Day 8: Like Royalty / WDW-40, 2016

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Dining

There are lots of dining options at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, with Quick-Service locations, Table-Service Restaurants, a Dinner Show, plus lounges and pool bars. You will not find yourself short of food and drink here! We haven’t visited all the dining locations, and I don’t think I’ve even got photos of them all! Descriptions of each dining establishment has been taken from the leaflet in our welcome pack!

Quick-Service

  • Capt. Cook’s – explore your options each morning as you start the day with a Mickey Waffle or banana-stuffed Tonga Toast. For lunch or dinner, discover an adventurous assortment of sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and more. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 1)
  • Kona Island – Say “aloha” to coffee, pastries in the morning and made-to-order sushi an sashimi beginning at noon. Does not accept Disney Dining Plans. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 2)
  • Pineapple Lanai – Dole Whip soft-serve ice cream and floats (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 1)

We had takeout from Capt. Cooks’s at least once, maybe twice during this trip, and most certainly got a few Dole Whips in during our stay! Didn’t manage to get to Kona Island though.

Dole Whip Float

Table-Service / Dinner Show

You need to make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) at Table-Service restaurants as they are more often than not, busy. The days of walking up and getting a table are long gone at many of the popular restaurants. You must also make ADRs for Dinner Shows. I’ve written about ADRs more in depth on my other blog » How To Book & Plan Your ADRs

  • ‘Ohana – Hang loose with Stitch and friends at breakfast and enjoy games, storytelling, and a Hawaiian-style feat at dinner. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 2)
  • Kona Cafe – This relaxed cafe infuses a bit of Asian zest into traditional American meals. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 2)

We have eaten at both of these restaurants – on this, and previous trips. In fact, we were in ‘Ohana last night! We’ve had dinner and breakfast at ‘Ohana, and breakfast at Kona Cafe in 2015, where I had the famous Tonga Toast – yum!

  • Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show – Enjoy Polynesian dining and dancing at this all-you-care-to-enjoy, family-style feast. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday. (Venue at Luau Cove; check in located at Great Ceremonial House, Floor 1)

We went to this dinner show in 2014 and you can read all about it here. The traditional dancing and fire knife dancer were our favourite parts – very entertaining!

Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show Venue

Magical Dining

This is in-room dining Disney style, where you can order from the dining menu found in your in-room welcome pack. There is a selection of food and beverages for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a pizza delivery service, which we have used on past trips. There is a $3 delivery charge, applicable sales tax, and 18% service charge added to orders, and is available daily from 7:00am to 12:00am. You can use a Disney Dining Plan for this service, and it costs 2 Table-Service credits per person from your plan.

Lounges and Pool Bars

  • Barefoot Pool Bar (Near Lava Pool. Weather permitting)
  • Oasis Bar and Grill – Take a break and enjoy some tasty favorites like fish tacos, kalua pork sliders and Polynesian-themed burgers, along with tropical cocktails, wine, Hawaiian beer and assorted beverages. (Near Oasis Pool. Weather permitting)
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – Inside this exotic hideaway, colorful handcrafted Tiki drinks conjure mystical effects. On the scenic outdoor patio, enjoy Hawaiian-style harmonies while enjoying small bites and cocktails. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 1)
  • Traders Sam’s Tiki Terrace – enjoy a refreshing, handcrafted cocktail or a tasty bite to eat that is sure to satisfy your thirst for adventure. (Near Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto)
  • Tambu Lounge (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 2)

We did’t even go into the Lava Pool, so I don’t have photos of that, nevermind the pool bar! We did grab a bite and enjoyed a couple of cocktails on a pool day at the Oasis Pool – but for some reason I don’t have any photos of the food we had. That’s not like me at all!

Our biggest regret from this trip was not getting the chance to visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. I kept saying how we need to get in there (I wanted a cocktail or three, and to pick up some souvenir glasses!) but time just got away from us in the two weeks we were at Poly (plus I was poorly for about 3 days). Next time for sure! I don’t even have a photo of the door, let alone inside! It is tucked out of the way mind you, and you could miss it!

Essentially I have minimal photos of the lounges and pool bars, but these are some of what I do have!

Shopping

There are two shops at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort:

  • BouTiki – Polynesian-themed Men’s and Women’s fashion apparel, Resort logo souvenirs, luggage, jewelry, MagicBand accessories, and Disney Character home decor. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 1)
  • Moana Mercantile – Children’s Disney Character apparel, toys, pins, souvenirs, autograph books and pens, snacks and beverages. (Great Ceremonial House, Floor 2)

We all know I love a bit of Disney shopping, and I really love BouTiki – there are always so many things I want to buy when I visit this shop! One thing you can do is buy a coconut and send it as a postcard! Unfortunately, not back to the UK though 🙁

I’ve covered the important things inside the Great Ceremonial House, so I think it’s time we stepped outside! There are tropical plants, flowers, and trees, with tiki statues nestled into the landscaping all over the resort. There are torches lining the pathways, and larger braziers that are lit in the evenings. Soft music plays to add to the ambience, and it’s a lovely resort to just wander around for an hour or so.

You can walk to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, from Poly, and also past the Wedding Pavilion. We did this walk a couple of times, mainly because I am lusting after having a Disney wedding vow renewal!

Disney's Wedding Pavilion
Disney's Wedding Pavilion
View of Poly from the dock at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion

There is a grass area just outside the back of the House, past the Pineapple Lanai, where they hold the Movies Under the Stars every night (weather permitting). It is also here that they perform the Torch Lighting Ceremony, where they say Aloha-Oe to the day, and Aloha to the night.

We happened to be passing by just as it was starting –  it was just so typical that I hadn’t brought out my camera on this one occasion! I did have my phone and did a quick Snapchat video, which I also put up on Instagram (embedded below) – hence why it is so short. I think Steve may have had the video camera… I’m not sure – I’ve not even gone through video footage from this trip properly (I have enough to keep me busy with photos and writing this trip report!!) The fire knife dancer was the same guy we saw at Spirit of Aloha in 2014!

Longhouses

The resort’s guestrooms are located in 8 Longhouses, and the DVC rooms are in 3 additional Longhouses. Lots more lush landscaping and torches lighting the way.  You can see my DVC Studio Room tour in yesterday’s report.

Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

There is a barbecue grill area in the DVC area (Polynesian Villas & Bungalows) with two gas grills, tables, and seating. Grill utensils are available for DVC Members at the front desk (or so the sign tells me!)

Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Since we are in the PVB section, here are some photos of the Bora Bora Bungalows, which look amazing, but are just so damn expensive! There are 20 of them and they jut out from the beach into Seven Seas Lagoon.

Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort - Bora Bora Bungalows
Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Let’s talk about the beach – swathes of white sand, palm trees, and lots of sun loungers and a few bench swings too.

Disney have now added the rocks and fencing that you can see along the shoreline. You may remember the tragic incident at Grand Floridian, where a little boy was pulled from the beach there by an alligator. I won’t say anything further, as you will no doubt know what happened, but this is the reason why the fencing is now there.

Of course, the circumstances why it had to be done are so, so sad, but I personally think this is a smart move. To think people actually complained about the fence is ridiculous in my opinion, I think it goes well with the all around theme of the resort (and it is continued around at Grand Floridian beach, by the way).  The lagoon was never meant for swimming, bathing, or even paddling in, so having the fence there just enforces this rule.

Tour around Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

You can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach, as well as the Electric Water Pageant which visits each of the resorts on Seven Seas Lagoon. I can never remember the times though. I am so glad that I crossed “Watch Wishes from Poly Beach” from my Disney Bucket List, as it is now leaving MK and being replaced in 2017. I’m so sad!! When we saw Wishes, the music wasn’t piped in, as I was lead to believe. Maybe because on this night it would clash with the music from the water pageant? I really don’t know. I still do not have any good photos of the Electric Water Pageant though! I had a longer open shutter for trying to capture half decent fireworks shots, and I couldn’t do both at the same time. One day… (unless they pull that too… the rate Disney are going with changing things up lately!)

Wishes Fireworks from Poly Beach

There is also a fire pit here which is lit up in the evenings, and where you can toast marshmallows. Single marshmallows are free, but you can buy s’mores packs for a few dollars too.

Another thing we can finally cross off our list of things to do (we still want to do it at Fort Wilderness though!) The photo below is of Steve, my brother, and his fiancee – we did this before heading back to Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade on my 40th birthday!

Fire pit on Poly Beach

Swimming

  • Lava Pool – Featuring a zero-depth entry, 142-foot tubular waterslide, in-pool seating and infinity hot tub. Aquatic Play Area for guests 48 inches and under (near Seven Seas Marina)
  • Oasis Pool – Nestled amid a lush garden, this all-ages leisure pool promises a more tranquil swim for those looking to relax and unwind. (near Tokelau)

We didn’t venture into the Lava Pool at all during our 2 week stay at Poly, but used the Oasis Pool a number of times as it was so close to us. I do have some photos of the Lava Pool from the outside looking in, including the huge mountain which I’m guessing you climb up for the waterslide. I will aim to take more photos here on our next visit.

I’ve also included some photos of Seven Seas Marina, where you can rent watercraft including Sea Raycers, Boston Whaler Montauks, SunTracker Pontoon Boats, as well as speciality fireworks cruises and guided fishing excursions.

Oasis Pool - Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Oasis Pool
Oasis Pool - Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

And that, I think is that for the tour of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! I think I’ve covered all the major things that you need to know about, but if there is something I have missed out, or anything you’d like to know, just ask! Leave a comment below, or send me an email.

Us going to Victoria & Albert's, Grand Floridian

It was soon time for us to dress up in our glad rags for my [early] 40th birthday meal at Victoria & Albert’s! We took the Monorail around to the Grand Floridian – having the walkway to TTC so close to our Longhouse was awesome! It was the first time I had used my ECV on the Monorail, and it wasn’t too much grief getting it on and off. I took it because we planned on walking (well, me scooting) back to Poly after dinner.

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