Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of Walt Disney World’s 3 original deluxe resorts. It has been a favorite of mine since I was 4 years old and now, 30 years later it is my kids’ favorite resort as well. The atmosphere there really transports you out of the hustle and bustle of the Disney parks and into a tropical island retreat. They have amazing perks like being a resort monorail stop as well as being within walking distance to the ticket and transportation center. The electric water parade passes their beach every night at 9pm so you can have a front row seat. As most Disney deluxe resorts do they also offer a club level.
The words “club level” at Disney hold some weight, especially at their monorail resorts. You are treated to amazing views, free light food offerings in club lounges, and an incredible level of service. While I have stayed at club level at the Poly before in their Hawaii building I have recently discovered a whole new level of luxury that isn’t advertised. I found myself in the super exclusive Tonga building on my most recent trip.
Tonga is a small building located at the back of the marina that is comprised of just 6 suites. Like Hawaii you need to scan your magic band to enter. There is a distinct difference though, Tonga guests can access both Hawaii and Tonga but only Tonga guests can enter Tonga. From the moment you are lead to your private check in by a cast member who has been anticipating your arrival you truly feel like royalty. That is the moment when I knew I was in for something special beyond my wildest dreams.
Tonga building has some perks that go far beyond the typical amazing service at the Poly. This exclusive building gives you free room service for meals, not just club lounge offerings. You can sit out on your balcony with a view of the castle or space mountain and enjoy a complimentary meal from one of the several amazing restaurants at the Poly. You can also enjoy the free alcohol. While there are wine and beer offerings in both Tonga and Hawaii lounges that are complimentary there is a difference. I mentioned I wanted some white wine in the lobby of Tonga on day three and magically someone appeared at my door 15 minutes later with a complimentary bottle of Chardonnay chilling in a champagne bucket with 2 glasses.
While all these perks are great there are a few that make these look trivial. One of the most amazing things is that you are able to access the most coveted reservations for both dining and rides at extremely short notice. One week out from my vacation I had been looking to book Be Our Guest for dinner, I would’ve taken any time on any day of my trip. There was nothing available for any day or any meal online. However, if you are one of their club level guests you have access to Disney’s signature service reservation line. One 3 minute call and we had a Friday night reservation at prime time (7:00 pm) during a summer peak week. Their explanation for how they did it? It was a little extra pixie dust.
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Even better and more time saving were the ride options. I was able to fastpass Na’vi River Journey a few days before my trip in Animal Kingdom’s new land of Pandora. Most of those passes were gone on the first day they could be booked. We also learned about a whole new level of fastpasses that now I feel I can’t live without. It’s called the “multiple experiences” fastpass. Tonga building basically can hand you fastpasses with no time, date, or ride specified so you can walk onto (almost) any attraction you want at any park that you want. The best part is that when you run out you call your concierge and they give you more. This allows you to hit all of your “must do” attractions and cover a whole park in basically about 2 hours at your time of choice. We discovered these little gems after a rather long night at Disney Springs and we mentioned in passing to our concierge that we were a bit tired and it was too hot to be out all day. I was going to ask to reschedule our fastpasses and before I could say a word I was met with “we don’t want you to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced, here is a more efficient way to do Disney”. Magic!
I know that this experience isn’t for everyone and it’s certainly not something that is affordable if you travel to Disney a lot. That building’s prices average between $800 and $1600 per night or higher and are usually booked well in advance. Some people may say that it isn’t worth it to pay that for a hotel room that you will barely be in because you are in the parks all day. For my family it was worth every penny to have the convenience of everything at your fingertips. We also got a fabulous last minute deal because of a room vacancy. So if you are celebrating something special or want to do a serious luxury trip this is something really worth looking into. An extra word of advice? Call last minute to see if anything in Tonga is still unbooked, you may wind up with an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price.