus, if you're into souvenirs, you can bring your very own tiki mug home to relive your daring adventure.
** Something important to note: Explorers, under the age of 21, are allowed inside Trader Sam's until 8 pm each day. **
If theatrics aren't your cup of tea, but you still would like to enjoy a drink, just slide around the corner! Trader Sam's has a separate outdoor location (Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace) that still allows you to enjoy the same food and drinks as the Grog Grotto and offers fantastic views of Magic Kingdom's nightly firework show.
But wait, there's more...
Everything above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Polynesian Village Resort. We still haven't mentioned some of its other little offerings! Like, it's home to one of the best and most popular pools on property! So popular, in fact, that you'll have to scan your magic band or room key to get in; or that you can rent a boat to take a cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon. As we said above, the Magic Kingdom firework views are perfection from this resort and you can even watch the Electrical Water Pageant from here. The fun is truly endless.
But we definitely can't forget to mention the monorail!! Yes, the "Poly" is one of the deluxe resorts located on the monorail loop to the Magic Kingdom and also offers easy access to the monorail line to EPCOT. Staying here means quick access to the magic!
So, if you're looking for somewhere to stay at Walt Disney World that is a destination in itself, give Disney's Polynesian Village Resort a try! We promise, you won't regret it. :)