Walt Disney World/Dining reservations
QUESTION: Anne, we are staying at the Polynesian in mid August. Since our trip is 6 months away, we need to make our dinner reservations soon (we are getting the DDP). Do you think we should eat at any of the restaurants at the poly since we are staying there? Also, we love the California grill but I heard it may be closed. Do you know if it will be open in mid August. Any other restaurant recommendations or ideas about the Polynesian would be wonderful!
ANSWER: Hi Bob.
Quick questions: Is this your first stay at The Polynesian? By "DDP" do you mean "Disney Dining Plan" or "Deluxe Dining Plan"? Let me know and I can give you a much better answer!
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QUESTION: We just have the regular dining plan.
The Polynesian is my all time favorite resort! If this is your first stay, I'm sure you'll fall in love ith it too :)
One restaurant I hit faithfully at The Polynesian is Kona Cafe....for breakfast. I don't like Nescafe or Starbucks, so my coffee choices at The World are limited. IMHO, the Kona blend coffee, fresh pineapple juice and either the Tonga Toast or an omelette are by far the best breakfast at WDW. There isn't much ambience at the Kona Cafe (think of a coffee shop) but the food makes up for it. I've also eaten dinner there a few times, and the food was good, but there are other places I'd rather go for dinner.
O'hana has a character breakfast if you are traveling with kids, and the food here for breakfast and dinner has always been good when I've been there. If you haven't tried the luau at The Polynesian, it's also good, but some people aren't fond of the changes they've made to the menu.
The California Grill is sheduled to reopen "late August." It's been my experience that Disney usually lengthens the amount of time a restaurant or attraction will be down for refurb. I think they would rather have people pleasantly surprised that the restaurant is open, rather than disappointed that the restaurant or attraction was supposed to reopen on 9/1 and it's now 9/8 and it's still closed. About a month or so before your trip, call Disney dining (or have your travel agent do it if you used one) and check on availabilty of teh California Grill. You might be able to get in if they are doing soft openings during your trip!
If you or any of your party are art fans, stay away from The Wyland Gallery in the Great Ceremonial House. Their offerings are just wonderful--and they offer a payment plan :(
Most evenings there is a torch lighting ceremony (complete with a fire dancer!), and native dances are taught upstairs outside the Tambu Lounge. If (when?) you go to the volcano pool, be sure to spend some time underwater. (There is piped in music you can't hear from dry land or above water.)
The Electrical Water Pageant arrives at The Polynesian about 9 PM every night. You can watch it from the marina, or if you have a few extra bucks you can charter a Fireworks Cruise to see either Wishes or Illuminations.
If any of your group is into photography, Sunset Pointe is a must...at sun up or sundown! Sun up is probably more practical, since they often use it in the evening as a wedding location. We had dinner catered there one trip and it's still the most romantic moment I've had in all my Disney trips. Here are a couple video clips of Sunset Pointe--although neither really does it justice!
Any kids in your group? The Neverland Club was always my son's favorite--he loved staying there when we went out for an adult only evening! The Polynesian also offers arts and craftsd for kids...check with the Island Guides for the schedule.
Can't think of much else for now. If anything needs clarification, or you have any other questions, you know where to find me!