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Disney’s Polynesian Resort Review: Pools, Rooms, Dining, and More

A thorough review of Disney’s Polynesian Resort with info on the Polynesian pool, dining, rooms, and more!

statue in the lobby of the polynesian resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is my favorite resort on the monorail line. 

The pools, dining, rooms, and overall relaxed vibe make it one of the best resorts in all of Walt Disney World!

Plus you can rent DVC points to stay here for FAR less than you’d pay to book directly with Disney. 

Here’s my guide to “The Poly” as it’s affectionately known to Disney lovers around the world. 

Disney Polynesian Resort Map

Disney Polynesian Resort Map

Here is the updated Polynesian Resort Map. A few of the longhouses have been renamed so if you visited years ago they might not be as you remembered!

I usually stay in Tokelau for it’s proximity to the main building and amenities. 

Disney Polynesian Resort Pool

resort pool

The Polynesian resort pool recently received some major upgrades! 

The feature Lava Pool now has a zero-entry side, a 142-foot long water slide, an expanded pool deck area, a hot tub with an infinity edge, and a kids water splash play area.

waterfall and resort pool

I consider myself a Disney pool aficionado, and I LOVED the Lava Pool area.

The waterfall feature is lovely, and I like that you can access this part of the Disney Polynesian pool from under the volcano! There are restrooms located under this part of the volcano as well.

Disney Polynesian pool

Does the Polynesian Resort Pool area have a hot tub? 

Yes, the Disney Polynesian pool area now features two hot tubs!

The new “infinity” hot tub located near the Lava Pool offers a spectacular view of the beach and Grand Floridian. There is a second hot tub located in the Oasis Pool area. 

kid's splash area

I have nothing but praise for the new Kiki Tiki’s kids splash play area.

I had to go up in it with my daughter (for research purposes, of course) and it was SO much fun. 

kid's playground area

My only complaint about the feature Lava Pool was that it didn’t open until 10 am, even during one of the busiest times of the year.

That is the latest pool opening time I’ve seen and I’m hoping it isn’t becoming the norm at other resorts. This could cramp your style if you are opting to stay at the resort all day instead of visiting the parks.

resort pool

A second leisure pool was added next to the Tokelau longhouse in 2015 as well.

The Oasis pool is lovely and has a unique edge that is on the same level as the pool deck. It features a large hot tub. I love that the Poly went from zero to two hot tubs with this remodel!

I am happy to report that at least this pool is more accessible during the morning hours and opens at 7 am.

Is the Polynesian Resort pool heated? 

Yes, the Polynesian pool is heated year-round!

I estimate the temperature is kept around 82 degrees, making it still cool enough in the summer. I think Disney keeps it’s pools at the perfect temperature.


Fences were added around the beach last year and I think they look natural and don’t detract much from the views. We enjoyed playing on the beautiful beaches and taking in the views of Seven Seas Lagoon.

Disney Polynesian Resort Dining

Next up in my Disney Polynesian Resort review is an overview of your dining options at the Polynesian. For more  information check out my detailed Disney Polynesian Restaurants post here!

Capt Cooks

outside dining area

The Polynesian Resort Pool wasn’t the only upgrade during the 2015 remodel. They refreshed Captain Cook’s, the main quick service option at the resort. 

inside dining area

The interior dining area has a new, airy feel and features fun travel posters from around Polynesia.

Trader Sam’s

Trader Sam's

Down the hallway from Capt. Cooks you’ll find the unassuming entrance to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

We checked it out on our most recent visit and it is now one of my favorite places in Walt Disney World! It’s a must do if you are staying at the Polynesian Resort. 

dining area

You can absolutely take your kiddos with you to Trader Sam’s. There are specialty alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages available as well as small plates. 


'ohana food demonstration area

‘Ohana is definitely the most popular dining location at the Polynesian. And for good reason – the food is amazing!

There is a character breakfast with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch which is served family style. 

plate of food

Dinner is a popular meal and while there aren’t characters there are endless plates of fire roasted meat (chicken, steak, and shrimp on our last visit). There’s also bread and salad, appetizers (see above), and an incredible bread pudding for dessert. 

tropical beverage

And while you are waiting for your table at ‘Ohana be sure to get a drink at the Tambu Lounge – the Backscratcher is my personal favorite!

Kona Cafe

Kona Cafe Sign

Kona Cafe is another excellent dining option at the Polynesian.

It is table service (1 credit on the Disney Dining Plan) and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Asian DIsh

The menu is Asian inspired and includes noodle bowls (such as this shrimp and veggie dish), sushi, steaks, and sandwiches. 

Get the menu straight from Disney here. 

Dole whip

Be sure to grab a Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai (just outside the lobby close to the Polynesian pool). It’s a must do when visiting or staying at the Polynesian!

I hope that gave you a decent overview of the food scene at the Poly – get more details on the Polynesian restaurants here. 

DVC Polynesian Studio Villas 

Polynesian Resort

Three of the Disney Polynesian Resort longhouses were converted to DVC Studio Villas in 2015. 

Some have water views of Magic Kingdom and others have views of the Polynesian resort pool and grounds. 

resort map

Here is a map that shows the location of the DVC Studio Villas at the Polynesian. 

studio villa room interior

The Studio Villas have one queen bed, a full-size pull out couch, and a single pull-down Murphy bed. 

In my opinion they are some of the nicest DVC Studio Villas and makes a great option for anyone visiting Walt Disney World property.

bathroomThey also have a split bathroom – one room has a shower and sink and the other has the bathtub/shower combo, sink, and toilet. 

This allows two people to get ready at the same time which is a huge help when you are trying to get to the parks in the morning!

To learn more about the DVC Studio Villas at the Polynesian, check out my full Disney Polynesian Studio Villa Review post here!

We recently rented DVC points to stay here to enjoy the Polynesian resort pool and more and saved a considerable amount compared to Disney’s prices! Learn how you can rent DVC points and save at Disney World here.

Disney Polynesian Resort Review: Transportation

Proximity to Magic Kingdom is one of the biggest selling points of the Polynesian! The monorail stops right outside of the lobby and in two stops you are at the entrance to Magic Kingdom. 

However it is also very easy to get to the Epcot monorail from the Polynesian as well. Just follow the walkway to the Transportation and Ticket Center and in 5-10 minutes you can be on the monorail that heads straight to Epcot. 

Bus service is available to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom park as well. 

Disney’s Polynesian Pool and Resort Summary

little girl standing in the sand

I thoroughly enjoyed our brief stay in a studio villa at the Polynesian, especially the upgrades to the Polynesian resort pool. You feel like you are in the middle of the magic at the Poly because you are!

If you are like me and want to be able to escape the excitement, then the Polynesian might be overwhelming to you for more than a few nights.

You can’t escape the fireworks noise and there are boats and monorails almost constantly on the move all around you. For some, this would be thrilling, but it might be too much stimulation for others.

I love that the theme for the resort comes from Walt’s own fascination with the “Tiki culture” prominent in the States in the 1950’s.

I feel Walt’s vision at the Polynesian more than any other resort, and that is part of the magic of staying there for me!

Interested in staying and enjoying some of the updates to the Polynesian Resort Pool and more? Get a free quote from Siera at Destinations in Florida who can help you plan your trip!

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below or join the discussion on my free private Facebook group for The Budget Mouse.

Check out these related posts:

All the details on updates to the pools, dining, and lobby at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Tips to help you plan your stay at the Polynesian or just visit the resort. A Disney World Resort Review from The Frugal South.

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