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Reviewed 20 November 2011

This was our second trip to WDW and first staying on site. Got a great deal for the Polynesian and chose it because of convenience initially, we have three small girls under the age of 7. We cannot say enough about how wonderful it was to be able to walk from our room in Tokelau to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Within minutes we were on the monorail (pushing stroller) and at Epcot (our second favorite park). A quick walk to the Ceremonial House had us on the monorail again and headed to Magic Kingdom, or we could just stroll over to the small ferry boat and have a nice relaxing early morning ride there. The room was roomy, with two queen beds and a couch bed. It was perfect for us, our little one slept in the couch bed and the older two together. There was nothing like walking the kids out in their pajamas to watch the fireworks from the "point" and then back in to sleep, a nice routine we fell into.
Food options were good, 'Ohana was delish, booked well in advance. Captain Cook's was ok, what you expect from a quick service. The cast members who work there know their stuff. Liked the pool bar, for a spur of the moment beverage while watching the movie on the beach with the kids.
The pools were great...the volcano pool was busy but with lots of fun and atmosphere. Seeing the castle in the distance as you were swimming was surreal. The Quiet pool (wish they had two) was nice, but at times felt like the older folks didn't appreciate the loud happiness of our kids.
Mousekeeping was great, Kevin was happy and cheerful and spent time talking to our kids about how much he appreciated their colored and stickered tip envelopes. Made them very happy to hear that.
Used the Neverland Club one night for a spontaneous mom and dad only trip for dinner at Epcot. It was last minute and was arranged quickly and easily by the front desk staff. We dropped kids off at 4 pm and we were in Via Napoli in Epcot having pizza and sangria at 4:30pm! The kids loved it and asked us the next night if they could go back. Our youngest had an accident there and they cheerfully provided her with a change of clothes.
Overall we had an amazing time, only downside was leaving! If we can afford it again we will be back.

Room Tip: Tokelau garden view ground floor facing main beach was lovely for garden view
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank happymommy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2011

This was by far the best Disney location for quick park access & easy transportation, but the hotel rooms are tired and not clean. Soap scum welcomed us in our tub area and stayed with us the entire week we were here! Aloha -- great service, but the room quality & cleanliness was poor.

Room Tip: Ask for lagoon view on the 3rd floor for a balcony
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Skiders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2011

I booked my October 2011 Disney vacation based upon reviews here on Trip Advisor,and based upon advice from a good friend, who is also a self-proclaimed "Disney Fanatic". After going to the Polynesian for a 2 week stay, I definitely have to say.. there should be 2 categories of reviews for all Disney properties---one set of reviews for 'Disney fanatics' (meant in the kindest way!), and another like 'Non-Disney' folks, or like me, first timers. Why? Well, read on.

For the huge Disney fan, you should listen to all the 5 star reviews. You'll love it, and be very happy you went there. Now, if you are like us, and visiting for the first time and aren't obsessed with all things Mickey, here is what we found:

1. Rooms. This 'hotel' is extremely expensive (we paid $385/night for a 2 bedroom, lagoon view room {Room 3016, Tahiti Building}), and for the cost, is not at all competitive with other similiary priced hotels. In fact, based upon the shabbiness of the room (old carpet, dirty walls, rough towels, etc), this room was more in-line with a 69.99/night Comfort Inn motel room. You are paying for the closeness to the Magical Kingdom here, and in our case, the view of the Lagoon. Disney tip-- Just because you see the lagoon, does not mean you will see Cinderella's castle. 2nd & 3rd floor rooms in the Tahiti building are your best bet if you actually want to see the fireworks show. That said, the luxury of sitting on our balcony, watching the show, and listening to the piped-in music from the parades was awesome. They also kept the room very clean, on the surface.
2. Transportation- we were told that being on the monorail (ie, being at Polynesian, grand Floridian or Contemporary resorts) would be one of our most important considerations by friends that travel there several times a year. Turns out, that is not really an important consideration...unless you plan on going to Magic Kingdom all the time. You have to take a bus to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios anyway, and the bus comes/goes every 20 minutes. Yes, the monorail goes to Epcot, too, but with having to change trains from one monorail to another, we felt the time it took to get to Epcot on the monorail was the same as bus time. It turns out we enjoyed HOllywood Studios & Animal Kingdom more than the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, so we would have (in hindsight), been better off staying at either Beach Club, Yacht Club or Boardwalk resorts, where a boat launch from the resort takes you to Hollywood Studios, or busses.
3. Dining. We came to the park with a full itinerary of reservations. After 4 days...we cancelled almost all. We found that even though every restaurant was 'booked' according to the reservations website/hotline....we could walk in and get seated at every one. Because we like to be impulsive in our dining choices, this was a great discovery. The only exception--Character Dining. EVERYONE wants to character dine. We kept our reservations for all of those...but also did walk-in at both Ohana & Cinderella's Royal Table. They turned us away at first...but then when t hey learned we were on the dining plan, they seated us! The dining plan members must get special consideration. Speaking of which...dining plan....if you can buy your vacation when they are offering a free dining plan...DO IT! It saved us literally a couple thousand. For a family of 4, the average meal cost was ~100 dollars. Another note about character dining...we felt very rushed at each and every one. They have the characters timed so that they want to have 1 pass of characters per 'seating'...and you definitely feel as if you have to eat at turbo speed. We did NOT like that.

All in all, I would definitely, if going to Orlando again, stay on a Disney property, simply because of the ease and availability of transportation, whether bus, monorail or boat. It is worth the extra money. I wouldn't worry, however, about being directly on the monorail line.

Also, while we would return to the Polynesian, we would not book the lagoon view room. The only advantage to the lagoon view is fireworks viewing, and electrical light parade viewing (a light show on the water, every night, outside the resort). There are other, less expensive ways to view these! Buildings at the resort are aligned either north-south, or east-west. The 'lagoon view' rooms are in the east-west buildings, and only the 2nd & 3rd floors get a nice view of the fireworks, and are also the most expensive in the resort. Instead, look at the map of the Polynesian, and look for the north-south buildings that border the lagoon. Their rooms are listed as 'garden view', but you can request the 3rd floor rooms on the north end...which have balconies with lagoon views, ie firework views, in addition to garden views! Remember...at Polynesian, 2nd floor rooms DO NOT have balconies. And, if you don't want to pay extra for even a garden view...a great way to view the fireworks is to take 5 mintues to walk down to the volcano pool, pull up a chair, order a drink from the pool bar...and enjoy the show!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank rocks_for_brains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2011

Best hotel at Disney. View of fireworks over castle. Great sandy beach and use of monorail . Great restaurant but quick food service could be better. It ook too lng to check food out. We weren't able to eat outaide because of the many ducks attacking our table.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank jenwaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

Worth every penny! Make sure you book a room with a lagoon view to witness an amazing light show! Great restaurants and great service. My entire family loved it!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank AMCMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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