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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)
Doc Aikane
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 02, 2014
Posts: 16
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2014-05-02 08:16 am   Permalink

There has been some new artwork released. The lobby concept looks good despite the loss of the waterfall and garden, and it looks like Trader Sam's has been confirmed. My only question is WHY DEAR GOD DO THEY SHOW CHILDREN IN THE TIKI BAR LOOKING AT ALL THE BOOZE ON THE WALL!?!?!?! I'm hoping they create a policy by which all children must be escorted out of the bar after a certain hour.





http://www.insidethemagic.net/2014/05/trader-sams-grog-grotto-announced-for-disneys-polynesian-village-resort-part-of-walt-disney-world-hotel-upgrades/

[ This Message was edited by: Doc Aikane 2014-05-02 08:37 ]


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tikilongbeach
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1282
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2014-05-02 7:04 pm   Permalink

For the past several months Disney has been selling various props from the Polynesian Resort. Wall sconces, mirrors, dinnerware and signs seem to make up most of the material being listed.
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 590
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2014-05-06 01:13 am   Permalink

Here's The Atomic Grog's comprehensive update on all the changes coming to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, including Trader Sam's Grog Grotto ...
http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2014/05/05/say-aloha-to-trader-sams-grog-grotto-at-disneys-polynesian-village-resort/

tikilongbeach: I believe most the stuff being sold is old furniture from the guest rooms that have been refurbished. But you never know what will pop up on Theme Park Connection: http://theme-park-connection.mybigcommerce.com/search.php?search_query=polynesian&x=44&y=10

Doc Aikane: Actually, I don't beleive Disney World restricts children from any of its 70+ bars and lounges, though it is unusual to see them sitting at the bar itself. In my experience, the parents are typically very responsible. But really, what better way to get the young ones started in a life of Tiki?

Aloha!
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-24 6:32 pm   Permalink

Be sure you take a good look at the "tiki" carpeting currently in the lobby of the Polynesian Resort. There are mouse ears integrated into the design, and this carpet may not survive the lobby remodel, although it may survive longer in other parts of the resort like in the concierge lounges, etc.

I think we should also view and take photos of the carved wood and the tikis which are still to be found in the grand lobby. Some of these items may not survive. The artist depictions of the remodel seem to show a less "busy" design aesthetic, so the carpet, the tile, and the carvings may all become toned-down quite a bit. But we seem to be picking up glass floats and other items of interest in the new design.
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EPCOTExplorer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2014
Posts: 153
From: Miami, FL
Posted: 2014-05-24 9:30 pm   Permalink

What's funny is that some of the woodwork above the shops are featured pretty prominently. If that remains, maybe the oceanic arts stuff can stay, too.

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-24 9:38 pm   Permalink

Yeah, I hope they keep those. From the artist depictions I'm thinking they're going to "slim down" the carvings and go with a neater and more "trim" look. That seems to be the trend in upscale hotels around the world. Hawaiian luxury hotels on my last trip were still very "organic" looking but not as dark and "brown" as the Polynesian is. I would not be surprised to see more and brighter lighting along with lighter floor and wall coverings.

 
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EPCOTExplorer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2014
Posts: 153
From: Miami, FL
Posted: 2014-05-26 7:51 pm   Permalink

Agreed. The swaths of dark, dark brown on the supports will probably be updated, and for good reason. I love the Poly, but there are certain textures and fixtures that need to go.

(I must admit that I'll miss the wall of mirrors and the light up glass flowers that are attached to it. Those scream VINTAGE, to me. )


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-27 04:25 am   Permalink

I went yesterday to check it out in more detail and take some final pictures. There were three walls up around the fountain, and the fourth is expected to go up today. Up close, the fountain looked tired and old. The plants were not stellar and fresh either. I went back at night and the lighting was also sort of spotty. It looked much better from a distance. Quite a few people were taking photos in front of it and enjoying it.

I noticed the "mirror wall" for the first time that I remember, and I saw the "vintage" lights you mentioned, and I took a photo. They are pretty cool, definitely vintage to the point that they look out-of-place. Later when I saw your post I was glad that I walked around to that very quiet part of the wall and noticed them. I'll post my Memorial Day 2014 photos soon, it'll take a while to compose that post.

The weather was very stormy that afternoon, but it never made it to the Polynesian. The pool was closed for a while due to lightning danger. It was kind of funny to drive in when it was pouring heavy rain at other parks on property. There were ominous dark clouds in the background of many of my outdoor photos, it was kinda neat.

I ran into a tiki bartender friend of mine from St. Augustine who was there also to walk around and check it all out one last time. We had a drink at Tambu before calling it a night. I've never ordered their Backscratcher before, so it was my first. Bartender Walter took good care of us. There was the usual festive crowd at Ohana and around the bar. If only they knew what changes were coming to the resort.


 
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EPCOTExplorer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2014
Posts: 153
From: Miami, FL
Posted: 2014-05-27 04:56 am   Permalink

There's nothing more atmospheric and transportive than wandering the Poly when dark clouds roll overhead and a warm, summer, sultry breeze sweeps the place.

Glad you got pictures. It's the end of an era for a big part of Walt Disney World history and some tiki culture, too.

[ This Message was edited by: EPCOTExplorer 2014-05-27 04:57 ]


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-27 06:20 am   Permalink

Yup, I think the transformation will be huge. When they "update," they don't mess around.

I went into the King Kamehameha Club lounge and took photos of the carvings there. The stair railing alone is noteworthy for its whimsy. The whole resort is chock full of carvings. One big loss I'm hoping won't be lost is all the carved wood at the shop entrances. Also, I understand the upstairs shop will be updated quite thoroughly whereas the downstairs shop was fairly recently redone and may remain pretty much as it stands. That's good, because it's very nice. The level of detail in the downstairs shop was amazing, and I took quite a few photos in there. I was "nerdy camera guy" for an hour or so in the shop taking pictures of all kinds of interesting design elements. I even took "secret" photos of the flooring and carpet in other parts of the Grand Ceremonial House because I'm guessing that much of the "loud" Disney carpet will be replaced, but I'm not sure if the stone flooring will survive. As I was taking photos, I kept thinking of how cool many of these design elements would look in home tiki bars. I can't wait to get those pics up for others to see and maybe draw inspiration for some of their own spaces. I know I'm going to be using the pics to help influence some of my home bar decorating in the future. It really is inspirational to go to the Polynesian Resort as I'm sure the Aulani resort in Hawai`i is as well. We may end up seeing some Aulani-esque things show up here in the Polynesian.

Here's the rehab notice that Disney has posted on their web site:



As it says, remember to ask your Mommy and Daddy for permission to call if you are under 18! ha...

[ This Message was edited by: AceExplorer 2014-05-27 06:24 ]


 
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EPCOTExplorer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2014
Posts: 153
From: Miami, FL
Posted: 2014-05-27 10:28 am   Permalink

The use of glass and lighter wood is certainly from Aulani, but also has roots in Animal Kingdom Lodge, too. They have a similar set up, over there. Imagineer Joe Rhode designed, I think.

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-29 8:51 pm   Permalink

Here are my Memorial Day 2014 photos taken at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – the final day the central water feature was visible to guests. I focused mostly on the ground floor – I think that’s where the greatest amount of changes will be seen.

These will likely either be too many, or too few, photos for folks. Please bear with me if you find these too repetitive, boring, or otherwise not interesting. Since the resort will undergo some fairly major changes, I thought this level of effort was worthwhile especially for readers many years from now and readers who live far from Florida and who may not have been here before.

This resort is a haven for those seeking inspiration for home tiki décor and design. You need bar ideas? They’re here. You need ceiling or wall texture ideas? They’re here. Tiki / island style stenciling? Check. Color schemes? Check. Tapa cloth patterns? Yup.

Visiting the Disney resorts is free but it's definitely not encouraged by Disney at all. They really make you have a reason for going there. For example, to dine at a specific restaurant, to meet other guests, to check in, to drink at the bar(s), etc. Once you're in you can take free Disney busses, boats, monorails to your heart's content. If you're into architecture and design, you can have a grand time exploring the resorts and talking to the castmembers and enjoying the food and drinks. Bring a camera.

Now onwards to a little “mini travelogue” as we look at Disney’s Polynesian Resort ahead of the unfolding refurbishment!



Memorial Day 2014 – the main entrance to the resort with the monorail station above the portico.


We’ll be seeing many more of these signs in the near future.


There are a few of these smaller figures to be found throughout the resort. I think these were sculpted for Disneyland by artist Blaine Gibson. Some of these are used in the Tiki Room pre-show at Disneyland.


The main entrance. Not too grand – until you get inside.


This colorful door mat welcomes you into the Grand Ceremonial House.


Ah, the fountain, water feature, plant thingy, whatever you call it…


Up close, it’s actually very tired looking. Even the plants look somewhat neglected and not as lush and tropical as originally envisioned.


The ceiling above the water feature is interesting to see. I’m sure there will be many changes here to the ceiling, the lighting, and much more.


The “Boutiki” is whimsical with lots of color and many interesting carvings. Yet side-by-side with the rest of the Grand Ceremonial House, it’s a bit out of place at the moment. It has been fairly recently refurbished and upgraded, so much of this may stay in the new incarnation of the Grand Ceremonial House.


Some close-ups of the detailed carvings.






Looking behind me, you can see the walls on the second level blocking all views of the water feature.




And below the sign, more carvings and plants.


The shop is full of many large carvings and intricate display cases and fixtures.






This is one of the most whimsical things to see - a tiki outside the window peeking inside, and a tiki inside trying to hide from the tiki on the outside.


You like carved columns? They got ‘em!












Four of these guys sat atop each of the arms of a merchandise rack. The level of detail in the store, and the amount of custom fixtures, is amazing. This is the modern Disney style of design – saturate the shopper with a cohesively designed look and feel and make shopping interesting and fun. (Lots of home tiki bar design ideas are to be found in here!!! That’s one of the reasons I took so many pictures.)


Boo, hiss! The leading edge of the concealment wall around the water feature. It was expected to completely encircle the fountain and allow demolition to begin on or around the day after Memorial Day. (Tuesday, May 27th, 2014)


Detail of the Boutiki sign along with some of the painted ceiling pattern.


Photo spot! Pose with the big carving! This is directly across from.....


This is the rumored location of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – directly underneath Ohana. The next few pictures will attempt to show how much space is being devoted to this new attraction.


The space appears like it would be quite large.


Corner view, by the restrooms and the stair case leading up to Ohana.


View towards the rear door of the lobby.


Some of the wall detail which is very likely going to be removed. This would look good in any home tiki bar!


The ceiling again? Yup. We’ll have to see what interesting things they do to the ceiling.


Part of the lobby has become a plain corridor now. You used to be able to sit in those chairs and relax and enjoy the beautifully landscaped waterfalls.


I suspect this Disneyfied tiki carpet will also disappear. Here’s a photo for those who have never seen this before – it’s definitely colorful.


The rear doors of the Grand Ceremonial House.


The path leading towards the pool and Seven Seas Lagoon white sand beaches.


The back side of what will likely become Trader Sam’s downstairs. Note that Ohana occupies the upper level here.


Ah, the volcano, the slide, and the pool. Not many cast members knew that this was also going to be closed for refurbishing in the near future.


It’s nice, but surprisingly small compared to what other resorts around the globe build and operate these days.










No doubt about it, the volcano is also pretty tired looking. I’m sure it was the cat’s meow back when it first opened to resort guests.




I moved on into the King Kamehameha Club lounge. The carvings in this upscale environment were typically whimsical as Disney likes to do.


This guy stood guard but was no match for my tenacity. I was on a photo safari and was gonna get my photos!


Ah, the stilt houses. These next few photos were taken from the windows of the King Kamehameha Club. People are already talking about how expensive these will be a night. Current prices are between $300 and $450 a night, I think. Will these be for the public guests to rent, or will they be Disney Vacation Club only?


Since we’re going to be looking at these things for the next 40 or 50 years, let’s never forget that the roofs are built on the ground and then lifted onto the frames. This, folks, is future Disney trivia! Your dog will be impressed.




Construction does appear to have halted. Over the past couple months I have not seen much progress. I wonder what’s going on?


Back in the club, there are many more carvings to look at.


The views are nice from this bi-level concierge lounge.






Another detail of the carvings on the stair cases.


And back out to the pool and volcano.




Ah, the bar!








Don’t miss the great views from the boat dock.






The stilt houses are an eyesore at the moment. Let’s hope they look really spiffy when completed.




I took the boat and caught this view of the glass windows of the King Kamehameha Club.




Construction is not pretty…










After a busy afternoon exploring some other resorts, the sun set and I went back to the Polynesian to take night time photos. These people probably didn’t know that they would never see this fountain again in the future.






The check-in counter will be redone as well. It’s also pretty tired looking.






The Boutiki shop looks grand at night. Definitely very colorful, beckoning all to come in.


More night photos of the water feature.








Look how dark the ceiling is. I wonder if this will be more brightly lit later? It’s kind of a black hole, definitely in need of updating.




One of the corner “conversation pits” – there are several areas like this in the Grand Ceremonial House, and they’re generally warm and inviting. I’m not sure they will be this relaxing and toned-down in the new design.


That shop is definitely eye-candy.


And a photo giving you a sense of how odd the partial curtain wall looks around three sides of the waterfalls.




More “Polynesian” carpet. That won’t stay. Gotta have a photo of that as well.


The “honu” turtles are integrated into the carpet design.


That shop just kept drawing my attention…


Did I mention it was colorful and inviting?


And some final photos of the lobby and the water feature.






I wanted to stay longer, so I took another carpet photo.


And a flooring photo. I’d be surprised if these stay in the new design.


My final view of the fountain and the lobby.


The forecourt/portico water features.

<end>


 
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joshua_w
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 20, 2014
Posts: 11
From: Venice Beach, CA
Posted: 2014-05-29 11:59 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-05-29 20:51, AceExplorer wrote:

There are a few of these smaller figures to be found throughout the resort. I think these were sculpted for Disneyland by artist Blaine Gibson. Some of these are used in the Tiki Room pre-show at Disneyland.



All of the figures from the Tiki Room garden were designed and sculpted by Rolly Crump. If I recall, Blaine Gibson was too busy at the time so Rolly had to learn to sculpt and do them himself.

Thanks for the pics!




 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 942
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-05-30 03:56 am   Permalink

Joshua, thanks for the update, I think you are correct. I vaguely remember hearing that in an interview with Rolly Crump a few years ago. And I recall that Bob Gurr also was also tossed unusual creative assignments when the company was in a pinch. It seems that Walt Disney was not afraid to challenge his talented resources.

 
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EPCOTExplorer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2014
Posts: 153
From: Miami, FL
Posted: 2014-05-30 6:17 pm   Permalink

WONDERFUL, wonderful shots of my favorite resort.

And yes, Rolly Crump did the ORIGINAL Tiki Room sculpts that were replicated for the Polynesian. I've heard tell that Oceanic Arts replicated them on a smaller scale for the Florida property. Something interesting is that Uti was "flipped" in translation. The original version had her right arm aloft. Poly's version has it to the left. I've got a blog post on her:

http://bit.ly/1bkT4zX

As for the other carvings found around the resort: Oceanic Arts did a lot of the original work. The signs, the statues, the wall hangings are all done by them in the 70s. Dunno about the Boutiki stuff- I suspect that was done in house by WDI, as the they were added in 1999-2001.

The same goes for the Volcano Pool. That's not original, the first iteration was much more organic and flowing.

http://epcotexplorer.tumblr.com/post/39262327598/polynesian-pool-artwork-from-the-1969-walt

As for changes… I could see the carpet changing, yes, but the stonework will stay, according to the art. And I would suspect that the 'black hole' of the roof/ceiling will be brightly lit to show off the new japanese floaters they'll have up there.

It'll look great. A shame to lose history, but it'll be a nice new look. I'm sad, but excited.

[ This Message was edited by: EPCOTExplorer 2014-05-30 18:18 ]


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