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NEWS: Disney Reveals New Details About Polynesian Village Resort Changes

Disney has released new details about the upcoming changes coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The resort is currently closed and undergoing refurbishment which is expected to go through summer 2021. Learn more about the changes coming below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Zach Riddley:

We’re thrilled to share news of exciting changes coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. A favorite destination of guests and cast members since its opening on Oct. 1, 1971, this beloved resort hotel immerses you in an oasis straight out of the South Seas with a sense of aloha that embraces you from the moment you arrive.

That arrival experience is about to take on a whole new look with an enhanced entryway that will debut just in time for the resort hotel’s 50th anniversary.

One of the biggest changes will greet you right up front – a new porte cochere will showcase the iconic mid-20th century architecture the Polynesian is famous for. Our team from Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney World have crafted a design inspired by colors, patterns and textures found throughout the resort.  This new entry features a high-pitched, open-truss roof covered in a thatch style. There’s also a bold façade that features pops of color complementing the Longhouses found throughout the resort. Along the Monorail station, bold new wooden screens will be covered with geometric patterns in bright, tropical colors that complete an exciting new composition that will greet you when you arrive.


Credit: Disney

Enhancements will also be made to the lush gardens and fountains that have welcomed guests to the resort since opening day.

The open and airy design of the entryway will feature dramatic lighting elements, including beautiful chandeliers inspired by glass floats, fishing nets, and oversized bamboo elements. The new chandeliers will match the existing grand chandelier in the resort lobby, artfully bridging interior and exterior spaces.

While work is underway over the coming months, guests can still enjoy access to the Great Ceremonial House and its operating dining and retail outlets.

The new arrival experience is just the beginning of what guests will discover when the resort reopens in summer 2021. All of the resort’s guest rooms are being beautifully redone too. We look forward to sharing more details about Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as they become available.

RELATED ARTICLE: 8 Reasons Polynesian Village Resort at Disney World is Incredible

by Christy Caby

The Polynesian Village Resort is the absolute favorite resort on property for my family and me. We can’t get enough of this resort, even if it is to drop by, visit, and have a meal. We have always enjoyed every minute of our stays there and countdown to when we get to stay again. I can’t say enough great things about the resort and true paradise that you get to stay in, but here are 8 reasons why you must consider a stay at the Polynesian Village Resort:


8 – You can’t beat the location.

This lush, tropical paradise is located in one of the most ideal locations on property, in my opinion. It is a Magic Kingdom area resort and on the monorail track. This puts you in very close proximity to the Magic Kingdom and easy access to other resorts on property for dining and other experiences. The resort is also walking distance to the Ticket & Transportation Center, which allows you to take the Epcot monorail. The resort is right on the Seven Seas Lagoon, providing amazing views, including a view of Cinderella’s Castle from the Magic Kingdom. It is so convenient, and the grounds are beautiful. It really is a fantastic place to be.

7 – Great amenities and recreation.

As soon as you enter the resort, you are greeted with a flower lei and a cheerful “aloha” from the cast there. As a guest, you have access to fantastic recreation activities including fun games at the pool, a stroll on the jogging trail, free hula lessons, musical entertainment, campfire on the beach, movies under the stars, and so much more. This resort really does have it all. There is so much to keep you entertained at the resort that you could spend your vacation there and be very happy!

6 – The pool is beyond amazing.

The pool here is so amazing that it has very strict restrictions that only allow resort guests of that particular resort to use the pool. It even must be accessed using a Magic Band, which would confirm that you are guest of the resort. The pool is a zero-entry pool, so really feel like you are at the beach. Not only that, but the Polynesian Beach is very close to the pool with views of the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle. There is a huge water playground and splash area for the kids. You will also notice a huge volcano right by the pool, which is actually an awesome water slide. There are guests that book a night at the resort to be able to spend the day playing in the pool! (We may be guilty of this!)


5 – Delicious dining and entertainment options.

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and O’hana are temporarily unavailable.

First and foremost, you can get the Dole Whip right from the resort. That is huge for those us crazy Dole Whip fanatics. You can also get the “adult” version for those of you who have an interest in trying that! Also at the resort are several delicious restaurants and menu options. O’hana is one of the fan-favorite resorts on property and is fantastic for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is a character dining experience with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto, and the meal is all you care to enjoy served family-style. Dinner is also all you care to enjoy with delicious appetizers, meat on skewers, sides, and one of the most delicious desserts on property. You also have Kona Café, Captain’s Cooks, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (one of the most amazing lounges on property), and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. There are only a few dinner shows spread across all of Disney World, and the luau and show is an enjoyable evening! You definitely won’t go hungry! Plus, if you want to branch out, you are only a boat ride or monorail away from many other fantastic dining options, too!

Ohana Breakfast Plate

4 – Key transportation.

Editor’s Note: During the refurbishment of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort now through summer 2021, the monorail station will be closed.

Transportation really does make a huge difference, especially for a more enjoyable experience and to see a different aspect of the resort than just the bus routes. From the resort, you do have bus transportation, which will take you to the various parks and locations around property. You also have the monorail, which will take you to the other monorail resorts and the Magic Kingdom. I also mentioned how you can walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center and take the Epcot monorail, which is also a huge time saver and one of my favorite monorail rides. Not only do you have these options, but you also have the boat transportation. The boat will take you to the Magic Kingdom and to other resorts around the Magic Kingdom resort area. The boats are so relaxing and a lot of fun to take from place to place.

3 – One of the first resorts at Walt Disney World.

Yep, the Polynesian was actually one for the two resorts that were the first to be built on Walt Disney World Resort property. (The other was the Contemporary Resort.) The resort opened on October 1, 1971, and many celebrities came out to be there for the resort opening. For this and many other reasons, the Polynesian has a lot of history and a lot of care that is put into it that you feel when you are there. It is really neat to be a part of that history.

2 – Views of Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom.

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Happily Ever After is temporarily suspended.

You can actually watch the Happily Ever After fireworks from the resort. You may even be able to watch from your room if you are in a theme park view room. There are three locations on property where the public can go to watch from the resort, and the music is also piped in so that you get the full experience. You can experience this at O’hana during dinner, from the beach at the Polynesian and from the King Kamehameha Club Lounge for Club Level guest. All of these viewing spots are amazing and allow you to see every aspect of the show except the castle projections, minus the crowds of guests that you would experience from inside the park.


1 – One of a kind stays and deluxe accommodations.

We already mentioned that the resort has theme park views where you can watch the fireworks from your room. Well, the resort is also home to the Polynesian Bungalows. These bungalows are out on the water and offer fantastic views of fireworks and have tons of amenities, including a plunge pool on the deck! It is one of the most expensive stays that you can have at Walt Disney World, and one of the most desired. You could also decide to go Deluxe all the way and opt for a stay in one of the King Kamehameha Club rooms. With the club stay, you will have a room in the club building, plus access to the club-exclusive lobby where there are snacks, treats, and drinks (including alcoholic) served all day long for your enjoyment. There are also many other amenities that club level guests get that make their stay the most deluxe and pampered stay you can have. If you can work them in the budget, either of these stays would be worth your while!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!