The begining of DVC
As first reported by WDWMagic.com, large balloons were seen anchored around the land near Luau Cove. (thanks to them for the pics)
These balloons are in fact the beginning of Disney Vacation Club at the Polynesian. As I mentioned last October in my article about all the possible changes at the Polynesian in the next few years, one of the changes I heard about was adding DVC.
DVC had been talked about for the last 5 years or maybe more but years ago when I asked about it I was told they looked into turning Tahiti and Rapa Nui into DVC because there was not enough land to add buildings. A while ago I had a discussion with some Disney people who were trying to come up with ideas for the resort changes. I knew they were considering taking down the Great Ceremonial House because of issues with asbestos and to make it ADA compliant (amongst other issues) and I speculated that a new lobby would be needed to allow for DVC. I also figured the only usable land was over behind Aotearoa and stretching past Luau Cove up to the Wedding Pavilion area. Unfortunately Luau Cove sort of splits up that usable land.
So let’s speculate on what they will do because there are a lot of ideas being made up out there on the boards. None of us know for sure how all this will look when done and there are a lot of things besides just DVC that are happening in the next 4 to 5 years. I can tell you now that DVC is happening. You don’t have to believe me now, you can wait and see it for yourself in a few years.
First off I don’t believe the original longhouses are coming down, or at least not all of them. Everything I have heard tells me that they do not intend on taking down the whole resort. The new test rooms are in place and being worked on and I expect to see them starting to go in the end of this year or beginning of next. I was told that a guest was told this week that Tokelau was unable to book due to renovations but I find it hard to believe they test rooms are ready to incorporate. In the past it took longer for them to get through the design and have it ready to introduce into the longhouses than a few months but maybe they are working faster than in the past.
If any longhouses are affected I think it will be Aotearoa which is where some of the balloons were seen flying. Also Luau Cove I would think would need to go or be incorporated into the design of the DVC. I am betting that it will go. The other problem is that the monorail splits that land so either they have to build on both sides of it or stay to the beach side. I could honestly see if they take down the GCH like I was told they were considering, they build a new one, take out Aotearoa and extend the GCH to link to the DVC build in the area outlined in my map. Now this is a total guess and not something anyone has told me but the balloons are for DVC and they are placed in that area all the way next to Luau Cove.
I have been on Mouseowners.com having some great discussions and trying to learn more about DVC. I never really considered it in the past because all my financial friends tell me it is not a good investment like some owned timeshares can be (similar to ours in Maui with Westin) but with the cost of staying at Disney going up, paying in advance might just be the only good option to save since discounts are getting fewer and not as good as in the past. Unfortunately the word is that the Polynesian DVC will be the most expensive DVC on property.
A lot of the changes I reported were coming are going to start happening and I get a lot of emails from people concerned about booking there with all that is going on. I don’t always find out schedules and lately I find out just as they happen so I can’t really tell you what will happen when. All I can tell you is that there will be a lot going on for the next 5 years or so. Some projects will be smaller than others and less obtrusive but others will be major work. I have faith that they will do their best to reduce the impact to guests.
New menu links
So for years I would write up all the menus at the different places to eat at the Polynesian. After a while it became difficult to keep updated so I went to a place I go often for into. Allears.net. Its always a great place to get info. Recently Touringplans.com got menus for all the Disney locations that are up to date with information on Dining Plan, price range, setting and recommendations. I have changed all the menus on the Dining pages to link to the Touring Plans pages so make sure you go check them out.
Katie Lann and family visit to the Polynesian
Aloha! My husband, son and I were at the Polynesian from 19-26 April. I just want to say thank you for your site. We were originally scheduled for a 1BR at Bay Lake, but had to push back our reservation when my husband\'s deployment got extended. I changed our reservation to the Polynesian on a whim and found your site the same day. So much great information for me. I had stayed at the Poly in 1992 with my parents and was excited to have the same "feeling" when I walked in the GCH in 2012 as I did 20 years ago.
I will say your site was instrumental to my trip. As I checked us in, the cast member noted that I had requested a ground floor room in Tahiti, but had been assigned a 2nd floor room. She had 1 first floor room in Aotearoa available. So as I'm at the check-in, I whipped out my iphone, pulled up your site and quickly read the longhouse info. Such a great choice!!! While it wasn't on the beach, and even though the middle of the patio was blocked by a beautiful hibiscus, the left and right ends of our patio had a perfect view of MK and wishes (we had booked a lagoon view).
The patio was perfect for a family with a busy 2 1/2 year old boy who would awaken to ducks and geckos at his feet.
The drawback was having the crowd streaming out of the luau precisely at about 5 minutes until the Wishes finale, but other than the foot traffic, the longhouse was perfect. So close to the GCH, pool and boat launch. The beach nearest us was never crowded and several times in the AM we saw couples arm-in-arm walking toward the wedding pavillion.
There was just so much that was so magical about our stay at the Poly.
Thank you again so much for your site. I hope to return one day soon. The last trips we took were a split in 2011 between AKL Kidani (2BR villa) and Bay Lake, a 2009 trip to Port Orleans Riverside and our honeymoon in 2003 to Shades of Green. By FAR the Poly has been the most magical vacation we've had as a family. Even better than our trip to Maui in 2004! :)
Thank you again and again.