How the Polynesian’s Bungalows have changed Magic Kingdom room views

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One of our site’s more ambitious features is Hotel Room Views, where we try to show the view you’ll get at every Disney World hotel room. We’ve collected more than 31,000 photos over the past couple of years, from our own staff photographers and fabulous Lines community.

With major construction done for the Polynesian’s bungalows, and the landscaping havingĀ a chance to take root, we sent over our staff photographers to re-do the room views from the Hawaii and Moorea buildings, since those are affected by the new bungalows. Here’s the before and after photos from those, all taken from first floor rooms:

Here’s Hawaii Room 1504 Before the bungalows. It’s a lot of natural beach, with a (very) distant view of Space Mountain:

poly1504before

Here’s the same room view after construction. You know, now that I look at these in more detail, I’m a little surprised that they didn’t put more space between the bungalows. That might have helped with the view from these older rooms.

1504_sm

Here’s Moorea Room 1017 before construction. Lots of green grass, some palm trees, and a distant view of the Contemporary:

poly1017before

Here’s after construction. See what I mean about the space between the bungalows? If they had left one bungalow’s worth of space between each new building, you’d be able to see a lot more water. I think that would make these new 2-bedroom villas seem a lot less intrusive.

1017_sm

Finally, here’s Moorea 1032 before construction. I liked this view because it’s got trees in the foreground, an island in the medium-length view, and Space Mountain way in the background. Lots of stuff to look at. It was also fairly quiet, with a lot of room to run around in the grass:

poly1032before

Here’s the same room after construction. Besides the terrible view, the new TTC ferry dock is very close, and the ferry’s horns and engines are causing a number of guest complaints. It’s hard to say these rooms’ views are worth $530 to above $800 (rack rate) per night in 2016.

1032_sm

With this in mind, it’ll be interesting to see how Disney approaches building similar bungalows at the Wilderness Lodge and Villas.

If you’ve stayed in the Hawaii or Moorea buildings since construction was finished, please let me know what you thought of the new view from your room. You’ll help make recommendations for other families headed to the Polynesian next year. Thanks very much!

Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is len@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

7 thoughts on “How the Polynesian’s Bungalows have changed Magic Kingdom room views

  • September 25, 2015 at 9:46 am
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    I have stayed twice in Moorea since April, and while my family and I love the new DVC rooms, I do not see how the Guide can possibly recommend a room on the 1st floor of these buildings.

    Our 3rd floor room (3015) was glorious, and our 2nd floor room (2036? two from the TTC end) had a beautiful view. The main issue with the 2nd floor room was the light from the entrance to the Bungalow boardwalk. It shined right into our room at night. Fine when the curtain was closed, but it did damage the tranquility of sitting on the balcony at night.

    But the 1st floor…that’s only a Lake View in the tradition of Disney Room View Characterizing, where if there’s a slightly uneven patch of ground in which rainwater can pool, it’s a “water view”.

    Also, I think these rooms are best when MK hours are shorter. Less ferry traffic (the noise did not bother us, but I certainly understand how some may be bothered).

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  • September 25, 2015 at 10:42 am
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    We stayed in the Hawaii building (club) in May 2015. Third floor room 3509. The bungalows have killed the ambiance of the resort. While painful in the day, at night the lighting on the bungalow walkways look like a major airport runway all light up for landings. It was Disney Executive preview weekend and I can’t describe how annoying having gaggles of people coming and going down that wood walkway was – give me the ferry boats any day of the week.

    The relaxed funky hang loose vibe is lost behind these buildings. I explained my theme park room was now a standard view which is described as views of “buildings”. The general manager at Poly is about the nicest man I’ve met, and he was previously in charge of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Great guy and he changed our rate.

    No good answer, and I hate to complain, but it’s really not a great thing. I’d prefer they had raised every room rate by 10% to get their money versus building these things.

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    • September 25, 2015 at 11:34 am
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      I didn’t realize the nighttime lights were that bad. Mind if I quote you on this, Jodi?

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  • September 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm
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    So, they changed all these rooms from water/lagoon view to standard view, right? LOL! Just kidding!

    Also, is that last set of pics accurate? It went from grass/beach/water to a cement walkway????

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  • September 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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    One of our favorite things to do while on a non Disney Orlando trip is to book a dinner at Kona and then walk out onto the beach to watch fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Last summer we knew of the construction but were not prepared for what we saw. We walked out to the beach, took one look at the row of bungalows and turned around and left. I have stayed at the Poly in 2005 and 2008. This just makes me cry.

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  • September 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm
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    First let me say I am a DVC member, so I would not have stayed at the Poly if I wasn’t staying on points. We stayed in Moorea on the 3rd floor. I want to say 3029, but I can’t find my map. August 19th thru August 20th. We were a stones throw away from the ferry boat landing. We LOVED it. I’ll admit I was a little startled by how loud the ferry horn was, but I can honestly, say I got used to it and hardly noticed it after the first time. The engine noise didn’t bother us.

    The lights from the Bungalows was a little bright but I really didn’t think it was like runway lights. Maybe they’ve dimmed them a bit since May? I didn’t feel like it kept me from enjoying the MK fireworks from my balcony.

    What did keep me from enjoying it was the fact that we couldn’t hear the music. We asked numerous cast members what channel it was on the TV and we were told that they don’t do that here, because you can hear it from the beach. As far away from the beach we were there was no way we could even begin to hear it. I hope they change it.

    We did love how close we were to the TTC. I mean a five minute walk. quick access to MK & Epcot, awesome. However, to the Ceremonial House it was a much longer walk. That is true especially since construction is still ongoing and there are some sidewalks closed. It also rained super hard the days we were there and some of the other sidewalks were closed because it flooded.

    All in all we were very pleased and are looking forward to being able to stay again.

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  • September 26, 2015 at 12:52 am
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    Last month, we stayed in Moorea, very close to the TTC. I requested 3rd floor, and got the first floor. It was considered a Lake View room. We were looking right at the Bungalows. Very disappointing. I think the first floor rooms should be reclassified as Standard View, or perhaps they need a third book category.

    Reply

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