We spent much of the day at the Magic Kingdom yesterday to celebrate Disneyland’s 59th birthday, with a visit to the Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for breakfast. While there, we took photos around the resort, there are so many changes since our last visit nearly 6 weeks ago!
There is a large scrim in front of the entrance sign and gate for Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Both Jeff and I have been visiting the resort since the 1970’s, the changes now are the most extensive since we first visited.
The scrim was still being worked on as we arrived.
Most of the resort is a construction zone right now, including this area out front.
There is a new, temporary walkway to the Ticket & Transportation Center.
A waterfall still remains on the walkway (to the right) into the Great Ceremonial House.
The bell stand is in front of this wall right inside the lobby. One thing that does stand out – well two things – there is no waterfall noise in the lobby, and it doesn’t have the familiar smell right now. Otherwise, the resort is business as usual and I was surprised to see that the reviews on Trip Advisor are still overwhelmingly very positive, even with the construction.
Before continuing to the rest of the photos, here is our video tour from yesterday – nearly 12 minutes long around Disney’s Polynesian Resort!
Where the waterfall once could be seen, there is concept art showing the upcoming lobby. We were told that it would be finished in March, and other areas of the resort in summer 2015. There is also concept art that includes Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort sign (which will be where the scrim outside is).
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto concept art.
Other concept art pieces.
This is what the lobby should look like when it is finished next year.
One of my favorite changes will be the sign out front, as well as the reinstatment of “Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort” as the name.
Some of the signage has construction tikis, but not this one.
Another piece of concept art.
Guests can pose with characters on the wall, in this case Mickey and Minnie.
Outside of Kona Cafe, Lilo and Stitch are part of this artwork.
The wall and artwork are behind me while sitting in the restaurant. Kona Cafe hasn’t changed at all right now (I am not sure if it will).
We were here for Tonga Toast – we usually have it at Captain Cook’s, where it is less expensive.
Concept art lines many of the walls both upstairs and downstairs in the Great Ceremonial House.
From what I understand, the stream may be leaving. This area was completely boarded up last night on the bridge (photos later in the article).
Captain Cook’s is currently in a temporary location – Disney posted that the permanent location should be back up and running in August. It doesn’t look quite ready.
Here are some more photos from the second floor of the outside.
The Sea Level Lobby is missing some letters.
I find this concept art curious, it looks like the child heard a loud noise.
Mickey and Minnie on the wall.
Trader Jack’s is closed for refurbishment, I hope the Mickey and Minnie figures come back. After it opens, Samoa Snacks will be closed for refurb.
The pin shop is still here.
To the left is the Monorail station.
Artwork with a hidden Mickey.
Looking back at the closed Trader Jack’s.
Jeff sits in front of more Disney characters.
I’ve never been a big fan of plants used as barriers. This is where the back door usually is.
Mickey and Goofy on the wall.
Donald and Daisy.
Bou-Tiki is open.
From the opposite side of the lobby, looking at the myriad of plants.
Where Captain Cook’s is being worked on, Lilo and Stitch are found on the wall.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto artwork is where Moana Mickey’s Arcade used to be.
Much has changed outside as well since our visit last month.
This is what Captain Cook’s (the permanent location that is closed) looks like from this angle.
The Nanea Volcano pool is set to close for refurbishment very soon, within weeks.
Walls were being added to the bridge outside to block the view of the stream.
This view of the stream was not yet changed.
Looking toward the Great Ceremonial House.
Walls along the pathway.
Many of the Disney Vacation Club bungalows have roofs and paneling.
Walt Disney World survey marker.
Looking towards Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with bungalows being constructed.
Ducks hide out underneath the chairs.
This is the view of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
We posed in front of another character sign.
The walk to Disney’s Polynesian Resort from the Ticket and Transportation Center has been rerouted.
The walkway now hugs the parking lot.
Club Disney is along the way, it used to be the Neverland Club (both for children).
I hope this tiki in the lobby stays, it is a favorite of ours!
The bridge that had walls being added earlier? By night, it was finished with scrim added.
Will you be staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort during the renovations?