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WDW Polynesian Resort New Additions Grand Opening!


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Tonight was the grand opening media event at Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort for the new Vacation Club bungalows, DVC Studios, and of course Trader Sam's! The bungalows were just absolutely fantastic! Quite possibly the new "coolest rooms" on property! They were just so insanely impressive in every way. Here's the official press release on the new expansion with some information for you:

 

The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest resort in the growing Disney Vacation Club portfolio, opened today. Offering 360 Deluxe Studio accommodations (opening in phases through summer 2015) and 20 over-the-water Bungalows, the new resort delivers the spirit of the South Pacific along with fun Disney touches to create a vacation experience that only Disney can provide. Nestled along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the resort is a quick monorail ride from the enchanting Magic Kingdom Park and steps away from the world-class amenities of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, one of the original Walt Disney World Resort hotels. 


 

“This is truly a stunning addition to the Disney Vacation Club portfolio,” said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Research has told us that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of our most beloved Walt Disney World Resort hotels. As a result, we integrated a new Disney Vacation Club resort that stays true to the original character of this spectacular and iconic property.”

 

The Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are the largest at Walt Disney World Resort, sleeping five guests each. Each features tropical décor complete with striking prints, bamboo-style fixtures, a whimsical hidden pull-down bed and a split bathroom perfect for families. The Deluxe Studios also offer the flexibility of connecting to an adjacent room.

 

The resort’s Bora Bora Bungalows are the first such accommodations ever created by Disney. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom Bungalows transport guests to a tropical haven filled with Disney touches. Each Bungalow sleeps eight guests and offers a view of the Magic Kingdom Resort area. Inside the Bungalows, modern luxuries with an island touch add life to the already exquisite design. Amenities include a full kitchen, two bedrooms complete with flat panel televisions, split bathrooms, washer and dryer, two hidden pull-down beds featuring playful artwork, a private plunge pool on the back deck, and many other special touches.

 

Premiering with Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is its newly re-imagined sister resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which now offers more dining and recreation experiences with signature touches for guests to enjoy. Arriving guests are greeted in the Great Ceremonial House, with its dramatic new décor and signature chandelier. Also new is a large Tiki statue that welcomes guests with his outstretched arms.

 

The resort’s newly redesigned Lava Pool will feature a highly themed children’s water play area, Kiki Tiki Splash Play Area, and an enlarged deck for poolside seating. An enhanced supervised childcare option, Lilo’s Playhouse, allows parents to enjoy an evening date night together.

 

Guests in search of tropical snacks and libations will find them at new dining locations, including Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a tiki bar that features exotic cocktails and Polynesian small plates. The nearby Pineapple Lanai serves the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve ice cream and floats.

 

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort was one of the original Walt Disney World resorts that opened in 1971. It has provided guests with superior accommodations, entertainment and dining experiences for more than 40 years.

 

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is the latest addition to the newly reimagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Located off the Great Ceremonial House, the themed lounge will serve exotic drinks and small plates, while offering scenic views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon.

Founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam, the Walt Disney World Resort version will have some similarities to the original Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Resort. But magical theming will reflect its new resort location.

Guests are welcomed to Trader Sam’s, a South Seas hideaway, to explore a menu full of “magical tropical drinks and food,” and while the Walt Disney World version will share a few exotic cocktails and small plates from the Disneyland location, it will have its own menu, according to Chef Lenny DeGeorge.

The famous Trader Sam cocktails, available in Disney collectible Tiki mugs, are a mix of old and new.

 

Only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto:

• Polynesian Pearl

• Nautilus

• Castaway Crush

• Tahitian Torch

• Dark & Tropical Stormy

 

Favorites imported from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar:

• Krakatoa Punch

• Uh-Oa!

• HippopotoMai-Tai

• Shrunken Zombie Head

 

Sam’s No-Booze Brews:

• Schweitzer Fall

• Skipper Sipper

 

Small bites at Trader Sam’s Grotto include chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce; Hawaiian poke with Sriracha aioli and wonton chips; kalua pork tacos with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables; pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce; roasted chicken and pork pâté bánh mì sliders with pickled vegetables; salmon oshizushi (pressed sushi); corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup, and a Headhunter Sushi Roll.

The lounge has 50 seats inside and 82 on the patio. No reservations are required.

 

Check out this video:

 

And onto some photos...

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Tonight TPR is at the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World for the grand opening of the new additions!

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I absolutely LOVE the new lobby! Gone is the musty-smelling fountains and bulky water features and now you have a more spacious modernized entrance that still keeps the Hawaiian feel!

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These are some really nice credentials! (Aren't they, Jack?) ;)

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Yup, it's the grand opening!

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Not only am I covering the event, I'm also part of the entertainment!

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This map will direct us to the new sections of the resort!

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The pool area is the one section that is not quite finished, but it looks like it will be a great make-over the pool that was once there.

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First we are going to check out the Bora Bora Bungalows, which are really the highlight of the new expansion.

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The bungalows sit out over the water...

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There are 20 of them...

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Each one is a two bedroom apartment with amazing features!

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Welcome to Bora Bora!

Here we have one of the bedrooms. Love the surf board decor!

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The main living room area. Modern furniture that retains a bit of that 1970s feel to it!

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The entire room was just fantastic!

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I *loved* the Electrical Water Pageant backdrop on the fold out bed!

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The view is breathtaking! From your patio, you can watch the Magic Kingdom Wishes fireworks at night!

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We are told that the bungalows have been sound-proofed with double-pane glass to keep out some of the water craft noises. (Although, they are part of the ambiance of the resort!)

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There is even a small foot pool so you can sit in here at night and watch the fireworks from your patio!

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The deck chairs and wicker swinging chairs are such an awesome feature!

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Even from inside the room, you can have an spectacular view of Magic Kingdom and the fireworks! (oh, and they DO pipe in the Wishes soundtrack for you to listen to!)

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Tiki statues and a Hawaiian feel everywhere you turn.

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The backdrop for the other pull out bed is Lilo & Stitch!

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More of the decor in the bedrooms.

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I want one of these tiki lamps! It's cool to see the lobby mascot being used around the resort.

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State-of-the-art bathroom that even includes a "TV-in-mirror" feature!

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When you gotta go...

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The new bungalows are just stunning.

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This does not feel like anything in Orlando!

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Please take my money! I want to stay here!

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Next we check out Trader Sam's, a sister location to the one that opened at Disneyland a few years ago. This one features a different storyline with a different time setting.

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When you walk into Trader Sam's you know this is not going to be your typical bar.

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Head chef's of the Walt Disney World resort explain some of the food items and the specialty drinks.

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The "windows" inside Trader Sam's will change depending on what is happening inside the location.

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As you can see this a highly themed lounge and may very well be the most technically advanced tiki bar in the world!

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This is one of the specialty drinks that comes in a collectable mug. It's called the "Uh-Oa!" and if you order this, you have to appease the tiki gods! (Watch the video above)

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Everything is better with fire!

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The tiki gods have been angered and you can see the outside view has now changed.

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Someone quick! Appease the tiki gods!!! Different drinks will trigger different effects to happen inside the location.

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Check out some of the detail inside Trader Sam's.

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Here are the collectable mugs you can get at Trader Sam's. They are available either inside the location or out on the patio.

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More details...

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More cool tiki things.

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We are told there are items in here that have come from attractions at Magic Kingdom.

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Keep in mind there are only 50 seats inside this lounge so you might expect a wait, especially early on. (It was a 2-3 hour wait to get in tonight after the media event!)

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Beer lovers can get a Kona Brewing beer flight at Trader Sam's.

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The "Shrunken Zombie Head" is one of the specialty drinks with a collectable mug.

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Here is what the different beers are.

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These corn-dog-like sausages were great!

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So were the lettuce wraps!

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If you were a fan of the location at Disneyland in California, you'll probably want to check this place out! It opens at 4pm every day and it's 21 and over ONLY after 8pm.

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No Hawaii themed resort would be complete without....

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DOLE WHIP!!!!

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Which you can get at the Pineapple Lanai just around the corner from the main pool area.

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Let's go check out the newly renovated DVC studios...

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All of the exterior has been re-painted and refurbished.

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Love the hallways!

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We are there! (And there is the lobby mascot again!)

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The newly updated rooms look great!

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Again, here you see the Lilo & Stitch backdrop.

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The artwork around the room is very cool!

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And I just LOVE this view with the new bungalows! You also have an amazing view of Magic Kingdom and the fireworks from these buildings.

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Yes! Tiki lamp is here, too!

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It's no April Fools to be one of the first residents in these new rooms!

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Here is the welcome letter than guests will receive tomorrow when they check in!

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Mini-bar area.

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Bathroom...

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...with the rainfall shower head! (love these!)

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Heading back out for the official grand opening ceremony.

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The sunset here at the Polynesian Village Resort is amazing tonight!

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First this topless dude comes and blows his horn....

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the drums play...

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and then crazy fire guy comes out!

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He puts on an amazing show for us!

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He LOVES that fire! lol

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The torches are lit...

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And the newly renovated Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is officially OPEN!

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Check out how amazing the bungalows look all lit up!

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BUCKET LIST!!!

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They look fantastic over the water right on the beach!

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On the patio of Trader Sam's we are greeted by more tikis.

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And we end our night by watching a double-whammy of Wishes and the Electrical Water Pageant at the same time!

 

Huge thanks to Walt Disney World and congrats on the opening of another fantastic looking resort addition!

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Have a look at the Trader Sam's Drink Menu!

Edited by robbalvey
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We are told that the bungalows have been sound-proofed with double-pane glass to keep out some of the water craft noises. (Although, they are part of the ambiance of the resort!)

 

So, the question we pondered last February while walking around the Polynesian has been answered.

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These Villas look fantastic. My family is working out the details on returning to WDW in November, and I'm going to push for staying at the Polynesian over returning to the Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge or trying out the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. No Villas will ever compete with Old Key West's (in terms of size), but these look marvelous.

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Isn't this one of the tiki gods from the original Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland?

 

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Looks like Pele, Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes.

 

I also want that lamp.

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I can't wait. My fiancée's mother bought more DVC points specifically because of the new addition to the Poly. We're already booked in studio rooms for July 4th, and NYE. I think one other weekend, but not totally sure.

 

When's the TPR meet-up at Trader Sam's?

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I don't even want to know what these Bungalows cost per night. Okay I kind of do want to know, but it's going to be reidiclous....rediclously worth it!

Doing the math it comes to about $1,800 - $2,200 a night. But here's the thing... we looked it up. To stay in actual Bora Bora at one of the equivalent quality bungalow hotels, it's about $3,000 - $3,500 for the two-bedroom with pool bungalow pictured below.

 

Looks like Disney is once again right on the money with a correct price point. Plus it wouldn't involve a 12 hour flight to Tahiti, a 50min domestic flight, and a 15 minute boat ride to get to the Orlando Polynesian Resort!

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Interesting, I mean it's certianly out of my price range but I'm sure Disney won't have any toruble keeping those things booked all of the time.

I would be shocked if they aren't already booked solid for the first year!

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Interesting, I mean it's certianly out of my price range but I'm sure Disney won't have any toruble keeping those things booked all of the time.

I would be shocked if they aren't already booked solid for the first year!

 

I wouldn't be shocked if they were already booked for longer than that considering how popular the Polynesian Resort is amongst returning guests and how long the property has had limited capacity due to renovations. These things are really so cool.

 

Did you happen to notice while you were there if the little chunk of land that used to extend out into the 7 Seas Lagoon where they used to pipe in music from Wishes for guests watching fireworks was still intact? There used to be hammocks and a bench and some Palm trees and the spot had a name that I can't recall. It was a great little spot on property that I thought was going to be lost due to this renovation but a few of the pictures it looks like it might still exist in some form.

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^ Yeah, it's all mostly still there and was even during the construction. It's still a cool place we like to go and watch the fireworks. We actually watched HalloWishes twice from there last October.

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This is the kind of Disney magic that gently enters my subconscious right before I fall asleep with happy thoughts that one day I too may be able to experience it.

 

But unfortunately at 3:56 on a Wednesday afternoon it all just seems pretty bloody unlikely.

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I took a tour of the bungalows and the new DVC rooms a few days ago, and while I thought it was great, I thought that the bungalows were overpriced at over $3,000 (And over 100 points if you are a DVC member), for what you were getting.

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If I ever had that kind of money...I would buy something for someone who needs it.

If you had that kind of money, you'd be able to afford something for someone who needs it AND stay in the bungalows!

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If I ever had that kind of money...I would buy something for someone who needs it.

If you had that kind of money, you'd be able to afford something for someone who needs it AND stay in the bungalows!

 

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Interesting, I mean it's certianly out of my price range but I'm sure Disney won't have any toruble keeping those things booked all of the time.

I would be shocked if they aren't already booked solid for the first year!

 

I wouldn't be shocked if they were already booked for longer than that considering how popular the Polynesian Resort is amongst returning guests and how long the property has had limited capacity due to renovations. These things are really so cool.

 

Did you happen to notice while you were there if the little chunk of land that used to extend out into the 7 Seas Lagoon where they used to pipe in music from Wishes for guests watching fireworks was still intact? There used to be hammocks and a bench and some Palm trees and the spot had a name that I can't recall. It was a great little spot on property that I thought was going to be lost due to this renovation but a few of the pictures it looks like it might still exist in some form.

 

For years I've thought that when I decide to get engaged to my girlfriend that I will propose to her on that little chunk of land extending into the Seven Seas Lagoon ( I think it used to be called Sunset Point). My original plan was to do it during IllumiNations, but my twin brother beat me to that idea.

 

For anyone who hasn't experienced it, Sunset Point might just be the most magical place in Walt Disney World and it is a wonderful place to take a date.

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For years I've thought that when I decide to get engaged to my girlfriend that I will propose to her on that little chunk of land extending into the Seven Seas Lagoon ( I think it used to be called Sunset Point). .

 

That's where I proposed to my wife, and that's why I'm glad that little spot is still around!

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