There is something about the Polynesian Resort that makes me feel like I am getting two vacations in one, a tropical beach vacation and a Disney World vacation all at the same time! Some of my favorite Disney memories include walking into the lobby of the Polynesian, even when we weren't staying there. The grounds of this hotel are breathtaking.
We had pixie dust on our last trip and were upgraded to Club Level, so I thought I would share our experience! We were given a GV CL room very close to the main pool in the Hawaii building. This worked out nicely, because sometimes it was impossible to get chairs near the pool so we were able to sit on our lanai (patio) and hop in and out of the pool with a place to sit relatively close by.
The club lounge offers a full continental breakfast, snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts, beer, wine, soft drinks, juice, milk, coffee and tea, and cocktails in the evening. There is a TV set on the Disney Channel for the little ones along with small sized tables and chairs. Our son loved to sit here with the other children and DH and I were able to enjoy some adult conversation! We often used our time here to talk about our favorite part of the day or our next plans. During our pool time we would often have our beer in a plastic cup and take it to sip by the pool. We never used the pool side bar for anything.
The food presentations were fresh and delicious. We were on the deluxe dining plan for this trip, so we ended up changing some reservations to eat at signature restaurants because we knew we would have plenty of food at club level, so this was fantastic! The club concierge was extremely helpful in making these changes. We also had an issue with a huge overcharge at one of the restaurants and they got this all cleared up for us.
In the evening the music for the fireworks is piped in and you get a great view while sipping an adult beverage in air conditioning! We watched the fireworks from the MK, from the beach, and from the lounge and we loved watching all three ways! The lounge and the beach were by far the more comfortable than viewing from the MK itself.
The rooms at the Polynesian are roomy and comfortable. I have heard people complain that the rooms are dark, but we actually really enjoyed having a cool, dark room for naps in the middle of the day.
Turn down service was lovely and I would recommend requesting this if you are not in club level. We often took showers & naps in the middle of the day, so it was really nice to come back after dinner and have the room and towels freshened up again!
The pool at the Poly was a lot of fun. We enjoyed going back and forth from the sand to the pool and laying in the hammocks. The slide was fun for us and for DS, and the waterfall was a big hit too. I was worried about the crowd level at the pool, but even when we had a hard time finding chairs, the pool itself never felt overly crowded. There is also a splash fountain that DS enjoyed running through.
I highly recommend room service at the Poly. There was one night that we just didn't want to change out of our suits, but we really wanted to try the Kona, so we did room service and WOW, this was wonderful! We told the dining people what time we wanted our food and voila! Right on time, hot and delicious. DH ran up to the lounge and brought back some wine and we were all set!
Being in the Hawaii building we were very close to the boat launch and used the boat service often. We loved riding the boat to the MK. Not many people must do this, because more than once we were the only ones on the boat! The boat was quick, and felt refreshing due to being open air. It was especially nice to have two options for getting back to the Poly when we were ready for a rest.
If you are staying at the Poly, you might want to consider doing the Luau. I know the luau doesn't get the best reviews, but we really enjoyed it. The story line is definitely cheesy, BUT, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was fun, and we all enjoyed the show--especially the more traditional parts. Even little DS who wasn't even three yet loved to shout "Aloha!" with everyone, and he enjoyed going on stage to dance. When you are staying at the poly you see everyone heading over to the Luau and you can hear the drums beating, so it really kind of makes you want to be in on the fun. We were really glad we decided to do the luau and it was one of our many trip highlights.
Overall, the Polynesian Resort was a fantastic place to stay. We enjoyed our resort time tremendously, and felt like we had two vacations in one.