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Experience Hawaii in Florida at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Countless people dream of experiencing the enchantment of Hawaii someday. Likewise, there are so many who simply love the idea of taking a vacation to Florida with all that it boasts. This is especially true if you just love Walt Disney World Resort with its four theme parks, two water parks, and its endless array of magic-making possibilities.

While there is Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii, which boasts all the same impeccable magic as Disney Resort destinations the world over, it should be noted that Aulani is an immersive Resort experience to be enjoyed independently of any Disney Park.

For those who are looking to enjoy island-like interests along with the fun and convenience of Disney theme parks, then our suggestion to you is to set off to Walt Disney World Resort with plans to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Polynesian Resort

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One of Disney’s original Resort Hotels, the Polynesian has been delighting Walt Disney World Resort Guests since opening day. And its timeless charm has remained well intact, having only grown more contested over the years. From its numerous onsite amenities and perks to its wondrous theming, décor, and Hawaiian hospitality, we’re offering an overview of all the ways that staying here makes for the perfect opportunity to experience Hawaii in the sunny state of Florida.

Hawaiian Hospitality

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be met with authentic Hawaiian hospitality. Wonderful hotel staff is there to greet you, bestowing you with beautiful flowery leis and a warm, welcoming sense of belonging. This will be your extended family—’ohana–for the duration of your stay.

Leis

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Resort Theme

The Resort Hotel’s theming truly captures the cultural essence of the South Pacific. From the stunning island-like décor to the awe-inspiring architecture—not to mention all the lights and tiki statues, it’s an all-immersive transcendence to the Hawaiian Islands in every sense. The lush, tropical surrounding flora present throughout the Resort, along with an actual live candlenut tree (Hawaii’s national tree), also add to the authenticity in the air—which smells so good with an inexplicable, distinguishable smell that is its very own. And let’s not forget the tropical music, keeping a themed rhythm that is so very appropriate.

Tiki decor in the lobby

Credit: Laura Hermoza/Disney Fanatic

Ways to Stay

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is comprised of a series of different buildings. While the Great Ceremonial House serves as the location for the lobby, onsite shops, and the bulk of dining options here, a series of longhouses make up the various lodging accommodations available to Guests. Appropriately enough, all the different longhouses are named for varying Polynesian Islands—Tonga, Rarotonga, Fiji, Aotearoa, Samoa, Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau, Tahiti, Rapa Nui, and Hawaii.

Credit: Laura Hermoza/ Disney Fanatic

Standard Guest Rooms that sleep up to five adults generally come with two queen beds, a day bed, and all the usual exceptional in-room amenities you’ve come to expect of a Disney Resort. Room views vary, with some of the best even offering up direct theme Park views, as well as pool or marina side options.

Polynesian Room

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Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is also a Disney Vacation Club Resort designation. So, you may even optimize your stay via Club Level lodging options, which come with their own host of exclusive perks that are independent of what the Resort generally offers to all Guests. Club Level room options include standard rooms as well as suites—some of which can easily sleep up to eight adults and come with many exceptional in-room extras, including kitchens and living areas. Deluxe Studios are also available at the Resort, proudly boasting an array of in-home comforts, including your very own kitchenette and either a porch or balcony.

Perhaps one of the most exceptional ways to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is to book one of the several free-standing Bora Bora Bungalows. Constructed as independent dwellings set directly over the Seven Seas Lagoon, these two-bedroom miniature houses include two full bathrooms, a fully finished kitchen, separate living room and dining areas, a washer and dryer setup, and even a private deck with a personal plunge pool!

Bungalows

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Onsite Amenities

While the many unique ways to stay offer up plenty of perks to Guests, it should be noted that the Resort in general endows an exceptional experience in the way of its many exciting recreations and onsite amenities. There are all the usual great conventional offerings, including sports courts, jogging trails, campfire activities, movies under the stars, and much more. And because the Polynesian is right next door to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Guests have mutually convenient access to their neighbor’s famed Senses Spa and may freely access all of their fitness services in addition.

Polynesian Characters

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Related: Photos: Disney’s ‘Spirit of Aloha’ Dinner Theater Destroyed

As is the case at most Disney Resorts, the pool scene is the Polynesian’s crowning glory where recreational pastimes are concerned. Here they feature two refreshing options for Guests to cool down with—the quieter Oasis Pool and the lively Lava Pool, which has a stellar 142-foot-long water slide. You’ll also find whirlpool spas on location, as well as a wonderful water-based kiddie play area.

Lava Pool

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Related: Eight Great Swims to Take at Walt Disney World Resort

Because the Polynesian is situated alongside the Seven Seas Lagoon, there are plenty of marine-based excitements to pursue here as well. From just sitting on the sandy beach taking in all the views (including the nightly fireworks display over Cinderella Castle along with the Electrical Water Pageant each evening) to fishing and motorized boat rentals, you will be sure to love all the shoreline pleasantries to behold.

Electrical Water Pageant

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Related: Tips for Having a Beachy Keen Time at Disney World

Sensational Shopping

Get everything you need in the way of gifts, souvenirs, and even essentials right within the Great Ceremonial House. Here you will find two great shops—Moana Mercantile on the second floor and BoutTiki right on the ground level. Both offer up a versatile range of finds, both common and novel alike, with the latter BouTiki, even boasting authentic Hawaiian merchandise and other wares. Fans of Duffy the Bear and Friends, take note that it’s here. You can even get Olu the Turtle!

BouTiki

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Related: You Can Now See The Adorable ‘Olu Mel at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Delicious Dining

The Polynesian is also home to several delightful dining options, some of which attract vacationers from Resorts all over Walt Disney World. Being of a Polynesian paradise theme, it goes without saying that they would offer up an array of tantalizing tastes of the tropical tradition. Two of their most famous table service establishments are, of course, Kona Café and ’Ohana. There’s also their Kona Island sushi bar/bakery location offering casual dining. Capt. Cook’s is another highly enjoyable suggestion, serving as the Resort’s primary quick-service location. Both Kona and Capt. Cook’s dish up that exclusive and elusive Tonga Toast that many breakfasters come to the Resort seeking out specifically.

Kona Cafe

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Related: 7 Things We Love About Kona Café In Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort

In addition to the bounty of mealtime options to dive into at the Polynesian, you may also wish to indulge in their numerous lighter bites, libations, and sweet treats at various other spots onsite. Pineapple Lanai is even the place where you can get that legendary Dole Whip you’ve been hankering after, either in traditional format or enhanced in a range of different formats.

Another claim to fame: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort proudly boasts Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. While known primarily for their creative concoctions in the way of drinks, they also offer a host of palatable picks. But in getting back to their primary highlights, you get to enjoy a series of onsite special effects each time you order one of their lavish libations.

Trader Sam's

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Related: Video: Here’s How to Make Krakatoa Punch from Trader Sam’s

Convenient Location to Magic Kingdom Park

Being one of two original Walt Disney World Resorts to have opened back in 1971 in conjunction with the Magic Kingdom’s grand opening, Disney’s Polynesian is conveniently located right across Seven Seas Lagoon, facing Cinderella Castle. What’s more, it is situated directly on Disney World’s Resort Monorail loop, making the commute from Hotel to Park a quick, easy-to-do endeavor. There are other ways to venture to this nearest Park in addition. Many enjoy a docile dockside embarkment via a ferryboat, which takes you across the water straight to the entrance gates. Those who don’t mind the walk may also utilize the newly constructed walking path from neighboring Grand Floridian.

Polynesian Monorail

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For getting to other Disney theme parks, constantly commuting shuttle services rotate throughout the day, offering you stress-free convenience in getting to wherever it is you want to go.

Disney Shuttles

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Related: Guide: Walking to Walt Disney World Parks from the Resorts

We could go on and on listing all the exceptional reasons why you should book your next Disney World stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It is hands down, the closest you can get to experiencing the authentic feel of the Hawaiian Islands without leaving the connected 48 United States at any Resort location. So, get ready to take on the tropical feel and appeal of island delights coupled with Disney Magic for the most premium paradisal vacation of all.

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.