What is going on at the resort?
I wanted to catch everyone up on what is going on at the Polynesian. Due to a busy schedule at work and home, most of my updates have been on my Facebook page because it is easier to access right away using my phone but I do update the schedule and any affected pages as soon as I get new information. I want to thank those of you who post to my Facebook page. Your comments, reviews and photos make it a great page to visit. It is always helpful to me when others help answer questions besides me. It is good to get different opinions. I see on many forums people are being told to go to my Facebook page for live reports. It helps to have photos and observations from those who are there right now. Keep posting them and feel free to respond to others who post questions.
I think by now many of you know that the reason for changing information is not because the information was wrong but because the information changes. We have seen dates for things change all the time. I have found that sometimes the plan changes right up to the date that it was supposed to happen. This may be the reason that Disney does not post these dates publically. They also do not share all this information with all the staff. I mention this because if you call the resort number or get forwarded to someone at the resort (because the resort number is an offsite call center) they often do not know all the dates or what is going on at the resort. I think they do a great job of dealing with confused and angry guests even when they are sometimes kept in the dark. Just remember it is not their fault so don’t take your anger or frustration out on them.
Many have been notified by letter before they get to the resort and some get notified of changes at the front desk or in their room with a letter. I have seen just about all these letters and many of them read differently. Some of them have the same information that they sent out when construction started last September and others have been updated with some of the information about Captain Cook’s closing. Guests were notified with a letter in their room Monday about the arcade closing. In the past even pool closures were done like this with a note in the room that the pool would close the next day. This is why I try and stay up on the information so I can share with all of you and you can make an informed decision. The risk I see in sharing this information is that I could share a date something will close (like Captain Cook’s closing on March 28) and then it can change. I have had some people get upset that I told them something would be closed and they change their reservation, then find out it did not close until later. My dates are from Disney and not just a rumored date but that does not mean it cannot change. This is why I don’t like to answer when people ask me if they should go to another resort. I also shy away from answering which longhouse to pick to get away from construction because there are plans for construction in just about every area of the resort at one time or another. I would rather supply the facts and let you decide.
The whole reason I started this site in 1999 was because when I first started going to Disney World without my family I had questions on where to book my stay. I had always loved the Polynesian but trying to get information or photos on the resort was like finding a politician that was honest. I wanted to create this site to show people what they got for a lagoon view or what it would be like if they paid for club level. Then from the facts they could make a better decision. If I just had a blog like most people that was just full of my opinion than it would not really be giving people information, it would be talking them into thinking like me. It is one thing to supply facts about the resort but it gets to a whole other level of complexity when I have to try and keep up with the evolving construction projects that we are in the middle of but I will do my best to get you as much information as I can. I can’t say enough about the hard working Cast Members at the resort that have to deal with this every day so remember to be polite when dealing with them. I did find it interesting that someone reported on my Facebook that when they spoke to the DVC representative at the resort they said they got more information about the Polynesian DVC from my site than they are getting from Disney. I guess Disney is trying to keep it a secret…..don’t tell anyone!
So let’s get caught up on what is going on at the resort.
The latest came this weekend when I reported Saturday that the arcade would close on Monday. Monday (March 31) was the last day for the arcade and notes went out to guests rooms. It mentioned being able to go use the arcades at the Grand Floridian and Contemporary. I am told the arcade will not reopen……ever. This may be the future for resorts. Often the Polynesian is the place that Disney tests out things for the first time. Over the years things were introduced at the Polynesian before any other resort (club level lounge, computer system, touch screen ordering, etc.). There is speculation that this area will be used for an expanded Captain Cook’s but right now I file that under the rumor category just because I have not seen anything official about this.
Speaking of Captain Cook’s, it was scheduled to close on March 28 (I would show you the official schedule but then I would have to kill you). This date moved out to April 9. Some of the lobby work was pushed into April also because a few weeks ago they were going to put up walls around the waterfall and kids area to start demolition. Obviously that did not happen. I would expect to see thing happening in the Great Ceremonial House in the next week or so starting with the closure of Captain Cook’s. Reopening of Captain Cook’s is expected to be in July but no exact date is being given.
Many have noticed that a large part of the main parking lot has been closed. This work was projected to be completed at the end of March but as of April 2 they are still working on it. I have not gotten any confirmation on if the work was completed but it seems to be getting close. I got a report that the lines are painted and the lights are up, just waiting for landscaping. There is an added lane now for returning resort guests near the guardshack but it had not opened yet. Many noticed the temporary signs that were up at the entrance that said that you would not be allowed into the parking lot unless you had a room or dining reservation. The sign was put out because of the lack of room in the parking lot (the east parking lot has been closed since last year) but this policy is not a temporary one. It has always been the policy but up until now was not enforced. I am told this will be enforced from now on along with other limits soon to be enforced much more to limit access to the resort by non-resort guests. Either because of all the people trying to get a look at DVC or because over the last decade misuse of the facilities has increased but they will be limiting the amount of non-resort guests on property. Officially the pool and beach area are off limits to non-resort guests so viewing fireworks from the beach if you are staying else ware may be a thing of the past. There will be fences going up around the pool that you will need to be staying at the Polynesian to gain access. Some people recently drove to the Polynesian and asked if they could shop and eat at Captain Cook’s and they were turned away.
The Neverland kids club should reopen at the end of this month and I would guess with the new theme will get a new name. The scheduled date to reopen is April 28.
Update: Kids Club will be delayed until late May to reopen.
There will be work around the bus lane, security kiosk and main entrance of the resort from the end of last month and continuing until October.
While there are many things going on in different parts of the Great Ceremonial House, I have not seen a detailed schedule that says any affects to ‘Ohana or Kona but I would guess with some of the renovations they have to do it is possible that it may affect either one of the restaurants but that is just a guess on my part. Other than complete renovation of the ground floor the only thing I have heard about them working on when it comes to the second floor is Trader Jack’s and Samoa Snacks will have some work done in May to late August. I hear a new store will go in outside the ramp to the monorail and they will have to replace the skylights in the main part of the GCH but no other information about renovations to the second floor. All renovations to the GCH are expected to be done in December 2014 but since they started later I would expect the December 15 date to possibly push out.
No changes to the Nanea (Volcano) pool closure. They are still shooting for July 28 to close the pool and not reopen until March 2015.
Work continues on DVC with the first few bungalows up. The first one farthest to the west seems to be blocking the castle view from as far down as room 1503. I was told that the category of those rooms on the ground level have been changed to garden view and many people with garden view bookings are being placed in those rooms that use to be lagoon or Theme Park view rooms. Views from the second floor might see the castle but the bungalows are in direct line with your view. Even from the lounge the bungalows seem to be close. I am not saying I think the view is ruined but that is for you to judge. They will be placing the rest of the pilings for the 14 bungalows that will go in front of Tahiti’s beach so I would expect to hear the heavy equipment pounding those into the lake bottom for a while.
Work to the rooms in Tahiti and Rapa Nui is continuing with the rooms gutted and new framing for the studios going in. The path over to the Transportation and Ticket Center is still open with a path through the construction area. I believe that access path is the only available path on the east side of the resort past Tokelau but you will encounter other paths closed for a while all over the resort as they redo the paths to make them more ADA friendly. The paths near Fiji and Aotearoa seem to be almost completed so they should be moving onto other parts of the resort.
If you want to keep up with the construction updates you can visit my page that I update as soon as I get new information or changes to the schedule. I have been getting a lot of construction photos that I hope to seen add to the album. Keep sending in photos if you are there.
Easter Activities for April 20 will be:
Character meet and greet at the Luau lawn 8:30 am -10:15 am. The characters in their Easter finest will be signing autographs.
Easter Candy Scramble 9:00am. Head to the Nanea pool for Easter games such as Cake Walk and Duck Pluck to win prizes. Guess how many jelly beans from 9:00am to 3:30pm and win a big prize.
Other activities at the Nanea Pool:
Easter Egg scramble 1:00pm
Boiling eggs 1:30pm
Egg and Spoon relay 2:00pm
Pool Party Egg-stravaganza 2:30pm
Easter Egg Roll 3:30pm
At the Hop 4:00pm
Bunny Bingo 4:30pm
Campfire on the Beach 7:00pm
Movie Under the Stars (Lilo and Stitch) 8:30pm
April 9 update about Dining
Captain Cook's location closed the afternoon of April 9 and will be in a temporary location down the hall towards the stairs that go up to 'Ohana. It will be in this temporary location until it reopens in Summer of 2015. The location will have a limited menu and only a few grab-n-go items. Drink selections are limited also and there are no Dole Whips at the temporary location. This location will be open from 6:30 AM to 4:00 AM. The grill will be open until 11:00 PM and pixxa will be available until 1:30 AM. Grab-n-go items are available any time during the open hours.
Menu items available at the temporary location are:
Breakfast Menu (served from 6:30 - 11 am) Bounty platter, Mickey Shaped waffle, Croissant breakfast sandwich, Tonga Toast.
Lunch and Dinner: Chicken Sandwich, ALoha Pork Sandwich, ANgus Bacon Cheeseburger, Thai Coconut Meatball Sandwich, Pork Nachos, Caesar Salad with chicken, Polynesian tossed salad, Chicken Teriyaki rice and vegetables, Thai Coconut meatball on rice, Fish with rice and vegetables (available 5-9 pm) THe Big Kahuna Sandwich with chips.
Kids Lunch and Dinner: Turkey sandwich, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken and pineapple skewers, fish with rice and vegetables, cheese burger, hot dog, chicken nuggets.
Flatbreads (cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian or Flatbread of the day)
Ohana will be seeing a menu change also. The only details I was able to get are that the chicken on the skewers will no longer be offered. The skewers will only have beef, pork and shrimp. Added to the menu will be a vegetarian lettuce wrap and a new sweet chili sauce that the pot stickers are tossed in. I do not know if these items replace anything else.
The kids will now be given a chocolate brownie with marshmallow topping for dessert. I have no nore information on changes or when this will change.
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has visited my site or sent photos and information especially to my sources behind the scenes. Because of all your help and involvement my site is still around and growing. When I searched “Disney’s Polynesian” on Google my site now comes up as the first selection. I am not real computer savvy (as my buddy Michael at www.Explorethemagic.com reminds me of helps me with things) so I am sure I don’t do all the things you can do to get a high ranking with Google so it must be because all of you visit so often. Either that or it is because of the awesome site that Mathew Turk at www.Turkmandu.com set me up with (thanks Matt). I also want to thank Duane with helping me out with the DVC stuff. That is a whole new world to me.
I still remember when I was excited that my page came up on page 30 of a Google site. If I only had the time to do all the things with the site that I want to but with a family and too many other hobbies I do what I can. I appreciate all the help and as long as I keep getting that help I will do my best to do my part in having a place to share the past, present and future of the Polynesian Village.