*Picture overload ahead!
Being DVC members, my husband and I have become happily familiar with the Walt Disney World resort over the last few years. Because of this, we have found that a visit to the Polynesian Village Resort is something that we have either already planned into the itinerary, or we seem to find ourselves there spur of the moment for some exploring and meandering. We love the Polynesian!
My favorite part of the resort is how perfectly planned out the landscaping is & theming is, with its beautiful palm trees, banana leaf plants, & the softly piped in Hawaiian music. You won’t be able to miss the tiki torches that light up the pathway at nighttime & totally exist to give you all the tropical feels on your vacation! I also really dig the vintage Tiki and Atomic Art that’s hanging around for maximum 60’s and 70’s Vibes. I know some folks out there want the Poly to receive a massive reno & “update,” but I hope that even with regular reno’s and updates that the overall beatnik vibes here never change.
The Polynesian has a couple gift shops. My favorite is BouTiki. I love strolling around here while we’re waiting on our table at O’hana or Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, to help pass time. They sell everything from Pandora charms to authentic Hawaiian Muumuu’s! You must stop in here to grab unique gifts for you, others, or just to browse what they have in stock!
The map above is located on the property, and is a great way to get a visual on the grounds. Pro-Tip: Take a pic (like I did), grab a Kona Brew in a Solo cup & start your adventure! Make sure you bring your camera, or that your phone is charged so you can take lots of pics. I can be so bad at this!
Also available is a map overview of the recommended running trail. We did this one morning and had so much fun. Plus, it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the Polynesian, and you can catch so many unique sights. 10/10 recommend!
The grounds here, like I mentioned earlier, are so pretty and feel so Hawaiian. Most of the time we come here to hang out for the afternoon for somewhat of a park break, even when we don’t have a villa here. We like to grab a Dole Whip from the Pineapple Lanai or hit up Tambu Lounge (and I’m feeling giddy just thinking about this) for a Lapu Lapu!! If this is your 1st time hearing about a Lapu Lapu at the Tambu Lounge, make sure that you visit to grab one of these fun Tiki/pineapple inspired beverages (you can only get here) that are served in a pineapple- yes, a real pineapple– ya know, if fruity, fun & unique bevs are a thing for you when you’re on vacay. Otherwise, they have Pina-Colava’s & even Manhattan’s here if that’s more your thing. Oh- and the appetizers are sooo good. We used to get the Pulled Pork Nachos & the Honey Ginger Chicken Wings, but to my understanding, these are no longer on the appetizer menu since Tambu’s 2019 reno. I know my husband will miss these additions, but change isn’t always a bad thing, so I’m looking forward to trying a few things off of their new menu!
In the picture above, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is closed. When it opens, get ready for some tiki-terrace fun! You can still see the cute menu above so that you can have your order ready when that window pops up! The Polynesian Pearl is one of my faves from here!
Pineapple Lanai currently opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. The lines here fluctuate, but oftentimes, the line is long!! Not surprising, as Dole Whip just so happens to be a Disney rite of passage! We Disney vacationers love our Dole Whip, & it may just feel like a trip wasted without at least one! This treat is usually only available at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot or Animal Kingdom… basically with park admission. So, if Dole Whips are your thing, make a reservation at the Polynesian Village stat, or at least go for a visit, then grab a seat overlooking the Nanea’s Volcano pool, or the grassy area that’s right past the Pineapple Lanai.
The Tambu Lounge isn’t the only place to get excellent, jaw-dropping & fun Tiki inspired drinks! Ever since Spring of 2015, guests have been welcome to take part in the antics of Trader Sams Grog Grotto located inside the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House (just to the left of Captain Cooks). Blink twice, and you may miss the entrance, which is just down that hallway and to your right. Finding the entrance is only part one of the fun because obtaining a table inside the bar means that you must have the luck of the Great Tiki Gods on your side. The atmosphere in here is one of a kind, and definitely worth the wait. Order the “Uh-Oa” for fun and something classic yet Tiki, grab a “Dark & Tropical Stormy.” Make sure to grab an order of the Thai Chicken Flatbread if you need some tropical nosh for energy. But, above all be ready for one of the most memorable times you’ll have at Disney World here! The bar is family-friendly until 8 p.m., then its adults-only until Midnight.
Okay, so you may be asking yourself: What can I do to relax here after all this Dole-Whipping, bar hopping & eating? One of my family’s favorite ways to unwind here is watching the kids play while we relax on the beach. We purchased a kit with Mickey-shaped and themed sand toys from Moana Mercantile, and our boys definitely got their monies worth out of that kit! I would recommend doing that for a very inexpensive activity that your kids will love. My kids ask us all the time about when we can “play in the sand at the ‘Hawaiian Disney’ again.” We really enjoy doing this, I think its awesome that you can hear all the singing, laughter and parades echoing over from the Magic Kingdom. Sounds of happiness! I just love it!
As you can see, my kids really enjoy the sand! We’ve also stayed at the Grand Floridian with them, and they like to dig into the sand there, too. My kids always seem to find a “buried treasure” of some sort from, what I’m assuming is from left behind guests, and as you can imagine, they love that! Disney memories are truly magical & irreplaceable!!
So, you’ve probably guessed at this point that the Polynesian Villas are basically my spirit animal in Disney Resort form. I would take up residence here if they’d let me! What’s your favorite resort, & why? Drop me a line in the comments below! Now, after all this reminiscing about the Polynesian, I think it’s time to plan my next DVC trip to the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows! Aloha!