In case you haven’t heard yet, one of the two original Walt Disney World hotels changed its name back to how it opened in 1971: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. With its massive construction projects moving closer and closer towards completion, the new signage that greets all who enter the hotel revealed the return of this classic name.
The name change is just the beginning of all the refurbishments that are taking place here. Buildings formerly known as Tokelau, Rapa Nui, and Tahiki will be converted into new buildings of the Disney Vacation Club section of the resort. This wing is set to be called Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. That’s right- bungalows! Now there’s no need for you to go around the world to Bora Bora anymore. This is without a doubt one of the most exciting projects I’ve seen at a Walt Disney World hotel ever!
Some other new names to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are Moana Mercantile, Club Disney, Pineapple Lanai, and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (coming soon).
Moana Mercantile is the newly re-imagined shopping experience on the second floor of The Great Ceremonial House.
Club Disney, formerly known as The Neverland Club, recently re-opened. This is a masterfully themed children’s activity center based on Peter Pan, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland.
It seems like all Walt Disney World fans are also lovers of the classic Dole Whip. At Pineapple Lanai, there’s an entire new section of the resort dedicated to selling the delicious ice cream treats you’ve always found at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom.
Have you heard of the Trader Sam’s lounge in the Disneyland Hotel? Well, it’s coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! Here, an even more expansive hangout named Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. After discussions with various Cast Members of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, I think it’s safe to say that it’s likely that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will be taking over the space that was formerly the resort’s arcade and the surrounding outdoor area.
The main pool area of the resort is also undergoing major changes. It’s uncertain at this point whether it will re-open with the same name, Nanea Volcano Pool, or not.
Even during all of the construction necessary for the upcoming enhancements of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, it is still a top tier hotel in Walt Disney World. Its table service signature restaurants, ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, pair perfectly with the newly renovated interior and menu of the counter service restaurant Capt. Cook’s. Polynesian East Pool is still open with a small temporary bar. If you’re looking for the most unique resort experience on property, just wait and see all that’s coming to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort after the expansion projects are finished. Until then, this hotel is still not something to bypass when planning your next WDW vacation!
By Danny McBride I’m from Long Island, New York and I’ve visited The Walt Disney World Resort 50 times since the year I was born, 1995. I am a social media contributor to WDW Magazine and Dad’s Guide to WDW. I also write for Walt Disney World News Today: The Magazine. My lifelong dream is to work for The Walt Disney Company. My favorite attraction is The Haunted Mansion, and my favorite resort is The Polynesian!