If you have ever stayed at the Polynesian you probably know that the beach is the best place to view fireworks in Walt Disney World. Why? Because although the Contemporary and Grand Floridian are closer and being in the park is the closest you can get, at the Polynesian you avoid the crowd and you have a direct view looking across the water from a large beach.
Especially during the special 4th of July fireworks when they shoot the fireworks off the islands in the lagoon. In the park the effect of doing that is that you are surrounded by fireworks but I find it hard to take it all in. From the Polynesian beach it is all right in front of you.
Now that everyone knows it is the best spot then they will all go there, right? Well not unless you’re a Polynesian Resort guest and every year they get better at keeping people out. They are turning anyone away at the gate that does not have an ID card or a reservation. Also today I was told they are going to be wrist banding resort guests to allow them access to the beach area so no wrist band and you will have to leave. In the past they even checked our resort ID getting on the monorail from the Magic Kingdom.
On the 4th will be a showing of National Treasure 2 along with the special fireworks.
Check for special 4th of July activities around the resort also.
UPDATE July 6
So it seems as if the plan that was discussed with CMs at the resort to be prepared to hand out wrist bands at the resort on the 3rd and 4th did not happen. I was told the morning of the 3rd by a Cast Member that they were being told of the plan to wrist band people after asking for their resort ID and keep them from going out to the beach. Later in the day a Disney employee sent me a link to Kevin Yee’s article that mentioned the same thing http://ultimateorlando.blogspot.com/2012/07/july-3-fireworks-at-mk-resorts-denied.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=kevin+yee
Well as of today (July 6) reports are that they did not go through with this plan. The only evidence of limiting non-resort guests at the Polynesian seemed to be a roped off area at the beach in front of the Hawaii longhouse.
Some say the plan was changed because the crowds were not very large due to rain both days. That may be the case or the resort got worried about upsetting guests. I guess they are not concerned with the guests over the years that have complained about the crowds of non-resort guests that flock to the Polynesian beach during most big holiday fireworks. I know many longtime Polynesian guests that got to the point where they refuse to go during the holidays anymore even though it had been a family tradition for many years. We even use to go every 4th of July but the last few were so crowded that I had people standing 2 feet in front of me sitting on my patio. I am all about sharing but that seemed a little rude to me. Also I felt bad for the staff that had to clean up the beach. Every towel was removed from the carts at the pool and used to sit on the beach. None were returned. Garbage was all over the beach but the hard workers of the Polynesian had it cleaned up the next morning.
There has been much debate on the forums as to whether Disney could ever even try to limit access. Well the official rule is that the pool and the beach are for resort guests only (as posted). While I don’t see the need to enforce this all the time, there are definitely times it needs to be enforced. I know when I am a guest at a different resort I don’t go over and use the beach at the Polynesian. As to if Disney could ever try and wrist band or check ID, they already have in the past. I have witnessed not only wrist banding but we have been asked for resort ID a few times during a holiday weekend. I have even seen security patrol the beach with golf carts and ask groups to leave. We were even checked for our resort ID getting onto the resort monorail from the Magic Kingdom one 4th of July. Others have reported these things happening on New Years Eve. Even when we were there for the 40th they were not allowing non-resort guests in past the front security. I think Disney is smart enough to come up with a good plan, I just sometimes wonder if they have the guts to execute it.
I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July