These reviews seem to be going in order of my favorites for some weird reason! I guess I just can't see myself spending forever muddling through pictures of my least favorite resort. I'll refrain from the usual Country Bear intro and just get on with the show (although I just did it a little bit).
We stayed in The Polynesian in 2010, again, thanks to the generosity of my Sister (otherwise, I could have never afforded it). We had eaten at one of the Poly's restaurants, Kona, a couple of times before we decided to stay there, so it wasn't completely unfamiliar. Like Disney's Contemporary Resort (see my review HERE), the Polynesian is another Walt Disney World "original" resort. Although it has undergone numerous renovations throughout the years (and even since we've been there), it still has a very strong 70's kitsch to it and, unless you are prepared for it, it could be quite a shock, especially in the rooms...think Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii!
It is absolutely gorgeous on the outside (as is most Disney Resorts):
Upon arrival, you do get lei'd (although they are plastic, they do make great collectibles)...I wouldn't wear mine, but Amber wore her's:
Remember when I discussed that even Disney Deluxe resorts have separate buildings? Well, the Poly (as it is affectionately known) has numerous ones, each one named after a Polynesian island, and they have a main building, called The Great Ceremonial House, which houses the lobby, restaurants, gift shops, activities, etc.
The window displays in the stores are something to behold:
And that whole "look up" theory is never more proved than at the Poly:
We were in Rarotonga, which was luckily right next to the Great Ceremonial House
(but unluckily far away from everything else)
Here comes the 70's Kitsch I mentioned:
another great Disney resort room lamp:
We were on the ground floor (ooohhh my favorite...NOT), so our balcony was more of a patio...here's our view:
Eventually, you have to go outside of your building and walk around and that's when the resort becomes amazing and you forget the Brady Bunch vibe.
If you walk long enough, you'll end up at the beach on Seven Seas Lagoon looking toward Magic Kingdom:
of course there is a wedding place (which doubles even better as a prime fireworks viewing area:
It is a Magic Kingdom Resort which means it's on the resort monorail run (but, instead of through the middle like the Contemporary, the monorail stop is outside of the front of the Great Ceremonial House):
Even though there was bus service to Epcot, we found it easier to just walk to the TTC and take the monorail directly there:
Despite it's large footprint, any walking we had to do, be it to the Great Ceremonial House or to the TTC, wasn't too terrible except at nighttime. The tiki torches that light the way along the heavily foliaged paths definitely don't light the way properly enough, especially for someone who is not only scared of the dark, but has a tree phobia (i.e. me!). Also, considering my horrible sense of return direction, I really had a hard time navigating through the resort on my own (which, luckily, I didn't have to do that often).
The year that we were there, they were rehabbing the food court, so our options were limited (although I still managed to get a couple of the flatbreads that I love so much).
As of now, the Poly is getting its DVC treatment (and those might end up being the coolest of them all since they are actually on Seven Seas Lagoon, and I mean actually ON the water like a real Polynesian hut! They are also doing major plumbing work which has closed off the Ceremonial House fountain, the pool volcano, and probably eventually the pool itself. Despite my love for Wilderness Lodge, I think the Poly's DVC would be the only DVC I would ever buy (if I could actually ever afford it). But I would definitely stay at the Poly again in a heartbeat (well, at least when all the construction is over with!).
There was a new photo update over at one of my favorite Disney news sites, Mouse Steps today. If you would like to see the new progress on the Poly, then look no further than HERE!