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Which Longhouse?

So now that you have decided on what level of service you want than you should decide what type of view and location you want.

The most asked question for new visitors to the Polynesian is "what longhouse should we stay in?" and "what view should we pick?" Hopefully these next few pages will help answer these questions. Keep in mind that you can only request a longhouse. There is no way to book a specific longhouse unless you stay Club Level or in a Club Level suite.

2017-05-17 11-56-25Click on the map and lets check out the longhouses. This is an arial view of the Polynesian. The buildings in RED are Club Level (aka King Kamehameha Club) Longhouses. The buildings in BLUE are Longhouses with Lagoon View and Magic Kingdom View rooms on the lagoon side and Standard View on the opposite side. Only Aotearoa has some Standard view rooms on the lagoon side because the view is blocked (See Aotearoa page for room locations). The buildings in GREEN are buildings with Standard View (was called Garden) rooms only. The ORANGE longhouses are DVC Villas with Standard views and the PURPLE designates DVC villas with Lake view rooms (note: Moorea, Tuvalu and Aotearoa have Standard view on the garden side of the longhouse).

The Polynesian Village Resort hotel rooms have three classifications of room views when you make your reservations, Lagoon View, Theme Park view (aka Magic Kingdom view) and Standard View. The Club Level rooms and suites (or concierge level) have three classifications Lagoon View, Theme Park view (aka Magic Kingdom view) and Garden View Club Level.

 Lagoon View rooms

These are rooms that are facing the Magic Kingdom or the Seven Seas Lagoon but may have the castle partially blocked. Some are blocked by foliage (mostly ground level rooms), tree-tops (mostly 3rd floor rooms) or blocked by Beachcombers Island off the shore of the Polynesian (ground floor rooms in Tuvalu). 

Theme Park View rooms

These rooms (new catagory in 2006) are lagoon view rooms with unobstructed views of the castle. See longhouse pages for Aotearoa and Tuvalu for a list of Theme Park View rooms (use to be called Magic Kingdom View). There were many questions when the Theme Park View was introduced and I had my own concerns. After finding out more about it I believe it is a good thing. The rooms that were selected to be Theme Park View were selected because they have an unobstructed view of the castle. The price for these rooms are about the same as a Garden View Club Level room.

Standard View rooms

Rooms with this view (use to be called Garden View before 2013) are all rooms except Lagoon View and Theme Park View rooms. Your view in a Standard view room could be anything from a partial view of the lagoon, a pool view, a marina view, a view of the garden areas, a monorail view or a parking lot view.

About the rooms

All the rooms that are not Disney Vacation Club rooms are all part of the original 8 longhouses that were there when the resort opened. Although the buildings are older than the DVC longhouses, they were all completely refurbished in 2013.

The Polynesian is constantly being kept up. You can see areas being refurbished all year with little impact to the guests. Since it has the highest repeat guests, it gets a lot of traffic. Many of the wear and damage around the resort and in the rooms is from the traffic and abuse from the high volume of guests. The Polynesian staff works hard to keep the resort in excellent shape. With even the wood and exteriors of the longhouses being replaced. What you see at the resort has not been around since it opened in 1971. During 2014 and 2015 most of the resort is being redone with new pathways, stores, amenities and pool areas and exteriors of the longhouses.

If you have decided what level of service and what type of view you would like than that information will help you decide on a longhouse you might want to request.

At this point the decision of level of service and view is something you decide on and reserve. Other things to reserve would be a suite (if you decided to do club level) or a Handicap Accessible room (if available) click here for more info on accessible rooms. King beds were going to be something you could reserve when they were introduced but to this day are still not set up that way.

Everything else you decide at this point is just a request. Requests are best noted at the time of the reservation by who ever you do your reservation through. All requests are just that, a request for something but no guarantee. Things that are requested are Longhouse, specific room numbers, King bed rooms, Connecting rooms (meaning that there is a door between them) or Adjoining rooms (they are next to each other but not necessarily connected). All longhouses have connecting rooms on all floors. Asking for non-smoking is no longer an option since all rooms are non-smoking. Also refrigerators do not need to be requested since there is one in every room. Cribs and bed rails will need to be noted or asked for at check in.

Standard View DVC Deluxe Studios

Studios with Standard view will have views of garden areas, Pool, partial Lagoon and parking lot views. Rooms in Pago Pago are the only rooms that face the parking lot. The south side of Moorea are all Standard View and Tokelau is all Standard view but this may change once Tokelau opens Summer of 2015.

Lake View DVC Deluxe Studios and Bungalows

Deluxe Studios on the north side of Moorea will be Lake View and some will have better views than others. Most of the trees along the lake side of Moorea were removed so all but 2 rooms have a clear view. Ground floor rooms may not see much of the lake but will still see fireworks and many will see the castle between bungalows. Bungalows will have a clear view of the lake with some of the bungalows having some of the castle blocked by trees on the island and others toward the west having a clear view of the castle because they will look between the two islands.

What Longhouse?

You need to start with deciding on if you want Club Level or not. You also have the choice of a DVC Deluxe Studio or Bungalow.

If you have decided Club Level than you will be in Hawaii or Tonga (suites only) longhouses. Club Level rooms do sometimes get discounts but suites DO NOT.

If you have chosen standard level rooms than lets talk about views. Standard View rooms will be your least expensive but not necessarily your worst views. As I described above the Standard View rooms have views of many things and not just gardens and some even have nice views of the lagoon.

Longhouses that have rooms with the category Standard View are Moorea (DVC), Pago Pago (DVC), Tokelau (DVC), Samoa, Niue, Rarotonga, Fiji, Tuvalu and Aotearoa.

If you don't want to take a chance on getting one of less desirable views or you really want to see the water than you can book a Lagoon view room. These rooms all face the lagoon and Magic Kingdom but some are partly blocked by plants. There are still many that see the castle with no problem so I would not shy away from booking a Lagoon view room, you just take the chance of getting one of the rooms that is blocked more than others. Longhouses with Lagoon view rooms are in Tuvalu, Aotearoa, Tonga (Club Level Suites) and Hawaii (Club Level).

Your last choice of view is the most popular. These are the Theme Park View rooms. These rooms will have an unobstructed view of the castle. DVC Studios do not have this category but just about all of their lake view rooms can see fireworks and the castle. Theme Park View rooms are located in Tuvalu, Aotearoa, Tonga (Club Level Suites) and Hawaii (Club Level).

Most DVC Lake View rooms are unobstructed views of the Castle and Fireworks, especially those on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Even the ground level Lake View rooms all see the fireworks and many can see the castle or Space Mountain between bungalows. Lake View rooms are located in Moorea and Bora Bora.

tikishieldTikiman's Picks:

This is just based on my experience and my opinion but below I have ranked the longhouses in order of how I would pick staying in them if I had a choice based on view and location. See the Longhouse pages for more Pros and Cons of each.

  1. Bora Bora (you can't beat the view or the room layout)
  2. Hawaii (for the Club Level service and prime location)
  3. Tonga (Club Level Suites)
  4. Tokelau (Standard views with views of the lagoon and castle in many of the rooms, DVC only)
  5. Samoa (Standard views with views of the pools and lagoon)
  6. Moorea (Great Lake views and near Transportation and Ticket Center, DVC only)
  7. Fiji (Standard views of the lagoon and marina. Close to the Great Ceremonial House)
  8. Niue (close to Great Ceremonial House and pools)
  9. Rarotonga (nice pool and monorail views and next to the Great Ceremonial House)
  10. Pago Pago (close to its own parking lot and Transportation and Ticket Center, DVC only)
  11. Tuvalu ( The best non-Club Level Lagoon and Theme Park views but not great Standard views. Location makes you have to walk around the marina to get to everything but the luau)
  12. Aotearoa (Nice Standard, Lagoon and Theme Park views. The only building with Standard view rooms that face the lagoon)

Room request

For those of you who want to know how the Polynesian does room requests, here is some info.

Rooms are typically assigned in order based upon the following:

  • Large Groups usually over 25 rooms
  • Multiple room or Magical Gathering requests
  • Any requests on the reservation and Faxed in requests
  • no requests

In 2010 a new system went online for handling your reservations. I hear it is a big improvement and makes it easier for you to get your request. It seems to be the number one topic online and question asked to my email so let’s go over a few things.

Many people call Disney or the listed “Polynesian Resort” phone number (407-824-2000).This does not get you to someone who is actually at the resort and they do not have access or ability to transfer you to the resort front desk. If you try hard enough you may get transfered to someone at the resort but you will not have access to a direct line even if you are a travel agent. This is what I was told by more than one person at the Polynesian resort. Even when you call from your room you are often sent to a call center so that the front desk does not have to be disturbed by calls. Even with all the people I have met and info I have dug up I have only come across a few direct numbers and only one have I been able to give out and that was for lost and found at the resort. Club level has a phone number and email but that is only for club level guests. You can call the resort number and put in your request and they will get it to the room assigner but don’t start asking them a bunch of questions about views and details about the resort because I have found they do not know much about the resorts and may give you an incorrect answer.

The best way to request is by doing it through whoever you did your reservation (Disney or travel agent). With the new system in place requests can be taken at any time before you check in (in person or online). You can put in a request the day you book, 12 months away or 10 days before you get there. The new system uploads your reservation immediately and not 9 days out like the old system. If you check in online than you need to be within your 10 day window to do that and no requests can be submitted after you check in.

While faxing can still be done but there can be risk to it getting lost or stuck in the middle of other spam faxes. The fax machine is way at the end of the hall and sometimes don’t make it into the right hands.

My method is to keep the request simple and have it ready when I book. If I want to see what else is available I can ask politely at check in. Keep in mind that now with "Direct to room" check in where your room is assigned ahead of time and is texted to you so you can go right to your room, this will reduce the amount of available rooms. Some rooms will all ready be sent to people before they even arrive so you can't get changed to that room.

2016-03-08 15-20-36For years I have supported the Polynesian section of the Unofficial Guide book because I felt they paid the most attention to detail and worked hard to keep up with the changes at the parks and resorts. Some guide books just cut and paste over the years. I remember reading some other guide books that described things about the Polynesian that had been gone for years. When Len Testa approached me to help with the details I knew they wanted to get the right information and I see that same attitude in the development of Touring Plans. Not only to have the right info but have information that no one else has. Back when I released my latest version of my web page in 2009 I told the developer I was considering making my reader able to click on the rooms on my longhouse floor plans so they could see the room view. Well I never quite got that accomplished but Touring Plans did. They are releasing maps of all the resorts where it can help you select a location and once you do you can click on the room and see the view.

From your selection of a view you can get the code to use in your request shown on the same page as the view. It will give Disney the information they need to know what you want for your request. You will not have to worry about writing too long of a request (the system is limited in the amount of characters it can enter). To view the map of the Polynesian you can go to this link. Once you get your code for your request you can have that noted on your reservation or call DIsney and have them add it as a request.




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