Imagine Polynesian Dreams: THE WDW ESCAPE PODCAST (EPISODE 16)

Leah SikesBlog, podcast

wdw escape podcast Polynesian dreams

This week on WDW ESCAPE, we’re imagining a beautiful day at a beautiful resort, and dreaming some Polynesian dreams!

Follow along!

For more info on WDW Escape, click here—or listen to all our episodes. Listen to today’s Salute to America episode while following along with the transcript and photos below!

Imagine Polynesian Dreams

There is magic in every part of Walt Disney World, and there as many different Disney dreams as there are dreamers to wish upon a star.

That’s especially true of Walt Disney world resorts—they’re all fantastic in their own way, and the ones that seem the most special are often the ones where your happy memories happen to be.

There are a few, however, that seem so very special that you can’t help but dream about them whether you’ve ever stayed there yourself, or only passed wistfully through, and at the top of that list is the Polynesian Village Resort.

polynesian dreams resort

The Polynesian Resort. Photo by Brett Svenson

Getting to the Polynesian Village Resort really is part of the fun, since it is a part of that wonderful inner circle of resorts connected by the Monorail.

Any excuse will do to hop on that magical train, and when you stay at the Polynesian, you have the very best excuse in the world—that shiny silver rocket ship is ready to whisk you to and from both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom!

What a joy to race around the Seven Seas Lagoon, with Cinderella’s Castle growing ever-closer as you approach.

Or switching to the EPCOT line and soaring over the park as you circle Spaceship Earth, welcoming you home once again. The monorail makes everything better, and the Polynesian Village is magical even at a walking pace.

The Lobby

As you approach the main doors, you know that you have left the ordinary behind, and are on the cusp of something very special.

aloha sign at polynesian resort

Aloha! Welcome to the Polynesian! Photo by Cliff Wang

The gardens bloom with a fireworks-worthy display of tropical flowers and waterfalls, all carefully tended by Tiki figures that hide in the lush greenery. You pass through the main doors and enter the Great Ceremonial House, and all at once your breath is taken away.

The polished stone floors and dark wood timbers lead your eyes up, up to a massive ceiling high above, hung with colorful decorations of all shapes. You are greeted by another tiki garden, dominated by a whimsical, welcoming statue on a bed of lava rocks, surrounded by more lush tropical gardens.

Everything here is welcoming, inviting, drawing you further in. On the level above you, passengers arrive by monorail, shops bustle, diners delight, and there is time for you to experience all of it. There is no need to hurry here. Here you can relax and experience each special moment. You are here, and everything is at your fingertips.

You could happily spend an entire day here, and never run out of things to do. Where to begin?


To begin at the beginning, you should probably have breakfast, and you have many options.

The character breakfast at Ohana is not to be missed. Your young adventurers will delight in meeting Lilo and Stitch, together with Mickey Mouse in his best casual island-wear. And you will love a family-style feast of eggs, Island-style fried potatoes, sausages and ham. It’s a magical way to start your day, but it is not your only choice.

tonga toast at kona cafe

Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe. Photo by Brett Svenson

The most important meal of the day is also wonderful at the Kona Café. Kona is open, relaxed and is known for some of the best coffee at any Disney restaurant, as well as the famous Tonga Toast- French toast sliced so thick that an entire banana is hidden inside each slice, served with syrup and strawberry sauce. Fuel for a day filled with wonder and delight!

A walk along the while-sand beach is a fantastic way to spend the morning, with the warm breezes blowing in from the lagoon, carrying away all of your cares, replacing them with the gentle rhythms of island life.

You walk through the rows of deluxe Polynesian Resort longhouses, where most of the guests stay, and the dreamy Bora Bora Bungalows, which may be more luxury than you need, but perhaps not less than you deserve.

beach at polynesian resort

Relax in a hammock on the beach. Photo by Laurie Sapp

They seem to welcome you to another world, and it only makes sense to spend some of the morning in one of the many hammocks at the beach, surrounded by the tropical landscaping.


It does not take long for a morning like that to go by, and you decide to work up an appetite with a shopping trip to BouTIKI, where you are greeted by an entire tribe of enormous, whimsical tiki statues, ready to assist you while you consider the many fine Hawaiian shirts available to purchase.

Or if you are traveling with a party whose interests lean more toward toys, a quick trip upstairs to the Moana Mercantile should satisfy.


When you are ready for lunch, again there is an embarrassment of riches.

Will you settle in to the Kona Island Coffee and Sushi Bar?

Captain Cook's Pulled Pork nachos

The nachos at Captain Cook’s. Photo by Rich Ramos

Or will you go back downstairs to Captain Cooks’ for some of their famous Thai Coconut Meatballs, or Pulled Pork Nachos? Captain Cooks’ does have a seating area outside, near the pool.

And it is close to another, very important feature—Pineapple Lanai! Here is one of the few places outside of the Magic Kingdom where you can get that most magical of frozen treats—the Dole Whip! Frozen pineapple goodness will make your journey to the islands extra special, and help to beat the afternoon heat!

Pineapple Lanai at polynesian resort

Get a Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai. Photo by Rich Ramos

Of course, there are many ways to do that too. Like an outstanding, tiki-themed pool and play area, complete with volcano waterslide, full of delighted adventurers of all ages.

Or, if like Moana you are called back to the water, you can spend a day on the Lagoon by hiring a boat at the Seven Seas Marina. From Sea Racers to Bass Fishing expeditions to Fireworks cruises, everything is here, waiting only for you to wish for it.


This is a resort so magical that you could spend entire days here and still not have experienced everything there is to enjoy, and never is that more true than at dinnertime.

ohana polynesian dreams

You have to stop at Ohana! Photo by Brett Svenson

This is Ohana’s time to shine. This is a real family-style island feast, with noodles, vegetables, pot-stickers and chicken wings that would be a treat on their own, and are completely upstaged by visits from smiling cast members wielding mighty skewers of flame-grilled steak and shrimp.

And just when you are so satisfied that you cannot possibly do more, it is time for dessert. A slab of delicious bread pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream.  With musical performances and games for the little ones, Ohana is a complete experience that you will dream about every day until the island winds bring you back once again.

But there are still more magical meals to choose from, and how could you pass up the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show!

This is fun-filled family luau—an all-you-care-to-eat, family-style show featuring hula dancing and a fire-knife performer, all in the open-air theater in Luau Cove.

Platters of Polynesian ribs, pulled pork, and roasted chicken with Guava Cake and so much more in this special evening that will delight travellers of all ages.

Trader Sam’s

Drink at trader sam's polynesian dreams

Grab a drink at Trader Sam’s. Photo by Cliff Wang

After a day like this, there is no need to unwind, but you still won’t want to miss the chance to complete the evening with a trip to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a whimsical and fun Tiki bar festooned with lanterns on the walls and ceiling, and magical windows that glimpse increasingly angry volcanoes.

Whether you prefer cocktails or mocktails, Trader Sam’s is a delightful hideaway to spend the evening hours of this magical day.

And when the sun finally sets, what better place than the beach at the Polynesian Village resort to gaze across the Seven Seas Lagoon and enjoy a whole new way of experiencing the nighttime spectacular at the Magic Kingdom?

From the whimsical visit of the Electrical Water Pageant to the thrills and delights of Happily Ever After itself, you know this day has been so rich and magical that you are certain to relive it over and over again in your happy Polynesian Dreams until the day when you are able to return to this wonderful place once again.

About the Author

Leah Sikes

Leah Sikes is a graphic designer and contributing writer for WDW Magazine and Dad's Guide to WDW. When she's lucky enough to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, you catch her hanging out with the 999 Happy Haunts. She also loves running in the parks (when it's allowed at the marathons).