On the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, the Polynesian is surrounded by water, tropical vegetation, and rich colors.
From the main lobby in the Ceremonial House to the farthest rooms of the resort in buildings named for South Seas islands, the Polynesian Resort will convince you that you have been transported to an island paradise. Waterfalls, volcanic rocks, torch-lit pathways, and a three-story atrium are just some of the sights that help to make this resort one of the most enduringly popular destinations at Disney World.
Dining at the Polynesian
For hungry guests, The Polynesian Resort offers everything from casual fast food selections to an elaborate dinner show. Featuring South Pacific inspired American cuisine at a range of prices, dining at the Polynesian is an entertaining and delicious experience.
The long houses of Disney’s Polynesian Resort are built along the Seven Seas Lagoon
and have terrific views of the Magic Kingdom.
‘Ohana holds a special place in the hearts of many past Polynesian Resort guests. Children will love the Character Dining breakfast featuring the characters Lilo and Stitch from the movie of the same name. Guests of all ages will enjoy the family dinner, complete with the blowing of conch shells, hula hoop dancing, and coconut broom races. Not to mention the tasty food including skewers roasted over and enormous fire pit and an epic bread pudding.
The Kona Café
A casual dining alternative to ‘Ohana, the Kona Café features similar meat, seafood, and noodle options with South Seas touches. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Koa Café has great views out the enormous restaurant windows as well as great views of the cooks in action in the open kitchen.
Though named for a famous explorer, the quick service menu at Captain Cook’s stays firmly within the American food comfort zone. It is a convenient place to stop for a fast and relatively inexpensive meal.
Located right next to the monorail stop at the Polynesian Resort, Kona Island is a great place to grab a quick breakfast and coffee in the morning on the way to the Magic Kingdom or other parts of Disney World. In the evening, it becomes a sushi restaurant that also serves wine and sake.
Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Show
An all you can eat dinner takes care of the basics while a breathtaking hula dancing and fire and knife-eating show entertains you during this signature Polynesian Resort experience. Located in an outdoor theatre surrounded by lush vegetation, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is an experience the whole family will enjoy and remember.
Recreation at the Polynesian Resort
When guests are not out enjoying the Disney World theme parks, the Polynesian Resort has a variety of entertainment, relaxation, and fitness options to keep them occupied.
Nanea Volcano Pool
A towering volcano juts from the center of the Nanea pool, and a 142-foot tubular slide takes you on a ride from the top of the volcano into the heated waters. This is a children friendly pool with a play area nearby, and there is a second heated pool called the Poly East Pool that is quieter and deeper – ideal for more serious swimmers.
There are many great shopping and dining options
at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Grand Floridian Spa and Health Club
The Polynesian Resort itself does not have a health club, the club at the neighboring Grand Floridian is open to Polynesian guests. The health club is a single monorail stop away, and features access to fitness equipment from 6am to 9pm every day. You can also get from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian along a winding walkway that hugs the Seven Seas Lagoon. While at the Grand Floridian, guests may also take advantage of the full service spa for a truly luxurious experience.
Never Land Club
The Never Land Club is a Peter Pan themed children’s activity center where kids can spend the afternoon and evening while their parents enjoy an outing on their own. Fully supervised and open daily from 4pm until midnight, the center can provide children with dinner, snacks, and a wide variety of games and activities.
Other Recreation Options
Moana Mickey’s Arcade features classic and state-of-the-art video games. The Mikala Canoe Club Marina has different styles of boats – yes, including canoes – available for guests to rent. A 1.5 mile trail around the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon beckons avid walkers and runners. Guests can take advantage of Bass Nitro Fishing trips, including Junior Fishing Excursions for newly minted anglers. The poolside Cabanas are an ideal place to relax, watch television, and order drinks from a Disney cast member in between dips in the heated water.
Transportation Around Disney World
Guests at the Polynesian Resort can travel to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or other resorts in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area by taking the monorail. With a park hopper pass, guests can take the monorail to Epcot and walk or bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Otherwise, Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and resorts in other resort areas are all accessible via Disney’s complimentary bus service.
The style of the Poly transports you to the south seas.
Pros and Cons
One major advantage of the Polynesian Resort is easy access to the Magic Kingdom theme park. This park is the most popular theme park anywhere in the world, and is typically the highest priority for families with children. From the Polynesian, getting to the Magic Kingdom is a snap. You can also quickly get to Epcot as well, although it requires a quick transfer of monorail trains.
Past guests have noted that this is a particularly kid-friendly resort, which might be a pro or a con depending on your priorities. It does not have the same elegance and upscale dining options as the neighboring Grand Floridian, but it does have quick service restaurants, entertaining dinner entertainment and character dining, and a magical, adventurous pool that appeals to younger guests.
The Polynesian is also one of the older Disney World resorts, and its popularity with families has led to just a bit of wear and tear on the property. On the plus side, guests in need of a family resort will be a walk or a single monorail stop from the Grand Floridian with its spa, health club, and signature dining options.Herb Leibacher