As a general disclaimer, even though I am a blogger and a travel agent, I was flagged as neither during my stay. I booked my travel using a PIN code in my husband's name. I did not get any sort of industry discount nor did I flash a business card or anything else that would identify me. So this is 100% my experience as an average family visiting the Polynesian for a week....I was totally "incognito" (feel free to insert the Mission Impossible theme song here)
Of the several factors that I considered when choosing our hotel, I weighed transportation options the heaviest. Yup, with all of the more glamorous factors to consider, buses, boats, and monorail were on the forefront of my mind. I wanted to maximize my time in the parks, not waiting to get there. Also, my crew is still young enough that we have strollers and afternoon breaks to consider. That of course gave the edge to the monorail resorts. But which one? The Polynesian got the edge because not only is the Magic Kingdom just one stop (less than 10 minutes away), but you can actually stroll over to the TTC to get the Epcot monorail. From our longhouse it was only about a 5 minute walk, only about 2 minutes longer than the stroll over to the Great Ceremonial House to get on the Resort/Magic Kingdom monorail. Throw in boat service to Magic Kingdom for fun, and pretty frequent buses to the other parks the Polynesian has, hands down, the best transportation options on property.
The themeing at the Polynesian is great. The landscaping is lush and beautiful. There are also several water features inside and out that are not only lovely, but manage to drown out some of the noise of the outside world. Soft Hawaiian music is piped in through out the grounds. At Christmas time, be sure to listen out for the 12 Days of Christmas song Hawaiian style (Numbah One day of Christmas my Tutu gave to me...).
There are also great little shops in the Grand Ceremonial House. Clever names abound including Samoa Snacks (say it out loud) and the Bou-tiki. I saw lots of wonderful things there and at Trader Jacks, but neither had what I went in looking for. First of all, nowhere at the Polynesian can you purchase milk in any size larger than a single serving container. Annoying. I also went in search of new underwear. Someone, who shall remain nameless forgot to pack her underwear. I am sure it had nothing to do with planning the entire vacation solo, struggling to keep the trip a surprise, and packing everything for everyone else all while staying under the 50lb weight limit for flying with a suitcase. Anyway I was unable to secure extra underwear for
As far as the decor of the resort goes, for me it was just ok. In general, I would say it has a very dark wood dated 1970's Hawaii feel. My husband described the Great Ceremonial house as almost "claustrophobic." Personally, I prefer the more modern "light and airy" tropical feel. However, in a weird sort of way, the "dated" feel kind of grew on me. I bet the people who had fond memories of the Polynesian as a child will instantly feel re-connected to the property. My husbands assessment made me laugh with its accuracy..."I feel like I am trapped in the Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii episode. Bobby, put down that tiki idol!"
You can read Part 2 of my review of the Polynesian here. In the mean time, I took a stab at trying to edit together a brief video of our stay. It is my first try at such an effort, so please be kind! Double click on the video to view entire screen.
While you are visiting out youtube channel feel free to check our Holiday Wishes video. It was spectacular! If you can hang in there past the first 45-55 seconds I recover from my tripod issues and everything is stable!
I would love to help you plan your next visit to the Polynesian or to any other resort! TMC Travel offers the same rates (and discounts) as if you booked through Disney directly, but with lots of extras. Please Email me if I can help!
This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles.