by Kristen Helmstetter on March 16, 2009
My friends and I had to opportunity to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort in December. We had a great time at one of WDW’s most beloved hotels on property. The tropical atmosphere is enchanting and is a welcome respite from the busy parks. With its tiki torches, lush greenery, and deluxe accommodations, the resort is sure to please. This resort is one of the most relaxing places I’ve experienced on the Disney property.
But if sitting still isn’t your thing, recreational activities are plentiful at this resort. The pool at this resort is quite an attraction in itself. I can’t think of anywhere else featuring a water slide with an erupting volcano. There are also several different kinds of watercraft available for rent at the marina. Guests can also lounge on the beaches of Seven Seas Lagoon, but no swimming is permitted in the man made lake. Hammocks and palm trees dot the shoreline providing an excellent viewing spot for the Magic Kingdom’s evening fireworks. Unfortunately being that it was December, it was a bit too chilly to experience any of these activities, but I’ll be sure to report back when I have the chance. Hungry? The Polynesian features two table service restaurants, Kona Café (one of my favorites!) and O’Hana as well as Captain Cook’s, the counter service eatery on the ground floor. If you’d like to catch a show while you eat try the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. We hit the Tambu Lounge one night and had great time. It wasn’t crowded around 1 am (all the sane people were asleep after being in the park all day) and the bartenders were friendly and helpful with recommendations. There is also a pool bar, but we didn’t get to make a stop there. In later blogs I’ll discuss these locations in more depth.
And now for a bit about the rooms. We booked a standard room since we figured we wouldn’t have much time to enjoy the view. We wound up in Tokelau, which was a great location; close to the Great Ceremonial House as well as the bus stops, quiet pool, and TTC. The room was spacious enough for three adults to be comfortable with use of the day bed. At first I was concerned at there only being one sink, but we seemed to manage just fine. The small refrigerator in the room made it easy to keep bottles of water (or whatever else you’d like) cold and ready for the next day in the parks. It was also nice to have nicer sheets, towels, and a real hair dryer. We felt spoiled and wondered if we could ever go back to a value resort again!
While I love most things about this resort, I think my favorite amenity was being on the monorail! If you ask me, the Polynesian has a leg up on the other monorail resorts because you can walk to the TTC. If guests want to spend the day at Epcot, just walk to the TTC without having to go all the way around the loop and then transfer, like they would have to at the other resorts. Additionally, boat service is available to the Magic Kingdom. It offers a lovely view from the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Since we couldn’t take the monorail everywhere, we had to try the buses as well. We rarely waited long and the buses were rarely crowded during our entire stay. The only transportation issue I had came at the end of the trip when I had to check in for my flight. It took forever and the scene seemed like a disorganized mess. I’ve had far better service at the airline check in counters at value resorts.
Overall, we had a wonderful stay at the Polynesian Resort. I highly recommend it to anyone who can swing financially swing it. One of the great things about being a 20-something Disney traveler is you get to split the cost of accommodations with your friends!
Next time I’ll take a look at the first of many ways to stop and smell the roses while touring WDW….