Aloha friends, follow along as we take a lookie-loo at my family’s recent vacation to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This was our sixth stay at our favorite Hawaiian themed oasis and that also makes it our sixth club level experience here as well. Hang loose for the journey!]The Gosdin’s have arrived with our handmade Mickey Ears in tow at Orlando International Airport, Sunday, February 26th at 10:52am. Pimped out in MagicBands, we made our way to the horse drawn carriage (Magical Express) and set off for our magical vacay.
Luckily, this trip we were not dragging around our overweight luggage, as we let Magical Express do their thang. For those that don’t know, I’m quite OCD! I’m the weirdo who brings entirely too much luggage to the Magical Express and then unpacks immediately upon arrival. In my mind’s eye, I feel I must do this or I might systematically implode,,,, far fetched?!?! But this time, we decided to do things different; it wouldn’t literally kill me to unpack later in the day and my hubby was willing to take that risk, ba-dum ching. TIP– It also saved us on tips with the Magical Express, Porter and Bell Services, as we did not have luggage upon arrival and we were not in the room when they delivered our luggage. I call that a WIN WIN, more Mickey bars!
We were greeted with “ALOHA” the second we stepped off the bus and were quickly given a lei…………..around our necks. Honestly for the exorbitant cost to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, they should give out legitimate leis instead of the plastic leis I’ve grown to despise. We actually paid less for Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii and received a real lei, so the POLY needs to upgrade, I digress. As my daughter stepped off the Magical Express, a castmember asked if she was part of the “Gosdin” party and she said yes; he asked us to wait aside until he finished greeting everyone and he would walk us to the Hawaii Longhouse where we would check-in. He welcomed us with another Aloha and we replied in unison with a southern twanged~ Mahalo! TIP– You can purchase a real floral lei in the lobby if you wish.
My daughter and I practically skipped to the “King Kamehameha Club” Hawaii Longhouse; blazing a perfect trail for my hubby and son who wanted to make it very clear they did not skip there. We were greeted by the Concierge staff with yet another Aloha, more than we really needed within a ten minute period; again as sweet southern folks we replied with a kind gesture. Yipee, we were assigned a ground level room, which I requested when making the original reservation. Garden view room #1521 would be our home for the next eight days and it was absolutely amazeballs. The room location was phenomenal and the neighboring Banyan tree provided the perfect amount of shade and privacy. It had an idyllic “Peeping Tom” view of the newly renovated Oasis pool & hot tub (formerly East pool.) All was right in the world.
A swift knock at the door would bring us a small triangular box of chocolates with a note welcoming the “Gosdin Ohana” (family) to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I have to say the chocolates were good, but I immediately noticed a change in the packaging and amount of chocolates being given, a little chintzy. It’s a shame they haven’t lowered the hotel prices to match their savings. Second knock on the door, more hangers which I quickly requested after arrival to my room, as there are never enough for a family of four. Tip– That was our first cash tip of the trip, argh! Although I should have given them a tip- Put more hangers in the closets, lol!
It was now time to explore the reason we purchase club level~ the Club Lounge and witness the exciting new food options they’ve enlisted since our last stay. Well, right out of the gate, it looked promising. The Auinala (afternoon 12:00pm-4pm) snacks were out and we noticed they had a few more selections like; grilled chicken, turkey, Romaine lettuce for wraps and the usual cookies, gummy worms, crudités, etc.
They made a significant change in the “spirits” department as well, they had a different selection of beers than before. I noticed the addition of Stella Artois, Angry Orchard “Crisp Apple” and Blue Moon and the absence of Bud Lite and Yuengling. They also leave them at your disposal in the drink refrigerator, rather than on-request like before. They still have the juices we’ve come to love, especially our family favorite- P.O.G. juice-it is a mixture of passion fruit, orange and guava juices, so yummy and fattening. They’ve also added Natura water to the refreshment station instead of bottled water.
I was impressed with the aforementioned changes, but very let down by the Ahiahi (evening 5pm-7pm) offerings. I like hearty appetizers that stick to your gut like the yumminess they had before: Vegetable Spring Rolls, Spinach Paneers, Guava & Almond Empanadas and Orange Ginger Meatballs. The “new” evening offerings didn’t seem to rotate each evening and they were the opposite of hearty, they served; Tuna Crudo, Roasted Beet Salad and if you were lucky, one pork Potsticker. The appetizers were poor in size and barely edible, nothing to write home about.
The Aumoe (late evening 8pm-10pm) wasn’t much better. The desserts and cheese offering didn’t rock our world or even shake our booty, it was the same every evening: Key Lime Tart, S’mores Tart, Cheesecake, Carrot cake and cookies. The cookies tasted burnt on two occasions, so that didn’t help matters. Attention- Baker~ Get your life and while you’re at it, get an oven timer too! The cordials and wines helped aid with our distress.
On with the happier memories of our vacay. We love the Hawaiian vibe at the Polynesian Village, that’s why we choose it when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Tanning by the pool was one of our favorite activities because it required less effort, for real and more time to chill! Listening to the bamboo rub against one another and watching the palm trees sway was very relaxing. We have always enjoyed the Lava pool (formerly Volcano) with it’s awesome slide and separate kiki splash area, but this trip our focus was the new Oasis pool & hot tub (formerly East pool.) They have three rentable cabanas for little to nothing. It’s a perfect spot to layout, read a book or drink my favorite spirit~ Pina Colava, woot! We did this on two occasions this past trip, as it was inexpensive and guaranteed us a place to rest our lazy bum. Tip– Oasis Pool Cabanas can be rented for a half/full day from Seven Seas Marina.
Here are my family’s likes and dislikes from our recent trip.
- We used concierge to our full advantage this trip. They let us know in advance that if we needed a few extra FastPasses or anything at all to text them at a specific number. It was the fastest and preferred way of communication, so I fully exercised my right and they exceeded my expectations on multiple occasions. My interactions with Club Level Guest Services via text.
- I do like that both the Lava pool and the Oasis pool were accessed only by MagicBand/Keycard, making it more difficult for pool hopping shenanigans.
- My son loved the Aloha Pork Sliders at the Oasis Bar & Grill.
- I liked the more affordable clothes sold in Bou-Tiki now.
- I did enjoy the new H20 products. I liked the smell and end result of the products.
- I also loved the new turn-down chocolates. That is, when I could grab one before my daughter stashed them. They were tastier than before, however I did miss the Seven Dwarves wrapper.
- The Oasis Pool and Hot Tub are fantastical, I also loved the new Cabanas, Oasis grill and Bar Wait Staff at the Oasis Pool & Hot Tub.
- I loved my room lanai/patio. Perfect place to begin and end our day.
- Coconut Thai Meatballs in Captain Cooks, amazeballs.
- No breakdowns with the monorail and bus transportation was on time.
- All of the friendly Disney animals that visited my patio because I might or might not have fed them. I felt like Snow White, minus the singing, dark hair and dress…..you get my point….
- Food changes in King Kamehameha Club Lounge.
- We didn’t receive a daily newspaper. (USA Today)
- Disney Wide-There is no way to look or print out expenses incurred on your MagicBand/keycard, unless you ask Guest Services. It should be linked to your in room TV, My Disney Experience App or a kiosk should be located at each Resort and/or Theme Park. (like on cruise ships)
- The Polynesian staff overall didn’t seem as friendly as previous stays.
- Significant price increase every single trip.
- Not one towel animal except upon check-in, boo.
- Forgot our first nights turn-down service, its ok, we survived anyway, lol.
- Disappointed in the menu changes at Captain Cook’s
- Plastic leis
Overall we had an amazing vacay at one of my family’s preferred resorts! My dislikes were minuscule in comparison to my likes. Most importantly we made unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. ALOHA!