DVC Resort Review – Polynesian Villas

Stats and Facts:

  • First opened:  2015
  • Opening sale price:  $160
  • Current sale price (direct):  $235
  • Average sale price (resale):  $146-$155
  • Contract Expires:  2066
  • Number of rooms – 386

The Polynesian has always been one of my favorite Disney resorts, and prior to this visit, I’d never been in the studios. Along with the Grand Floridian Villas and Bay Lake Tower, the Polynesian Villas are among the most popular – and sought after – DVC contracts on the market. Its location on the monorail, coupled with its views of the Magic Kingdom are just a few of the reasons. It’s also home to Trader Sams (I still prefer the original in California).

Our check-in experience was – unremarkable. The woman checking us in was professional and courteous, but not particularly upbeat. In fact, I found the majority of the cast members we dealt with at the Polynesian fell into that category. Not rude or even disengaged, but they didn’t display that extra ‘something’ that usually defines a great cast member experience. Maybe my standards for that are too high, but so are the prices so – yeah, expectations should be set high.

I’ve always been a fan of the rooms at the Polynesian for a number of reasons. First, they’re HUGE (on average about 450 sq. ft.) . When the Poly was built back in 1971, that’s what a hotel room was supposed to be. But I’ve also really appreciated how well-appointed they were. Having never really seen the DVC studios before, I was hoping they would follow suit, and I wasn’t disappointed. The studio was large, the decor was perfect for the theme, the furniture was comfortable and in good shape. The split shower design of the bathroom is something I love, and that feature sets these units apart from other DVC properties. Allowing two people to shower at the same time is a big plus and a big time-saver when you’re anxious to start your day and get into the parks.

Our particular room was located on the third floor of the Moorea building with a ‘lake view’. They don’t call these ‘theme park views’, mainly because if you’re on the first (and in some cases the second) floor, you might be staring at a bungalow and not Cinderella castle. The third floor, however, offered a spectacular, unobstructed view of the Magic Kingdom (and more importantly the fireworks).

Room size (each type)

  • Deluxe Studios – 366 – 447 sq. ft.
  • Bungalows – 20 – 1093 sq. ft

DINING

You’re dining options at the Polynesian are Captain Cooks (counter service), Kona Cafe (table service) and ‘Ohana (family style). ‘Ohana offers a character meal for breakfast, but it’s rarely worth the price. Dinner is a much better option, but there have been MANY complaints lately about people being rushed through their meal. Captain Cooks is one of the best counter service locations at WDW in my opinion. The coconut curry meatballs are one of my all-time favorites. For this review, however, we decided to give Kona Cafe a try. For many years, Kona was a personal favorite, then – as tends to happen – it went downhill. During that time, the food ranged from uninspired to downright bad. After having a few meals at Kona in recent months, it seemed the tide had turned in favor of a much-improved menu, so we decided to give it a try.

Overall Rating:  1-10 – 8.7

  • Check-in experience (10%) – 7
    The check-in process was professional and courteous, but not particularly notable. If mediocrity was the standard, I’d have given it a 10
  • Overall condition of room (50%) – 9.5
    The room we were assigned was in near perfect condition. Corey Fiasconaro along with his wife, Haley, stayed in the room. They loved it but found the bed to be too firm.
  • Friendliness of cast (20%) – 7
    I’ve mentioned this a few times in this review, so no reason to beat a dead horse 🙂
  • Amenities/Common areas (20%) – 9
    There are few resorts at WDW (or anywhere else for that matter) that can match the lush beauty and tropical feel of the Polynesian. Even if that vibe is not to your taste, you have to admit – they’ve done this well and it’s impeccably maintained. The feature pool is a highlight of the resort and the view of the fireworks from the beach is particularly special.

4 thoughts on “DVC Resort Review – Polynesian Villas

  • September 9, 2019 at 11:01 am
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    I was torn when purchasing my third contract between the Polynesian in BLT. Ultimately it came down to what’s going to be more difficult to book at the seven month mark and from what members have told me BLT is much more difficult and that booking a the studio at the Polynesian at the seven month mark is usually not a problem (since the majority of their rooms are studios) unless you’re a little are traveling during the holidays which I try to avoid since I don’t like ridiculous crowds. The price point for the two resorts were very similar but the maintenance fees at BLT were a little bit cheaper. With all that in mind I also own at AUL so in a way it would feel like I was getting two resorts of the same theme. I’m happy that I selected BLT but I absolutely love the Polynesian. The only negative experience that I had there was the luau dinner show. That was a complete waste of $100+ dollars. The food was disgusting and the show was ridiculous (for adults anyways). Halfway through the show I decided to get up and leave to watch the fireworks because I was just so bored with it. Good for the kids but the storyline was just not well scripted. If you’re going to make a Hawaii themed resort I feel that they should really invest in creating a true Hawaiian luau especially if they’re charging the prices that they do. That being said, the rest of the resort truly does feel like paradise and I can’t wait to stay there! °O°

  • September 9, 2019 at 12:31 pm
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    I know you can’t always do a deep dive into all the food at a resort…but for anyone staying at the Poly, the Oasis Pool Bar and Grill has really delicious food. It’s also the closest to the 3 DVC longhouses which makes it a convenient spot to grab food or a quick drink. Their Teriyaki Glazed Angus Burger is topped with pork belly and grilled pineapple and is one of my very favorite burgers anywhere on property. It is a pool bar…so it’s not gonna be a Geyser Point- but it’s a 2 minute walk or less from the farthest Studio room and we have found that we really appreciate that when we stay at the Poly.

  • September 9, 2019 at 4:49 pm
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    I too love the Polynesian and have been able to stay there a few times. I had the opportunity to stay in a studio last year and honestly was not overly impressed. There were 3 of us as always for a 10 day stay. The room itself was nice enough however the lack of storage space was a problem. I had read that there are drawers under the bed however not in our room. We had to use our suitcases which meant they were always out in the room. The bed was uncomfortable and it took 3 calls to housekeeping to get bedding for the pullout. Still love the poly but next time we will pay for a regular room. Studio is probably great for 2 people staying for a shorter time

  • September 10, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    I’m glad they had a positive room experience. Our last 3 stays there have been an annoyance room wise. Dirty every time and twice now when we’ve checked in, the garbage was not emptied and mid August the room we were given had crumbs and food in the pull out. I hope they can step it up as it’s not a cheap resort!

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