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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando, FL (hotel)
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Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando, FL (hotel)
Kenike
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 24, 2003
Posts: 1204
From: McKinney, TX
Posted: 2003-10-16 3:39 pm   Permalink

Name:Disney's Polynesian Resort
Type:hotel
Street:
City:Orlando
State:FL
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:
Status:operational

Description:
On our recent trip to Disney World we decided not to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a Hawaiian themed hotel right in the middle of Disney World, because it was more expensive than the Caribbean Beach Resort we were also considering, and therefore not within our budget. I decided that I still needed to check out the Polynesian Resort while I was in town to see how much tiki was there.

After a long day at one of the parks, I left the wife and kids in the hotel took a couple of bus and monorail rides to the Polynesian. The monorail stops right at the hotel so it was very convenient. The area I went to I think is called the “Ceremonial House” which is a huge 2 floor space filled with shops and restaurants. First stop was a couple of gift stores where I found the official Polynesian Resort mug, a couple of generic tiki mugs, some shooters made by Tiki Farm, and some coasters. I bought about $50.00 worth of stuff and went into one of the restaurants…but I can’t remember the name of it (Ohana?). They had a pretty good size fire pit and tikis galore. I took a few pics over people’s heads who were trying to eat and then went to the nearest bar which is called the Tambu Room. Apart from the bamboo and the thatch roof, it looked like a typical bar. I first tried a Mai Tai which tasted a little sweet to me, but I’m definitely not a Mai Tai expert and haven’t really sampled them enough times in bars. When that was gone I had a Zombie which was STRONG. The 151 wasn’t “floated” as the recipe calls for (I think) but was just poured on top. It was still better than the ones I make at home. Both drinks were served in the Polynesian Village glass mug like the one that I had just bought. There was also a lounge area where some Hawaiian dude was playing Bobby Darin covers on acoustic guitar.

I didn’t see much of the grounds at the hotel (it was dark), but the architecture certainly looked Polynesian. If I remember correctly, the rooms start at about $250.00 per night. If we could have afforded it we definitely would have like to have stayed there. I have no idea about the quality of the rooms. I know the place is about 30 years old or so.

Here's a few pics...the pics I took in the Tambu Room didn't come out but here's a few tiki's I found in the Ohana:







This is the area between the Ohana and the Tambu Room


Another restaurant. I think this is the Kona Cafe.


Some stuff from one of the gift shops L-R: the official Polynesian Resort Mug (they used to make these in frosted glass, now it's just clear), a Tiki Farm shooter and an unmarked mug.







 
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Feelin' Zombified
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1329
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2003-10-21 09:33 am   Permalink

I've never stayed there (long story) but I've been to the Luau that is held on the hotels' grounds. it's about 3 hours long (dinner, show, fire dancers, etc.) was alot of fun.

Recently (last 3 years or so) they've upgraded the pool. It now has a volcano in the center.

Probably my favorite part of the resort, was walking the grounds at night... lots of torch-lit paths thru the lush grounds.

tons of photos:

http://allearsnet.com/acc/polyss.htm


I need to go back

-Z

{Edited to upgrade photo link 4.19.05}

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[ This Message was edited by: Feelin' Zombified on 2005-04-19 18:02 ]


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Angry Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 33
Posted: 2003-10-21 09:40 am   Permalink

It is too bad you didn't walk around some more-- the volcano pool is neat. There are some Boskos in the pool bar (there is a bosko at the drink place next to the Tiki Room in the MK too).

The other pool (the quiet pool) is surrounded by Tikis.

To me, the best time to go is in the early afternoon. You can explore and see the grounds and Tambu is pretty quiet.

Chris


 
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Kailuageoff
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Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2003-10-21 10:52 am   Permalink

We like the Ohana and the Tambu, but agree about going in the early afternoon. About 6:30 pm the place becomes mobbed with sweaty, angry tourists returning from the maniacal kingdom.
The whole scene changed so dramatically in the space of half an hour it really freaked us out.

[ This Message was edited by: Kailuageoff on 2003-10-21 10:52 ]


 
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Hot Lava
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Saint Petersburg, FL
Posted: 2003-10-30 8:01 pm   Permalink

I just spent 3 hours walking around the grounds of the Polynesian, documenting the location of tikis and other oceanic artwork used as decorations.

It's been a couple of years since I had taken a good look at the place, and I was completely unprepared for what I found. This place is, indeed, chock full of tiki.

Besides the ones mentioned in the previous posts, there are tons of Rolly Crump-designed fiberglass tikis on the grounds -- many of which are pulled from the same molds as the tikis in the waiting area at The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland in California.

My biggest find, however, was in the "Tangora Terrace," the resort's rentable meeting space. When Leroy Schmaltz was quoted as saying that this resort was his favorite project, the contents of this room had to be the reason. There are three carvings in the foyer that defy description in the quality of their work--both carving and painting. Inside the main room, there are 10-12 of the most beautifully done support posts I have ever seen. Again, incredible detail in both sculpt and paint.

I shot over 140 photos of the resort and took careful notes of the location of each piece. The size of the files will put them beyond of the scope of what can get posted in this forum, so once I get the descriptions written up, I will create a seprate site and post a link to it here. Whew!


 
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fatuhiva
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 634
From: Melbourne Beach, FL
Posted: 2003-11-02 9:44 pm   Permalink

Oh yeah, the polynesian is a suprisingly AWESOME tiki spot. I checked it out for the first time since I was a kid about 3 years ago, and it just hit me with this indescribable flood of fuzzy tiki memories... its truly an awesome place. I stayed there in a concierge room for my birthday and it was one of the best weekends my wife and I ever spent together- it rivaled our Tahiti honeymoon if you ask me!

Whenever I'm in the area, I always stop by and just walk around the grounds for that happy tiki vibe. Lots of sweet smelling plumeria, vibrant heliconia, and creaking bamboo. Not to mention little tikis tucked away all over the place, many vintage "faux-idols" from the 70's.

They light the torches at dusk, you can just show up and walk around for free, so you can't beat it. If no one is on one of the hammocks strung between the coconut trees, plop down and dig the vibe..

I could go on and on about all the little suprises here, but I'll leave them for you to discover yourself.

My only advice would be to avoid the luau- its a bit pricey for what you get.. a campy touristy luau with so-so food. I liked dinner at the Ohana alot more. The volcano pool slide is alot of fun!

[ This Message was edited by: fatuhiva on 2003-11-02 21:48 ]


 
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2003-11-03 05:44 am   Permalink

Oh no, not another one turned off by campy, touristy luaus and hula shows... Hey, what do you think the Kodak Hula Show was/is?
Perhaps an unappreciated part of tiki are the entertainers who perform/performed in all of these places for years and years.
Since there were hundreds of tiki bars/restaurants across the country, there had to be multiple shows booked at these places. What happended to these groups? Where are they now? Are any members of the "The Polynesians" still around?
At one time the performers at the Hawaiian Inn lived in Cape Cod doing shows in various places around New England, for example.
When I was a youngster, my best friend's mother taught hula and had a show that performed at parties around Oahu. My sister danced with a High School group in Waikiki and after graduation did a world tour -- not totally authentic or professional(what ever that is) -- just entertaining.



 
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FLOUNDERart
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2003-11-03 05:53 am   Permalink

I lived in Orlando for 12 years and have never been there, I'm glad there is someone here to tell what its like, thanks.

Did you notice if the tikis were carved out of wood or are they your typical Disney fakes like everything else out there? In the photos you posted they don't look to be carved from wood. Not that it really matters that much, tikis are tikis.

I actually have one of the Offical Polynesian Resort Mugs in an amber glass as well. Doe's anyone know if this is common?
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2003-11-03 09:43 am   Permalink

I've only seen clear and frosted glasses, so the amber one might be rare.
I recently scored a ceramic mug for the Polynesian Resort in the shape of a pineapple with a tiki face on it. It has a lid with three pineapple leaves. I had no idea these existed until I found it at an antique store in Daytona.


 
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FLOUNDERart
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2003-11-03 2:26 pm   Permalink

Geoff, what's the face look like?
I scored the amber one in Ohio. It was one of my first mugs. I actually almost got rid of it at the time, glad I didn't
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2003-11-03 2:54 pm   Permalink

It's hard to describe. I would say it looks kind of like the Kon-Tiki face, maybe tending toward Incan. The mug is brown with green, yellow and red on it. The lid has a hole for a straw. I was wondering if they might have sold it in the gift shop, rather than used in the lounge because it looks like it would have been an expensive piece to make and serve drinks in.
You'll have to come to our place some time and check it out (when it is done -- our condo has been in a reconstruction thing for two months and they still haven't fixed the drywall around our windows, so some of our collection is still packed away in boxes).
KG


 
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FLOUNDERart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2003-11-04 11:26 am   Permalink

Absolutely
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2004-05-06 3:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2003-11-03 05:53, FLOUNDERart wrote:
In the photos you posted they don't look to be carved from wood.



They are not carved from wood - they are casts. The originals are somewhere else...
The large one with his tongue sticking out is used to surround every pole in the Ohana restaurant. Pretty cool.
The Tamboo room and bar does have Tikis at the top of the bar posts now.
The Kona Cafe (and every other restaurant and shop) have some very cool tiki masks. These two shots are from the Kona Cafe:




Quote:
My biggest find, however, was in the "Tangora Terrace," the resort's rentable meeting space. When Leroy Schmaltz was quoted as saying that this resort was his favorite project, the contents of this room had to be the reason. There are three carvings in the foyer that defy description in the quality of their work--both carving and painting. Inside the main room, there are 10-12 of the most beautifully done support posts I have ever seen. Again, incredible detail in both sculpt and paint.



Yes! Thank you for pointing out this room - it is next to the game room and well worth a visit. The walls are adorned with masks and carvings and the detail on the posts are incredible. Most of my photos were too dark, so I'll do a little photoshopping to them later, but here's two of the posts:




The Volcano pool is also worth a looksey too. At night they project red and orange lights in the top of the volcano for a very cool effect.

The Polynesian is pricey, but worth every penny...or at least a few hours of your time.

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[ This Message was edited by: Polynesiac 2008-01-30 18:19 ]


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TikiTikiTavi
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 121
From: Exotica
Posted: 2004-07-12 12:51 pm   Permalink

My wife and I stayed at the Polynesian back in 1989 for 10 days. It was expensive but I loved it! Back then, the Tangaroa Terrace was a restaurant but we noticed in later years, it was not. We went over there last year for the character breakfast in Ohana.

We went to the dinner luau twice, one year it was in the Ohana restaurant (I believe they were having an mosquito problem that year) and the other time it was outside at its usual location. We thought it was great even though the food was just ok, typical fanfare, nothing special.

If you have the time and can justify the room rates, the Polynesian is worth a visit. If not, just stay at another Disney resort and hop over to the Polynesian and take a look.


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2004-07-12 1:40 pm   Permalink

Speak of the (tiki) Devil! I was just at the Polynesian Village myself for the first time right before 4th of July. I have been to Disney World about 10 times I since first visited around 1973, and had never stepped into the Polynesian. This time around we did a little side trip over there late in the afternoon after galavanting around the Magic Kingdom for the whole day. I thought it was pretty cool place. Tikis-a-plenty. I didn't really have time to do as good a study of the place like some of you on this thread did. I wanted to get back to the Magic Kingdom to catch up on some rides we missed earlier in the day beofre the park closed. The only place I really saw was the Ceremonial House where the monorail drops you off. Had a few drinks and appetizers in the Tambu lounge which was cool but not the most ass kicking tiki bar in the world (I had been to Mai Kai a few days before). The Mai Tai was okay, but I remember the Zombie being better. I was impressed that the bartender actually used Trader Vic Orgeat in the Mai Tai. The strange thing was that they didn't follow the original TV Mai Tai recipe. Oh well, that's Mickey Mouse for you. Anyway...I was also hoping that they would have ceramic Polynesian Village tiki mugs, but alas they only have the glass tiki mug, which actually looks more like a goblet. Just for the helluvit I wanted to buy one, but I didn't see any in the gift shop, and by the time I had walked around still buzzed from the Zombie, I dedcided to take a pass on asking the bartender to sell me one.

I can't say I was too impressed with the tiki mugs they had in the gift shop either. One was a yellow Easter Island mug and they other was a crazy faced pastel blue looking one. The colors weren't really for me so I passed on those too. In all honesty I was saving my tiki mug money for when I went back to the Mai Kai later that week where I ended up buying 5 tiki mugs before it was all over.

Don't get me wrong. I thought the Polynesian Village was great, and I wish a) I could have spent more time there, and b) I could afford to stay there! The room prices that weekend were STARTING at $340 a night! Whoa! The crazy thing was that the place was packed, mostly with families. I mean I'm not totally poor, but if you can drop a grand or two on Disney hotels with the wife and kids on a weekend, I guess you're doing well! Me...I stayed at the Radisson 15 min from the Disney entrance, and spent less on a two night's stay than I would've on a one night stay at the PV, and the Radisson was a pretty damn nice place for the price. I

The Polynesian Village is a great place, and I hope to be back there soon. I tell ya...there is nothing quite like being disconnected from reality the way you are when you visit the Disney parks and resorts! Nothing legal that is.
Aloha!


 
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