Len Testa, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, reviews the Polynesian Bungalows. The Polynesian’s two-bedroom Pago Pago bungalows sit in front of the Hawaii, Tokelau, and Moorea buildings. They’re connected to land by a wooden walkway. The bungalows offer stunning views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and of Seven Seas Lagoon and its nightly Electrical Water Pageant.
The stunning views of the Polynesian Bungalows come with stunning prices—up to $2,758 per night at $14 per point. Until 2016, we hadn’t reviewed the bungalows because of that price. It’s the same reason we don’t review Disney’s various Presidential Suites: probably great rooms, but not the most prudent way to use the money you’ll save using this book.
In 2016, however, a family member’s last-minute cancellation of a weeklong spring-break trip meant we had to use 160 DVC points in a hurry. And the only thing available that we hadn’t reviewed recently was a Polynesian bungalow. So we booked it.
Let’s start with the positives: The Polynesian bungalows are well built, with top-notch design elements from top to bottom. The bedrooms are spacious, and the beds are the best on Disney property. The bathrooms are gorgeous, and the showers make you feel as happy as any inanimate object can.
The open kitchen design works wonderfully, and you could easily host a nice-size party inside. The floors are spotlessly clean, with interesting slate and rug textures, so you’ll want to run around barefoot. Hell, the doorbell plays a different chime every time you ring it. It’s a great hotel room. And yeah, the views are spectacular. The Poly Villas have a separate parking lot close to their longhouses. Dining and transportation are shared with the main resort.
The bungalows have two fatal flaws, though: their price and their location. Let’s talk about the price first. 160 points for our one-night stay was the equivalent of about $2,240 in cash. Check-in was at 4 p.m. and checkout at 11 a.m., so our 19 hours in the bungalow cost about $118 an hour. Except we didn’t get to check in at 4 because we never got our room assignment text, email, or phone call from Disney. It wasn’t until we walked back to the front desk at 5 p.m. that we got our room number. The 75 minutes we couldn’t use the room was about $150 in lost time—almost enough to pay for an entire night at Saratoga Springs. And nobody said a word about the lost time.
The first “Are you out of the room yet?” knock on our door came before 9 a.m. No kidding.
Then there are the ferry horns. We were in 7019, the next-closest bungalow to the TTC ferry dock. A ferry leaves that dock about every 12 minutes, starting about 30–45 minutes before the park opens, until 60 minutes after the park closes. Every time the ferry leaves the dock, it’s legally required to sound a warning horn so nearby craft know what’s coming.
That horn is like an air-raid siren. It’s loud enough that it stops conversation inside the bungalow when it sounds—you simply can’t hear above it. Forget about reading, watching TV, or getting a baby to nap, even with a white-noise machine. Put it this way: You’re close enough to the ferries to have normal conversations with the people on those boats. Now add a horn to it.
If the bungalows were on the other side of the Poly’s marina, we could almost justify selling one of our lesser-used organs to stay here again. But at these prices, we can’t. If you decide to try these anyway, opt for bungalows numbered 7001–7005, the farthest away from the TTC.
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