It’s been 30 years since I last stayed at Disney’s Polynesian so I was excited to knock out one of the last two deluxe resorts (Yacht Club being the other, but how much different is it than Beach Club anyway?) that my family hadn’t yet stayed out in the past 10 years.
We booked a quick 3 night stay over Memorial Day weekend. The Polynesian is NOT cheap, the best rate I could find was at UndercoverTourist.com – but a standard view room was still over $550/night.
I love Disney’s new check-in procedure – no need to stop at the front desk – just use your magic band to open up your room.
Our flight didn’t arrive to Orlando until 2:00pm. As soon as I turned my phone off of airplane mode, I was happy to see our room was ready by way of text message.
We skipped the front desk and headed straight to our room.
We were assigned a 3rd floor ADA Accessible room in the Aotearoa House.
Disney’s Polynesian Resort being one of the oldest resorts also has one of the largest standard room sizes of any of the resorts.
I think us having an ADA Accessible room was the reason our bathroom was so large.
But the weird thing is I thought the ADA Accessible Bathroom would have a full shower instead of a tub/shower combination.
I love Disney’s H2O shampoo!
Our standard view room wasn’t terribly bad – a nice view of the gardens and the monorail.
The Not So Pretty
But we were actually very disappointed with the room, it had a bunch of issues and is in desperate need of a refurbishment. Here are a few of the things we found wrong:
There were also cracked tiles in the bathroom. This room was definitely not worth $550/night.
I almost never reply to the automatic emailed surveys, but filled out the one Disney sent the same day we checked in. I gave my honest opinion that we were disappointed in the room and that it was need of a refurbishment.
To Disney’s credit, while we were at dinner, Disney left a message on our room’s phone apologizing that we did not like the ‘retro’ look of the room and applied a $100/night ($300/total) credit to our room charges. This was unexpected and also very generous.
There are two main pools – a more quiet one and the main pool with the Volcano waterslide. As usual, there was not enough chairs – we snagged one. Waited a while for a second to open up, then finally got two more seats in another row.
There are a few different dining options at the Polynesian. First they have a dinner show – Spirit of Aloha – with two seatings 5:15pm and 8:15pm from Tuesday through Saturday.
The most popular restaurant is ‘Ohana which serves both breakfast and dinner with characters. We’ve eaten here on past trips and were not impressed with the quality of the food. Whenever a place is ‘all you care of eat’ – it’s usually not very good.
One place we enjoy is the other table service restaurant in the main building – Kona Cafe. It’s decently priced (for Disney), offers a great variety, and not too terribly hard to get a reservation at.
Finally, Capt. Cook’s quick service is arguably the best quick service restaurant at ANY Disney Resort.
Would I Recommend?
Absolutely not! ‘Ohana is terrible, the pools are crowded with not enough seats, and the rooms are in desperate need of a renovation.
$550/night for that room is a shame. Our girls are getting old for Disney, I’m sure we will have a trip or two in the future, but I’ll probably look to stay at the Four Seasons or Waldorf Astoria instead.
But what about it being on the monorail? I think the monorail is overrated. Loading and unloading the monorail at each stop is so slow. The monorail often breaks down too.
Have you ever stayed at the Polynesian – what did you think? What’s your favorite Disney Resort?