Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
|Disney's Polynesian Village Resort|
|Location||Magic Kingdom Resort Area|
|Resort type||Deluxe Resort|
|Opened||October 1, 1971|
|Areas||Rarotonga, Niue, Samoa, Hawaii, Tuvalu, Fiji, Aotearoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Moorea, Pago Pago, Bora Bora|
|Rooms||492 rooms, 380 villas|
|Suites||Standard Suite, Honeymoon Jr. Suite, Princess Suite, Ambassador Suite, King Kamehameha Suite|
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort (formerly the Polynesian Resort from 1985 to 2014) is a Disney owned and operated AAA Four-Diamond Award–winning resort located at the Walt Disney World Resort. It began operation on October 1, 1971 as one of Walt Disney World Resort's first two on-site hotels. The resort has a South Seas theme, and originally opened with 492 rooms. It was designed by Welton Becket and Associates and constructed by US Steel Realty Development. The resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Since its opening in 1971, the resort has seen three major expansions; the first in 1978, with the addition of a longhouse, the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant/support facility, and a secondary pool. A second expansion took place in 1985, with the construction of two additional longhouses. In that same year, the resort adopted the shortened name "Disney's Polynesian Resort". On May 2, 2014, it was announced that the resort would revert to the Disney's Polynesian Village Resort title while expanding further to include Disney Vacation Club accommodations as well as enhanced resort amenities.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is situated on the southern shore of the manmade Seven Seas Lagoon, south of Magic Kingdom and adjacent to other Walt Disney World complexes, with the Transportation and Ticket Center to the east and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the west. The resort is on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop, providing transportation to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (via transfer), and is part of the route for Disney's Magic Kingdom Resorts Water Launch service. Other Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and attractions are served by Disney Transport buses.
The resort is organized around a central building named the Great Ceremonial House, itself designed after a Tahitian royal assembly lodge. The Great Ceremonial House houses guest services and most of the resort's dining and merchandise locations. From its opening until 2014, the Great Ceremonial House also featured an expansive tropical waterfall feature in its atrium, with over 75 species of plant life. The waterfall and foliage were removed and replaced, however, during extensive resort renovations due to health and safety concerns and to reimagine the lobby as a social space. No rooms are contained in this building, instead several lodges - longhouses - and water bungalows house all guest rooms and are spread out amongst resort property.
As of 2008, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is certified green lodging property with the state of Florida.
Original design and construction
The resort used United States Steel's then newly developed construction process for its original longhouses; steel frames were erected on-site, and pre-constructed modular rooms were lifted into these frames via crane, similar to Disney's Contemporary Resort. This method of building caused problems in both Disney's Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts, with guest complaints of a moldy smell in their rooms. It was found that mold and debris had collected in the spaces between each room. The spaces were filled in, stopping the problem, and Longhouses built as part of the resort's later expansions were built using conventional building techniques.
With newly found construction photos of the Polynesian Resort found, the rooms were done differently than the Contemporary. The Polynesian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, and the Court of Flags Resort all had the rooms built off site. The difference was instead of sliding the rooms into a metal frame like the Contemporary, they stacked the rooms and built the frame/concrete around them. Actual construction photos showing the stacking system
The resort design and layout consists of 11 two and three story longhouses, spread throughout the property. The resort originally opened with 8 longhouses, Bali Hai, Bora Bora, Fiji, Hawaii, Maui, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. In 1978, the Oahu longhouse was added. The Moorea and Pago Pago longhouses were added in 1985. Between 2013 and 2015, 20 over-the-water DVC bungalows were constructed in a new area named Bora Bora.
On October 28, 1999, most of the resort's longhouses were renamed. Today the longhouses are named for islands on the Polynesian isle map, with chosen longhouse names matching the relative geographic position of their namesake island(s). Ten of the eleven longhouses, excluding Fiji, were renamed: Bali Hai became Tonga; Bora Bora became Niue; Hawaii became Samoa; Maui became Rarotonga; Moorea became Tahiti; Oahu became Tokelau; Pago Pago became Rapa Nui; Samoa became Tuvalu; Tahiti became Aotearoa and Tonga became Hawaii. The 2013-15 resort reimagining has returned the original names of the DVC longhouses.
Two of the current longhouses, Hawaii (formerly Tonga) and Tonga (formerly Bali Hai), offer a Concierge Lounge - where refreshments, views, and lounge space are offered exclusively to guests of Hawaii or Tonga.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is home to several dining locations.
- 'Ohana - An all-you-care-to-eat, family style restaurant serving Polynesian inspired dishes on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House. Both a character breakfast and dinner is offered.
- Tambu Lounge - A casual bar and lounge located next to 'Ohana.
- Kona Cafe - A casual dining restaurant serving Polynesian and Asian inspired dishes for both lunch and dinner. Kona Cafe is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House.
- Kona Island - A dual purpose coffee bar (mornings) and sushi bar (evenings), located next to Kona Cafe.
- Trader Sam's Grog Grotto - Opening 2015, Trader Sam's Grog Grotto will serve beverages and small plates, similar to its sister location at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim.
- Captain Cook's - The Polynesian Village Resort's quick service dining location on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House.
- Pineapple Lanai - A refreshment kiosk outside the first floor lobby serving soft serve Dole Whip.
- Pool Bars - As part of the resort reimagining, both pools will receive new pool bars during 2015.
The resort offers several shopping areas focused on Disney parks merchandise, resort-specific specialty merchandise, and convenience items, located in the Great Ceremonial House. BouTiki is located off the main lobby, with Moana Mercantile located opposite Kona Cafe on the second floor.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort features two swimming pools, a marina, an arcade, a supervised children's activity center, and a shared spa and health club. The Lava Pool is Closed for Refurbishments until Early 2015
- Lava Pool and the East Pool - The resort's Lava Theme Pool was originally constructed in 2001 replacing the resort's original pool, although is undergoing a major reconstruction to provide a better experience for guests. The theme pool features a large, volcano-type structure with waterfalls and a water slide that feeds into the main pool. The theme pool offers a zero-entry sloping entrance, as opposed to traditional stairs or step ladder. A new children's wet play area is currently being added alongside an expanded deck. The resort's East Pool is a "quiet" pool for the resort, offering deeper depths and a freeform design somewhat more appropriate for swimming laps.
- Mikala Canoe Club Marina - The resort's lakeside Mikala Canoe Club Marina, or just marina, offers a variety of watercraft available for rent and offers private cruises and excursions on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The marina also offers surrey bike rentals for use around the resort.
- Lilo's Playhouse - Lilo's Playhouse is a supervised children's activity center offering activities for children, including themed entertainment, crafts and meals. It draws inspiration from classic Disney Little Golden Book stories. It is located to the direct east of the Great Ceremonial House.
- White Sand Beaches of the Seven Seas Lagoon - There is a large expanse of beach fronting the Seven Seas Lagoon, with lounge chairs, hammocks, and cabanas placed throughout the area. For a short period following the resort's opening, swimming was permitted in the Seven Seas Lagoon, with wave machines and other features built to increase the authenticity of the location. Due to land erosion concerns, the wave machines were not used beyond their initial testing period. With other operational considerations in mind, swimming/wading is not currently permitted in the Seven Seas Lagoon.
- Senses - A Disney Spa - Located close by at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village guests are invited to use the various equipment and services offered at the comprehensive spa and health club.
Role in ending The Beatles
John, Julian, and I (May Pang) left New York the following day to spend Christmas in Florida. On December 29, 1974, the voluminous documents were brought down to John in Florida by one of Apple's lawyers. He finally picked up his pen and, in the unlikely backdrop of the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World, ended the greatest rock 'n' roll band in history by simply scrawling John Lennon at the bottom of the page.—May Pang, Instamatic Karma (St. Martins, 2008)
Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
On September 17, 2013 Disney Vacation Club announced that its planned next location will be at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The changes to the resort are expected to be completed in 2015, adding 20 over-the-water 'Bora Bora Bungalows' and converting 3 existing buildings (Tahiti (now Moorea), Rapa Nui (now Pago Pago), and Tokelau) into 360 Deluxe Studios. Alongside these reimagined longhouses, a Disney Vacation Club 'leisure lawn' with barbecue pit will be created.
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