Last week we chose a gorgeous day for the updated Polynesian Resort Photo Walk! I had to skim down the photos from around 600, I wanted to show a lot of beautiful resort detail
Note 2014 – Disney’s Polynesian Resort is changing quickly, we will bring an updated photo walk in 2015 when much of the construction is complete.
This photo walk is shorter in time than any of the others so far. The walk itself (I take photos first, then time the walk) clocks in at a swift 11 minutes! I’ve had many requests to do video walks – and while we won’t have one from every resort, we have two that we are readying, including the Polynesian Resort.
Jeff and I both have strong childhood memories of Disney’s Polynesian (Village) Resort. Jeff first visited in the early 70’s, and stayed with his family every year until the early 90’s. My family first visited in 1976 and we stayed there each year (except for one year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) until I graduated high school and moved to Florida in 1984. We both have stayed a number of times since then – generally for a night or two at a time.
While staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a splurge, we do enjoy the resort on a regular basis – we’ve introduced many friends to Tonga Toast and Dole Whips! Disney’s Polynesian Resort is my favorite resort, hands down. And members of my family still stay here for a few nights each year, 28 years after we moved to Florida.
For the photo walk, we are starting at the Ticket and Transportation Center. This is next to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and it’s easy to walk over to get the Epcot monorail if you find the resort monorail backed up. But on this day, the TTC was packed with spring break crowds. We are starting at the gate close to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Winnie the Pooh characters such as Eeyore and Pooh are on the gate, and we are starting the clock at 12:19pm. Remember the photos are already taken before I time the walk.
We are walking alongside this building to the right, and heading along the path:
The tram to the TTC from the parking lot stops at the left of us:
There is a walkway with the engraved paved bricks that were sold to guests many years ago. I wish that I’d bought one!
We arrive to the sign for Disney’s Polynesian Resort at 12:20pm:
We continue along the short path:
I love these trees! There are some really unique plants and trees at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and we will enjoy a few during the walk.
We are heading to the left, towards the Tangaroa Terrace. It was my favorite Disney restaurant for many years, but it’s now just used for special events. Unlike many of my other photo walks, there isn’t a main path to go on – you could create a beautiful walk of your own in so many different directions. This is not an area meant for running/fast walking (it’s easier on the walkway between Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, even with the DVC construction).
You will find tikis everywhere at Disney’s Polynesian Resort!
We pass by Tahiti, and keep going straight:
I like the decor on the buildings:
There are rocks everywhere that look like volcanic rock:
Heading towards the Tangaroa Terrace:
We arrive at the Tangaroa Terrace at 12:23pm, just 4 minutes after we left the TTC (I said it was a quick walk!) Attached is what used to be Moana Mickey’s Fun Hut (arcade), where I spent quite a bit of time as a kid – except when I was over at the Contemporary Resort, using their much bigger game room!
Two more Tikis:
Even the ashtrays are nicely themed:
We keep walking past the Tangaroa Terrace to the Neverland Club, which is kid’s activity center for ages 4-12:
I just had wanted to show that area, but we are going to turn back around to head toward the Great Ceremonial House.
There is a quiet pool along the way (the East pool), which includes a few tikis. There is no jacuzzi here (or at the main pool), Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the only resort in the deluxe category to not have one (all the moderates do as well).
A tiki in hiding:
We are back on the path toward the Great Ceremonial House:
We are going to be passing the Niue and Samoa buildings at 12:25pm (they will be on opposite sides of us). There are many ways to get to the Great Ceremonial House from the quiet pool, so you can enjoy many different walks around the resort during your trip!
We are continuing on the path to the Great Ceremonial House:
To the right is the Nanea Volcano Pool:
Ducks in the stream:
We are stopping the clock to take around the pool area. The following photos of the pool and beach were taken prior to the photos you’ve seen, before we enjoyed Tonga Toast for breakfast at Captain Cook’s.
More of the pool, beach and boat dock:
The Barefoot Pool Bar was not yet open:
A tiki shower:
A swing on the beach:
Hair wrap station:
Children’s water play area:
Handicapped pool access:
Guests can rent cabanas:
And the pool from a distance during the walk (with guests in it). We are starting the clock again:
We are in front of the Great Ceremonial House, and about to walk inside:
I have been told that guests sometimes think this is a jacuzzi – but it’s not:
Captain Cook’s from outside:
We are stopping the clock to look around the Great Ceremonial House. The walk will take us past Captain Cook’s in a bit, and to Luau Cove.
Tiki in front of the Great Ceremonial House:
Lilo and Stitch surfboard:
Mickey and Minnie artwork:
The center of the Great Ceremonial House is beautiful, and includes orchids :
Registration and concierge:
When you arrive by car or Disney’s Magical Express, this is the view you’ll have as you enter into the resort.
Walking into Disney’s Polynesian Resort from the front entrance, you’ll sometimes encounter a hula lesson here:
There is a seating area to the left, where kids can color and watch television:
In the BouTiki gift shop on the bottom lobby level, you’ll find tikis placed all around the store:
Hidden Mickey behind one tiki:
A mischeivous tiki peers through the window as another one hides behind the curtain. Shhhh!
Around the corner, a tiki and drum:
Walking towards Captain Cook’s Snack Company, which is the counter service restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Restaurant:
Captain Cook’s has nice details inside, including flowers painted on the wall tiles. We enjoy getting Tonga Toast and Dole Whips here.
Dole Whip is a great treat on a hot day!
Tonga Toast can be found here at Captain Cook’s or at the Kona Cafe (table service location) for breakfast. We almost always get it here, splitting one – Tonga Toast is huge – with sides of bacon and potatoes. If you’ve never had it, Tonga Toast is banana stuffed french toast – and it’s amazing!
I love sitting outside, especially in the morning:
A tiki in the corner:
‘Ohana is the other table service restaurant, on the upper level of the Great Ceremonial House. It is one of the hardest restaurants to book last-minute for dinner (last minute even means 4 or 5 months out!) While our last dinner here was not a great experience, it’s been otherwise consistently solid over the last 10+ years.
The Tambu Lounge is right next door, and has some fun decorative elements to it:
Looking around the upper level:
The Trader Jack’s gift shop upstairs has Huey, Dewey and Louie figures, along with Mickey and Minnie in festive luau outfits:
The monorail platform:
A view of the tiki outside the window (remember the one peering into the gift shop?):
Walking back inside from the monorail platform:
Kona Island serves coffee and pastries earlier in the day, and sushi in the evening:
Next door is the Kona Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (‘Ohana serves breakfast and dinner only).
There are fun decorations around the resort:
And downstairs we will start the timed portion of the photo walk from where we left off (at 12:25pm), you’ll enjoy many Hidden Mickeys in the carpet.
Tiki mask on the wall:
I mentioned that Moana Mickey’s Fun Hut arcade used to be next to the Tangaroa Terrace. Now, Moana Mickey’s arcade is near Captain Cook’s in the Great Ceremonial House. Isn’t the Mickey Mouse icon unique?
We head out towards Luau Cove at 12:27pm (I like that the sign is in the old Polynesian Resort font):
We’ll walk straight, with the marina on the right hand side:
Looking to the right and back, you can see Space Mountain across the water:
To the right is a nice little walk along the water, but we aren’t heading that way:
We will be passing by the Fiji Longhouse on our way toward Luau Cove.
There are two major dinner shows on property (I don’t include the Fort Wilderness Backyard BBQ in this). The Polynesian Resort luau (now called Spirit of Aloha) and the Hoop De Doo Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort both begain in the early 1970’s. My family mostly went to the luau when I was a child/teen, but I’ve enjoyed the Hoop De Doo more often as an adult.
We arrive to what I wrote down as “face” in my notes at 12:29pm. 🙂
Here are a couple of photos from when the big “face” was in Adventureland, including one with Jeff:
We are walking along the path, which is flanked by Luau Cove on one side and a beach on the other.
Themed trash can:
Swing on the beach:
We walked into the Luau Cove area, which I’ve not been in for years. The timed portion of the walk stops here, at 12:30 – 11 minutes after we started. Nothing else in the next couple of pages is timed. The walk as we took it from the TTC to Luau Cove took only 11 minutes.
The bathroom sign:
If you’ve ever been to the Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness, you’ll see vintage hair dryers in the bathroom from when River Country was there. Here, it’s a vintage air conditioner:
Spirit of Aloha sign:
I love this Ficus aurea tree:
A lizard hangs out on the tree:
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort view:
One of my favorite locations at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is on the next page!
Sunset Point offers some great views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and surrounding area:
Jeff enjoys the view here:
And here are a few last photos around the resort:
A tiki with no head at the marina:
And then we head off to the Magic Kingdom!
I hope you enjoyed the photo walk!
If you are interested in a website specifically dedicated to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, check out the Tikiman Pages!