As the familiar tune of the conch sounds through the warm Florida air and the tiki-torches flicker in the tropical breeze, you're happily resting on Cloud Nine - and by Cloud nine, I mean a hammock on the white-sand beach of Disney's Polynesian Resort. As you sip your Lapu Lapu (served in a real pineapple) and dig your toes into the soft sand, you hear a bang, a crackle, and a pop. You look out to the horizon, and there you find, resting on the opposite shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle, above which the nightly fireworks extravaganza bursts with color and light. The reflections of the pyrotechnics cast upon the ebbing and flowing waters of the Lagoon are beautiful and inspiring. You recall every moment of fun and excitement you experienced that day at Disney's Polynesian Resort: the thrilling water slide which twisted and turned within a poolside volcano; a personal watercraft rental within which you explored the expansive Seven Seas Lagoon; the winding pathways and lush grounds of the property on which you discovered creatures of all sorts; the mouthwatering fare of 'Ohana, a family-stlye Hawaiian feast which served an excellent array of meats, vegetables, and other culinary delights, along with the best dessert in Walt Disney World (the bread pudding); and finally the long-anticipated and greatly needed 'you-time' - gently rocking in a beachside hammock. You've just experienced a sample of a day in paradise, or rather, a day at Disney's Polynesian Resort.
Disney's Polynesian Resort is considered a "Disney Deluxe Resort", a tier of resorts which offers the highest level of luxury, amenities, theming, and in this readers opinion, fun and relaxation. The description above provides a brief window into the experiences one can have at the Polynesian, but the resort offers so much more than those activities mentioned above. Below is a summary of activities and amenities offered at Disney's Polynesian resort:
The Great Ceremonial House (Lobby) features of variety of shops and restaurants that are worth checking out.
'Ohana is a family-style restaurant that is spectacular. Reservations are hard to come by, so try making the reservations as early as possible via the Walt Disney World website.
Cultural guides are available in the Lobby and are happy to explain the culture they represent to inquisitive guests.
The Walt Disney World Monorail system includes a stop just outside the lobby of the resort, allowing quick and easy transportation to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks.
An arcade is available for children.
One of the best Walt Disney World pools is located on property - the Nanea Volcano Pool - featuring a zero-entry area, a twisting volcano water slide, nightly poolside movies, and great views of the Magic Kingdom and nightly fireworks shows.
A kid's club is located on property as well.
Watercraft rentals are available.
Nightly luau at the "Spirit of Aloha" dinner show.
Below are some pros and cons of the Polynesian Resort:
Huge resort rooms are among the largest on Disney property and can comfortably sleep up to five people.
Free wifi throughout the resort.
Monorail access for quick transportation to parks and other Magic Kingdom-area resorts.
Fantastic swimming pool features.
Tropical, lush grounds "transport" you to the South Pacific.
General "vibe" you experience.
Building longhouses are old. They are in need of a facelift/renovation.
The actual Nanea Volcano Pool itself is very small and tends to get crowded.
The resort as a whole is very crowded, especially in the Great Ceremonial House at night and during peak seasons of the year.
No fitness center or spa on property.
No hot tub!
Whether or not you feel as though the hefty price of Disney's Polynesian Resort is worth your while is solely up to you. While the Polynesian lack basic amenities of other Deluxe-level resorts, such as a hot tub and fitness center, the general atmosphere of the resort is on its own level. It must be experienced in person. While the resort is NOT perfect, it sure is a wonderful place that can truly satisfy the kids and even bring out the kid in you at the "Most Magical Place on Earth".