When the Walt Disney World Resort opened on October 1, 1971, there were two (count ’em, two) resort hotels: Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Both were in very close proximity to the only theme park on property: Magic Kingdom.

For the last 45 years, The Poly, as fans lovingly call it, has attracted and delighted many Disney visitors.

Let’s take a look at the top five reasons why we love The Poly so much!

5. Theming

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a South-Pacific themed deluxe hotel. The lush landscaping spotted with ponds and fountains gives this resort hotel a luxurious and tranquil feel. Guests will also enjoy the white sand beaches, bamboo, and palm trees. There are fun details like tiki torches and Hawaiian statues all over the resort grounds.

After a complete renovation of the lobby, the large tropical rainforest was removed and a smaller centerpiece was added. Now, guests can see straight through the lobby to the floor to ceiling windows to the Magic Kingdom, which is situated across the Lagoon.

The latest version of the Poly lobby was somewhat controversial, but I think it turned out nicely.

The latest version of the Poly lobby was somewhat controversial, but I think it turned out nicely.

4. Accommodations

There are eleven two- and three-story longhouses and 20 two-bedroom bungalows situated on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The rooms and suites in the longhouses are large and well appointed, but the bungalows are really incredible.

The rooms at the Polynesian are very nice.

The rooms at the Polynesian are very nice.

As part of the DVC, the bungalows feature first-class accommodations at a cost. They start at $2,000 a night! With a private deck and Mary Blair artwork, you’ll live like Disney Royalty!

3. Transportation

Could it get any better than a beautiful setting and lovely accommodations? Actually, yes!

The Poly is one of the three resorts on the monorail loop. Besides stops at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the monorail also stops at the Magic Kingdom, the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Epcot. Although you pay a premium for being on the monorail loop, it is not only convenient but lots of fun! The monorail is an attraction in and of itself, and you don’t even have to have park tickets to ride! Guests will love soaring high over Disney’s beautiful property on their way to the parks.

You are just a monorail ride away from Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.

You are just a monorail ride away from Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.

Guests can also hop on a Ferry Boat and be at Magic Kingdom in just minutes! This is especially convenient in the evening after Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. When lines for the monorail and the busses can get very long, the wait time for the Ferry isn’t too bad even if you have to wait for the next launch.

2. Restaurants

Half of the fun at Disney is eating! There are hundreds of restaurant choices, and even more food options. The Poly has some of the best food on property!

The Tambu Lounge features comfy seating with TVs and signature drinks like the Backscratcher (which actually comes with a backscratcher souvenir) and the Lapu Lapu, served in a pineapple! You can also order some of ‘Ohana’s signature dishes right from the lounge!

Speaking of ‘Ohana, this family-style restaurant is one of the hardest-to-get Advanced Dining Reservations in all of Disney World and for good reason! Not only is the food delicious, but there’s a fun character breakfast every morning called Best Friends Breakfast. You’ll meet Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto all dressed in their best Hawaiian-themed garb.

Kona Café is adjacent to ‘Ohana and is famous in its own rite. The tonga toast, which is French Toast layered with bananas, consistently earns top regards when it comes to the best food in Disney World.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is two bars in one: The Grog Grotto is inside and the Tiki Terrace is outside. The Grotto’s ceremonial drink service is fun and entertaining while the Tiki Terrace is laid back and relaxed with live music.

Trader Sam's is two intimate and fun-filled locations in one.

Trader Sam’s is two intimate and fun-filled locations in one.

Pineapple Lanai is a quick-service window serving up the very popular Dole Whip as both a soft serve and a float. This is the only place outside of Magic Kingdom to get this treat, and the line is much shorter here than at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

1. Entertainment

Although all of these things are wonderful, I think the best part about The Poly is the entertainment.

You’ll get the common movie under the stars, campfires, fishing boating, and jogging trails, and themed pools, but there are also several special opportunities.

The Poly is one of six places you can see the Electric Water Pageant that snakes its way through the Seven Seas Lagoon every night. Beginning around 9:00 PM and for about 15 minutes, you’ll be able to see the underwater sea creatures followed by patriotic symbols. This is one of the most unique parades in all of Disney World. If you want to see it again, you can even take the short walk over to the Grand Floridian!

The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is also a great experience for the whole family. Join Aunt Wini as she hosts a luau and bids farewell to one of the local girls who is headed to the mainland for college. This all you can eat family-style feast will fill up your tummy and your heart with amazing Polynesian food, song, dance, and audience participation.

Finally, one of my favorite experiences at this resort is the evening torch lighting ceremony. Five nights a week, Tuesday through Saturday, guests can see a fire dancer perform a ritual that brings the spirit of Polynesia to Disney World. Although it is simple, it is really a lot of fun!

Are you a fan of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort?

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