A Walking Tour of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World – Construction Update

| September 11, 2014 | 39 Replies

I’m going to take you along on a walking tour of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World. It is currently undergoing lots of exciting changes. I am lucky enough I can visit the resorts whenever the mood strikes me so I thought I would keep everyone up to date with photos of the resort as the construction continues.

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 So, pull up a chair and relax while we tour around the resort. If you would like to see a list of the rehabs at the Polynesian, be sure to visit our Rehabs page.

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There is construction out front as you pull up to the front door of the Polynesian.

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They have drained the ponds that were on both sides of the walkway into the resort.DSC_7143

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The view here used to be of the beautiful foliage and waterfall as you entered the resort. The check in desk is to your right here.

 

 

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The plants are hiding the doors you used to use to go outside towards the Volcano pool.

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They have put in a nice seating area.

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This is the walkway to the boat that will take you to the Magic Kingdom.

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A look at the new Disney Vacation Club Villas being built over the water at the resort.

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This is where the arcade used to be on the left.

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This is where the former art gallery used to be.

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The new Pineapple

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The new Pineapple Lanai in the courtyard is open .  You will be able to get a Dole Whip here. Capt. Cook’s no longer has them.

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Walking toward the quiet pool.

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There still are beautiful views where you can feel like you have been transported to a tropical paradise.  You just have to look harder to find them with all the construction going on.  It wasn’t very noisy the day I visited.

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This is the walkway to the beach.

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I will give Walt Disney World credit for trying to keep up the beautiful appearance of the resort. They were cleaning the windows during my visit.

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I am not sure this is a picture postcard view.

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A closer look at the villas currently under construction.

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You still can find those beautiful vacation photos down by the water.  It was very peaceful sitting on the swing watching all the action on the water.

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The beautiful Volcano pool is behind the construction walls. I can’t wait to see the new and improved pool area when it reopens in 2015.

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Watching the monorail travel overhead never gets old. The family leaving on the path ahead of me paused for a moment to watch also.

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I have been accused of wearing rose colored glasses when it comes to Walt Disney World. I think the Polynesian resort is still a good choice when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, even though it is under construction. If you are aware of the construction before you arrive it won’t come as a shock. I realize that the Volcano pool is not available and the construction takes away from the beauty of the resort. You still can’t beat the view of Magic Kingdom across the water.  You have easy transportation right outside the doors with the monorail and boats.  You can quickly be in a theme park from this resort.

I will be periodically updating the progress of the rehab at the Polynesian. I will also be doing a series of walking tours around the resorts at Walt Disney World in the coming months. Do you have a favorite resort you would like to see pictures of? Let me know in the comments below. See you in the parks!



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Category: Disney World

  • Jenn

    A walking tour of Wilderness Lodge please

    • Brandicj

      Wilderness Lodge has blocked off the entire main pool, pool bar, part of the beach, boardwalk, hot tub and the playground and movie area. I hear they have taken rooms out of service in some areas to reduce guest impact while they do this “pool rehab.” Aside from discussion on the boards, I think WDWInfo and DISUnplugged have been too quiet regarding this particular resort. WL fans are in a tizzy over this construction and rumors flying about WL DVC.

  • elvindeath

    I was at the Polynesian in early August, and I guess as someone who can only make it to the world every couple of years, I had a different view. If I was saving up for a rare trip to Disney and staying at a “Deluxe” resort, I would be extremely disappointed in the Polynesian. To say there is construction everywhere is a complete understatement. There wasn’t one area or one view that wasn’t noticeably marred by construction barricades. I guess it’s a necessary evil, but if they were offering rooms at the Poly for $159 / night, I still would think long and hard about staying there. If I was unaware of the extent of the construction and showed up for my vacation to be greeted by cramped meandering pathways of “Excuse Our Dust” barricades, orange cones and cement crews everywhere, I’d be furious. I’m sure it will be great once done, but right now it’s a total nightmare.

  • Tracy

    I appreciate the update and look forward to seeing additional tours as progress continues at the Polynesian. Can’t wait to see it all finished!

  • Jeffrey Thomas

    Thanks, Kathy. You manage to see the good things through the construction. I took our travel party there last month to explore the resort while we were in Orlando. I knew the construction was in progress, but still was a little taken aback by the lobby with all of the construction walls. The outside is still beautiful. We did not walk around outside a lot, so I did not notice how the villas will coexist with the beach of the resort. Is it just reduced? Since I live in Ohio, and do not get to Florida often so these little “escapes” to Disney are lots of fun.

  • Bob Davis

    Yes, rose colored glasses, at least on this subject.

  • Kevin Schneider

    Thanks, Kathy. Love the pictures. (also, love your insights on the Dis unplugged). I, too, have been accused of looking at all things Disney “through rose colored glasses.” I don’t care, I just love everything about it. I just got back from our week’s vaca – originally booked Poly, but switched to the Beach Club. Glad I did. I am so looking forward to seeing all the renovations when the construction is completed. And I can’t wait to stay there. I just don’t think it is a great place to stay right now. Disney has done a great job of ‘hiding’ a lot though.

  • Kelly Goodfellow

    Thank you for the pictures! Any news about when Trader Sam’s Tikki bar will open?

    • Kathy Werling

      I haven’t heard anything official.

  • Brian Ashton

    Love the update on the Poly. My favorite resort is Beach Club so I would love to see a picture tour there. I think this is a great idea…you can show folks like myself resorts that we have never been to.

  • Rosemary

    Thank you, Kathy. We were booked to go there in Oct., but changed it to the Yacht Club. I’m glad I did, because it wouldn’t be very impressive for a first stay in the Polynesian. We’ll save it for another trip.

  • ShesAPirate

    Thanks for this update, Kathy! Can you tell me what the upper level of the lobby (where Kona and ‘Ohana are) looks like right now? Is there any construction going on there?

    • Kathy Werling

      The upstairs looks like the downstairs. Construction walls around the railings.

  • Ghost Man

    We stayed at the Polynesian the year before we became DVC members (1994). We loved everything about the resort. The picturesque waterfall in the lobby area was beautiful. Are there any rumors as to what this area will look like when they’re finished?

    • Blackacex2

      There is already concept art on the disney parks blog of exactly what the lobby will look like and what is replacing the waterfall that was in the lobby.

      • Ghost Man

        Thanks! It’s sad to see the waterfall gone.

  • Sarah

    I like your positive viewpoint! However, after seeing these photos I have to admit I’m not envious of people at the Poly right now… I’m happy to be staying at Pop Century this October! The monorail and Magic Kingdom proximity are nice, but not enough to make up for the Poly prices during construction. Thanks for the great report!

  • Laurence Banks

    How about a walking tour of Animal Kingdom Resort, both Jambo House & Kidani Village.

  • sagrande

    Thanks Kathy, Don’t think its rose colored glasses. Just a great positive attitude on life that we could use a lot more of these days! Was just at Poly last week to snoop around while on vacation. Choose not to stay there simply because DGD would miss pool too much. She is proud to have been selected ” Queen of the Volcano Pool” three times over the years!!
    I, too, look forward to the Poly’s new completion. It will always be a special place to my family.

  • Maria

    Thanks for this great look at this evolving resort. I would love to see a tour of Coronado Springs. I think people don’t realize what a hidden gem it is!

  • Blackacex2

    How is the upstairs effected by the construction? I would like to go to Kona our first night for dinner and watch wishes from the Poly beach but I don’t know if that is still an option? Do they still show movies on the beach?

  • Keebs

    I would think with that amount of construction the cost during the renovation should be lower. There is the lack of the Disney feel with the construction and I do not think it is fair for those who have planned their trip prior to the construction. Yes they do a wonderful job to try not to disturb the guests but still..At least for those who booked there give them some credit towards the next trip.

  • Ruthie3

    Thanks! Visiting in December and pool would probably not be an option then, anyway. (More upset about Haunted Mansion being closed during our visit.) The ability to get to and from park via monorail or boat was a definite + when we made our reservations. Disney let us know there was construction going on–didn’t adjust the rates, tho. Nothing else available that had monorail access.

  • MAGICFOR2

    Hey Kathy! Thanks for the update. I’m sure it will be wonderful when the construction is done. I’m wondering if it will look a little more like Aulani? The over the water villas seem like they will be wonderful!

  • Niksgrammy

    Tx Kathy, was there in December of 2014. You really needed the pool still. I stay at the Pop Century. For my money its the best deal. HAD a king size bed even!!!
    Stayed at the Poly in 1982. With all the construction would not stay there now. They took away everything we loved. The waterfalls, and the indoor waterfall is going to be redone. Hubby’s favorite spot there. Kona is excellent.

  • Tina Chapman

    Love the walking tour. We will be staying at Wilderness Lodge Villas for our second time in January. Looking forward to walking the trails there!

  • Tim Donley – Wisconsin

    Thanks Kathy for posting these Pic’s!! I am sure once the construction is done it is going to be amazing. My wife and I are taking my 2 year old for the first time to WDW (my 28th time to WDW) to celebrate my wife’s birthday and his first time to Disney. We originally had booked our trip to the Poly but thanks to following everyone on the DIS and finding out that it was going to be under construction we switched to the Contemporary. After finding out from you that it was going to be under construction I had called back in April and asked how much was going to be under construction and if all the pools would be open and what not and the Disney Rep told me that all construction would be done before summer. After seeing your pictures and listening to the show I am glad that I choose to move us. As much as I love the Poly, and I really do, it would not have felt the same for me and I would have been sadly disappointed. Thanks for all that you guys do and I am a huge fan of the show!!!

  • Tanya

    Thanks Kathy for the update on the Poly! I love this blog and pictures. We were at Disney this past May and ate Breakfast at Ohana. We love the Poly and make a special effort to eat at least one meal there every trip and walk around this amazing resort. It is beautiful and I can’t wait to see the finished refurbishment. You do such an amazing job! I can’t wait to read your future resort blogs. Maybe Port Orleans Riverside…it’s one of our favorites.

  • Beth

    We haven’t been to WDW for about 10 years,have a trip planned over Christmas. We’re staying at Animal Kingdom, standard room. I’d enjoying seeing a tour there, I’m really wondering the view will like. Thanks.

  • Nathalie

    Hello Kathy,

    Thanks for this great resume on the construction going on. We are going on October 20th. For the last 2 weeks, I kept looking at the special rates and just transferred today to the Poly Theme Park View – Club Level. The discount was important enough for me to jump on the offer. I am very surprised to read all that is under constructions though!! On the website, they mention only the Volcano Pool. Same when I called to change my booking. The agent mentioned only the Volcano Pool was closed. Nothing about the rest. Still I think that for the price, I would never be able to afford a Theme Park View CL at the regular rate so I am happy with the move. We wanted to go at the Poly for the view on the Castle and to be close to the monorail and the parks. So this is not affected by the construction. Thanks a lot for the update.

    Nathalie

  • GiggleGoddess

    Thanks for the great walking tour of the Polynesian. I just wanted to chime in and tell you my favorite resort is Wilderness Lodge:-)

  • mexner

    Thanks for the report, Kathy. It doesn’t look like things have changed much since we were at O’Hana for dinner on August 15 during our most recent trip. Walked all around the resort that night to get a sense of the construction limitations and left feeling that the hotel really should have been unavailable for booking during this period. A mere shadow of its former self, or its future self, at this point.

  • Alex

    A walking tour of Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness would be great. My all time favorite as a kid and now as a grown up!!!

  • JoshuaH

    Thank you for keeping us up-to-date! Will definitely check back in for future updates on Polynesian Resort construction.

  • hal d

    I would love to see pictures of the Animal Kingdom resort especially to find out if it is worth the extra cost to get a room with a view of the animals.

  • Lizzie

    can you do a walking tour of All Star Music? I will be going there for the first time and it will be my kid’s first time at Disney. Also, how does the construction of the restaurant affect eating there?

  • Sk

    Can u post another update?

    • Jamie Lawrence

      I would like to know too. We plan on going in Feb

  • DB

    My family will be staying at Polynesian for Easter week and I wonder if construction will be over. Will new main pool be ready? DB