Top 10 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Aloha and welcome to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!  There are so many fun resorts to stay at on property at Walt Disney World Resort.  This list will break down some of the top ten reasons to stay on property at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

10.  BouTiki


Located on the ground floor in the Great Ceremonial House is BouTiki!  This is the main gift shop for the resort and is filled with Hawaiian shirts, dresses, and hotel logo wear.  It also has Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts and fun tiki inspired glassware, home decor, plus so much more!

9.  Lava Pool

Lava Pool
Image by Disney

Step just outside of the back of the Great Ceremonial House and you will see the main pool of the resort, the Lava Pool.  The Lava Pool features a waterfall and a 42 foot long water slide.  The bathrooms are conveniently located behind the waterfall.

Located next to the Lava Pool is the Barefoot Pool Bar!  Adult guests can enjoy amazing drinks like the Captain’s Mai Tai, Pago Pago Painkiller, or Frosty Pineapple to keep you cool!  They also offer delicious non-alcoholic beverages such as the Watermelon Lemonade, Strawberry Smoothie, and Lava Smoothie.  Sorry, the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted here!

For your little Mickey or Minnie who would rather splash the day away instead of swim, step on over to Kiki Tiki’s Splash Pad!  This fun area is only for guests under 48 inches and features 2 fun slides and lots of splashing!

Only guests staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort can enter the pool area.  

8.  Capt. Cooks

Capt. Cooks

Capt. Cooks is located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House.  This is the quick service restaurant for this resort.  Here you will find grab-and-go foods like pastries, beverages, sandwiches, fruits, ice cream and more!

For breakfast guests can enjoy the Bounty Breakfast Platter, Breakfast Sandwich, and the guest favorite Tonga Toast!  The Tonga Toast is a banana-stuffed sourdough bread, battered and deep-fried, and dusted with cinnamon sugar with choice of bacon or sausage!

For lunch and dinner they offer various flatbread pizzas (like Hawaiian Flatbread, Pepperoni, or Traditional Cheese), sandwiches (like the Aloha Pork Sandwich and Big Kahuna Sandwich), Pan Asian Noodles and Vegetables and more!

The Disney Dining Plan is accepted here for all meals including snacks!

Mickey Pops Tip:  Take your food to go and eat it by the poolside or back at your room!

7.  Torch Lighting Ceremony

Torch Lighting Ceremony

On select evenings, weather permitting, hear the call to help the chief with the torch lighting ceremony!  This event begins in the Great Ceremonial House where one ‘ohana (family) is chosen and will be assisting in the festivities!  The actual ceremony takes place just out the back door of the Great Ceremonial House in the grassy area in front of the Lava Pool.  The honorary ‘ohana of the day gets to have special PhotoPass pictures taken during the Torch Lighting Ceremony.

Mickey Pops Tip:  To possibly be chosen as the ‘ohana of the day, casually ask a cast member what time the Torch Lighting Ceremony starts, then hang out in the lobby near the Vacation Club Desk.  We just happened to be sitting on some chairs there waiting for our room to be serviced when we were chosen to be the ‘ohana of the day!

6.  Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace

Step down the hall across from Capt. Cook’s toward the outside doors and just on your right you will see an unassuming door that says “Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.”  If you aren’t looking for it you may just miss it!  Inside you will be transported to a fun and eclectic bar that has many tricks up its sleeve!  If you love the terrible jokes from the Jungle Cruise ride you will definitely love Trader Sam’s!  The best part?  The bar comes to life when guests order certain drinks inside the bar!  You have to see it to believe it!  Oh, and many of the drinks serve 2 or more, plus come in cool souvenir glasses!

The hours of operation for Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto are:

  • Sunday – Thursday: 4 PM – 12:30 AM
  • Friday – Saturday: 4 PM – 1 AM

Note: Guests of all ages are welcomed before 8 PM.  Only guests 21 and older will be admitted after 8 PM.

Mickey Pops Tip:  If the bar is full, as it often is, step outside the double sliding doors and turn right.  Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is located around the back of Trader Sam’s Grog Gotto.  There is a walk up window where you can get many of the drinks offered inside.

5.  ‘Ohana & Tambu Lounge

'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort

On the top floor of the Great Ceremonial house is the Tambu Lounge and ‘Ohana restaurant!

The Tambu Lounge offers fun drinks such as the Lapu Lapu, which is served in a fresh pineapple, or the Backscratcher, which comes with, you guessed it, a backscratcher!  You enjoy light bites like Pot Stickers and Sticky Wings.

‘Ohana is a fun restaurant which offers a character breakfast with Stitch, Goofy and some more of their friends!  For dinner enjoy family style all-you-care-to-enjoy noodles, salad, pot stickers, steak, chicken and shrimp!  Note: Reservations are strongly recommended for the ‘Ohana.

Mickey Pops Tip:  Time your dinner reservation right and you may be able to see “Happily Ever After” fireworks show right from your table!  You can read our review of the ‘Ohana here.

Disney Dining Plans are accepted at ‘Ohana with 1 entitlement per person for either breakfast or dinner service.  Disney Dining Plans are not accepted at Tambu Lounge.

4.  Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Have your dinner and watch an amazing show too!  Located just a short walk from the Great Ceremonial House is Luau Cove, the home of Spirit of Aloha!  During this fun show you will be delighted with great food, dancing, singing, and beautiful music inspired by the Polynesian islands.

Mickey Pops Tip:  For the best view of the show reserve a Tier 2 seating.  Read our Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show review here!

3.  Monorail, Boat, & TTC

One of the best perks of staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the close proximity (within walking distance) to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom, and best of all, being on the Monorail loop!  The bus stop to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and the Water Parks is located out front near the Great Ceremonial House.  There are so many ways to get around Walt Disney World Resort just steps outside your hotel room door!

Note: You will have to go through security check prior to boarding the monorail from the resort.  So have your bags open and ready for inspection!

2.  Dole Whips & Dole Whip Floats!

Pineapple Lanai

One of the most loved snacks in all of Walt Disney World Resort is available right here at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!  Just outside the back doors from the Great Ceremonial House is the Pineapple Lanai where you can get this refreshing treat!  You can also get it in a souvenir mug to take home!  Adults can get a dole whip Coruba Coconut Rum!

Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Image by Disney

Mickey Pops Tip: Just before the fireworks begin stop by the Pineapple Lanai and pick up a Dole Whip, claim your spot on the beach behind the Lava Pool and enjoy your own personal “Happily Ever After!”

1.  …And The View

Grand Floridian Resort

One of the best reasons to stay at the Polynesian is for that view!  No matter what direction you look there are beautiful sights to see!  To the left is the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, to the right the sleek Contemporary Resort.

Contemporary Resort

Step outside the back doors from the Great Ceremonial House and you can see Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain!  Nightly you can catch the Electerial Light Parade and see the fireworks from the beach and select rooms!

Cinderella Castle

Take a moment from your busy vacation, enjoy the sights and sounds, and make some amazing memories that will last a lifetime! Aloha!

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