Today, I head back into the realm of debate as I ask the question “Should Disney have completely closed the Polynesian during the renovation?” It’s an interesting question to ask because Disney is doing a lot of renovating in and around the Polynesian and it is causing a lot of disruption within the resort.
It’s an expansive and thorough renovation but it is coming at a great cost to those guests who are choosing to stay at the Polynesian while these renovations are taking place. So, what are the renovations that are taking place and will it enhance the guest experience for those who choose to stay there in the future.
Photos in today’s article are from the Tikiman Page’s blog about the Polynesian Resort.
Here’s a list of the renovations going on at the Polynesian:
- Nanea Volcano Pool area will be completely remade into an aquatic playground with slides for children, hot tubs for adults which have views of the Magic Kingdom, and a large deck area.
- Disney Vacation Club Bungalows will be added to Seven Seas Lagoon.
- Captain Cooks quick service is getting completely renovated and upgraded.
- The Ceremonial House will be opened up so guests can see the Seven Seas Lagoon and outdoor activities.
- Pineapple Lanai kiosk will be added and feature Dole Whips
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (a Disneyland favorite) will be added to the Polynesian.
- The Children’s Activity Center has been re-themed into Club Disney.
That’s a lot of renovating to be done and it’s renovating that will be done in key areas of the resorts.
This map shows the areas where the renovations are taking place. There are two main areas. The red area which is where the conversation of longhouses into Disney Vacation Club properties and the Disney Vacation Club bungalows are being added. The green area is where the pool is located and includes the Ceremonial House renovations. The DVC renovations has forced Disney to reroute the path to the Ticket and Transportation Center. This new route is longer than the old one. The pool and Ceremonial House renovations has led to a maze of barriers inside the resort.
In my mind with such an expansive renovation project, would Disney have been better served just closing the resort for a period of time while the renovation projects were going on.
Closing the resort would allow the workers to start construction earlier in the day and end later in the day since there are no guests in the resort to disturb. These lengthened work days would allow the construction to be finished quicker.
Also, the workers would not have to worry about injuring any guests staying at the resorts. The construction crews shouldn’t have to worry about injuring guests anyway since they are behind barriers. However, workplace accidents do happen and guests should not be placed in harm’s way while on vacation.
Most importantly, guests should have to experience reduced services while on their vacation because their resort is being renovated. Yes, some reduction of services is expected. However, some guests choose the Polynesian because they love the pool or they love Captain Cook or they love being able to have an easy walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center.
These services are now gone. They have to walk through a maze just to get from place to place within the resort. The walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center is now longer. The pool is closed. Guests are a given a one-day pass to Blizzard Beach. That, to me, is nice on paper but poor in practice. Guests may not have scheduled time to take a trip out to Blizzard Beach in their vacation plans. There is a temporary quick service at the Polynesian but it’s not Captain Cook’s and, more importantly, there is no Dole Whip.
However, from Disney’s perspective, it makes little sense to close the resort while the renovations are going on. It’s one of Disney’s original resorts and a resort that is always in high demand. There isn’t the capacity at the other deluxe resorts to handle the guests, especially during busier seasons, to handle the guests that would normally stay at the Polynesian AND their usual guest load.
Also, some of the guests made the reservations far in advance before the renovations were announced. These guests chose the Polynesian for a reason. They should be allowed to keep their reservation at the Polynesian and not forced to move to another resort. Some of these people may choose to cancel their reservation altogether. I wouldn’t expect this to be a large group but still Disney isn’t in the business of giving people a reason to cancel their vacation reservation. They may choose to spend their dollars elsewhere in the future.
The chances of a guest getting injured is really low. The only areas of risk are in the Ceremonial House going through the “maze of construction.” Guests, for the exterior projects, are kept a sufficient distance away from the construction to avoid serious injuries unless some rare engineering disaster occurred.
Lastly, Disney is banking on people being “wowed” by the renovations when they are complete. They think this will outweigh the short-term complains about the renovation projects. Disney also stands to pocket a nice piece of cash on the purchase of new Disney Vacation Club contracts too.
I’ve gone to the Polynesian twice the past couple years. I’ve never stayed there due to allergies and the floral motif of the resort. I’ve gone once before the renovations and once while the renovations were beginning to ramp up. I will say that the “maze of construction” can be a bit much to put up with especially during a week-long vacation. I was frustrated with it after only eating lunch there. I can imagine trying to deal with as my resort of choice for a vacation. On the whole, I’m fine with Disney’s decision to keep the Polynesian open during the renovation. The costs outweigh the benefits.
Where do you stand on the issue? Are you okay with the state of the Polynesian during this renovation project? What would you have done differently? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page, or Twitter.
Thanks for reading!