Polynesian Resort Review
The Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World sits in the Deluxe category and is what many refer to as one of the “Monorail Resorts.” The resort is spread out among several buildings, and the center focus is the beloved Volcano pool. But what sets this resort apart is it’s extreme convenience, especially for families with younger children.
What’s so convenient about it? If you’re spending time at the Magic Kingdom, you can get there and back in a snap. The Polynesian lies on the monorail route, but what less people realize is that it also is right next to the Ticket and Transportation center, where the monorail hub is. If you stay near this section, you can walk just a minute or two and hop on the monorail going directly to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, as well as pick up the ferry between the ticket and transportation center and the Magic Kingdom. You can also, of course, take the monorail on the longer route from the main monorail stop at the Polynesian, and you can also take the much smaller boats from the dock at the Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom. All of these options mean less travel time and less wait time when heading in and out of those parks, at opening, for an afternoon break and at close. Being able to get in and out quickly, if you want to take a break, is incredibly valuable for families traveling with children. In fact, this reason alone is popular reason for booking this resort.
This resort also features two well loved restaurants on property, Ohana, which features a character breakfast in the AM and a family style Polynesian dinner, and the Kona Café, well known for the famous Tonga Toast at breakfast.
The Volcano Pool is a fun theme for all ages and features a zero-depth entry, which is perfect for young children. This allows little ones to play and splash without being overwhelmed. There’s also a (very small) water play area nearby. The Volcano features a waterslide, which is actually much faster than I anticipated. It’s a tunnel for most of the ride, so the combination of dark and fast means it may not be a good fit for very young kids or those afraid of the dark, but is otherwise a very fun aspect of the pool. One thing I loved is that the pool is bordered by the “beach” of the lagoon, meaning you can step out of the pool and into the sand for some sand castle play or to lounge in hammocks or lounge chairs on the beach.
Speaking of the beach, this is a prime location for viewing the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks without being in the huge crowd in the park. You can see them directly across the lagoon, and the music is piped on to the beach so that you can enjoy the full experience. There is also a small electric water parade that floats by nightly.
The overall theme of the resort is lovely. I love the tropical waterfall at the entrance and beautiful tropical garden in the middle of the lobby. There are beautiful flowers along the winding paths inside the resort, as well as another small waterfall and stream area. Disney always does an excellent job with themes, and this resort is no exception.
The rooms are nicely sized for a family. Five can fit in these rooms, as they are equipped with a sleeper sofa. The rooms were remodeled a few years ago, so feel contemporary and clean. Each has it’s own balcony, something I always appreciate in a resort.
I’ve heard some people say that the resort is dark. It’s true that the resort is painted in darker tones and that the rooms are furnished in dark woods. However, none of the people I traveled with felt that this resort was too dark, either outside or inside. It’s not bright and colorful but the décor matches the theme perfectly.
All in all, I could not have been more pleased with the Polynesian as a choice for my family. The location wins hands down, and I love the tropical flowers and waterfalls all around. Plus, having a beach to watch fireworks from is a major plus. There are many great resorts within Walt Disney World, and I’d be happy to help you decide if this one is the best match for you.