The Polynesian Village Resort has long been a favorite of Walt Disney World guests, ever since the opening of the Magic Kingdom and the resort in 1971. The Polynesian has aged well over the past 45 years and thanks to multiple refurbishments it is just as magical as the day it opened its doors. Recently the Disney Vacation Club renovated a few of the Longhouses creating Studio villas along with adding stand alone over the water bungalows along Seven Seas Lagoon. These new accommodations have been a nice addition to the Polynesian and brought with them some added amenities. Here are 6 secrets you may not know about the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
6. You can stay in these even if you don’t own Disney Vacation Club Points
Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare membership operated by Disney. Members buy a certain number of points that can be used in a very flexible manner for various times of year, resorts and types of accommodations. The studio villas and the bungalows at the Polynesian are part of the Disney Vacation Club and members have purchased points to stay there. But, it isn’t only members who can stay there. “Regular” guests can reserve and pay for the rooms just as they would for a normal room at other Walt Disney World resorts. You can contact your Travel Planner or look on the DisneyWorld.com website to check for availability. The only catch is that the Disney Vacation Club properties, including the studios and bungalows at the Polynesian, are not loaded into the reservation system as far in advance as other resorts. This is to allow members to book the rooms they want first. The exact time the come available varies but if it is not available the first time you check and you are booking far in advance you can keep checking.
5. Room Service
I know, it is not a big surprise that you can get room service at a Deluxe Resort. And yes, you can get it at the Villas and the Bungalows just like you can in the regular rooms. But, did you know that you can order the feast from ‘Ohana delivered directly to your room?? Yes!! You can. You can choose how many portions you would like (flat rate per portion). This means no hard-to-get reservation necessary, plus you can eat your feast wearing your comfy elastic waist pants.
4. Hidden Lilo
One of my favorite parts of the Villas is the design. Disney’s team did an amazing job blending a modern feel with a retro tiki vibe and using vibrant colors while still achieving a soothing retreat. (Can you tell I love these rooms?) The retro Mary Blair artwork around the rooms is my favorite from the TIki Birds to the Mermaids. I am waiting on the day that they sell these in the gift shops. Fortunately they are well attached to the walls with no wiggle room. One of the cutest parts of the Studio villa is the fold down bed that reveals an adorable Lilo & Stitch painting on the back wall when it is down. I love this heart-warming scene with Lilo & Stitch in their hammock on the beach in the evening. But I do have a soft spot for Lilo and for Stitch.
3. The Oasis Pool
As the villas were completed the “quiet” pool or “east” pool at the Polyneisan was revamped into what is now the gorgeous Oasis Pool. While the Lava Pool (the feature pool) gets a lot of attention, my family enjoyed our time at the Oasis pool just as much. There is plenty of space here to accommodate several guests. It is a zero entry which is nice for smaller kids and has some water spouts at the entry area to play in. This is also a salt water pool, so if you have chlorine sensitivities this is a great option. One really nice feature of the Oasis pool is the covered cabanas with comfortable padded seating. These cabanas are now available as rentals and should be reserved in advance. If you are planning on spending a day at the resort (& you really should) these would be a nice investment. The final hidden secret at the Oasis Pool is the Oasis Bar & Grill. You can get a really great meal from this grill (just double check the hours as they are limited). Anything from fried wonton chips to Kalua Pork Sliders and salads. But my favorite is the signature sweet: MalasadaS. These authentic Hawaiian treats are Portuguese doughnuts served with passion fruit curd. And served freshly fried are out of this world!
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2. Double Bathroom in the Studio
The room designers for Disney Vacation Club did a great job with the updates they made to the Studio villas with the Polynesian. They really seemed to keep in mind families and how they function when they are vacationing at Walt Disney World. In addition to the fold down bed (so the room accommodates 5 with a queen bed, comfortable sleeper sofa and twin fold down) they added drawers under the bed to maximize storage and a large coffee table chest that opens for even more storage. Since the kitchenette area takes up where a dresser might normally go that space is needed. The kitchenette is great for quick breakfasts, small meals and snacks. However, my favorite, favorite feature is the split bathroom. If you are familiar with Disney Cruise Line it is a similar concept. There is one bathroom that is a full 3 piece with a tub/shower, a toilet and a vanity sink. Then there is a second, separate bathroom with a vanity sink and the most fantastic shower every. It has a rain head as well as a removable sprayer. As a mom I can’t even tell you how perfect these bathroom set ups are. Thank you Disney. Plus they are beautifully appointed as well—I love the tile work in the walk in shower.
1. The Views
I will get to the Bungalows in a minute, but first let me just say that some of the Studio villas have amazing views. You can select from standard or lake view (price difference of course) and even within the standard category you can get some surprisingly magical views. Now, the Bungalows. Each one is situated over the Seven Seas Lagoon to give you an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom. Except for the bungalow next door you feel like you have a private view of Wishes fireworks. Did you also know that each bungalow has a plunge pool on the “back deck?” So picture this: a family reunion, everyone had a delicious feast of ‘Ohana food around your own dining room table and now you are out on the patio to enjoy an uncrowded view of the fireworks while relaxing in your private pool, sounds perfect, no? Or, it is your honeymoon (yes the bungalow is a little large for just 2 people, but still). You had a romantic meal at Citricos at Grand Floridian and now you are watching Wishes from your private patio—very romantic. The Bungalows do command a very high nightly price due to their location, size and amenities—just keep that in mind when considering one for your vacation.
Do you love the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and much as I do? What is your favorite secret?