This year Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort completed a number of changes. Clearly as with everything Disney, some people will love it, and others will hate it. We just visited the resort for the first time since the changes were made. Here are my opinions, and feel free to share yours on the comments at the bottom of the page (remember to stay Disney polite).
Prior to the changes, the defining characteristic that we loved most about the Polynesian was the lushness of the property. Everywhere you looked there was beautiful foliage and water features. Now we find the property to be on the stark side.
While it’s still a fantastic resort in many ways, it doesn’t appeal to us as much as it once did because of these changes. Like us, those who have stayed here before may not be happy with the changes, but I’m sure that many first-timers will still love the entire property.
We’ll look at the changes in the lobby first.
The lobby of the Polynesian Village Resort before and after changes
Here’s the old version – Keep in mind that you’re looking down from the second floor, and this scene fills the entire central portion of the lobby:
To us, this was lush and beautiful. We always enjoyed walking into the resort lobby.
Here’s a video of the lobby prior to the change made by Mousesteps:
The lobby updates were clearly designed to provide seating and lounging areas for guests, and while that’s an understandable move, the lushness of the lobby is now gone.
Here’s a video of the new lobby posted by BigFatPanda.com:
Pool area at the Polynesian Village Resort before and after the changes
In the past, the path leading to the pool had a stream by it with tons of tropical foliage everywhere. It lead to a pool that was full of trees, beautiful greenery and flowers. You could sit by the pool in a tropical paradise, looking out at an unblocked view of the beach and lake. You could also sit on the beach and watch the magnificent view, and then walk right into to the pool from there. It was a little slice of heaven.
Here’s what you’d see standing by the pool looking back at the resort BEFORE THE CHANGES:
Here’s a video with the outdoor view the BEFORE the changes. Notice the way the pool is flooded with trees and greens, and the way the pool area opens right to the beach:
Now there’s very little greenery left, compared to what used to be there. The majority of the trees have been cleared, the stream by the walkway is gone, rows of lounge chairs are stuffed into the pool area, and a fence blocks access to the pool, beach and lake.
Here’s a look at the NEW POOL AREA:
That same fence also blocks the pool view for many of the resort rooms.
We had a room once, facing the pool. It was wonderful to just sit out on our patio taking in the peaceful, tropical view. Now you basically see a sidewalk and fence from where we were.
Granted, I can see that Disney has its reasons for the changes. It’s understandable that they wanted to to be able to get more guest seating by the pool. They also wanted security so that people who are not staying at the resort can’t access the pool. And on the up-side, the new kids Kiki Tikis Splash Play Area is great and kids will love it. However the feel of the resort has radically changed.
Here’s a video with the view of the pool and grounds AFTER THE CHANGES:
On the upside, the new bungalows on the water are amazing. However keep in mind that they’re blocking the view from the Hawaii building. You’ll see a small patch of water, and then the bungalows. Although the bungalows look fantastic, I wouldn’t want to pay extra for a water view to end up in the Hawaii building.
Also the beach area is much, much smaller. However you still have a straight-on view of the Magic Kingdom castle from there.
Also on the upside, those in wheelchairs will find the resort easier to roll through, as the outside walkways are generally smoother rather than textured.
So this is our opinion, but what’s yours? Feel free to post your thoughts (remember, be Disney polite).
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