TPG gets a sneak peek inside soon-to-reopen Disney Polynesian rooms with all-new Moana theme

Jun 29, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information. 

When Disney World first opened to guests on Oct. 1, 1971, there were just two resort hotels: Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

There was also the Fort Wilderness Campground, but when it comes to true, original Disney World hotels, of the couple of dozen resorts present today, the Polynesian is one of the very few that was truly original to the theme park.

But with anything that has 50 years under its belt, there comes a time to have a little work done. And Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort spent its pandemic closure getting pretty much a top-to-bottom renovation, along with a new theme: Moana. (For what it’s worth, the other original, the Contemporary, is in the midst of its own retheme.)

With the Polynesian’s reopening now scheduled for July 19, TPG was given a sneak preview inside the recently renovated rooms at ‘the Poly.’

Related: What it’s really like at a reopened Disney World 

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New “Moana” inspiration

This wasn’t your standard makeover. The iconic hotel got a healthy infusion of “Moana” theming, with some fun references to the movie and its characters throughout the space.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

As Disney has described it, the new color palette was inspired by the Pacific Ocean and its many islands.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

There are both king bedrooms and family-friendly rooms with two queen beds, both benefiting from this renovation.

There are new furnishings, fixtures and room details. As Disney stated, “The sandy ocean floor inspires the bathroom tiles and vanity’s carved details, complementing the fresh, modern overall approach to these reimagined rooms.”

It’s not just the form that was improved with this reimagination of the Polynesian’s room, but also the functionality. The flooring was switched over from carpet to hard floors, the beds were raised for luggage storage and a tremendous number of power and USB outlets were installed all around the room.

From technology to hidden Mickeys and in-room coffee, the new Polynesian rooms appear to be a massive upgrade at an already much-loved resort.

Beyond the rooms, Disney has shared that the resort will feature “a dramatic new porte-cochere that will enhance the arrival experience.” Currently, the monorail station that is located at the front of the resort is closed since the entire entrance to the hotel is under construction. And while the Poly will eventually be a true monorail resort once again, work on the monorail will not be complete in July when the new rooms make their Disney debut.

Related: What to expect from a Disney hotel stay right now

Rendering of the new entrance to the Disney Polynesian Village Resort. (Image courtesy of Disney)

While the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rooms and villas at the Polynesian are still open and have not yet had their turn at the renovation (though they will), the hotel portion of the Polynesian’s rooms and suites are currently accepting reservations once again beginning in late-July. And while that timeline could always shift, things in the rooms appeared to be on track for that date during our recent visit.


For context on just how great the new look is, here’s a peek at what the DVC rooms at the Poly look like currently based on a 2020 visit. They are totally fine but will benefit from the new look and functionality when it’s their turn.

We rented DVC points to book a villa at Disney's Polynesian Village. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
We rented DVC points to book a villa at Disney’s Polynesian Village. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: Review of a stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

What needed help even more, though, were the Polynesian standard rooms that have been transformed. Here’s a look at what the Polynesian standard rooms looked like before the renovation from a stay I had in 2017.

Old Disney Polynesian rooms (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

It takes more than a pandemic to halt progress at Walt Disney World.

While some new Disney World offerings were delayed or canceled, the Polynesian is coming out the other side of its closure much improved. The popular restaurant inside the Polynesian, Ohana, will reopen on July 9, a little ahead of the resort’s official reopening.

And it’s not the only Disney resort debuting a new look — stay tuned for more exclusive and sneak peeks on TPG.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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