8. Restaurant/pineapple bread with walnut butter
Whether you want to watch Polynesian hula and fire dancers as you feast on all-you-can-eat family cuisine at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, meet Lilo and Stitch for breakfast at ‘Ohana, or relax with some tropical drinks at the Barefoot Pool Bar, there are plenty of dining options for all guests at the Polynesian Resort. But it’s the Kona Cafe that keeps luring us back, for one surprising reason: we are just bananas over the sweet bread provided with every meal!! As its name implies, it’s sweet, made with pineapple, and accompanied by appropriately delicious macadamia butter. No exaggeration: it’s the best bread I’ve ever eaten, and you won’t want to leave the resort without trying it!
7. Torch-Lighting Ceremony
One of our favorite magical touches at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows was actually a complimentary activity, not even listed on the resort’s official webpage, but nonetheless, a highlight of our stay. There is an evening torch-lighting ceremony most days of the week at sundown, performed by one of the dancers from the Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Laua. The ceremony doesn’t last long, but it’s full of drumming, Polynesian chanting and impressive fire dancing and fire eating, culminating in the lighting of the outdoor torches. A family is chosen to assist with each ceremony, but even if yours isn’t chosen to participate, you’ll be glad you took a few minutes to start your evening off the right way!
6. Ride in Style
While you can of course make use of Disney’s reliable, complimentary bus service from the resort to your destination, you’ll likely want to make use of the monorail and water taxi service when possible. They are often faster, more convenient – and definitely more scenic! The Polynesian Resort is located directly on a monorail line, which means it couldn’t be simpler to hop on a train and travel straight to the Magic Kingdom (or the Contemporary or Grand Floridian Resorts, if you’re resort-hopping!). You can also take a train to the Transportation and Ticket Centre, and then transfer to Epcot. Budding pirates in your party will surely want to try the water taxi service from the resort; the relaxing cruise around Seven Seas Lagoon is worth your while. Note: be sure to check online or talk to the boat captains about your destination, as you may need to transfer.
5. Children Play Their Own Way at Lilo’s Playhouse
Polynesian Villas and Bungalows is one of the few resorts that offers a supervised activity center for children. Sure, you’re on a family vacation, but sometimes it’s great to have some “you” time! And with Disney, you know your children are in excellent hands. Lilo’s Playhouse, for little ones aged 3-12, offers supervised fun including arts and crafts, Disney movies, games, meals and unique souvenirs. Kids can also participate in programs like chocolate-chip-cooking-making with Ratatouille, volcano-making and even pirate adventures! Disney characters are also known to drop by. Fair warning: your kids may not want to leave.
4. Dole Whip
We don’t know anyone who HASN’T fallen in love with Walt Disney World’s Dole Whip after just one bite. So if you’ve also fallen under its tropical spell, then this tip may be the most exciting of all! A little known fact is that there is one, and only one, place to get Dole Whips in Disney World outside of the Magic Kingdom, and that’s at the Polynesian Resort. Head to the Pineapple Lanai to get yours, and enjoy it in the comfort of your own resort. You can even purchase souvenir tiki cups/bowls to take home to make the magic last longer!
3. Hidden Resort Extras
When you want to take a break from the parks, look no further than your own resort. You’ll find an abundance of activities awaiting you at the Polynesian, many of them free. You can roast marshmallows over a campfire, watch a Disney movie under the stars, jog along waterside trails, try your hand at fishing, boating or volleyball, or take in a waterfall while relaxing poolside under a volcano. When night falls, make sure you’re on the beach to watch the Electrical Water Pageant, which will float right by.
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2. When to Go
Though anytime is great for a Walt Disney World vacation, there are certain times of the year when you’ll find better pricing if you’re staying at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. Try booking January to the middle of February, late July until October, or between Thanksgiving and the middle of December to snag the best deals. These times of the year generally correlate with fewer crowds in the parks, and therefore shorter lines for attractions and restaurants, so they’re a great time to visit the parks as well. Watch for promotions and discounts throughout the year!
1. Room With a View?
When booking your room or longhouse, you’ll have three basic view choices: standard, lagoon view, or theme park view. Of course, everyone wants a view of the Magic Kingdom from their room, but it’s still possible to get a view of the park from a lagoon view room; these rooms face the park or the lagoon, they just have obstructed views of Cinderella Castle. The theme park view rooms, with their unobstructed views of Cinderella Castle, understandably will cost a premium. To get the view without the price tag, simply head to the beach and relax on a lounge chair; you’ll have a great view of the park (and the nightly fireworks!), and you’ll even be able to hear the music from the show, all without fighting the crowds in the Magic Kingdom.