6 Gems To Know When Staying At Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

The Polynesian Village Resort was one of two hotels on opening day at Walt Disney World in 1971. The resort hotel is located on the Monorail loop, on the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon, and many rooms offer Magic Kingdom views. The resort is often referred to as simply “Poly” by many longtime Walt Disney World fans. Polynesian Village is a favorite spot for for its several popular restaurants- O’hana, Kona Cafe, and Spirit of Aloha dinner show, all of which draw guests staying in and out of the Polynesian. You might have visited the Poly, or even stayed there, but do you know these great gems at the Polynesian?

6. Walk to Transportation and Ticket Center

The Monorail is obviously the coolest way to ride to Epcot, and to do so, you’ll need to get on at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). Most guests staying at the Polynesian will probably board the Monorail at their resort, and ride it all the way around the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Transportation and Ticket Center. But since the resort loop Monorail runs clockwise, this means you’ll make stops at Grand Floridian, Magic Kingdom, and Contemporary before arriving at Transportation and Ticket Center. Instead, simply walk along the sidewalk to the TTC and board the Epcot Monorail. This way, you can avoid unnecessary Monorail stops, and needing to transfer Monorails. It’s a short walk from the Polynesian to TTC, especially for those staying in the buildings nearest the TTC path!

5. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

This gem is hidden on the first floor of the Polynesian’s lobby. Trader Sam’s is a highly themed bar, taking inspiration from Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the old Adventurer’s Club, and more. The bar features signature drinks you won’t find elsewhere on property, and plenty of drinks come in souvenir glasses! If you sit on the terrace outside, you can order rum Dole Whips, which are only available on the terrace, not inside! Plenty of signature drinks cause things in the bar to come to life, so make sure you’re paying attention!

4. Great for Families

The rooms at the Polynesian sleep up to 5 adults, so families of 5 don’t need to book a suite. Even with that many people, the rooms are large enough to still feel spacious. Most hotel rooms on property only sleep 4 adults, with a Pack ‘n Play option for babies, so being able to fit 5 adults in one hotel room is a treat. Plus, it’s easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot make the Polynesian Village Resort a great choice for families with small children (or parents!) who need an afternoon nap.

3. Rooms Built Offsite

It’s common knowledge (at least among Disney enthusiasts) that the hotel rooms at the Contemporary Resort were constructed offsite and placed into the existing steel frame onsite. This construction technique was developed by US Steel, who was the original developer and owner for both Contemporary and Polynesian Village (both resorts were later bought back by Disney). Whereas the fully finished hotel rooms were slid into place at the Contemporary, the individual rooms were stacked on top of each other at the Polynesian. Mold gathered in between the rooms, leading to guest complaint. This construction technique was not used again during the various expansions of the resort.

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2. Dole Whips

If you’re not digging a Dole Whip with rum from Trader Sam’s fear not, classic Dole Whips are in ready supply as well! The Pineapple Lanai, a walk-up window outside the Great Ceremonial House, serves Dole Whips in the soft serve and float varieties. It’s the perfect afternoon treat if you return to the hotel for a nap or a swim, and can be purchased as a snack credit! It’s easy to walk right past the Pineapple Lanai, so make sure you stop by.

1. Bungalows

The newest addition to the Disney Vacation Club lineup are the over-water bungalows at the Polynesian. Find views of Happily Ever After and the Electrical Water Pageant from your room. In the master bedroom, there’s a magical mirror television. That’s right, a TV inside the mirror, thanks to the geniuses at NASA. There’s also a pull down bed that sports a display of the Electrical Water Pageant. Two bedrooms, two full bathroom, a living room and kitchen round out this Disney Vacation Club room.

The Poly has a lot to offer its guests, whether you sleep there or just eat there. What’s your favorite thing about the Polynesian Village? Let us know!

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!