Disney’s Polnesian Villas & Bungalows


Disney completed its final phase of construction on the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows as of July 1st. If you have not ever stayed or visited the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World, it is a rare treat!

The Polynesian Village Resort (formerly the Polynesian Resort) is a deluxe resort along the Monorail Loop near the Magic Kingdom. The new studio villas and bungalows are an expansion as part of the Disney Vacation Club. These new accommodations are available for non-DVC members as well.


The Polynesian Village Resort is one of the most lush and beautiful resorts on the WDW property, mimicking the feel of the Hawaiian islands. Recently, the pools, restaurants and grounds were given a renovation in order to make room for the new bungalows. The lobby of the resort is one of our favorites, with tropical plants that create a rainforest feel. The lobby was also recently renovated with new sculptures and decor.

Deluxe Studio at Polynesian

Deluxe Studio at Polynesian

The new Deluxe Studios sleep up to 5 people and feature a queen-size bed, queen-size sleeper sofa and a pull-down bunk-size bed beneath the television. They also offer a kitchenette, private porch or balcony, and new upgraded decor and finishes. There is a split-design bathroom, with one bathroom area housing a walk-in shower and sink, and the other area housing a tub/shower combination, toilet and sink. The design is to allow multiple people to get ready at the same time.

Living Room in the Bora Bora Bungalow

Living Room in the Bora Bora Bungalow

Master Bedroom in Bora Bora Bungalows

Master Bedroom in Bora Bora Bungalows

Master Bathroom in Bora Bora Bungalows

Master Bathroom in Bora Bora Bungalows

The Bora Bora Bungalows sleep up to 8 people and include 2 bedrooms and 2 baths – there are only 20 units on the resort property. These newly designed and decorated bungalows have a master bedroom and master bathroom, as well as a second bedroom and bath. The second bedroom has one queen-size bed and one pull-down bunk. The living room offers a queen-size sleeper sofa, and one pull-down bunk-size bed, as well as a flat panel TV and glass doors that open to the back deck. Master bedroom windows overlook the lagoon waters. Bungalows also include a full kitchen, private deck and stacked laundry.

Living Room and Kitchen in Bora Bora Bungalows

Living Room and Kitchen in Bora Bora Bungalows

One of the things we love best about the Polynesian is the dining! Dining options offered at the resort are:

  • O’Hana – Character breakfast with Stitch and Lilo; Hawaiian style dinner feast (reservations recommended)
  • Spirit of Aloha Show – traditional Hawaiian luau with Polynesian dancing and family style feast (reservations recommended)
  • Kona Cafe – Asian and American fusion menu that also serves sushi (reservations recommended)
  • Tambu Lounge – tropical drinks and Hawaiian-inspired appetizers
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – Tiki cocktails and small plate snacks
  • Cook’s – 24-hour quick service with a great menu for families
  • Pineapple Lanai – Dole Whip location at the Polynesian
  • Kona Island – coffee and pastries in the morning, sushi and sashimi in the evening, located in the lobby
Newly redesigned lobby of Polynesian

Newly redesigned lobby of Polynesian

Other great amenities located at the Polynesian include:

  • Multiple pools including the Lava Pool and the Oasis Pool, as well as the new splash area for kids, Kiki Tiki Splash Play area
  • Seven Seas Marina that offers watercraft rental as well as private cruises and excursions
  • Campfires on the beach where they roast marshmallows
  • Fishing dockside or on excursions
  • Movies Under the Stars – movies played on an outside screen
  • Jogging trails around the beautiful lush grounds
  • Direct monorail access to take you to the Magic Kingdom or to the TTC to catch a monorail to Epcot.


Special Deal for Polynesian Villas

The Polynesian Village Resort is a Deluxe resort at Disney World, and the Villas and Bungalows are on the pricier side. But they do offer families wonderful amenities and space while staying on property – it is such a luxury to have a kitchen and laundry while on vacation, as well as having much more space than a traditional hotel room. If you are considering staying at the Polynesian, this is a great deal that was just announced!

Disney Visa is offering an exclusive deal for the Polynesian resort and you can enjoy all these wonderful amenities and new rooms at a discount! Disney Visa Cardholders can save 35% on Deluxe Studio-Standard View rooms for most stays July 5-October 3, 2015.

You can receive this discount by calling the Disney Reservation Center and using your Disney Visa card for booking the deposit. Reservation must by booked in the cardholder’s name. The number of rooms allocated for this discount are limited! Other restrictions may apply. Don’t miss out on the awesome deal if you want to experience the amazing Polynesian resort in the new studio villas that look amazing!

If you are interested in this promotion or any other Disney deal, contact our friends at Destinations in Florida for a quote. They are truly awesome at setting up your dream Disney vacation!

News in Disney Parks & Travel

It’s been awhile since I did a big collection of changes and happenings at the Disney parks and beyond, so I have brought together the most recent happenings around the Disney travel world. I am looking forward to my annual “Looking Ahead in 2014” to what we might see in the new year. It is hard to believe that 2013 is coming to a close soon!

Disney World


First, both Disneyland and Disney World have their Halloween parties in full swing now, and then they will be winding down in the next two weeks. While there are always new and exciting things at this event, this year was the debut of Jack Skellington and Sally (from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas) at the Magic Kingdom for meet and greets. They have been at Disneyland during Halloween time for a few years, but this is the first year they are greeting guests during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World. They can be found on Main Street at the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom. Our family saw them last year at Disneyland during Halloween time, and it was one of my favorite meet and greets!


Magic Bands and FastPass+ are continuing testing and roll out at different parks. But they are getting more and more used by guests at the parks now, and the buzz on the street is that the new system is pretty slick! In case you don’t know what these Magic Bands are, they are bracelets that take the place of the former “Keys To The World” cards PLUS they combine your dining reservations PLUS your Magical Express reservation PLUS schedule FastPass+ for your family (limited amount per day) so you don’t even have to get the paper FastPass tickets anymore. There have been some glitches, but overall most guests are enjoying the ease with the bands and getting to schedule fastpasses. Right now, the Magic Bands are only available at select resorts but expect that list to keep growing as the system gets going bigger and bigger. And the Magic Bands are linked with the My Disney Experience that you log into online and sync with the app (of the same name) on your iPhone or SmartPhone. Doesn’t this all sound like something from Tomorrowland? (Note: This system is only at Disney World and not Disneyland)

As we reported awhile back, the Disney Vacation Club will be building villas at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Right now, the resort is under renovations and construction, although guests are still staying at the resort. Another DVC project is wrapping up at The Grand Floridian with villas for families. Transportation by monorail to the Magic Kingdom has been interrupted during the day to some of the resorts while construction is finishing. For more information on the new DVC at the Polynesian and the construction, click here for our post. Also, very soon the new villas at the Grand Floridian will be complete and ready for families to enjoy!

At the Contemporary Resort, the amazing California Grill restaurant on the top level, was redesigned and renovated. It recently reopened on September 9th for guests to experience the wonderful cuisine as well as their awesome views of the Magic Kingdom. Reservations are highly recommended for this restaurant. On the Disney Dining Plan, this is a Signature Restaurant and uses two table-serve credits.


Just this week, at Hollywood Studios, the Fantasmic show debuted the Glow with the Show Mickey Ears. These originated in Disneyland’s California Adventure park for the World of Color show, and then they were added to the Fantasmic show. Now they are available at Disney World for the Fantasmic show at Hollywood Studios. They are truly fun to watch during the show as they change colors to match what is going on with the show. They cost around $25 each, which for this family of 6, is a little steep. But we think the concept is wonderful and very interactive for guests. I predict we will see these being added to other nighttime shows like Illuminations and the Electrical Parade.



New renderings and sketches were released of concepts for the Avatar-land coming to Animal Kingdom. While these are still in the concept stage, they do show some sort of ride that mimics riding a Banshee, as well as lush surroundings with the floating mountains and possibly a boat-ride attraction. This will be an interesting project to watch as it unfolds, but it is years in the making!


One of my favorite sweet spots at Disney World is at Epcot in Germany – Karamell-Kuche, the caramel bakery. They recently unveiled a few new treats at their store, and I can’t wait to try them! They include an apple tart, sea-salt fudge brownie, caramel toffee bark, and a caramel cheesecake with chocolate. Stop in and give them a try! They look delish!

Both Parks


A new addition to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience is a Sofia the First makeover! Visit the boutique and have your little princess turned into Sofia the First! This special treat is being offered at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland at Disneyland (just past the castle), and at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney in Disney World. Right now, it is not available at the Magic Kingdom location (just past the castle)but I would expect that to change soon. As always, make sure you make advanced reservations for this special experience.


With the new movie “Frozen” coming to theaters in November, there will be a new meet and greet at both Disneyland and Disney World for the movie. The main characters, Anna and Elsa, will have a meet and greet for their new fans. There will be a frozen, icy greeting area in Fantasyland at Disneyland, and there will be a frozen greeting area at Epcot in Norway. Keep your eyes open for these two sisters at the parks!



The Cozy Cone in Cars Land at California Adventure, just added two new delicious breakfast cones to their menu. The two new morning choices are a Chorizo and Eggs cone, and a Southwestern Scramble cone. While you can also get a quick-serve breakfast at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, these breakfast cones might be a great option for a grab-n-go hot breakfast.

On Main Street in Disneyland, the famous Market House has reopened after renovations, and now serves Starbucks coffee. This is the second location at the Disneyland resort to serve Starbucks coffee to guests. The Market House has always served delicious coffee to guests but has been renovated and enlarged to serve more people. The other location for Starbucks brand coffee is at Fiddler, Fife and Practical on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.

“The View” will be filming on location at Disneyland from November 18-22. If you are a big fan of the show, make your way to the happiest place on earth and watch filming. One of the first guests is set to be Jimmy Kimmel.

Disney CruiseLines


On October 20th, Disney will relaunch the redesigned Magic cruise ship in Miami. Some of the new additions and changes to the ship, besides complete redesign of decor, interiors and rooms, are:

  • Three new family shows
  • Renovated Oceaneers Club including Andy’s Room, Pixie Hollow and the new Avengers Room
  • New restaurants including Carioca’s offering South American flavors
  • New adult venues including After Hours bar and a piano bar

Adventures by Disney


With the new movie “Frozen” coming to theaters, Adventures by Disney has created a new experience for families wanting to visit Norway. The “Frozen” inspired family vacation will take your through Bergen, Flam, Geiranger and Oslo. Your family will experience storybook villages and boat rides through beautiful landscapes. All Adventure by Disney vacations are led and planned by Disney staff and guides.

Show Your Disney Side


The newest campaign by Disney is Show Your Disney Side. They want people to share with them how they celebrate and experience Disney. The new website is Disneyside.com. Disney wants you to upload your photos, videos and vines, and show off your great Disney experiences. We all have something we could share! This is a great way to be interactive with Disney and maybe your picture will make it on their site!


That is the round up of all the happenings at the parks. The Halloween parties will be winding down in a couple weeks and then the Christmas decorations and parties will begin. If you will be visiting the parks in the next couple months, we hope this update will help you know what is going on all around the Disney world!

DVC at the Polynesian


Big news announced today for the Disney Vacation Club! While they are putting the finishing touches on the DVC villas at the Grand Floridian at Disney World, they announced today that they will be building DVC villas at the Polynesian Resort that are set to be complete in 2015! If you aren’t a DVC member, you may wonder why this news is important to you or other families. The DVC villas are actually available for all guests who visit Disney World and they are one of the best ways for families to visit the parks, since rooms include kitchens and additional amenities that standard hotel rooms don’t have. At DVC, they consider their villas to be home away from home, and they really feel that way. And if you have a “large” family (like me) it is great to have options of where to stay. That is one of the biggest challenges for families when they travel!

The Polynesian is one of my most favorite resorts at Disney World simply because of the theming, but also because everytime I am there, I am instantly relaxed. That is how beautiful and peaceful the design, landscape and atmosphere is at this resort.



Currently, the Polynesian is under renovations and refurbishments which is great for this wonderful resort. Due to contruction, parts of the resort will be unavailable. Polynesian Beach and Sunset Point (access to the east portion of the beach) will be unavailable due to the refurbishment. Jennifer Greene at Destinations in Florida has provided this great map showing the closed areas at the Poly.


We will continue to monitor this refurbishment and the new construction of the DVC Villas and keep you updated! Until then, aloha!


Disclaimer: We are not selling or promoting Disney Vacation Club membership with this post, and have not been paid for the information in this post. While many of the members of the Preschoolears Parent Panel are DVC members, we do not sell or promote it for personal gain.

Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa

preschoolears: Aulani review and info

Aloha! No, I’m not in Hawaii, but rather I am dreaming of beautiful Hawaii while the snow is melting at my house!

About a year and a half ago, Disney Aulani Resort & Spa opened on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii. This inclusive family-friendly resort has many amazing features and experiences for everyone, as well as beautiful pools and beaches. Our family hasn’t had the opportunity to visit this resort, but recently one of Preschoolears’ Parent Panel members and her family stayed at Aulani. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about their trip and she shared with me her thoughts as well as some wonderful photos for you to enjoy. Preschoolears also has a new page devoted to the Disney beach resorts including new ratings and reviews on Aulani, for families to plan their own trip to Hawaii Disney-style!

preschoolears: Aulani

Rhonda G. is a Preschoolears Parent Panel member, and also an avid Disney fan! Her family visits Disney World at least once a year, and they are also members of the Disney Vacation Club. She has two kiddos age 9 and 5, who keep her very busy!

preschoolears: Aulani Mickey

PS Ears: When did your family visit Disney’s Aulani resort?
Rhonda: We were at Aulani in July of 2012.

PS Ears: On this trip, you were able to stay in a DVC 1-bedroom villa at Aulani. What did you like or dislike about the hotel and the room?
Rhonda: We were amazed at the accommodations! It was very nice and clean. The kitchen was all stainless steel appliances and we were thrilled with how big it was. It was also fun to find the hidden mickeys in all of the decorations around the room.

PS Ears: What was one of the things your family enjoyed together?
Rhonda: The Water Park!! The slides were a big hit! We also enjoyed the snow cones at Papalua Shave Ice.

PS Ears: What was one of your kid’s favorite things they got to do?
Rhonda: Water slides! and Aunty’s Beach House was terrific!

PS Ears: What age of kids would you recommend to best enjoy the Aulani resort?
Rhonda: Our kids were ages 4 and 8 and they had a blast. They are always asking when can we go back. I would say there is something there for all ages but to get the most out of the resort, I would make sure that your child is old enough to stay at Aunty’s Beach House, which is for ages 3-12.

PS Ears: For families thinking about or planning to book a trip to Disney’s Aulani, what advice would you give them?
Rhonda: Stay in the 1 or 2 Bedroom Villas where there is a kitchen. Rent a rental car. Disney lets you park for free if you’re a DVC member but otherwise there is a parking fee. Go buy groceries at the local grocery store (We went to Safeway). Stock up on enough groceries to eat lunch a few days during your stay. You will save a ton of money, but still enjoy all of the great restaurants that Aulani has to offer. We even took our sandwiches out on the lawn chairs and ate by the pool one day.

Thanks Rhonda for sharing your insights and experiences at Aulani!

preschoolears: Aulani viewpreschoolears: Aulani Sunset

For those interested in Disney’s Aulani or just curious what it has to offer, here is a quick summary of some of the activities and amenities the resort has to offer.

Included with your stay:

  • Waikolohe Valley swimming area with pools and stream
    preschoolears: AulaniSplashPool
  • Whirlpool spas
  • Wailana Pool for relaxing
  • Beach of Ko Olina that include complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and sand toys
    preschoolears: Aulani Beach
  • Beach activities including sand sculpturing, beach games and toddler splash time
    preschoolears: Beach Art
  • Starlit Hui celebration
    preschoolears: Aulani Hula
  • Menehune Adventure Trail
  • Fireside Mo’Olelo
  • ‘Ohana Disney Movie Nights on the lawn
  • Aunty’s Beach House childcare that includes movies, games, arts & crafts, dress-up and play areas as well as special activities like:
      • Aloha Party
      • Once Upon an Island storytelling
      • Disney Junior Aloha
      • Eruption Disruption Volcanic Science
      • Stitch’s Space Goo
      • And much more!

preschoolears: MenehuneBridge

preschoolears: Aulani Beach

Additional expenses and experiences:

  • Rainbow Reef snorkeling
  • Pool side cabanas
  • Beach activities like sailing canoes, kayaking and snorkeling
    preschoolears: Aulani Canoe
  • Premium experiences at Aunty’s including Fish Are Friends and Surf’s Up with Chip & Dale
    preschoolears: Fish
  • Golfing at Ko Olina Golf Club
  • Excursions
  • Spa Treatments
  • Dining

preschoolears: Aulani Mamas

The accommodations at Aulani are divided into two sections: Hotel rooms and DVC villas. Hotel rooms can sleep anywhere from 4 to 6 people, depending on whether you are in a standard room or a suite. Suites include additional baths and partial kitchens. Some suites can accommodate custom catering. DVC Villas can sleep anywhere from 4 to 12 people. Studios include a wet bar and all other villas include a full kitchen.

preschoolears: Aulani2preschoolears: Aulani3

If you would like to see reviews and ratings of the Aulani resort, please visit the Preschoolears website.

We hope you enjoyed this look at Disney’s Aulani.

Disneyland: Grand Californian DVC Villas

Our last visit to the Disneyland resort, we had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Californian in the DVC villas. DVC is short for Disney Vacation Club. We are members of the DVC, but non-members can stay at these resorts as well. This was our first time staying in a 1-bedroom villa at the Grand, and we loved it. First, I am a big fan of the Grand Californian resort. The lobby is beautiful with the craftsman style woodwork and natural elements. It is a great spot to sit, rest and enjoy the scenery. The Grand also has it’s own entrance into California Adventure park which is an amazing convenience for families. The only downside to the entrance is that they only have one security search so entrance in the mornings can be slow with crowds.

Grand Californian lobby

Grand Californian lobby

Grand Californian lobby doors with beautiful stained glass

Grand Californian lobby doors with beautiful stained glass

We stayed in a 1-bedroom villa which included a full kitchen, eating area, living room, balcony, laundry room, master bedroom and bath, and a second bathroom.

1-bedroom villa

1-bedroom villa

The kitchen is very spacious although it lacks a little bit of storage space if you have groceries delivered. It is fully equip with dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and cooking utensils. Kitchen includes a full fridge, oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and dishwasher. Kitchen sink has cleaning supplies and paper towel. The eat-in area has a great bench seat that kids love and plenty of seating for easy meals.

1-bedroom villa at Grand Californian

1-bedroom villa at Grand Californian

Eat-in area by kitchen with dining table

Eat-in area by kitchen with dining table

The living room consists of a sleeper sofa, a chair and table, and a murphy bed/entertainment center with TV. This room can sleep three comfortably.

1-bedroom living room

1-bedroom living room

View of kitchen from living room

View of kitchen from living room

Sleeper sofa with two kids

Sleeper sofa with two kids

Murphy bed with single twin folded out

Murphy bed with single twin folded out

The master bedroom has a king bed plus an entertainment center with TV as well as a desk and chair. There is a large dresser which we used for everyone’s clothes along with two nightstands with drawers as well. Inside the master bedroom is a good size closet if you have clothes to hang. Rooms are equip with a pack-n-play for toddlers to sleep. We recommend bringing your own sheets as it doesn’t come with any.

1-bedroom master bedroom

1-bedroom master bedroom

The master bath is very spacious and decorated beautifully with granite and wood. The large soaking tub is great for kid’s baths with the sliding wall for them to watch a Disney movie while in the tub. There is quite a bit of storage under the sink to store ditty bags or extra towels. The master bath is quite luxurious with lots of space.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

Master bathroom shower

Master bathroom shower

The second bathroom, which is located near the kitchen, we used for the kids. It had a great shower that our older kids loved. The sink area is a pedestal sink which doesn’t provide a lot of storage except for the small shelf above the sink which we only used for toothbrushes.

Second bathroom near kitchen

Second bathroom near kitchen

Second bathroom sink

Second bathroom sink

PS Ears Tip: Bring liquid soap dispensers for kids to wash their hands instead of trying to use the bar soap the hotel provides.

Our favorite part of the villa was definitely the view! The DVC villas are located on the far end of the resort and sit across from Paradise Pier, so our views were awesome of Mickey’s Fun Wheel and California Screamin. We could also see Goofy’s Sky School really close!

Views from our room

Views from our room


And the views at night were spectacular! The kids loved just staring out the window and watching all the lights!

Nighttime views from our room

Nighttime views from our room

If you aren’t a DVC member, there are still ways to stay at DVC resorts. At the Grand Californian, there are a very small amount of rooms so getting a reservation can be tricky. Rooms available are Deluxe Studios (sleeps up to 4), 1-Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 5), 2-bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 9) and a 3-bedroom Grand Villa (sleeps up to 12). You can book rooms through Disney directly or you can rent points from DVC members.

If you can’t stay in a DVC Villa at the Grand Californian, the regular rooms are amazing too with beautiful craftsmen woodwork and wonderful amenities. They also have the option of bunk beds for kids which can be lots of fun!

I hope you enjoyed this look at the Grand Californian villas!

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