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Reviewed 26 July 2006

We spent a week at the Polynesian after a 2 1/2 year break from WDW. We had stayed there before but not since 2002. Our stay did start out on a rough note. When we booked I requested a room overlooking the pool in Samoa or Fiji buildings--this was 5 1/2 months ahead. These are garden view rooms but I heard the views were great. We even checked in early, at 10:15AM, but we did not get either of those buildings--and this was our 20th anniversary trip! Supposedly with one of the big buildings in rehab there was "No room to move people around". Luckily the room we ended up with in rarotonga was very nice. We had a ground floor patio overlooking a nice expanse of grass leading to a path and the quiet pool. Warning, some of the rooms on that floor have huge shrubs directly in front of them, but luckily not ours! Our room was also very newly refurbished, very clean with a nice flatscreen TV. This building is also only a step from the GCH (monorail, dining, shops) and the temporary location of the food court, and also about a 30 second walk to the bus stop!
We used the pool several times, mostly in the evening but one day in the early afternoon time, and never found it overly crowded. The kids neve rhad to wait long for the slide. We ate at Kona and it was wonderful--see if Greg is working, he is great. He brought us out a plate of koko puffs for dessert with "happy 20th anniversary" written around the edges in chocolate sauce!
We never had any service issues--we had a light out in the bathroom but it was such a minor thing I kept forgetting to ask to have it fixed. The front desk was always helpful and the bell services crew was great with the details of magical express and then doing the airline check-in at the hotel the morning we left.
It is pricy--no one is arguing that--but if you have 3 kids and "have" do stay at either a deluxe, Riverside or a DVC villa, this is one of the nicer, more relaxing options!

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank WDWforus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2006

It all started with check-in, beautiful lobby, then lightning struck, our room was not ready until 5pm and we did not receive the room that we deliberately asked and had reserved 4 months in advanced for... The children were in the pool, which was great, the adults <5> were sitting in the lobby for a good hour or two, we asked for a room with a view and that it was renovated, the check-in desk had said that everything was reserved. When we got in the room almost at 6pm, the room was disgusting, musty, old, stinky, and it cost us $350 dollars a night, we were basically facing the parking lot, we would have gotten a better room at a Holiday Inn.
The staff did not seem to care, so we called Disney and they said that they would have the perfect room for a group of 8. They were right but it did no justice to get it all right the second day, than to have it all correct the first, this resort is CERTAINLY NOT MAGICAL. The second room was nice good view and renovated but not clean enough to be called Disney, my son had terrible allergies, due to having the ceiling fan on because the A/C did not function properly. But then the sun came out and we enjoyed dinner 3 times at the Kona Cafe, the food and service was exceptional for the price... Unlike the dinner at "OHANA" which was terrible, we were greeted by a mean waitress, and the nasty non-appetizing fried won-tons that looked liked cheap tortilla chips < How can you not serve bread, it has been a staple for a meal for the last 21 centuries> ... the turkey and the wings were great but other than that the meat was tasteless and the hawaiian potatoes were cold and yucky... I cannot believe that they changed the oriental rice for that junk... but i do have one positive thing to say *the bread pudding was scrumptcious*.
I wish they had the bread pudding at the Kona Cafe.
<stay here if you do not care about great service for a reasonable price>
think about staying at the best of the best the 'WL'.
you can figure it out,
that is all.

Stayed: June 2006
16  Thank Manny13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2006

Before going to Disney World on our honeymoon this past June, we had read a lot of good reviews on the Polynesian Resort so we went there with high expectations.

We are pleased to say that we were not disappointed. The staff was very friendly and helpful particularly our concierges Marilyn & Kathy in the Tonga building. Our Jr honeymoon suite was well decorated and equipped with all the amenities including Jacuzzi, plasma TV, hair dryer, mini bar fridge and great view of the Seven Sees Lagoon as well as Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom.

The exterior grounds are exquisite and are keep very clean. Apart from some spilled ice cream, I don't think we saw a single piece of garbage on the site the whole time we were there. There was lots of greenery including, waterfalls, hibiscus plants and torches which are lit at night. The main pool was great with its zero entry feature as well as a really fun water slide. The water slide snakes through a volcano with water bubbling out at the top and spilling down the side of the mountain and into the pool. We had heard that there was an underwater speaker near the lifeguard chair at the pool and we had to check it out. We went into the pool, put our heads under the water near the lifeguard chair and sure enough, there was music!

This brings up one of the few annoyances we experienced. We were there for 10 nights total and there is always Hawaiian music playing in and around the resort. Unfortunately, it always seemed the same song was playing over and over again. I think there was only 3 different songs that would continuously loop. Not so bad for a couple of days but it can get really annoying after about a week.

The marina had several types of boats you could rent. The Sea Racer (a small but nimble two-seater) was a lot of fun to drive and is recommended if you get the chance. Just be careful if you go out on one as their can be a lot of boats in the Seven Seas Lagoon and you have to keep a eye out. BTW - you'll need a valid drivers license to rent one of the boats. There are also some 4 person bicycles you can rent to explore the resort. The resort grounds are quite large so this may be worth doing if you do not want to walk a lot (you'll do plenty of walking in the theme parks anyway).

There are three restaurants at the resort. There is Ohana’s, which serves an all-you-eat Hawaiian style dinner complete with a Ukulele girl whom will entertain you and specially the kids while you eat. The food was pretty good but nothing to write home about. The best dinner we ate at Disney was at Narcoosee's at the Grand Floridian Resort. It's pricey but you won't be disappointed. If you go to Narcoosee's, go later in the evening so you can benefit from the great view of the on-water electric parade as well as the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom (10:00pm). Ohana's also hosts a character dinning breakfast in the morning, which always appeared to be fully booked.
There is also the Kona cafe, which has a pretty good breakfast. We would suggest trying the Tonga toast. We tried it and it was very good. People from all over the Disney resorts apparently go to Kona's specifically for that toast. There is also Captain Cook's snack bar, which was in the process of being refurbished while we were there so it had been temporarily re-located next to the arcade. The food was what you would expect from fast food. Not very tasty but it will take care of any hunger pangs.

The resort also featured a Hawaiian Luau dinner show. We were very disappointed by this. Our waitress was not very efficient or friendly and the food was bland. The show itself was kind of boring except for the fire dancer guy at the end. Our time would have been better spent at Epcot which was open late that evening for resort guests. This is something to be taken advantage of. The "Extra Magical Hours" for resort guests is offered at a different park every day. The parks are either open early in the morning or later than usual at night. If you do go at night, do not forget to get a special bracelet or you will not be able to get into the rides once the regular park closing time has come and gone.

There is a monorail stop on the second floor of the resort. It's only two stops away from the Magic Kingdom, which is very convenient. The monorail also goes to the Transportation and Ticket Centre where you can catch the monorail to Epcot. Also, ask the monorail driver if you can sit in the front with them. They will let you as long as there aren’t already people sitting there. The only thing we found is that the air conditioning is set too high in the monorails. As a matter of fact, this was the case everywhere in Disney including the common areas in the resort. We didn't even need to turn the air conditioning on in our room. My wife ended up getting a throat infection, which was probably caused by the air conditioning. Maybe Floridians are used to going from 90 degrees to 65 degrees but Canadians are not. Our advice is not to enter resort buildings or the monorail if your hair or any of your clothing is wet. To avoid the monorails' A/C, take the tender over to Magic Kingdom. It shuttles between the Polynesian & Grand Floridian Resort as well as the Magic Kingdom. It's a nice little boat ride and we would have done it more had we realized, earlier, how convenient it was. The hotel also has a bus stop where you can get on busses for the different parks. They operate on a regular basis but wait times can be long if you've just missed one. Also note that they usually make several stops at different resorts so always build about an hour travelling time into your schedule.

To summerize, well feel that this is probably one of the nicest resorts at Disney World and we would visit there again if we got the chance.

22  Thank YULspotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2006

We have visited Disneyworld more than 35 times, most of our lodging has been at the Polynesian Resort. It has always been our favorite resort. we were all looking forward with great anticipation to this trip.

This year, we booked 3 rooms for a week. Cost was almost $8000. When we arrive. , we were told that Captain Cook's snack bar was closed for renovation. Instead, they were using Tangora Terrace for the snack bar. We were there as they began this transition. The problems that created for our family traveling with small children: few food items that the kids were willing to eat, there were no refillable drinks available, the line to pay was the same as the line to order food items. This often led to a long wait to pay for a pint of millk for a crying baby. Tables inside in the airconditioning were few. Since we go to Disneyworld so often, we have found it easier to go back to our resort to have lunch with all these small children, therefore we had not made lunch reservations. They were hard to get at this poiint. This was our biggest problem with the Polynesian Resort. We heard others complaining about the food situation.

We were not in a renovated room. That was all right with us, since the room was huge and still nicely decorated. The housekeeping was not as it should be. I had to call about mildew on the bathroom ceilings in two rooms, a broken hair dryer and a tv set with terrible reception and a leaking toilet.

We had called prioir to arrival to let them know what special events we were celebrating. When we arrived, there were no cards or acknowledgments.

I called on our second day to complain about the situation. A manager had a housekeeping manager handle most of the concerns. (There was still an inch of black mildew under the toilet rim when we left.

The next day, it took over 35 minutes to get a grilled cheese sandwhich for my grand daughters at the snack bar. They forgot to finish the order. When my son-in-law went to check on it, it was sitting there, cold and unfinished. They had to start all over again. That was the final straw. I called and talked with a different manager, Mary Kay. She was wonderful. She tried to fix as many thiings as she could. She went out of her way to ask what else she could do to help us to enjoy our stay.

At one point, we were ready to check out of the resort because we were so disgusted with the whole situation. The prioblems might sound petty, but when you are paying $400 a ngiht, you expect more. But, thanks to Mary Kay's efforts, we were able to begin enjoying our visit at the Polynesian Resort. As usual, we hated to leave. We will definitely go back (after the snack bar is renovated!! It really is a lovely place. The water slide is great. Walking through the lush garden paths at night with the flaming torches is one of my favorite parts of our vacations.

There is no where on Disney property that is more convenient when you have little kids in strolllers. I wish that we were going back soon.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
34  Thank RetiredPrincipal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2006

June 28, 2006
We just spent four nights at the Poly in concierge Hawaii Bldg. It was well worth the additional price. Traveling with a 4 yr old, we were able to get a quick and delicious breakfast without waiting to be seated, ordering, waiting again for meal to be prepared etc. Snacks were provided all day long, inc. soda, beer, wine and cordials. If you chose to eat a light dinner, you did not have to go anywhere else. Rooms were beautiful with a view of the castle from the balcony, at night the fireworks were a treat in our pj's. Quick transportation with the monorail was another plus. Questions happily answered.

11  Thank lovesSpike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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