We’ve all got a favorite Disney World hotel, right? Maybe you love the bougie vibes of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, or you might prefer the bright colors and fun artwork at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. And who doesn’t want to wake up to a giraffe right outside their window, like you can at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? Whichever hotel you prefer, you’ve got to admit that Disney knows what they’re doing when it comes to themed accommodations.
One of the most popular hotels at Disney World has recently undergone some BIG refurbishments, with updates coming to several different areas of the resort. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is in the middle of its transformation, with updates to the rooms, lobby, outdoor areas, and more. So what exactly is going on at this hotel now? And is the construction close to completion? We’ve got an update for you here.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of the Magic Kingdom Monorail resorts. That means it’s just a short monorail ride away from the park! It’s right across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom, which makes it a popular destination for many guests. You can even watch the fireworks from the hotel’s private beach!
Another big draw to this resort is the food — ‘Ohana is one of the hottest tickets when it comes to table service dining. And you can find DOLE Whips at the Polynesian Resort as well, at Pineapple Lanai!
Despite all its great qualities, this hotel apparently still wasn’t quite up to Disney’s standards. So in 2020 Disney revealed some big updates that would refresh and revitalize the resort. Imagineers and Cast Members have been hard at work, but they’ve still got a ways to go before all the refurbishments are finished.
So where are we at in the process? Here’s a list of all the changes and how they’re coming along.
Updates to Port Cochere and Monorail Station — Finished!
Some of the first areas to be closed for construction were the port cochere and monorail station, located at the front of the resort. These areas remained closed even once the hotel reopened in 2021, and for a while, guests had to use buses rather than the Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom.
The entrance — including the port cochere — finished construction and reopened in Sep 2021. Disney added some decorative panels and landscaping to this location and freshened up the space with new paint as well.
The new area kept the tropical feel of the resort while bringing in some brighter colors and more exciting decorations. So in September 2021, the Monorail station finally reopened! The station was refreshed as well, and you can see colorful panels in this area, too.
Now, the entrance and Monorail station are fully open!
Click here to check out the new Monorail station!
Updates to Lobby—Finished!
Disney also brought some updates to the lobby at the Polynesian Village Resort, including new chandeliers throughout the space. The new lightning was “inspired by glass floats, fishing nets, and oversized bamboo elements” to match the existing chandelier that can be seen in the center of the room.
More updates came in the form of refreshed paint, new fabrics, and some changes to the landscaping within the lobby. The construction on this project is finished nowso you can head in to see the updates.
Room makeovers with moana Theme—Finished!
One of the biggest changes at the Polynesian Resort was the room updates! All of the guest rooms were transformed to have a moana theme. Of course, the island vibes remained, but now you’ll find characters like Moana, Maui, and Hei Hei in the rooms.
The rooms got new furniture, wallpaper, lighting, and flooring.
And you’ll spot the changes even before you get into your room — the hallways were updated as well!
Although there’s clearly a moana themes in the rooms, some of the patterns are more subtlelike the island patterns in the showers.
These updates are completed nowso the next time you stay at the Polynesian Resort, you’ll get to see these rooms!
Click here for a full tour of the new moana rooms!
New DVC Building—In Progress
In March 2022 Disney announced a major expansion at the Polynesian Resort. There’s going to be an entirely new building that houses Disney Vacation Club villas, new recreation offerings, and additional dining options.
The DVC rooms are “inspired by the early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort,” and you can see from the concept art that the building will be located right on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Right now, the only evidence of this big addition is some construction walls around the resort. Disney estimates that the project will be finished in late 2024so those walls will be sticking around for a while!
Click here to learn more about the new DVC rooms coming to Polynesian Resort.
Closure of Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show — In Progress
The downside to the Polynesian Resort’s new building is that it’s going to be located where the Spirit of Aloha dinner show used to be. The dinner show — which didn’t reopen with Disney World in 2020 — has been permanently closed.
Disney did announce that the new DVC villas building would have some dining inside, so we’re hoping that the new options can make up for the loss of Spirit of Aloha.
Learn more about the closure of Spirit of Aloha here.
Updates to Outdoor Spaces—In Progress
Amidst all the other updates, we’ve seen several smaller projects going on at the Polynesian Resort. It’s possible that Disney is simply taking the opportunity to make various miscellaneous updates while construction is happening anyways at this hotel.
We’ve seen construction vehicles working near the beach as well as some small outdoor areas fenced off for what appears to be work on electrical or plumbing. These smaller projects don’t really get in the way of guest experiences, but they’re not the most beautiful things to see when you look out your room window.
Click here to see what DFB readers think about the Polynesian Resort changes.
So it looks like we’re about halfway through the Polynesian Resort’s big transformation! It was a huge milestone to have all the rooms updated with a moana theme, but the new DVC villas are going to take a long time — about another 2 years at least. We’re happy to see so many projects finished at the resort, and we can’t wait to see the complete picture when everything’s said and done.
If you’re planning a trip to Disney World in the near future, keep these refurbishments in mind! The Polynesian Resort is still a fun place to stay (you can’t beat the location and dining options), but you’ll likely run into some construction while you’re there.
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You’ll REGRET staying at these hotels in 2022.
Have you stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.