User:Cas24/Drafts/Disney's Polynesian Resort

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Disney's Polynesian Resort
Location Magic Kingdom Resort Area
Opened October 1, 1971
Theme South Seas
Areas Rarotonga, Niue, Samoa, Hawaii, Tuvalu, Fiji, Aotearoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Tahiti, Rapa Nui
Rooms 847
Suites Standard Suite, Honeymoon Jr. Suite, Princess Suite, Ambassador Suite, King Kamehamea Suite
Green lodge yes

Disney's Polynesian Resort is a Disney owned and operated AAA Four-Diamond award winning[1] resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States. 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.[2] It was designed by Welton Becket and Associates and constructed by US Steel Realty Development.[3]

Since its opening in 1971, the resort has seen two 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 its current name over former Polynesian Village titles. The resort now has a collective 847 rooms and suites, most recently renovated in 2006.[4]


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

Disney's Polynesian Resort is situated on the southern shore of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, south of the 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.[5] 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.[6] Other Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and attractions are served by Disney Transport busses.[6]

The Great Ceremonial House features a large "tropical rainforest" in its atrium, complete with waterfalls.

The resort is organized around a central building named the Great Ceremonial House, itself designed after a Tahitian royal assembly lodge.[7] The Great Ceremonial House houses guest services and most of the resort's dining and merchandise locations. The Great Ceremonial House also features a large tropical rain forest in its atrium, with over 75 species of plant-life[8] and several waterfalls. No rooms are contained in this building, instead several lodges, longhouses, house all guest rooms and are spread out amongst resort property.

As of 2008, Disney's Polynesian Resort is certified green lodging property with the state of Florida.[9]

Original Design and Construction[edit]

The resort is noted for its use of US Steel's then newly-developed construction process with 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. It was believed that room renovation would have been a simple matter of swapping rooms as necessary, but due to settling, the resort's modular rooms became stuck in place, rendering them irremovable.[10]

Longhouses built as part of the resort's later expansions were built using conventional building techniques.

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


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[4], the Oahu longhouse was added and the Maui longhouse became the Maori longhouse. The Moorea and Pago Pago longhouses were added in 1985.[4]

On October 28, 1999, most of the resort's longhouses were renamed to better reflect the vast scope of the Polynesian islands. 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).[11] 10 of the 11 longhouses, excluding Fiji, were renamed: Bali Hai became Tonga; Bora Bora became Niue; Hawaii became Samoa; Maori became Rarotonga; Moorea became Tahiti; Oahu became Tokelau; Pago Pago became Rapa Nui; Samoa became Tuvalu; Tahiti became Aotearoa and Tonga became Hawaii. [11]

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

Guest Rooms[edit]

Most rooms contain two queen beds, a daybed, a lounge chair and table, a combination dresser and entertainment center with a flat screen television, a desk with an integrated rolling table and matching chair, two closets and connivence area between the closets for a small refrigerator and a coffee maker. Bathrooms typically include a single or dual-sink vanity, western toilet and a bathtub. The resort's guest rooms make use of earth tones such as brown, green, and red; and are heavily influenced by a modern-interpretation of the resort's original South Seas theme. The resort sports some of the largest standard rooms on Walt Disney World Resort property (415 square feet for rooms in original longhouses, 476 square feet for rooms in newer longhouses[12]), matched only by Disney's Contemporary Resort.


Disney's Polynesian Resort has two full service restaurants, one dinner show and one quick service restaurant.

Full Service Dining and Dinner Shows[edit]

  • 'Ohana - 'Ohana is a large family style restaurant located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, which serves breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, the location operates as 'Ohana's Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, a meal service with Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch visiting tables while food is served family style in calabash platters. During dinner, the location serves its 'Ohana Feast, a family style feast featuring several varieties of grilled skewered meats cooked on an oak-burning fire pit along with family-friendly live entertainment. [13]
  • Kona Cafe - Kona Cafe is a mid-sized ala carte restaurant located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with Asian influences.[14] Kona Cafe is noted for its singature breakfast dish Tonga Toast, a deep-fried banana-stuffed French toast, created by the resort's cultural advisor, Auntie Kaui. Kona Cafe also serves 100% Kona coffee, prepared in a French press.
  • Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show - A musical dinner show named the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is performed Tuesday through Saturday nights at Luau Cove, an outdoor pavilion on the western edge of the resort's property. The location cuisine and entertainment is inspired by a traditional Polynesian-revue, including family style food and several authentic dances and performances intertwined with a back-story. [15]

Quick Service Dining, Lounges and Bars[edit]

  • Captain Cook's Snack Company - Captain Cook's Snack Company, commonly referred to as Captain Cook's, is a quick service restaurant on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House. Open 24 hours a day, the location features food with an island-style flair. Captain Cook's menu was recently expanded to additionally offer Tonga Toast and Dole Whips[16], two exlcusive items from other Walt Disney World Resort food and beverage locations.
  • Tambu Lounge - Tambu Lounge is a bar with an attached lounge area, adjacent to 'Ohana on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, operating in the evening hours. In addition to a full menu of beverage offerings and appetizers[17], several resort specialties are available from Tambu Lounge, including the Lapu Lapu, an alcoholic mixed beverage served in a hollowed-out pineapple.[18] Tambu Lounge offers live, Hawaiian style lounge music several nights a week
  • Barefoot Pool Bar - Barefoot Pool Bar is a poolside bar offering a full selection of beverages from the early-afternoon to mid/late-evening hours. A limited amount of pre-packaged food items[19] are available at this location.


The resort offers several shopping areas focused on Disney parks merchandise, resort-specific specialty merchandise, connivence items, and an art gallery focused on marine-life.

  • BouTiki - BouTiki is the resort's largest gift shop, located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House. It features resort logo items, novelties with a tropcial-theme, surf style clothing from Quicksilver and Roxy, and upscale clothing by Tommy Bahama.[20]
  • Trader Jack's and Samoa Snacks - Trader Jack's and Samoa Snacks are adjacent locations on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House. Trader Jack's features Disney theme park related merchandise, including character plush toys and clothing. Trader Jack's also operates a Disney Pin Trading cart next its location. Samoa Snacks is the resort's connivence store, offering small snacks, refrigerated beverages and other miscellaneous sundries.[21]
  • Disney's PhotoPass Desk - Disney Photo Imaging operates a PhotoPass desk at the resort to provide information and process prints for their photo services offered in Disney theme parks. The PhotoPass Desk also books and coordinates on-location photo sessions around Disney's Polynesian Resort.[22] The desk is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, adjacent to Trader Jack's and the entrance to the resort's monorail station.
  • Wyland Gallery - Wyland Gallery showcases a collection of artwork by marine-life artist Robert Wyland and associates. Originals, prints, jewlery and sculpture are available for sale from the gallery, located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House.[23]


The Nanea Volcano Pool is the resort's main themed pool, featuring zero-entry and a water slide.

[[:Image:Polynesian Resort Logo Clr.png|200px|thumb|right|A former logo of Disney's Polynesian Resort.

Many of the resort's current directional signs and other collateral use the "smiling tikiman" insignia featured in this logo. [24]]]

Disney's Polynesian Resort features two swimming pools, a marina, an arcade, a supervised children's activity center and a shared spa and health club.

  • Nanea Volcano Pool and the East Pool - The resort's Nanea Volcano Theme Pool was constructed in 2001 replacing the resort's original pool. 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 slopping entrance, as opposed to traditional stairs or step ladder, for the ease of use for younger guests and those with mobility challenges. The resort's East Pool is a "quiet" pool for the resort, offering deeper depths and a freeform design more adept for swimming laps.[4]
  • Mikala Canoe Club Marina - The resort's lakeside Mikala Canoe Club Marina, or just marina, offers a wide 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.[4]
  • The Neverland Club - The Neverland Club is a supervised children's activity center offering specially designed activities for children, including themed entertainment, crafts and meals. It is open from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, and accepts toilet-trained children ages four through twelve.[25] The Neverland Club is located to the direct east of the Great Ceremonial House.
  • Moana Mickey's Fun Hut Arcade - The resort has an arcade with a small collection of video games and physical skill games.
  • 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.[2] With other operational considerations in mind, swimming/wading is not currently permitted in the Seven Seas lagoon.
  • Grand Floridian Resort Spa & Health Club - Located between Disney's Polynesian and Grand Floridan Resorts, the two share a comprehensive spa and health club facility that allows guests from both resorts to use the various equipment and services offered.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "AAA Four Diamond Award Winners, Lodging" (PDF). AAA. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b "The Polynesian Village Resort". Widen Your World. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  3. ^ "WDW Facts". Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Polynesian Resort Fact Sheet". AllEars.Net. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  5. ^ "Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide, Polynesian Resort". MousePlanet. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  6. ^ a b "Transportation FAQ". Walt Disney World Resort. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  7. ^ "Tikiman's Unofficial Polynesian Resort Webpage - Aloha". Steve Seifert. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Disney's Polynesian Resort". the Dibb. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  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. ^ a b "Polynesian Resort". AllEars.Net. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  12. ^ "Moms Panel - Which of the deluxe hotels would you suggest for a family of 5? (largest rooms)". Walt Disney World Resort. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  13. ^ "Insider Information on Disney Dining". Walt Disney World Resort News. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  14. ^ "Asian-Insipired Cuisine at Kona Cafe". Walt Disney World Resort News. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  15. ^ "Themed Dinner Shows Delight Guests Nightly at Walt Disney World Resorts". Walt Disney World Resort News. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  16. ^ "Captain Cook's Snack Co., Polynesian - Menu". The DIS. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  17. ^ "Tambu Lounge, Polynesian - Menu". WDWMagic. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  18. ^ "Beware of the Polynesian pineapple!". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  19. ^ "Barefoot Pool Bar - Polynesian". AllEars.Net. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  20. ^ "Boutiki shop at Disney's Polynesian Resort". Tiki Talk. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  21. ^ "Disney's Polynesian Resort Review". MouseSavers. 2006-09. Retrieved 2008-05-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ "Disney's PhotoPass May 2008". Stitch Kingdom. 2008-05. Retrieved 2008-05-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ "Wyland Galleries Florida - Polynesian". Wyland Distributor Galleries. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  24. ^ "Polynesian Tiki Sign". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  25. ^ "Childcare at Walt Disney World". Intercot. Retrieved 2008-05-28.