Thursday, March 21, 2013

Disney's Polynesian Resort: A Review

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Disney's Polynesian Resort covers 39 acres. The Great Ceremonial House (GCH) is located in the center of the resort you will find the front desk, restaurants, and shops here. Rooms are located in buildings called longhouses. Each longhouse is named for a different Pacific Island. One additional longhouse houses the Tangaroa Terrace and the Neverland Club. As you enter the lobby, you'll find the check-in and concierge desks located to your right, this is where your Polynesian adventure begins.

An original Disney World resort, the rooms are some of the largest on property. Most rooms have two queen beds and a day-bed. Five guests can be accommodated plus a child under 3 in a crib. There is also a chest of drawers with a flat-screen TV
above it, a desk, with a pull-out desk, two chairs, and a table. Rooms with patios or balconies also have two outdoor chairs and a small table. The bathroom is spacious with two sinks and plenty of counter space. The entry area has two lighted closets and more counter space. There is a small refrigerator, a safe that is
activated by your room key-card, a coffee maker (with coffee) and an ironing board.

With the exception of a few rooms that look out over a parking lot, most of the rooms have a good view, looking out at some portion of the Seven Seas Lagoon, with views of the Marina, one of the two swimming pools, or garden area.

The Poly has two swimming pools, the Quiet Pool and the Nanea Volcano Pool. The Quiet Pool is reasonably large and is meant to be used by adults and more mature youngsters. Lounge chairs and tables surround the pool, providing the perfect spot to relax, read a book, and nap in the sun. The Nanea Volcano Pool, is for fun. As the name implies, this is a wonderful swimming pool with a volcano theme. Kids will love the water slide down the volcano.

The beach at the Poly is wonderful. It's fun to walk barefoot along the shore. There are lounge chairs, several bench-style swings, a volleyball court, and a number of hammocks strung between palm trees. There is no swimming allowed in the Seven Seas Lagoon and there is no lifeguard on duty in this area. At night, the Electrical Water Pageant makes its first stop off of the Poly's beach at 9 p.m. This is also a wonderful spot to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Hungry? The Polynesian has a number of choices. Captain Cook's is a counter service restaurant and serves sandwiches, salads, and more. Ice cream and other snacks are also available. It is located on the first floor of the GCH with indoor and outdoor seating. The Kona Cafe, located on the second floor of the GCH, is a table service restaurant and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Finally there is 'Ohana. Breakfast and dinner are offered here and are served "family" style. There are no menus as one price includes a wide range of selections. Breakfast is a character meal and features Lilo and Stitch. Dinner does not offer characters, but little ones will be entertained with hula-hoop contests and other group activities. Also located at the Poly is "Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. This show features an all-you-can-eat meal served family-style in an outdoor covered theater. The show features fire-dancers, hula girls, and Polynesian music tied together by a loosely knit story. Reservations are a must.

One of the best features of the Polynesian Resort is the transportation options. First of all, it's a "monorail" hotel. The resort's station is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House and gives you easy access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. And if you find you're lodging in the Tahiti or Rapa Nui longhouse, you might want to consider walking to the Transportation and Ticket Center if you're heading for Epcot. The walk is comparable to that of the GCH and you can catch a direct train to Epcot rather than riding all the way around on the Resort Monorail and then transferring to the Epcot line.

Another transportation option is the boats that go between the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Magic Kingdom. If you're in
a hurry, these boats probably aren't your best bet, but if you have the time, it's worth the wait. Buses are also available to take you to Downtown Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.





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