6 Gems Not To Be Missed At Polynesian Village Resort At Walt Disney World

Tonga Toast Kona Cafe
Credit: Disney Dining

As one of the original Disney resorts opening October 1st, 1971, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has been a fan-favorite destination for many years. Nestled on the South side of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Polynesian has an incredible view, with the top of Cinderella Castle sitting on the horizon.

While the overall feel of the Polynesian has stayed the same since 1971, the dĂ©cor and theming has changed and been updated over the years to give new life to the resort and add new details throughout. Many guests who stay at the Polynesian love the atmosphere and frequently make it their preferred resort when visiting Walt Disney World. If you’re considering trying it out, here are 6 gems not to be missed at the Polynesian, to help convince you.

6. The Pool

The Lava Pool at the Polynesian was more recently expanded to make more space for guests to enjoy. In the shadow of a volcano, the pool features a 142-foot long waterslide for everyone to enjoy. There’s also a zero-depth entry point making the pool feel like the beach as guests walk straight into the refreshing water to relax and enjoy some fun in the sun. Nearby to the Lava Pool is the Kiki Tiki Splash Play area for kids to explore. The Tiki-inspired structure has lots of ways to play in the water and climb around, with tilting buckets and water-spraying Tikis providing the perfect accent to the space.

5. Hidden Mickeys

With the renovations to the resort, Disney Imagineers have taken the opportunity to add more hidden Mickeys to the décor, both outside the resort and even inside the rooms. Guests can search the rooms and villas for the iconic mouse shape and can find some in places like the artwork on the walls (look for sand) or even on the lamps, with hidden Mickeys engraved into the fixtures. Keeping your eyes peeled for hidden Mickeys can be a great way to explore all that the resort has to offer.

4. Spirit Of Aloha

For guests staying at the Polynesian, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is a definite must-do. The family-style feast is accompanied by a Polynesian performance of dancers, drummers and fire-knife performers. While many guests assume that the entire performance draws from the culture of a Hawaiian luau, there are actually many Polynesian cultures that come together to create this spectacular event, with dances from Tahiti, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa in addition to the traditional Hawaiian dancing.

The menu brings platters of all-you-care-to-enjoy Island Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs, Roasted Chicken and more, with ‘Ohana’s famous Pineapple-Coconut Bread all contributing to a satisfying meal. The combination of delicious food and great entertainment make this one of the best dining experiences you can have outside of the parks.

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3. Transportation

While many guests know that the Polynesian Resort sits on the Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop, some are surprised by the other transportation available to them. Water Taxis (also known as water launch) can take guests directly to the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon. This gently trip has great views along the way, not only of the incredible landscape, but the Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts as well.

The Monorail can also take you to the Magic Kingdom with a stop at the Grand Floridian, or the loop can take you to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you can grab another Monorail directly to Epcot. Another little-known fact about the Polynesian is that there is also a walking path directly to the Transportation and Ticket Center. It’s about a ten-minute walk from the resort to the TTC so guests in the East side of the resort may find it faster to walk than to wait for a Monorail.

2. Torch Lighting

Typically running 5 nights per week (Tuesdays through Saturdays), the Torch Lighting Ceremony is a special event put on by the Spirit of Aloha performers. It starts with the blowing of a conch shell and a lucky family assisting in leading guests to the ceremony. Drums play while a fire-dancer lights the torches and then performs a short routine. It’s a fun way for guests to interact with the performers and enjoy the ambience of the resort.

1. Signature Snacks

The Polynesian is known for a number of its signature food items that have become fan-favorites over the years. The Pineapple-Coconut Bread from ‘Ohana is always a crowd-pleaser, while the Tambu Lounge is home to the Lapu Lapu, a signature drink served in a whole pineapple. At the Kona CafĂ©, Tonga Toast is the one of the best breakfast foods in all of Walt Disney World as the banana-stuffed sourdough French toast is dusted in cinnamon sugar. But one of the best signature snacks at the Polynesian comes from Pineapple Lanai where guests have access to Dole Whips outside of the Magic Kingdom.

About Ryan Miller

Ryan loves all things Disney: from the smallest details to the biggest surprises and all of the magic in between. He loves the fireworks of Wishes, the thrill of Tower of Terror and of course, the dining at Disney Restaurants. As of yet, however, he has been unable to replicate his favourite dishes and snacks at home. In between trips, you can usually find him reading about the history of the parks and attractions when he’s not at work for his local public library in Burlington Ontario. Ryan’s favourite Disney moment was proposing in front of Cinderella’s Castle to his (now) fiancée, Lauren.