Disney's Polynesian Resort has done much over the years to help those with mobility issues. Their superior transportation options are not only helpful to families but those that are in wheelchairs. Also there are many improvements throughout the resort that have been made to be within the ADA standards. Add to that larger than normal rooms and you have a great resort experience even if you have challenges.
Much of the following information has come from people with disabilities or who have visited the Polynesian with someone who is disabled. I am happy to receive any additional information or experiences that will help improve this page (including photos) Some of the information can be considered more opinion than fact.
Handicap Accessible rooms are located in all longhouses. Some have roll in showers and some are a normal tub with extra hand rails and an adjustable height shower head. The rooms also have a different bathroom layout with only one sink and the toilet is located right at the door of the bathroom. One of the suites was converted to an accessible room after the redesign in 2005.
The rooms being much larger than most resorts seems to be the biggest factor for most that have visited with a wheelchair. Also the new rooms have a roll-around table that can be placed out of the way or closer to someone to use. The longhouses are also having automatic doors added (some have them now) and the new sliding glass door is supposed to be easier to open. I am told that the roll-in showers slope better than at some resorts and do not flood the rest of the bathroom. Also a transfer bench can be requested.
Some complaints about the resort are that the paths around the resort are outside and can be a problem when there is bad weather. Also there has been mention of the texture of the paths being a little rough on wheelchairs but as of 2014 the paths are all being redone to have a smoother surface just because of this problem. It was also part of some renovations that are being done to become ADA compliant.
Link to information at All Ears Net for those with Disabilities.
The Polynesian added more accessible rooms in 2013 to a few of the longhouses and now in the Concierge longhouse Hawaii. Now with the addition of rooms in all the longhouses you can get a lagoon view or Theme Park View room that is accessible. With the addition of Niue and Rarotonga you can get a room close to the Great Ceremonial House.
Disney Vacation Club Studios and Bungalows and Studios will have Handicap Acessible rooms.
The main change between an standard room and a Handicap Accessible room is in the bathroom as seen in the photos above.
The location of the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Polynesian seems to be a big factor when many with mobility problems decide to stay at the Polynesian. There is access to the Monorail at either the Great Ceremonial House or at the Transportation and Ticket Center next door. Also since the boat to the Magic Kingdom at the Polynesian is not wheelchair accessible, you can go to the Transportation and Ticket Center and get on the larger ferry over to the Magic Kingdom.
Busses to all destinations including other resorts can be boarded at the Transportation and Ticket Center and busses to some parks and destinations can be boarded at the Polynesian bus stop. There is a parking lot right next to the Disney Vacation Club longhouses at the east end of the resort that puts your car very close to your room and there are many Handicap parking spots located in the new lot.
One of the pools (located near the beach) has a zero entry and has a waterproof wheelchair that can be used to roll right into the water. Both pools have a transfer lift to get someone into and out of the pool.