Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

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Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Polynesian Village Logo.png
Location Magic Kingdom Resort Area
Resort type Deluxe Resort
Opened October 1, 1971
Theme South Seas
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
Green lodge yes

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort (formerly the Polynesian Resort from 1985 to 2014)[1] is a Disney owned and operated AAA Four-Diamond Award–winning[2] 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.[3] 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.


A white sand beach off of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, with the Tuvalu Longhouse in view.

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.[4] 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.[5] Other Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and attractions are served by Disney Transport buses.[5]

The Great Ceremonial House featured a large "tropical rainforest" in its atrium with waterfalls up until 2014.

The resort is organized around a central building named the Great Ceremonial House, itself designed after a Tahitian royal assembly lodge.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Original design and construction[edit]

Longhouses, such as the Tahiti Longhouse viewed here from the Seven Seas Lagoon, house all of the resort's rooms.

The resort used United States Steel's then newly developed construction process for its original longhouses;[10] steel frames were erected on-site, and pre-constructed modular rooms were lifted into these frames via crane, similar to Disney's Contemporary Resort.[10] 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.

A standard guest room with two queen beds, after the resort's 2006 renovation.

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.[11]
  • 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.


The Lava Pool is the resort's main themed pool, featuring zero-entry, a water slide and water play area.
A former logo of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.
External images
Resort Icon
A card given out to guests explaining the story of the resort's icon, Maui.

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.[12] 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.[3] With other operational considerations in mind, swimming/wading is not currently permitted in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Role in ending The Beatles[edit]

John Lennon signed the paperwork that officially broke up the Beatles at the Polynesian Resort on December 29, 1974.[13]

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 PangInstamatic Karma (St. Martins, 2008)

Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows[edit]

On September 17, 2013 Disney Vacation Club announced that its planned next location will be at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The first phase of the changes to the resort will be completed on April 1, 2015, adding 20 over-the-water 'Bora Bora' Bungalows and converting 2 existing buildings (Moorea (formerly Tahiti), Pago Pago (formerly Rapa Nui)) into Deluxe Studios. Later in 2015, the Tokelau conversion will also be completed, at that point totaling 360 Deluxe Studios between the 3 buildings.[14][15] Alongside these reimagined longhouses, a Disney Vacation Club 'leisure lawn' with barbecue pit will be created.


  1. ^ Walt Disney World, The First Decade. Walt Disney Productions. 1982. p. 92. ASIN B000UV4K46. 
  2. ^ "AAA Four Diamond Award Winners, Lodging" (PDF). AAA. Retrieved 2008-05-28. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "The Polynesian Village Resort". Widen Your World. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  4. ^ "Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide, Polynesian Resort". MousePlanet. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  5. ^ a b "Transportation FAQ". Walt Disney World Resort. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Tikiman's Unofficial Polynesian Resort Webpage - Aloha". Steve Seifert. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  7. ^ "Disney's Polynesian Resort". the Dibb. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ http://www.insidethemagic.net/2014/12/walt-disney-world-unveils-new-polynesian-village-resort-lobby-look-with-more-seating-smaller-waterfall/
  9. ^ "Green Lodging Program Designated Properties". Florida Departmental of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  10. ^ a b "History of the World, Part VI". MousePlanet. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  11. ^ "Trader Sam's Grog Grotto". Tikiman. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  12. ^ "Lilo's Playhouse Recreation". Disney. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  13. ^ Turkmandu. "1970s- TikimanPages - The unofficial Polynesian Resort Pages". Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Disney adding Vacation Club time shares to Polynesian". Orlando Sentinel. 
  15. ^ Tim Krasniewski. "Sales permit granted for Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows". dvcnews.com. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°24′21″N 81°35′03″W / 28.4057°N 81.5843°W / 28.4057; -81.5843