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Disney Fans Express Disappointment Over New Magic Kingdom Resort Addition, Claiming Loss of Magic

Polynesian Cross
Credit: Inside the Magic

Later this year, the Walt Disney World Resort will officially debut its newest Magic Kingdom resort area addition, but fans are not happy about the change.

A picturesque view of a fairy tale Cinderella Castle with spires, under a clear blue sky with the sun setting behind, casting a warm glow over the scene.

Credit: Disney

The Disney Experiences brand is an evolutionary beast. Not a year goes by when Disney executives begin conceiving, developing, and executing new ideas to remain innovative and imaginary.

On the attraction front, in the last two years alone, Disney World has added two flagship rides: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT and TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

In the near future, the House of Mouse will also drastically expand the offering at both Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

A permit filed at the former sees the “Beyond Big Thunder” project officially commence, while over at Animal Kingdom, Imagineers are beginning the initial development of the Tropical Americas location set to replace DinoLand U.S.A. at the Disney World park.

Concept art for the all-new area coming to Animal Kingdom inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones

Credit: Disney

Both of these updates, as well as others coming down the pipeline (read: Test Track retheme), will come as Bob Iger pledges $60 billion company-wide, half of which will be situated towards parks and resorts. With $30 billion to play with, how will the Mouse House give guests the biggest bang for their buck?

And, we know–despite Iger’s massive payout–that the value-for-money experience is something Disney is massively drifting away from. As costs rise across tickets, offerings like Disney Genie+, food and beverage items, and accommodation, many guests feel priced out by the parks, especially at Walt Disney World.

An entrance sign to walt disney world, featuring a large blue banner with the park's name in stylized white lettering, flanked by flags, under a clear blue sky with fluffy clouds.

Credit: Flickr, Ussamam

Speaking of accommodation, it’s not just attractions that are being developed in Florida. No, the parks in the Sunshine State are also getting new places to stay.

One of Disney World’s most beloved resorts, and one that is as old as the park itself, is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. In late 2022, Disney shared that a new Disney Vacation Club tower would be constructed at the Polynesian.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

This information was quickly rejected by fans, claiming the addition of a tower-style accommodation in the heart of this resort takes away from the themeing present at the hotel, with some even going so far as to name it the “Disney Marriott.”

Now, over a year on, Disney Parks Blog has shared important information regarding the new structure, which has been confirmed to be named the Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and will take guests “on a storytelling journey that brings to life the spirit of Polynesia.”

A luxury resort at dusk, illuminated warmly, featuring multiple balconies, surrounded by palm trees, a tranquil swimming pool in the foreground, and a serene lake reflecting the sunset at Disney.

Credit: Disney

“Projected to open in December 2024, the proposed 10-story tower overlooking the stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon will celebrate the natural world and, of course, the magic of Disney,” reads the announcement.

It seems that Disney is aware of the naysayers, though, by reminding fans that a “prominent tower” was included in the original concept designs for the Polynesian Village Resort.

DVC Tower at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Credit: Disney

“Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will complete the vision created by Disney Imagineers decades ago while embracing the rich culture from the Polynesian Islands,” says the post.

The announcement also shares that Walt Disney Imagineering worked with artists from all over the world for the interior artwork and paneling featured throughout.

A spacious, modern hotel lobby at the Magic Kingdom Resort featuring geometric patterns and natural textures, with a central water feature, large fern installations, and abundant natural light.

Credit: Disney

Island Tower will “feature a variety of room types that will sleep from two to nine guests, such as duo studios, spacious one- and two-bedroom villas and brand-new two-bedroom penthouse villas.”

For all of the pomp and spectacle of Disney’s announcement, park fans continue to be less than impressed by the construction of this tower at the the Polynesian.

Disney's Polynesian Resort bungalows

Credit: Disney

After posting an announcement video on social media, fans flooded the comments with negative responses aimed at the lack of creativity and the need to create corporate-looking spaces at places like the Walt Disney World Resort.

“Well, I’m glad I got to stay at the Polynesian once before the overwater bungalows ruined that view from the beach and once before this monster took away the luau and another picturesque view,” one user on Instagram wrote. “[N]o more Polynesian for me–why is the magic gone from Disney?”

Entrance sign of Magic Kingdom

Credit: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr

Related: New Photo Reveals What Will Be Destroyed in Record-Breaking Magic Kingdom Expansion

Another comment echoed the above: “Disney, this looks like garbage. Why do you continue to cheap out your resort? If this doesn’t sell well, please reflect on what everyone is saying in the comments. This doesn’t look like the Disney difference; it looks like a generic Las Vegas resort.”

More comments likened the Island Tower to popular hotel brands, with a user saying, “Ah yes, the Polynesian Marriott,” another writing, “My favorite disney Holiday Inn!!!” and one claiming it looks like a Hilton.

Aerial view of the expansion at a construction site near water, featuring a dirt area surrounded by buildings with red roofs. Construction materials and equipment are scattered across the site.

Credit: @bioreconstruct

Related: Disney World to Combat Controversial Ticket Change With Free Food for Guests in 2025

There were positive comments on the post, but the loudest were the ones criticizing Disney for this addition. It will be interesting to see how many bookings the new DVC Island Tower receives once it begins accepting guests.

Disney Parks Blog shares the important dates:

June 4: Disney Vacation Club members can make early rental reservations by contacting Member Services at (800) 800-9800. Disney Vacation Club members will be able to make points-based reservations at a later date.

June 5: Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can start booking rental reservations by contacting (407) 934-7639.

June 6: All guests can make reservations online or by contacting (407) 934-7639.

What do you think of the new Island Tower addition at Magic Kingdom’s Polynesian Resort? Let us know in the comments down below!

This post Disney Fans Express Disappointment Over New Magic Kingdom Resort Addition, Claiming Loss of Magic appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Thomas Hitchen

When he’s not thinking about the Magic Kingdom, Thomas is usually reading a book, becoming desperately obsessed with fictional characters, or baking something delicious (his favorite is chocolate cake -- to bake and to eat). He's a dreamer and grew up on Mulan saving the world, Jim Hawkins soaring through the stars, and Padmé Amidala fighting a Nexu. At the Parks, he loves to ride Everest, stroll down Main Street with an overstuffed pin lanyard around his neck, and eat as many Mickey-shaped ice creams as possible. His favorite character is Han Solo (yes, he did shoot first), and his favorite TV show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer except when it's One Tree Hill. He loves sandy beach walks, forest hikes, and foodie days out in the Big City. Thomas lives in England, UK, with his fiancée, baby, and their dog, a Border Collie called Luna.

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