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Polynesian Resort - Part One

The Polynesian Resort (affectionately known as the Poly) was an opening day hotel at Walt Disney World (October 1, 1971). Like everything at Disney, it has its own history. The following is a brief timeline of this tropical resort and a rundown of some of its offerings.

When planning began for Walt Disney World, the Imagineers were confident that they could build and run a second Disneyland-type park. After all, they already had ten years of experience doing just that in Anaheim. But when it came to building and running hotels, Disney management knew nothing. Even the Disneyland Hotel, which bore Walt’s name, was owned and operated by the Wrather Corporation. So they decided to hire an outside firm to manage the Poly and Contemporary until they could learn the ropes.

The Imagineers scrutinized the hospitality industry and eventually agreed that Western International would oversee the Poly and Marriott would manage the Contemporary. However, during this search, a deal was struck with US Steel to build the hotels and the contract stipulated that Disney would manage the resorts themselves. Realizing that they still had a learning curve ahead of them, another solution was needed.

In the following months, executives discovered that a new 140-room hotel was being built on the then fledgling International Drive. Disney offered the owner their services and proposed to manage the hotel until Disney World opened. This would allow Disney managers to learn the ropes and at the same time, create and write operational manuals that emphasized the Disney way of doing things. This would be a win-win situation for Disney and the hotel’s owner, Finley Hamilton. Until Disney World opened, Hamilton’s new hotel would sit virtually empty until the tourist started to arrive. But now that Disney had a stake in its success, it became the gathering place for Burbank executives when staying in Orlando. Thus, Disney cast members would master the hotel industry while catering to fellow employees.

Early plans for the Poly called for a twelve story central building and a number of smaller structures situated nearby. This design would complement the Contemporary’s height and its North and South Wings. However, the idea for a twelve story structure was eventually abandoned for the less imposing Great Ceremonial House.


Early Concept Art

Early Concept Art


Many are aware that the Contemporary was built using modular construction, but are unaware that the original Poly longhouses were also erected in this same manner. For both hotels, the rooms were built at a manufacturing plant three miles away then trucked to the construction site and lifted into place by a crane. The rooms were designed so they could be stacked three high without additional support. This is why the longhouses at the Poly are three stories high. Contrary to popular belief, the rooms were never designed to be removed once they were set in place. This construction method was used for economic reasons, not so the rooms could be swapped out for remodeling purposes.


Room Construction

Room Construction


The Polynesian Village, as it was known in 1971, opened with eight longhouses featuring 492 rooms, a central swimming pool, a putting green, and the Great Ceremonial House which held most of the guest facilities. In 1978, an additional longhouse was added along with a second pool and the Tangaroa Terrace Restaurant. A second expansion in 1985 added two more longhouses bringing the resort’s room total to 847. In addition, the name “Polynesian Village” was changed to Disney’s Polynesian Resort.


Growth of the Poly


In the early years, a wave machine was installed and tested on Beachcomber Isle. The idea was to create artificial waves that guests could actually use to surf. Unfortunately, the waves eroded the beaches (among other problems) and the idea was eventually abandoned. For many years you could see the remains of the machine, but it has since been removed and now only a rock wall marks the spot of this failed attraction.


Wave Machine


Other Poly attractions that came and went in the early years were the 40 foot war canoes (which required 8 guests to paddle) and the bob-a-round boats (which boasted their own stereo system). Both of these could be rented for a spin around Seven Seas Lagoon. The Eastern Winds was a 65-foot Chinese junk complete with cocktail lounges and a stateroom. This floating salon offered an exotic spot to relax and imbibe when docked and could also be rented for private excursions.


Eastern Winds


Some of you longtime visitors might remember the green tiles that once graced the floor of the Great Ceremonial House. These were replaced years ago with a natural stone. (Thank goodness.)


Green Tiles


On October 28, 1999, the longhouses were renamed. The new names are those of Polynesian islands. The longhouse positions roughly represent island locations in respect to one another if viewed on a map.

Tonga (formerly Bali Hai)
Aotearoa (formerly Tahiti)
Fiji (no name change)
Tuvalu (formerly Samoa)
Hawaii (formerly Tonga)
Samoa (formerly Hawaii)
Niue (formerly Bora Bora)
Rarotonga (formerly Maui)
Tokelau (formerly Oahu)
Tahiti (formerly Moorea)
Rapa Nui (formerly Pago Pago)

A Polynesian stage show was created for the resort’s opening ceremonies (October 26, 1971). As “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” would be premiering during the upcoming Christmas season, Disney wanted to promote the movie. To do this, they had King Leonidas kick off the ceremonies by arriving at Luau Cove via a barge. The tie-in was weak, but it could be argued that King Leonidas lived in a tropical paradise, the Isle of Naboombu. If you look closely at the next picture, you can see him sitting on his throne for the opening ceremonies.


King Leonidas


The evening featured hula dancers, fire eaters, and Hawaiian music and was presented on an open-air stage. Tables and chairs were situated in the sand.


Polynesian Dancers


In the early years, the Magic Kingdom often closed at 6pm. This left vacationers with little to do once the sun set. So it was decided to keep this Polynesian show, minus King Leonidas, and present it to guests on a nightly basis. However, the unpredictable Florida weather coupled with the need for better facilities necessitated a permanent stage and seating area. So in 1973, these came to Luau Cove with a 500 guest capacity. The show is still going strong today. During the years, this presentation has seen a number of revisions and name changes. These include: Polynesian Revue, Kaui-Pono Polynesian Revue, South Seas Luau, Polynesian Luau, and Mickey's Tropical Revue. Today, Spirit of Aloha is shown at 5:15pm and 8:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday and runs just shy of two hours.


Spirit of Aloha Entrance

Spirit of Aloha Seating

Spirit of Aloha Stage


Also debuting at the Poly’s opening ceremonies was the Electric Water Pageant. This precursor to the Main Street Electrical parade consisted of two strings of barges, each carrying a 25 foot tall screen featuring King Neptune and members of his dominion. The pageant concluded with an inspirational salute to the United States with flags and stars. The show can still be seen today and can be viewed at the Poly from the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon at 9pm nightly.


Electric Water Pageant

Electric Water Pageant


The Poly has seen other changes over the years. Tangaroa Terrace, a casual restaurant located in a longhouse near the Great Ceremonial House, closed in June 1996. It now serves as a banquet facility for weddings and other special functions.


Tangaroa Terrace


The stores and restaurants in the Great Ceremonial House have also seen name changes, remodeling, and even relocation over the years. Once, many of the shops were relegated to a back passageway off of the main lobby. Stores like Robinson Crusoe Esquire, Polynesian Princess, and News From Civilization have faded into history to be replaced by Boutiki. Boutiki, located on the first floor, sells men’s and women’s Disney and Polynesian fashions, swimwear, and other tropical souvenirs. While browsing here, be sure to check out the two Tiki gods – one hiding behind the curtain as his outside friend peers in the window.


Boutiki

Boutiki Tiki Gods


Nearby Boutiki is Wyland Gallery. Here you’ll find artwork and jewelry with an ocean or Polynesian theme. Artist Robert Wyland occasionally stops by for personal appearances. Call the gallery at 407-824-9635 for times and details. If you need a break from Disney gift items, this shop is a great respite.


Wyland Gallery


On the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House, Trader Jack’s and Samoa Snacks offer character merchandise, toys, newspapers, food items, and other “necessitates.” Between these two shops is a tropical hut. On it is a sign that reads either, “Out to lunch, back in February” or “Out to lunch, back in August” (depending on the time of year). This sentiment reflects the laid back feeling of the resort.


Samoa Snacks

Trader Jack's

Shack

Out to Lunch


Restaurants have also seen name changes and remodeling. Coral Isle Café was the predecessor to Kona Café. This second story eatery offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and features American cuisine with accents of Asian flavors. The Kona Café is also famous for its Tonga Toast. This huge slice of French toast is stuffed with bananas and encrusted in cinnamon sugar. This is an awesome breakfast, but you’ll probably want to skip lunch you’ll be so full.


Kona Café

Kona Café


Near Kona Café is Kona Island. During the morning, this walk-up facility is the perfect spot to buy a cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino, mocha, and pastries. In the evening, this location is transformed into a sushi bar and offers a wonderful selection of this popular treat. No reservations are needed.


Kona Island


On April 12, 1995 'Ohana opened, replacing the Papeete Bay Varandah. 'Ohana means “family” in the Hawaiian language and the meals here are served family-style. This is an extremely popular restaurant and advance reservations are an absolute necessity. I wrote a complete review of this restaurant in October 2009. To read it, click here.


‘Ohana

‘Ohana


Capt. Cook's, located on the first floor, is the spot for a quick bite to eat. Open from 6am to 11pm, a wide variety of selections are available here. In addition, many of the items are cooked to order, insuring the food is fresh and hot. And to the delight of many, Dole Whips, a Magic Kingdom favorite, can be purchased here.


Capt. Cooks

Capt. Cooks

Dole Whip


Capt. Cook's, features two indoor seating areas and a lovely outdoor spot that is perfect for an alfresco meal.


Capt. Cooks Seating

Capt. Cooks Seating


While staying at the Poly on this most recent trip, I enjoyed two meals at Capt. Cook's. For breakfast one day I had the Tonga Toast, the same treat that is served in the Kona Café. Delicious! On another occasion I had the Aloha Pork Sandwich and my friend Donald had a freshly cooked 1/3 pound Angus Bacon Cheeseburger and fries. The burger was satisfactory – nothing outstanding, but no complaints either. However, the pork sandwich was definitely above average. The bun was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. In addition, a pineapple slaw topped the pork. The sandwich had a lot of flavor and the pineapple accents were perfect for the tropical surroundings.


Tonga Toast

Hamburger

Pork Sandwich


That’s it for Part One. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.



The previous post in this blog was Casey’s Corner.

The next post in this blog is Polynesian Resort -- Part Two.

Comments (50)

Josh:

hey jack
I have never stayed at the polynesian resort before but i love the atmosphere that it brings. I hope i am able to stay there some time if i get the chance. can't wait for part 2 and as always keep up the great work.

Great post!

The Polynesian is my favorite resort of all Disney properties.

Do you have a map of the old locations of the shops?

Jon:

Where did you find all these old photo's.
I thought I was a real Disney fan but I never knew about the Surfing and the war boats. Fun to see the old photo's you never really notice the changes over the years like the floor. Till you see these old photo's. I remember being able to watch the fireworks and hear the music from the lounge that is next to Ohana's now. Sipping the Lapu Lapu's it was always a must do But now there are tree's in the way too bad.
Captin Cooks use to be Captin Cooks Hideaway a little lounge with live entertainment that was nice too. Nice to look back. Thank You

Julia:

ooooooh! I have been waiting for you to do a blog about the Poly - my favorite resort!!!! Mainly I am waiting for your KICK ASS video!!! (can I say that on a family blog?) Well I did, because they are!

You are a household name around our joint... my boys (7 and 4) LOVE watching your videos! Test Track is a fave and so is the Dumbo one.... We even have a running joke now saying "that's not right" just the way you do!

Anyway - love love love - from your biggest fan!
Julia

(trying not to sound to crazy....LOL don't want you to think you have a stalker on your hands...) I am all the way up in little rock... so no fear of that.....
(did that make me sound less crazy?) I hope so...LOL ;-)

Daniel Diehm:

Hi Jack (Great article).


I really enjoyed the article - the Poly has always been my favorite, but I have yet to be able to afford to stay there.

Keep up the great work - looking forward to part 2!

Dan

cathy m.:

Hi Jack,
The Poly is one deluxe resort I have not stayed at yet but I loved hearing the history about this resort.
I was surprised to learn that the neat water pageant was the precursor for the Main Street
Electrical Parade.
Looking forward to part two.

Robert Dickinson:

DARN you Jack! :) DARN You:) You gave away my best kept Disney secret and no, I am Not talking about DVC:) I'm talking about the fact that you can walk right up to the Kona Island Sushi Bar and get served without the need for reservations! We love the Sushi at Kona Island! We find it the best on property (or anywhere else for than matter). Even better IMHO than found at the Cali Grill.

Capt. Cooks is always enjoyable too. I'm in agreement with you with the Pork Sandwich. Its excellent and the slight sweetness of the bread truly complements the pork. And who can resist a Dole Whip?

The Poly is one of my all time favorite resorts! Love the themeing, Love the Electric Water Pageant, Love the torch lighting ceremony, Love the Lapu Lapus, what is there not to love about the Poly. This is classic Disney quality and attention to detail at work!
Thank you for some back ground and history on the resort. Love the photo that changes showing you that additions made to the resort over time. Very cool!!

Love knowing that the in addition to the Contemporary that the Poly too was built modularly. I did not know that!! Thanks!! From what I understand Disney was the first to employ modular building and its interesting to note that every Cruise Ship today is built the same way along with many modern high-rises. Disney innovations still at work today!!!

Well this is running long and I have to run but awesome blog. Jack you have out done yourself once again. Thanks again Jack! You ROCK!!!

Rob

Karen:

Hi Jack,
My personal favorite - the Poly. Not sure why it's my favorite because I've never actually stayed there, but back "in the day" around 1975 I did attend the Luau at the hotel one evening. Flaming batons and hula lessons for all! It was sooooooo long ago that I remember Downtown Disney as Lake Buena Vista - no buses either!
Thanks again, can't wait for Part 2!
Karen

Di Berry:

Absolutely fascinating as always. I'd love to stay at the Poly one day.
Please don't ever stop writing these pieces Jack. You should put them all together in a book and make your fortune!!!

Lis:

Thank you for all of this fantastic information! I have been going to the Poly since I was 5ish (around 1986) and did not realize all of the changes it had been through, or all of it's history!

Do you happen to know why the old pool with the waterfall and slide was removed? I loved it! You had to go through a waterfall and then go up stairs that looked like natural rock and then found a water slide. As a kid, it was the bees knees :)

Anyways, thank you for all of the great information!

Oh and I miss the hula dancing Mickey and Minnie near the cast member cafeteria entrance under the stairs in the main Ceremonial House. :)

Jack, I have to say, the burger looks way below average but the Tonga Toast - OMG! :)

NotIrish:

See folks? It's 'OHANA not O'HANA. Hawaiian not Irish. Sorry...this is my BIGGEST WDW message board pet peeve.

Great article. Thanks for the old photos and the "moving" map of the resort building additions.

It's too bad that casual restaurant couldn't stay open. It would have been nice to have someplace close to eat during my stay in the Tahiti building...the GCH is so far away!

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! I love the Poly. I have stayed there twice, the last visit being this past December. I love how I can stand on my balcony and watch the MK fireworks as well as the Electric Water Pageant. I know this may sound corny, but I love that parade and I never get bored of seeing it. It thrills me every time. I also love the theme of this resort, the shopping, and restaurants. They also serve up one heck of a mojito in the bar upstairs of the Great Ceremonial House. Cheers!

Jennifer L.:

I have never stayed at the Poly, but I love this resort. We have stayed at the Shades of Green and have visited the Poly daily. We LOVE Ohana! We are going back to WDW in July and already have reservations for Ohana for dinner and breakfast. Cant wait. I love the atmosphere that this resort gives. I love to sit on the beach and watch the fireworks and just relax.

My husband & I got engaged at the Coral Isle Cafe back in Jan. '89. We have now been married 22 yrs. We also became DVC members in '04. We try to get back at least once or twice a year, but have only stayed at Polynesian once since our first visit. Love the atomsphere there.

Ethan Shuster:

I think my favorite part of this blog are the history lessons! I do remember visting the Poly in the late 80s and think the decor was very 1970s. I think this was right before they made some significant renovations.

A. D. Johnson:

Great, now I'm thinking about Tonga Toast. Thanks a lot, Jack! ;-)

A.D. Johnson
-Littleton, CO
(Currently buried in a foot of snow)

The Levix Family:

We have stayed at the Polynesian with our children 4 or 5 times now and we LOVE it. We've also stayed at the Carribbean and Port Orleans for shorter stays, but the Poly is by far the best place. Our children love the "big" pool and the convenience of the monorail is a huge plus. We love the laid back atmosphere & feel like we're actually ON a tropical island !

It's definitely worth every dime to stay there.

April:

OOh, I love staying at the Polynesian.. Yes, it's pricey, but well worth it. Unlike your typical hotel, the resorts "island" theme gives you that great feeling that you are truly on vacation. From the hammocks on the sandy beach to the lit tiki torches at night, it gives the feeling of paradise. Of course, you can't forget about the accomodating monorail and the great view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Ahh, I'm ready to go back! I'm planning my trip right now!

Barbara Gizzi:

Jack, great and informative article. Where do you get the photos? Are they yours?
Ive been coming to WDW since 1973. Children are grown but I still vacation there twice a year. The Polynesian hotel has a great appeal. For me, the lush landscaping and tropical theme is what sets it apart from the others. However, my budget now dictates more economical accommodations for two trips, so its a moderate hotel with a meal or two at the Poly. FYI - I have the same photos of the tiled floor (1978) with my parents and young children occupying the large rattan chairs. I feel fortunate, as I'm sure you do, to have so many photos from the beginning and the memories that go with them.
Regards,
Barbara G.

GEORGE:

BEST PART ABOUT THE POLY WAS THE NEVERLAND CLUB. THE KIDS NEVER WANTED TO LEAVE.THEY WALKED THROUGH THE WINDOW IN WENDY'S ROOM LIKE THEY WERE FLYING!FREE VIDEO GAMES,FOOD AND DISNEY CHARACTERS.REASONABLE TOO. 10$ AN HOUR.

Gina Perricelli:

Now you have me wishing for Tonga Toast. We can't make a trip to WDW without eating breakfast at the Kona Cafe so I can have my fix of Tonga Toast.

Katherine:

Great work Jack- loved seeing this. When I was little we stayed at the Poly every other year, from 1976 on. We also have photos of family in those rattan chairs with the green tile! Love it! Ever since I've wanted to see the Polynesian islands and love anything Hawaiian.
We finally got back with my own family last summer on an awesome discount and had the trip of a lifetime. The staff there are incredible, the rooms, food, views, pool, everything was like the best dream. Thanks for reminding me of my favorite place on this COLD snowy Canadian winter day!

Cara Richards:

Thanks for a great article - the Poly is mine and Matt's favourite resort and even though we can't afford to stay there on every visit, we always make a point of at least spending an evening or two there, enjoying the ambience.

Julia K:

I've been to the Polynesian 3 times (been to Disney World ~30 times; Disneyland 3 times) and the Polynesian is hands down our family's favorite. I just love being in the "island" atmosphere--it is so relaxing and absolutely beautiful. I only wish we could afford to stay there every time we go to Disney World. But, no matter which resort we stay at, we ALWAYS visit the Polynesian.

A special thanks to you, Jack, for all your reporting, pictures, etc. that keeps me feeling like I'm at Disney without really being there.

Julia

Oh Jack!

You have won me over once again. I am actually considering changing my reservations from POR to the Poly for our April trip to the World. The deciding factor? The DOLE WHIP machine! Oh my stars... a little slice of heaven in the resort. So, do all the rooms at the Poly have a day bed? If so, I'm sold!!

Love your blog,
Tracy

Tiff:

interesting info about the polynesian

Joey M:

Personally, I don't like the Poly. Granted, it really does remind me of Disney and I love Ohana, but I would never have interest in staying there. I feel it's dated, and I would rather spend the extra money at stay at the Grand Floridian and be only 1 stop away from the Magic Kingdom. I must admit, I am bias to the Grand Floridian (it's my FAVORITE!)Does anyone agree with me?

Amy Bradley:

Thanks for the great history and photos of the Poly. It is my FAVORITE place to stay at WDW - originally for the monorail to MK - but now just for the atmosphere! I still believe their Concierge lounge and cast members are THE BEST. And, thanks for the tip on Capt Cooks. I have stayed away from it because I thought it only served fast food. I didn't know it served Tonga Toast or such great lunch items. Wow, that'll be lunch stop on my next trip!

Barbara Gizzi:

To Joey M, I disagree. The Poly is dated but true to its origin. It is one of the original hotels and has special meaning to many of us who have been going to WDW since the early seventies. I have stayed at both hotels and would take the Poly over the GF every time. However, to be fair, the GF is very elegant and stately and reminiscent of the hotel del Coronado in San Diego. And, that is exactly what it is supposed to be.

Hermes Chiong:

Thanks for the photos of the Eastern Winds and the wave machine. I have been hearing about the wave machine for years but I had never seen an actual photo.
As always great blog!

Hermes

Scotty:

My wife and I were guests at the Polynesian Jan. 10 through Jan. 18, 2011. First time at this resort ( have stayed at other resorts many times). We were somewhat disappointed in the physical aspects of the resort. It is tired and is starting to look its age. The grounds are beautiful; the staff is great. But the buildings themselves are not up to Disney standards of the 21st century. I would not consider staying there again until I saw that updating and renovation had taken place. Also, as a safety note: there was no "grab bar" in our shower and the tub floor was at least an inch or two higher than the bathroom floor making for a clumsy and dangerous exit.

Aniesa Holley:

Loved all of the fun facts about the Poly. We've only been to Walt Disney World 2 times, and have stayed at the Poly both times (once with kids, once without). Fortunately we are members of the Disney Vacation Club now, but unfortunately Disney hasn't built the DVC at the Poly yet. I hope that one day they will, I love the ambiance, and laid back feel of the resort, and would choose to stay there every time I go to Disney World if I could!

Heidi:

At first I thought this article was going to be about exciting new changes, but I wasn't disappointed at all! It was very interesting and surprisingly I learned so much. THANK YOU for a super informative article!!

Mike:

Great blog so far, Jack! The Poly is by far our family's favorite resort at WDW. Do you have any idea if there has ever been a playground at the Poly? I distinctly remember playing on a playground at the Poly as a child in the mid to late 1070's but cannot find any information on it anywhere

Jack's Answer:

In the early years, before the additions of more longhouses, there was a putting green located where the quiet pool now sits. It's very possible that a playground was also found in this spot -- but I really don't know. This is just a guess on my part.

Rob:

Great blog
We are having a heat wave today (high of 38) and the thought of the tonga toast and having some Kona coffee in the lobby waiting for my girls to get ready (I have 4 counting my bride) I make it through 2-3 cups

Jenna:

We stayed at the Poly and LOVED it and are going back there this May. We love staying on the monorail line and, because there are 5 of us, feel the price works out well for us. The room was very comfortable and I loved watching the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from both our room and the beach!

John:

Have always loved the Polynesian. Back in the 80s & early 90s, our kids loved the main pool which included a slide with stairs leading up behind the waterfall. Also loved the live parrots in the main lobby atrium. And the Polynesian "Luau" was much better than the current "Spirit of Aloha". It even included all you can drink mai tais.

Jared:

I think that original 12 story concept would make for a great DVC resort tucked up in a corner of the resort somewhere! I love the Poly, and the atmosphere and serenity it instills. I just wish I could stay there for fewer points than what my current chart allows.

Peter Ciarcia:

Last trip to the "Poly" will stay in my memory for the rest of my life. My best friend, Rob and I went during the spring of 2009. In January he had just had his 50th birthday. Having battled cancer for many years, he never expected to see that birthday. This was a real celebration of life. I faxed the resort a couple of days before we arrived asking for a room near the GCH, so he would not have that far to walk from the monorail or the bus stop. You can imagine the surprise when we were informed at check-in that we had been up-graded to club level. It was a joy filled week. He loved standing on the beach watching the fireworks. Sadly, we lost Rob last month, but we relived that trip with smiles and laughter in photos and conversations over and over. Truly magical trip to a magical place.

Robin Gorrell:

I have dreaned of staying at the Polynesian ever since I read about it in an article in a Weekly Reader Magazine while in grade school. It talked about the opening of Disney World and had a picture of the swimming pool. I was hooked! It took me 35 years to see that dream realized, but we celebrated my son's 13th birthday at the Polynesian. Not often in life is reality better than your dreams but this trip was proof that it can happen.

Linda DiSturco:

My first visit to the Polynesian Village was in 1975 when I went to WDW with my high school chorus class. We didn't stay on property but we loved going over to the Poly to have lunch in the restaurant that is now the Kona Cafe. We enjoyed sitting by the pool and soaking in the ambiance of this beautiful resort! Thank you so much for bringing back so many nice memories. I'll look forward to Part Two!!!

Bernadette DiVincenzo:

My children grew up at the Polynesian. Always stayed in room 1610 next to the pool. Loved to get up in the morning and hear the birds and feed the ducks as they came right up to our room. Loved the luas and the kids loved the mickey mouse lua. I dont think they have a separate kids lua anymore. Always enjoyed captain cooks and Ohanas.Loved the banana stuffed french toast, yummy. There have been quite a few changes especially the pool but one thing still remains and that is, the poly is still to me the most beautful property disney has and holds many memories for our family

gregg b:

went there in april of 1972 as a 5 year old and have loved it ever since. my parents said it was around $38 a night. just booked a week in august with my own kids and my parents, definately not $38 a night! I remember going to discovery island from the poly. love the fact that there are underwater speakers in the pool! what a cool idea. can't wait to get back!

Dawn:

I loved reading the history of the Polynesian. Although I cannot afford to stay there right now, I usually stay at Caribbean Beach, I sure would love to some day. Was just at Disney last week. On my last day there I went to the Polynesian for breakfast, went to Capt Cooks and had Tonga Toast and sat outside enjoying the food and the ambience. Now I'm back in the snow and cold but my last memories of this trip to Disney are sitting at the Polynesian. Thanks for the article.

peggy urtz:

The poly will always be our favorite since it was the first place we stayed back in 1988. The kids favorite part was the pizza in the room (go figure). We stayed for 50% rack rate because we owned Disney stock - dirt cheap back then but we come back now at least once a trip to eat at Kona Cafe for breakfast. Not crazy and crowded and I love the macadamia butter pancakes. delicious!

Chris Yarberry:

Thanks so much for sharing! Can't wait to stay at this resort... it's my wife's favorite, and I hope to take her for our anniversary, sometime in the next few years! I'll also be trying Ohana for the first time this Christmas/New Year when we take my parent's and sisters for their first trip to the World! Three cheers for dole whip!!!

Julie:

...I loved this article Jack!! The Polynesian is my all-time favorite WDW resort. I've been lucky enough to have stayed there several x's & it's always a treat. There's just something 'extra magical' about it. This gave me just the 'fix' I needed to get me through until Sept. when I get to check-in & hear 'Aloha'..ºoº

Jamie in Jax:

My wife and I ate at the Kona Sushi Bar a few weeks ago... it was fantastic! FYI... you can also order food off the main dinner menu as well. So you don't need to make reservations at all... just show up and enjoy! We heart Disney! :)

Richard Hubbell:

Jack, thank you for taking the time to write such an amazing and informative report. I read and reread it...then quoted it to my wife until she said it would be easier for her to just read it herself! Again, thank you so much!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 7, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Casey’s Corner.

The next post in this blog is Polynesian Resort -- Part Two.

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