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Polynesian Resort Polynesian Resort
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1600 Seven Seas Drive, Lake Buena Vista
On the Resort Monorail Line
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 15 ( Displaying Reviews: 11 - 15 )
4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 28 - July 5, 2004
Reviewer: KatMark Carol Stream, IL     July 15, 2004
We had a standard garden view room in Tahiti. The room was huge and lovely. There were four of us husband, our son, our son's girlfriend and me (we went to celebrate our son's high school graduation). We had a few minor complaints that were either never taken care of or took a couple of days. One was we had dirty pillowcases when we arrived (it took two days to replace them); one was there was a light bulb in the bathroom that was burned out (and never replaced) and we left a wake-up call the first three nights and never got it (when I went to the front desk to complain they indicated the call was made but returned as unanswered...nobody ever came to check the phone in the room so we gave up with the wake-up calls).

Ease of Disney Park Access:
Getting to the Magic Kingdom was very easy...we took the monorail which stopped at our hotel and took it two stops to the Magic Kingdom.

Park Shuttle Comments:
Did not use. We rented a car and drove to all the Parks with the exception of the Magic Kingdom.

General Restaurant/Lounge Impressions: The lounge was too crowded to ever get near it and we only used Captain Cook's for snacks and a quick lunch as we ate most of our other meals at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot or MGM.

Pool Description/Comments:

The pools were both very nice. We walked by the volano slide pool, but we never used it as it was always too crowded with little kids. Travelling with an 18 and 17 year old, they preferred the "adult" or "quiet" pool where they could relax. The kids rented a boat and took a ride on the Lake which they enjoyed immensely (they also went over to the Contemporary and went parasailing which was a thrill for both of them).
16 out of 20 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   May 20, 2003
Reviewer: AVP Southern California     August 26, 2003
· Date of Stay: May 20, 2003
· Type/Class of room: Standard
· Rate/Night (for your stay): Included in package

We checked into the Poly after our Disney Cruise. The transfer from the port to the hotel bus was smooth, but the bus let us out at the hotel several buildings from the main lodge. (Apparently construction around the main lodge prevented the buses from leaving us at the entrance) Because of this, we had to carry our luggage through a construction zone to check in. There was one bell services cart to meet our bus - needless to say, it was quickly claimed by the first group off the bus.

When we finally checked in, we were given our room keys and sent to our room - in the same building where the bus had just dropped us off. We hiked back through the construction rubble, (bell services said it would be at least an hour before they could help us to our room), and discovered that we had been given the wrong room key. After another trip to the front desk and back to the room, and we were finally able to get off our feet.

Despite this mess, the Poly is a fantastic hotel. The rooms are HUGE, which would be great for families. With just the two of us, we were able to stretch out without bumping into furniture at every turn.

We had a fantastic sunset view, and really enjoyed just watching people pass under our balcony.

· Ease of Disney Park Access:

To the Magic Kingdom, fantastic - just hop on the Monorail and you're there. Epcot requires a transfer at the TTC, and you need to take a bus to AK or MGM.

· Park Shuttle Comments:

Did not use this trip.

· General Restaurant/Lounge Impressions: (Please submit a separate Restaurant Review for more specific comments)

The Kona Grill is a fantastic spot for a quick meal, and O'hana is wonderful.

· Pool Description/Comments:

There are two main pool areas. The one with the volcano slide is usually filled with kids, and the other is the more "adult" pool. We enjoyed them both, until the lightening forced the pools to close.

Overall, a great hotel, and well worth a look. The large rooms are a major advantage over the newer resorts.

33 out of 36 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   9/10-9/16/2002
Reviewer: JJSingh ( Studio City, CA     September 20, 2002
From the moment we arrived to the moment we (grudgingly) left, our stay at the Polynesian was fantastic. While there are some little gripes, the overall appeal and quality of the Polynesian is top-notch. Yes, the buildings do still need some upkeep and maybe are a little bit "sixties" in their appearance, but the theming, attention to detail and overall feeling of transporting you to another place altogether is astonishing.

From the valets to the housekeeping staff to (in particular) the concierge team, service was world-class. If there was a problem -- rare, but it happened -- it was fixed almost immediately. (When I reported a damaged light fixture in the room, it was repaird by the time we returned that evening ... and I hadn't even asked for a repair, just wanted the problem reported!)

The rooms are luxuriously large and have wonderfully large balconies, unlike the newer resorts on property. The bathrooms are large and appealing. Closet and drawer space is more than ample for a large family. The theming and decor is exotic without being kitschy or overbearing.

While there are some things that might give me pause in offering the highest rating, please keep in mind I'm not the AAA -- I'm just going based on my own reaction. I would gladly stay at the Polynesian Resort again, and felt the service, appeal and quality were among the finest I've ever experienced at Walt Disney World.

(Our room was 3511 in the Hawaii building, which offered one of the most spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom and its resorts that I have ever seen. Absolutely glorious!)
78 out of 78 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 9-15, 2002
Reviewer: disneyfamily Convoy, Ohio     June 30, 2002
Our family of four (2 adults, 2 kids ages 3 and 7) arrived at the Polynesian on a Sunday morning and were immediately impressed with this resort. Upon arriving, we checked our luggage with the concierage out front and were able to enjoy a stroll around the resort while the finishing touches were being placed on our room. I had initally FAX'd a room request to the hotel one week before our vacation, which they claim not to have received. However, the CM was more than helpful in arranging for a room in the longhouse of our choice. We chose the Rarotonga longhouse, Room 1813, which was first floor with a beautifully secluded patio from which we were only steps away from the "quiet" pool.

Knowing that the Polynesian is one of the oldest Disney resorts, we did not have grand expectations for the room; however, it surpassed our expectations due to the large room size, updated bathrooms, cleanliness, and convenience. The Raratonga longhouse, in my opinion, is one of the best locations at the resort. It is adjacent to the Great Ceremonial House, which houses all the resorts shops, restaurants, and the monorail and bus service. This longhouse is also adjacent to the "quiet" pool, and a very short walk down a scenic pathway to the themed "volcano" pool. The snack-bar, which is open 24-hours, is adjacent to the volcano pool and was easily accessible for our refillable mugs (which came in handy on early mornings when needing a quick cup of coffee or while poolside and in need of a quick, cool drink). Both pools were enjoyable, with the volcano pool being the one of choice for our two children. The pool has a great water slide, which was never crowded, and sits right next to a sandy beach which can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. There were always chairs available and plenty of dry towels. My daughter liked the squriting "fountain" area next to the pool which would shoot sprays of water into the air for the little ones to run through and play in. The beach was an excellent place to view the nightly fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant. Our rooms were always cleaned promptly, and the kids enjoyed the numerous towel "animals" which the maid took the time to leave for them, along with arranging their own stuffed animals and "decorating" our room with the free leis we had received upon checking in.

We thoroughly enjoyed the meals at both sit-down restaurants (Kona Cafe and O'Hana), with O'Hana winning our choice for overall best Disney restaurant for a family. The food was some of the best we had during our whole vacation, served "family-style" on a lazy susan right in the middle of our table and waiters carrying large skewers of beef, pork, turkey, and shrimp which you could watch being grilled at large open "pits". The entertainment (coconut races, hula hoop contest) was fun for the kids and kept them busy while we enjoyed our scrumptious meal.

In terms of convenience, this hotel cannot be beat. Being right on the monorail line, we were able to get to the Magic Kingdom in a matter of minutes, enjoy several hours, and when the kids got worn out it was a short ride on the monorail directly back to our hotel! The bus service was prompt but typical of any bus service; however, we did notice that our bus stations (where people waited at the parks for return service to their hotels) were always the closest ones to each park's entrance. Yet another benefit of staying at one of the deluxe resorts! There are so many amazing things to tell about the Polynesian, that I could go on all day. In my opinion, this is THE resort to stay at, especially if you have children under the age of 10. The Polynesian can boast a super-friendly staff, convenience, and many amenities including the two nicely-sized pools, larger rooms, boats, beach, etc. What more could a family want!!!
96 out of 97 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 7-12, 2002`
Reviewer: vacationgirl Duluth, MN     June 20, 2002
The Polynesian is a beautifully landscaped resort, with easy access to the MK and Epcot via monorail. The bus service was frequent, clean, and comfortable. It was nice to be able to hop the monorail for a dinner at Chef Mickey's, and a breakfast at the Grand Floridian.

We stayed in a garden view room in Tahiti, Room 3011, which is a short walk to the TTC. I was looking for a quiet location, and this certainly was very peaceful.

This building proved to be a little too far away from things, for someone with sore feet. It was difficult to use refillable mugs or go to the shops or restaurants. One night, I wanted to pop over to the shops about 10 pm, to get some post cards and look for gifts. I got out the door, saw there weren't ANY people around, and decided it was just too dark and secluded to make the trek. Tahiti was also a little too far from the pool.

Just think about the distance, your stamina level, and what you want to be doing, before you choose a building at this resort, especially in 90-degree humid weather.
Because of the wonderful landscaping, however, your walk will be beautiful! We took many pictures of the garden areas.

Bell service is very efficient at this resort. Our room was generally clean and comfortable, with a great balcony overlooking a picturesque garden area. We didn't hear a peep from the adjoining rooms the whole time we were there, and slept like logs. The air conditioning worked well. Maid service was excellent, although there weren't any of the cute touches I had read about, like arranging stuffed animals or "towel" art.

Because of the distance from the restaurants, we ordered room service twice. Breakfast came right on time; we also ordered pizza one night, which was very good (spoken by a pizza connoisseur). The delivery people were very friendly. They volunteered info about the resort and parks, and asked how our stay was going. I'm glad I tried the famous Tonga toast, but wouldn't order it again. It was way too sweet for me. The coffee is excellent, and they make a decent caffe mocha.

Everyone who works at the Polynesian has the aloha spirit, and they all seem very happy to be there.

The laundry room was fine. We didn't try the Neverland Club, or visit the arcade.

The volcano pool has a great water slide, not too long, not too short. I went down it myself, so it's big enough for adults. The pool is a little small for a resort this size. There are plenty of chairs and tables, and a great bar, but the pool itself gets pretty crowded and stays that way, all the way to midnight. You can't use the slide after 11 pm which was a disappointment to some night owls.
The location right next to the beach was great. There is also a quiet pool nearby, which was never as crowded.

The main reason that I rate this 4 planets, instead of 5, is because of the worn and dated appearance of the longhouses and guest rooms. In other words, I have a few MINOR aesthetic complaints.

It's not just that the resort is getting old. It's that the buildings belong to a particularly tacky period of architecture, which became outdated very quickly (like the Contemporary). The building design just screams 1970's. There are thousands of these buildings, in apartment complexes and college dorms all over the country. Except for the great gardens, you sometimes feel like you're at a mid-range apartment complex. I don't mean to be too critical, but compared to the AKL and WL, the theming is just not as intense.

In the guest rooms, the walls and ceilings look like Any Hotel USA. The ceiling in our room needed painting, and has your basic spackled industrial look. The ceiling tiles in the entryway were fairly hideous. They looked like they were stained with 20 years of cigarette smoke, and were falling apart. One tile had been torn, and then replaced sideways so that it wouldn't fall out, leaving a big gap where you could see all the way up to the ceiling. Not too magical. (But it must not have been too traumatic, either, because I didn't notice it until Day 3!)

The furniture was typical hotel stuff which just looked a little "bamboo-ish". It didn't have the substantial feel of furniture at the AKL. The common areas at the AKL also fit the theme better than those at the Polynesian. The Polynesian, in general, feels like they built standard dormitories and then just added a few decorative touches.

It seems to me that they have concentrated all their effort on the common garden areas and the Great Ceremonial House. If they added more detail (and made necessary repairs) to the longhouses and guest rooms, this resort might lose it's dated feel. This is one of the most expensive resorts on property, and seems a bit overpriced.

My minor design quibbles should not discourage anyone from staying at the Polynesian, nor should it offend any of the Polynesian's many fans. It was simply built in a different era, and by a different architect, than the AKL and WL; and since it's spread out it doesn't have a "grand hotel" feel. We found the Polynesian to be beautiful and magical, with wonderful service. You can't beat watching the electrical parade and fireworks from a swing on the beach. Walking at night among the Tiki torches with someone you love is a memory you won't ever forget.

75 out of 86 people found this review helpful
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