Monday, December 17, 2012

Disney's Polynesian Resort ~ Our Favorite Deluxe Resort

Until our last trip to Walt Disney World, my favorite Disney resort was Port Orleans Riverside.  But due to a little Disney magic and a hotel upgrade, I was finally able to experience Disney's Polynesian Resort during our last trip.  I had always said I would never pay to upgrade to a deluxe resort and though I had no experience to base this opinion on, I believed upgrading to a deluxe had no value.  Boy was I wrong!  This doesn't mean I will never stay at a value or moderate resort, but I finally see why so many people say that upgrading is worth it.

The Polynesian is a place we visit every trip.  'Ohana's, one of the resort's sit down dining options, is a family favorite when it comes to dining, and well, the Tambu Lounge is my favorite lounge on Disney property (my vacation isn't complete without at least one or two Malibu Macaws!).  I have always loved visiting, but never took the time to explore the resort beyond the Great Ceremonial House.  But in 2011, the moment we exited the Great Ceremonial House and headed toward our room, something happened.  I heard the Walt Disney World Railroad train whistle.  There is just something about that sound that pulls me in.  The path we were walking along took us toward the beach.  As we rounded a bend, there it was in the distance . . . Cinderella's Castle.  Of course, seeing the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary, as well as the Magic Kingdom ferries isn't such a bad sight either!  I immediately knew, without even seeing my room, I was going to love the Polynesian . . . and I did!
View of Cinderella's Castle from Disney's Polynesian Resort
This is the view from our balcony -
we could see the fireworks through the
palm trees, as well as sometimes get a
glimpse of the Electrical Water
As a family of five, we are now limited to where we can actually stay, since many Disney resort rooms accommodate just four people.  We have always stayed at a moderate and one of the children would sleep in my parents' room.  This is not ideal when you are on a "family" vacation.  Besides, once it is lights out for one person, it is lights out for all.  But at the rooms in the Polynesian, we could all be in one room.  Even better, since we had a balcony, we could put all the kids to bed (one in each bed and one on the day bed), and Pierre and I could sit out on the balcony and enjoy the sounds from the Magic Kingdom, as well as (with a slightly obstructed view) be able to see Wishes and at that time Hallowishes.  Of course, the view of the resort grounds with the torches lit was quite nice too!

The biggest draw for us was the ease of transportation.  With three little ones, being able to walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center or hop on the monorail at the Great Ceremonial House was a huge benefit to us.  Getting to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot were very quick trips.  Even better, we had plenty of dining options along the monorail loop, which was a lot more convenient than trying to take a bus or a boat to a park and then a bus or a boat to the resort where we wanted to dine.  It saved us a lot of travel time.

In the end, anytime I can get a good discount for the Polynesian, I will be taking advantage of it.  It does cost a lot more than the moderates, but for us, the extra benefits outweigh the extra cost.  The food options, the views, the ease of transportation to the Magic Kingdom (our primary park with the kids) and the room size make Disney's Polynesian Resort my new favorite Disney resort!

Which Disney Deluxe Resort is your favorite?


JenniferLissak said...

You are quite convincing! I've never stayed there, but I've stayed at GF and Contemporary and love the views and transportation.. Maybe one of these days we'll actually get there!

Beth D. said...

I loved it much more than I thought I would. I am always about saving money, so I never imagined I would think it worth paying extra money for a room!

Heidi Strawser said...

I would just die if we could afford to stay at the Poly! It's been a dream of mine. Of the 3 resorts on the monorail loop, I find it by far the most inviting and homey!

Beth D. said...

I highly recommend it if you can make it work! There is so much to this resort. I will doing a series of posts on the Polynesian in January. There were too many good things to fit them all into one post! :-)

Heidi Strawser said...

Awesome - I can't wait to read them all!

Deb @ Focused on the Magic said...

What a great review. It sounds lovely!

Dave Shute said...

Great review Beth! I love the sound of the train whistle from my hotel room (or my tent in Fort Wilderness :) )

Beth D. said...

Wish I were there right now! I can't wait to get back, especially as I sit here on a day that is 14 degrees out! LOL!

Beth D. said...

As soon as I heard the whistle, I was hooked! My son even started looking around for the train. We'll be back there in 7 weeks - I can't wait!