During my most recent trip to Disney World in September 2021, we spent a week in a standard room at Disney’s Polynesian resort. These rooms had just been re-done this year to be Moana themed rooms – in fact, the resort had only just reopened in mid-July! There was still some construction around the resort but all of the restaurants were open and the rooms were great. The biggest downside was that the monorail wasn’t running, but it wasn’t too bad to walk to the Grand Floridian or Ticket and Transportation Center or just take a bus.
We got very lucky with timing as we got our text that the room was ready while we were about 10 minutes away on the Magical Express. So we were able to get off the bus and head right to our room. We were given room 3227 on the 3rd floor of the Aotearoa building. I love this room and I’m excited to take you on a little tour of a Disney’s Polynesian room!
The room basics
While this is a standard hotel room, it felt quite large at around 404 square feet. For reference, most recently I’ve stayed at a DVC studio room at Bay Lake Tower which was 339 square feet, and a standard room at Pop Century which was 260 square feet. It’s definitely nice to have the extra space!
When you first entered the room there were a number of closets on the left hand side and the bathroom on the right. The closets were large and very nice. You had two separate closets to hang items, and then a third door with a series of drawers and shelves for storing clothes and other items. That’s in addition to the dresser in the main area of the room.
Next to the closets is the mini fridge and coffee area, and then on the other side of that there’s an adjoining door if you have another group staying with you and want to connect rooms.
Then in the main room area you have the 2 queen beds, a sofa/daybed, TV, etc. There were a few small additional tables in various spots which was nice, as well as a sitting chair and ottoman. There’s a balcony or patio in all rooms as well.
The balcony had two chairs and a small table. At the Polynesian you can pay extra for a lagoon view or theme park view room, but I thought our standard view was very nice! It’s in the direction of the lagoon but trees block most of the view. It still felt very natural and peaceful. From the right angle you could see the beach and the lagoon a bit.
The rooms at the Polynesian have 2 queen size beds and one day bed. The day bed is actually a sofa that instead of folding out, kind of folds over into a single sleeper. We never used it for this purpose since there were only two of us, but this is a great option for families of 5. Especially with the rooms feeling a bit larger than most standard rooms it would definitely be less cramped.
The beds were very nice and comfortable. I didn’t notice anything particularly amazing about them but I know I slept well (so well, in fact, that I may have slept through my alarm for my 5:50am Magical Express home!). They have your standard white sheets but added colorful accent pillows that I really liked.
The bathroom was also quite large, broken into two sections. When you first enter you have a very large space with a sink area and two sinks. In that same area you also have a large walk-in shower. This room didn’t have a bathtub and wasn’t a shower/tub combo so you only had the shower, but it was quite nice. There were two choices of shower heads and you had the body wash, shampoo, and conditioner mounted in dispensers on the wall.
Then there’s a smaller space with a door that closes for the toilet. Most of the towels were stored in here as well. I do like the separation of the toilet and the sinks because you can have one or two people getting ready at the sink/mirror while someone else is using the toilet. That being said, the shower being in the sink area would be less useful if someone is showering. For us it didn’t matter as a married couple if one of us was getting ready while the other showered, but for a family I could see it being more of an inconvenience.
While the standard hotel rooms don’t have a kitchen or kitchenette, you do have some basic essentials – a mini fridge and a coffee maker. It’s the standard one cup Keurig, but you have a decent amount of space to use it and store other things or prep your coffee. There’s a small drawer that pulls out which has all the coffee supplies, including K-cups, creamer and sugar packets, stirrers, and cups for both hot and cold beverages.
The mini-fridge is below that, inside another cabinet door. It’s a basic one but one thing that I appreciated is the shelves within the fridge are removeable. So depending on what you might have in there, you can pull out shelves or reposition them to better fit your items. This was useful for a few bottles of wine 😉
You do have a lot of options for sitting in this room as well! The sofa is a nice spot to relax, especially with it being right next to the balcony. You can have a nice view and see some sunlight without actually being outside, which is a good option if it’s extremely hot. There’s a decently sized table next to it with a lamp too.
Then in the other corner you have a sitting chair with an ottoman. Near this in front of the balcony we had two round pieces of furniture. I suppose it’s a stool and a table for one? It seemed like an odd piece of furniture honestly. It also didn’t seem to be moveable, and I’m honestly not sure what the point of it was.
One thing I did notice is that the room doesn’t have any sort of desk like some hotel rooms typically have. I try not to do too much work while on vacation but I do enjoy writing some blog posts or starting to edit and upload my photos. I don’t mind not having a desk because the balcony is my workspace of choice anyway, but I could see especially with more people working remotely they may want the option. I guess they could use the awkward round table!
I really love the way the Polynesian has incorporated some magical touches in these Moana rooms. While it’s obviously Moana themed to me it also didn’t feel too over-the-top. You’re not talking about giant statues of Moana around the resort like you’d have at the All-Stars. I thought this was both tasteful and fun, and the color palette was bright and appropriate for the Polynesian.
Some things were obviously Moana, such as the painting and the wall art, but it was incorporated well. There were also a number of things that had more of a subtle hint or nods towards the film. After staying in the room for a week I was still finding little hidden touches here and there towards the end of our trip. To me this is the perfect way to make a Disney themed room. It’s not obnoxious but it fits with the theme of the resort and it’s done well – you are, after all, staying at Disney World, so why not incorporate some of the movies and characters into the rooms?
For instance, there was a painting of Moana but the majority of the painting is a beautiful beach scene and Moana is much smaller in the foreground facing the water. Moana and Maui both make appearances on the wall but it’s worked into a fun pattern. The most obvious is HeiHei by the coffee maker but I personally love it!
You also had more subtle hints, such as the characters on the lampshade or the artwork in the bathroom, which has a very small silhouette of Moana and Maui in the bottom corner.
Video tour of Disney’s Polynesian room
Overall thoughts on the Disney’s Polynesian room
I definitely fell in love with this room. I loved having more space and everything was beautiful. I’m a huge fan of the way they made these Moana rooms and really enjoyed the themeing. The balcony was great – it was a decent size and still a very nice view for being the “standard” view. While I would consider paying for a theme park view room at the Contemporary for the option to watch fireworks on the balcony, I don’t really see the need to do that at the Polynesian. The resort is much smaller and it was easy enough to just go downstairs and outside to see them from many locations along the beach. You also don’t have as good a view in general of things like the castle or the attractions like you do from the Contemporary.
I also really loved the whole vibe of the Polynesian. It felt relaxing and it has so many good restaurants, bars, and lounges. We had planned this as a more low-key trip and didn’t do as much park time, so it worked out perfectly. It’s pricey so I won’t stay here often but I’d love to come back for the right trip. Next time I’ll probably try a DVC studio if I can so I can use DVC points, but the standard rooms are great in my opinion.
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Have you stayed in a Disney’s Polynesian room? What do you think of the new Moana themed rooms?