Some of the future changes
There is a lot of information going around about changes at the Polynesian. No real details about what will happen for sure or when but that is normal. With the test rooms going in I would guess they will start putting them in longhouses next year. As for what will happen to the Great Ceremonial House and when, there is no new information but what I have been hearing is there are major changes coming to the resort in the next few years. From what I hear these changes will start to happen the end of this year and could go until 2017. Not surprising with the amount of things being rumored to change. Even when they just do new room designs it typically takes them 2 or 3 years to complete it for all the longhouses.
There was a rumor about the Barefoot Bar closing to get a grill put in to cook food. It ended up being that the bar getting a new grill will be the bar at the Grand Floridian pool.
In other pool news Disney is planning on enclosing all resort pools and only allowing access to resort guests. Not a surprise with the abuse that you can read about on just about every online forum. I can remember years ago at the Disneyland Hotel way before DCA was there you had to have a key to get into the pool area so this is nothing new to Disney. I don’t have any details about how and when this will be done but I did hear from a few people that they will be working on the pool area the end of this year to put in a hot tub. Yes for all those people who complain that the Polynesian is not a deluxe resort without a hot tub, you will have one soon. Im not a huge fan of a hot tub being at the volcano pool but putting one in at the quiet pool I think would have been a good idea. Over near the volcano pool and beach will just mean it will be difficult at best to keep it clean with all the kids and sand. No word on if they ever plan to redo the quiet pool to be like the concept they had a year ago.
I get a lot of emails from people worried about booking with all that might be going on. All I can say is I believe there is a chance that a lot of work will be going on and at the very least the buildings will be down one or two at a time to have the new rooms put in. I have been there during two other room rehabs (2005-2007 and in 1996) and I can tell you it was hardly noticeable. Now if they decide to take down or do major work on the Great Ceremonial House that is a different story but as with everything Disney, plans change all the time, scheduled that were planned get changed and nothing is certain until the day it happens. I have had scheduled dates told to me and the day it was supposed to happen it got canceled or changed. These were not rumored dates either. They were dates sent out to the staff. I am very certain that things are going to happen in the next few years but I would not change any plans to stay there until things start to happen. My advice is to book the Polynesian if that is really where you want to stay and if it gets closer to your dates and too much is going on, then switch then. If you were thinking of the Polynesian and were not really sure if you wanted to stay there anyway, then maybe stay somewhere you know you will enjoy.
Your coffee fix at the Polynesian
For many coffee is something they enjoy like others enjoy wine. For others it is a necessity to transform from a lump of cells to something that resembles an inhabitant of this planet. I can tell you that 80% of all trip reports I read mention coffee in some way. Either how bad or good the coffee in the room, lounge or restaurant was or how they missed their Starbucks. Well most of you might know already that Starbucks is going to be at the Disney locations starting with Disney’s California Adventure in June 2012. Well I like good coffee but I can learn to enjoy the stuff that squirts out of the machine in the club level lounge also. This whole Starbucks thing got me thinking of the coffee options at the Polynesian so I thought I would write a little about it since I don’t really go into detail about it anywhere else (maybe I will after this).
To start off the rooms all got different coffee makers. It was a Cuisinart dual cup coffee maker that uses the single serve coffee pods. I did not try it when we were there but it seemed like an ok idea for some in-room coffee. I did get a report from someone that did not like it and asked for the old coffee pot. I guess that option is no longer available. When I went through the suites I noticed they had the Kurig single cup makers. We recently got one of these at home and I really enjoy it. I think it would be nice if they add these into all the rooms when they redo them.
If you want other coffee at the resort you have a few choices. Let’s start with the least desirable.
Captain Cook’s will be your fastest way to get coffee but not your best option. It is the Nescafe stuff you find at the resorts and not very good.
Kona Island Coffee Bar, located next to Kona Café, is where you can get your psalteries (made at the in-house bakery) and a good coffee or coffee drink. You can get your mocha, latte, espresso or cappuccino or a cup of Kona coffee but as I learned when visiting a coffee plantation on the big island of Hawaii in the city of Kona, many places offer Kona coffee and it is a Kona blend. This means it is mixed with non-Kona coffee beans. To me this is like taking a fine wine and mixing it with grape juice….ok well that is a little extreme but not too far off. Yes Disney gets Kona beans shipped from Hawaii but you will get Kona blend if you order coffee from Kona Island Coffee Bar or even in Kona Café. The only way to get 100% Kona is to is to order the press pot from Kona Café. Now I think the blend is better than most coffee I have had at Disney and the coffee drinks they make at Kona Island are as good as you get at most places so I don’t think a stop at the bar is a bad idea before your morning walk or hitting the parks but if you really want to enjoy a good cup of coffee, sit down at Kona Café and order up a press pot. Also you can order the 100% Kona beans to take home. I can tell you that they are as good as some of the beans we have taken home from Hawaii, just make sure you don’t get the blend.
If you love Kona coffee and you like dark beers, you have to try my favorite from Kona Brewing Company. For 7 years Kona has offered a porter made with 100% Kona coffee. It’s called Pipeline Porter and is offered as part of its Aloha Series of beers. If you ever visit Hawaii or Oahu, make sure to stop in at their brewery for some good food and beer.
Reviewing the Polynesian's accessible room
"We just returned from a fantastic stay in the Tahiti longhouse, room 1016. You have it listed here as having tub rails. Just thought I'd let you know that it actually has the full roll-in shower. It also had a much-appreciated automatic door that proved invaluable during the trip.
It was a great space. Plenty of room, nice and bright, and there was a ramp so I could roll right out onto the patio. It was listed as a Lagoon View, but we were able to watch Wishes over the castle without lifting our heads off of the pillow, so we lucked out on that classification. Our check-in CM, Annie, said that they show the view in their backstage binder as being obstructed by a tree, but the largest bit of vegetation we had was a banana plant to the left of the patio. There was a totally clear view of the TTC ferry boat launch as well, though brush on the Tahiti beach prevented a view of the Contemporary.
The automatic door basically consisted of a switch on the wall that, upon being flipped, made the door able to be opened by pressing a button further down on the wall at the end of the narrow hallway past the restroom. It also made the door stay open longer and close more slowly even if it was opened from the outside.
We were so pleased, we're going to request 1016 from now on!"
Celebrities at the resort
The couple took time from their visit to pose with Minnie Mouse at Disney's Polynesian Resort.
Monorail reduced hours
Do to some needed maintenance the monorail will be operating under reduced hours from April 29th and hopefully will be back to normal operation by May 5th. UPDATE Monorail went back to normal schedule on May 2nd.
This only affects the Resort and Express monorail to the Magic Kingdom, Transportation and Ticket Center and the Monorail Resorts. The monorail to Epcot is not affected.
Here is the letter that went out to guests of the Monorail Resorts.
“Dear Walt Disney World Resort Guest,
We are delighted that you have selected the Walt Disney World Resort as your vacation destination!
In order for the Parks and Resorts to continue to flourish as a magical destination, it is necessary for us to make enhancements from time to time.
We would like to make you aware of planned maintenance to the Monorail system that will occur during your upcoming visit. As a result, we will be temporarily adjusting the operating schedule for the Monorail to and from the Magic Kingdom Park. This is scheduled to take place during non-peak times between late morning and early evening.
Buses and Watercraft(where applicable) will be available to transport you to destinations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. Monorail service to the Magic Kingdom Park will continue to be available before and after this maintenance.
Thank you and we look forward to your upcoming stay. If you have any questions regarding your reservation, please contact your original booking agent listed on your confirmation.”