50+ Magical Polynesian Village Resort Tips

Best Polynesian Village Resort tips

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This is the largest collection of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Tips on the planet.

All of our Polynesian Village Resort advice, tips, and tricks will help you save time, save money or make your Walt Disney World experience even more magical.

So, if you want your Disney vacation to be as magical as possible, use these Disney Polynesian Village Resort tips to help in planning your stay at PVR.

If you have a tip to add or differing viewpoint, I’d love to hear it. Add your tips in the comments below.

1) Get the Tonga Toast… you can thank us later.

Venture to Captain Cook’s or Kona Café for some deep-fried-banana-stuffed-cinnamon-sugar-bread, better known as, Tonga Toast!

2) ‘Ohana means BOOK IN ADVANCE!

‘Ohana is an absolute must-do while visiting Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

However, it fills up really fast. Be sure to book your ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) 180 days out.

Learn more about ‘Ohana breakfast & dinner buffets and Character Dining here.

3) Trader Sam wants you to get in line

The illustrious Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto does not accept ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations). It also has extremely limited seating. These two factors make this hidden tiki speakeasy one of the most exclusive destinations in all of Walt Disney World.

Trader Sam at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Image: Disney

While the lounge opens at 4:00PM, we strongly suggest getting in line outside the door by 3:00PM. This will help you secure your chances of getting in while also beating the evening rush.

In other words, you won’t have to hastily sip on your Hippopoto Mai-Tai. And believe us, with so much to see, you’re going to want to take your time!

4) The joke’s on you!

Are you a fan of practical jokes? So is Trader Sam!

Trader Sam Sign at Disney Polynesian Village Resort
Image: Disney

Be sure to request that you and your party be seated at the bar.


Because when you sit at the bar… you know what… we’re not going to spoil it.

5) Missed out on booking ADR for ‘Ohana? Tambu Lounge has you covered

Tambu Lounge has much more than meets the eye!

This hotspot is the true sleeper gem of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, featuring top-notch cocktails served by world-class bartenders and a nice selection of grub.

Chances are you’re going to find this location the perfect late-night option after a day in the park.

If you missed your opportunity to book your ADR (Advanced Dining Reservations) at ‘Ohana and find yourself overwhelmed by the intoxicating aromas emitting from the kitchen, you’ll be pleased to know that Tambu Lounge offers several succulent bites from ‘Ohana’s menu, at a fraction of the cost.

6) You’re gonna need the map

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort may not be massive in scale, however, it does contain a fair amount of twists and turns.

Do yourself a favor and download the My Disney Experience App on your phone.

You’ll have access to a resort map that can help you navigate your way around, especially after spending a night at Trader Sam’s!

7) Looking for Dole Whip? Skip Aloha Isle!

Dole Whip can be found at several locations around Walt Disney World. Perhaps the most popular location is Aloha Isle, located in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

Unfortunately, while well-known, this location is… well… well-known. Therefore, waiting for your decadent sweet treat can take well over twenty-five minutes.

What’s the difference between a five-minute wait and a twenty-five-minute wait? A ride on your favorite Magic Kingdom attraction!

Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Yum!
Image: Disney

We suggest you skip Aloha Isle and venture back to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, where you can order Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai.

Not to mention, you’ll find Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort a much calmer atmosphere. After all, you’re going to want to savor every bite of this tropical treat.

8) No saving seats

Guests are not permitted to “save seats” at either pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

However, we have rarely found this to be an issue, as there are plenty of seats at both the Volcano Pool and Oasis Pool.

9) Grab a 6-pack from Moana Mercantile, NOT Captain Cooks

We adore Captain Cooks!

Alas, their single service alcoholic options are severely over-priced, ranging from $8.00 – $10.00.

Grab yourself a six-pack from Moana Mercantile instead. You’ll save some dough and you’ll have a few extra cold ones to throw in the cooler.  

10) Watch the fireworks from the beach

Looking for a romantic evening with your sweetheart? Or, perhaps your family would like some extra added time to relax and recharge before another big day at the parks.

Try watching the Happily Ever After fireworks from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s white sand beach. This peaceful option provides you with the very same spectacle in the sky, sans the heavy crowds!

Fireworks over Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Image: Disney

11) Walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center

Heading to Epcot from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? Save time and burn calories simultaneously as you embark upon a leisurely stroll through paradise as your travel to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).  

Let’s face it, with so many delicious dining options on property, it’s nice to sample a few… guilt free.

12) Take the ferry to Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World makes transportation a breeze. However, nothing beats the open Seven Seas!

Embark upon a Ferry ride to Magic Kingdom at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center), for a rare transportation options that mergers adventure with maritime serenity.

Remember, the TTC is walking distance from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

13) See the Nighttime Torch Lighting Ceremony

Join the cast of Spirt of Aloha for a Nighttime Torch Lighting Ceremony, a celebratory flame throwing cultural experience featuring an authentic Polynesian dancer.

Spirit of Aloha at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando, Florida
Image: Disney

This invigorating performance is held each evening, Tuesday – Sunday @ 6:00PM.

14) Who needs front row seats when you can get a view from the balcony?

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers several Theme Park View rooms. While these rooms cost a few more shekels, if you’re a fan of Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After Fireworks, you’ll find that they are most certainly worth every penny. This also offers a more sensory friendly option for those who become overwhelmed by loud noises and congested surroundings.

15) A snack a day can keep the debt away!

If you’re looking to stretch your vacation budget a bit, we suggest bringing along a few snacks to keep in the fridge.

You’ll find yourself a little more satisfied throughout the day, leaving you less likely to over-order at your next meal.

Not to mention, with a cheap midday snack, your little ones will be less hangry while waiting in line!

16) Ask for Discounts

If you are an Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club Member, you probably don’t need a reminder. But we’re going to give you one… just in case! Before you purchase ANYTHING at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to ask the cashier if there are any Passholder or DVC discounts.

17) Be THAT family!

No one comes close to capturing the splendor and joy of the holiday season like Walt Disney World. Gather up the entire family in front of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s Christmas tree to snap the perfect family photo for the front of your yearly Christmas card.

Img: Instagram

18) Snag beach front seats to Electrical Water Pageant

Twinkling along the shoreline of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the Electrical Water Pageant provides the thrilling sights and sounds of familiar Disney tunes as light up floats travel by you in a water-bound parade.

Grabbing a beach front seat to this notorious spectacular is easy! All you have to do is… show up on time!

Electrical Water Pageant Schedule

Polynesian Resort — 9:00 PM

Grand Floridian — 9:15 PM

Wilderness Lodge — 9:35 PM

Fort Wilderness — 9:45 PM

19) Splurge for the Over-Water Bungalow

You only live once, right? You’ll never want to go home again after staying in one of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s two-bedroom, over-the-water Bungalows, featuring a full kitchen, private deck, and a private plunge pool. Each lake-view knockout sleeps eight, providing you and your family with 1 King Bed, 1 Queen Bed, 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa, 2 Single Pull Down Beds.

Bungalow at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Image: Disney

20) Dress the Part

If you stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, we must warn you; you’re going to catch tiki-fever.

Don’t fight it, embrace it! Stop by Boutiki and pick yourself up some local wears. You’ll fit right in, as you don yourself in Hawaiian print shirts, colorful leis, or sport a flower or two in your hair!

21) Rainy day?

While staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you have monorail access to Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, giving you three deluxe resorts to explore all while staying bone dry! The perfect day to search for Hidden Mickeys.

Monorail at Polynesian Resort at Disney world
Img: Instagram

22) Indulge in luxury

Need a cool beverage, a snack, some shade, or perhaps just a little privacy?

Reserving a private cabana is a guaranteed way to make you feel like King of the Island. To reserve a cabana, call (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529.

23) Don’t waste time – hit up Kona!

Every second counts while you’re in the most magical place on earth. Sometimes you just can’t stop for a four course meal.

Fear not tummy and taste buds, Kona Café has got you covered. There are a plethora of options for meals-on-the-go, including sushi.

24) Relax in the hot tub

Looking for a little rest and relaxation? Try the hot tub, located by the Oasis Pool, affectionately referred to as, “the quiet pool.”

If you’re over 21, the nearby bar will periodically come by to take your drink order. Now that’s what we call a vacation!

25) I scream, you scream, we all scream, for SUNSCREEN!

They don’t call Florida “the sunshine state” for nothing. Be sure to pack sunscreen and apply generously, even if there are plenty of clouds up above.

Sunburn is one surefire way to make the most magical place on earth… a little less magical.

26) No need to pack towels

The pools at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are overflowing with easily accessible towels that can be brought back to your room.

27) Need a nosh? Try a Hawaiian classic!

Sold in BouTiki at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, cookies from Honolulu Cookie are the perfect indulgence, great for any time of day!

28) Check out the ugly mug on that zombie!

If you’re a fan of tiki culture, then chances are you’re familiar with its ornate ceramic mugs.

Zombie Mug at Polynesian Village Resort at Disney World
Image: Disney

Now you can purchase your very own stiff drink and take one of these…uh… beauties… home with you.

Okay, okay… they’re not for everyone. But we think it’s pretty tiki-chicie. Get it? Hold your booze, it wasn’t that bad of a joke!

29) The cheapest keepsake on property

Start a new tradition by collecting Disney pressed pennies.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Pressed Penny Machine currently features a Moana coin.

30) Traveling with a little one?

Call in advance to request a complimentary Pack’n Play to be delivered to your room.

31) Pack like a pro

Roll your clothes to save room in your suitcase. You’re going to need the room for your keepsakes and Mickey ears!

32) Save with the Disney/Target Hack

Save money at Walt Disney World by purchasing gift cards at Target, using your REDcard to get 5% off.

33) Make a Polynesian Village Resort music playlist

There is no denying that music plays an integral role in the Disney parks. The same goes for each Walt Disney World Resort. Build the anticipation for your next trip by making a Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort playlist.

34) Check in early and enjoy the pool

Just because your room isn’t quite ready doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the amenities at your resort.

If you know you’re going to arrive early, put together a day bag that has your pool essentials (swimsuit, sunscreen, etc).

35) Get refillable mug

Rest easy knowing that your morning coffee (or tea or soda) is already taken care of with Disney’s refillable mugs.

Sold for only $19.99, these thirst-quenching keepsakes can be found at Captain Cooks, entitling you to unlimited refills of coffee, tea and soft drinks at Disney resorts throughout the duration of your stay.

36) Take advantage of Disney’s scenic running trail

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort provides a one-mile running course throughout its luxuriant grounds.

Beginning at the Moorea longhouse and leading to the elegant Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, this wide and peaceful path offers intoxicating views of the Magic Kingdom, as you navigate along the Seven Seas Lagoon.

37) Steer clear of this common Aloha faux pas

The Spirt of Aloha seamlessly blends family style feasting with the art of show, making it a highly sought-after ADR (Advanced Dinning Reservation), especially to those staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Don’t let you and your party be a last-minute cautionary tale, book your ADR 180 days out.

38) Sit outside rear entrance of Great Ceremonial House and chill

No, seriously… this is one of the most open and picturesque parts of the entire resort.

Alas, most people only view it as a patch of grass from the lobby to their rooms.

Get out there and throw a frisbee, read a book, grab a snack, catch a movie night or simply take a moment to notice your surroundings. You are at the most magical place on earth… things could be worse!

39) Find the Kukui Nut tree

When Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort opened in 1971, the resort was given a gift by Hawaii: a kukui nut tree (the Hawaiian state tree).

This isn’t any ordinary tree. In fact, it was the first kukui nut tree ever planted in America outside of the state of Hawaii.

Find the tree near the activity lawn behind the Great Ceremonial House.

The PVR kukui nut tree has survived being struck by lightning and many hurricanes, but it continues to stand resolute and firm.

40) Use the Health Club at Grand Floridian

Looking to get in a little exercise on your Polynesian Village Resort vacation?

The resort itself doesn’t have an in-house gym, but guests can use the Health Club at the neighboring Grand Floridian resort. Just show your MagicBand. Polynesian guests can get to the Health Club by following a path on the west side of the resort.

41) Do your laundry…or sent it out

There are small self-service laundry facilities near Lilo’s Playhouse. Open 24 hours, you might have a wait during peak times, so doing laundry during “off-hours” (very late or very early) are probably your best bets.

You can use a credit card or debit card and you can opt to receive a text when your load is done.

Additionally, you can pay for premium laundry and dry cleaning services at the resort.

42) Want some quiet time? Hire a babysitter

Did you know that in-room babysitting is an option at the Polynesian?

The resort has an arrangement with an independent childcare operator to provide babysitting services in your room.

The babysitter will read, play games, and do arts/crafts with your child.

Minimum age: 6 months
Max age: 12 years old

43) Let the kids have fun at Camp Dolphin at night

Camp Dolphin is the on-site activity center for kids ages 4-12. It is open from 5pm to midnight.

Counselors will play video/board games, read books and teach arts and crafts with the kids.

Children must be fully potty-trained and there is an hourly charge (min. of 2 hour stay).

Reservations for Camp Dolphin are required and can be made by calling (407) 934-4241.

44) Get a spa treatment, get free child care

If you want to pamper yourself at the Mandara Spa (located at the Dolphin hotel), you can get up 2 hours at Camp Dolphin free! Just show your receipt as proof of purchase when you arrive to pick up your child.

One child admitted per purchase of a spa treatment of 75 minutes or more.

45) Store your valuables in the safe

Each room at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort comes with a digital safe that is large enough to store your wallet, passports, and even laptop.

Guest Services also offers a safe-keeping box behind the front desk.

46) Get our favorite free keepsake

When you arrive at the Polynesian Village Resort, you’ll receive a free lei at checkin.

If, for some crazy reason, you didn’t get your free lei upon arrival, go ask for it at the front desk.

47) Enjoy the “low season” at PVR

According to a variety of crowd calendars (and talking to some Cast Members) the period from September 4 – October 2 is historically the lowest crowd levels at Walt Disney World.

It’s a rare time to feel like you have the resort and parks to yourself!

48) Use PhotoPass for great pictures

Did you know you can put your PhotoPass to use at Polynesian Village Resort? You’ll find the photographers in the lobby from time to time. During the holidays, they are often spotted near the Christmas tree. Ask at the front desk for times and spots around the resort where you can have a picture taken.

49) Take monorail to Contemporary Resort for up-close fireworks view

The California Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort is a great place to watch fireworks and it is just a short monorail ride away.

50) Want a shorter wait at ‘Ohana?

Book an ADR for ‘Ohana after the fireworks to enjoy a quiet dinner. There is a much shorter wait for a table as the restaurant empties right as you show up.

51) DVC? You can park FREE!

Disney Vacation Club members aren’t charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This is true whether you pay cash or redeem points.

52) Want best seat at Spirit of Aloha?

When booking a reservation for the Spirit of Aloha luau, you’ll select a “zone” – 1, 2, or 3, with 1 being closest to the stage.

Seating in your zone is determined by when you make your reservations.

So, in order to get the best seats, book your luau reservation as soon as it is available.

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