Changes are coming to the Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The tropical themed hotel located on the Seven Seas Lagoon will soon receive a facelift that includes a throwback to Disney World’s opening, a completely new look to the lobby, and a fan favorite from Disneyland.

First, the Polynesian has a new name that isn’t so new. The official name for the resort is now Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which is a nod to the original name for the resort: The Polynesian Village. While this is a nice callback to Disney World’s beginnings, I still expect most guests and Disney fans to refer to it as the Polynesian or just the Poly.

While the name and signage is getting a little bit of 1971 infused into it, the lobby is getting an overhaul that sheds one of its original defining features. The waterfall in the lobby that has been there since the hotel opened is being removed, and the whole lobby is getting a new, more open look. A new fountain featuring the mascot of the Polynesian Village Resort will be the new centerpiece.

Polynesian Village Lobby

The most exciting part of this renovation is the arrival of Trader Sam’s to Walt Disney World. Trader Sam’s is a popular Tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel at Anaheim, and it is one of my favorite places to wind down at Disneyland. Besides tasty drinks and appetizers, Trader Sam’s has the wonderful theming you expect from Disney. In addition to the intricate details of the decor, the bar is actually interactive depending on what you order. For example, when you order my favorite drink, The Shipwreck, the lights dim in the bar, sounds of a storm fill the air, and a ship in a bottle behind the bar starts to sink. There are a few of these effects for different items on the menu, and the bartenders fully commit to sell the experience. Trader Sam’s at Disneyland is a small, intimate, unique bar, and the Walt Disney World location, called Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, promises to live up to the Trader Sam’s name while having its own unique identity.

Trader Sams Grog Grotto

What do you think of the changes coming to the Poly? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.


James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.

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