Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa are two of the “original” flagship resorts at Walt Disney World.
Guests can find both of these resorts on the monorail, and they both offer quick access to Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Both of these resorts speak to guests who want a family friendly atmosphere and luxury at the same time.
RELATED READING: Are Disney Deluxe Resorts Really Worth It?
Today, I am going to share some tips and information with you, in hopes that you will make either Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa your home for your next Disney vacation. Having stayed at both, multiple times, I can assure you that you cannot go wrong with either one.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Location
Both of these resorts are located in the Magic Kingdom area. In fact, you can see them right across Bay Lake, in all their gorgeousness. These are really two of the prettiest Walt Disney World Resorts.
Guests can easily access Magic Kingdom via the monorail, and most recently, a walking path from both of these resorts. Also, when the EPCOT monorail line reopens, guests can access EPCOT via the monorail as well.
Who Would Enjoy Polynesian Village Resort?
This resort is perfect for Disney guests who want to feel like they are on vacation in a tropical island atmosphere. Having stayed at the Polynesian, one thing that stands out to me, is that I truly feel as if I am on vacation.
The theming of the Polynesian is tropical islands, tiki torches, ukelele music, and a view of Cinderella’s Castle from the pool. What more can you ask for?
Who Would Enjoy Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa?
The Grand Floridian is literally the flagship resort of Walt Disney World. You cannot miss it – and its luxury. Guests who want an incredibly romantic, luxurious experience, would enjoy the Grand Floridian.
You immediately feel as if you have been taken back to Victorian times when you enter this property. Guests who want an upscale, ultimate Disney Deluxe experience will enjoy this resort. While it is family friendly, it may have more of a grown up feel to it than some of its Deluxe counterparts.
Another aspect to consider is the time of year when you are traveling. If you are traveling in the holiday season, Disney’s Grand Floridian is a great option for families who want a very beautiful holiday atmosphere. The famous Gingerbread House in the lobby draws guests from everywhere. Perfect for Christmas décor fans!
RELATED READING: Tips for Celebrating the Holidays at Disney World
Dining Options at Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian
Since they are a Deluxe tier resort, these offer BOTH table service AND Quick Service dining options, as well as lounges.
Many deluxe resorts are not “known” for their Quick Service options. However, both of these have a good menu at their Quick Service location, as well as table service and signature dining to fill in the gaps.
RELATED READING: How to Choose a Disney World Dining Plan that Works for You
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is home to the famous ‘Ohana, where guests have been known to have breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, and friends. The dinner at ‘Ohana is sans characters, but one of the most sought after Advanced Dining Reservations on all of Disney property (check out the menus here).
Time it right, and you can see the fireworks from Magic Kingdom! You will also find the famous Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai (menu here), amazing pulled pork nachos at Captain Cook’s (menu here), and fun drinks at Trader Sam’s (menu here).
Kona Cafe, found in the resort lobby, is a great place to grab a nice breakfast (view the menu here) as well!
RELATED READING: Are Disney Dining Plans Really Worth It? And How to Choose the Best One
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa also boasts some great dining. The popular 1900 Park Fare is located here. Pre pandemic, it was home to Mary Poppins and friends for breakfast. Dinner guests were treated to visits from Cinderella and her Royal Stepfamily. At the moment, this character dining experience is not available (check out the menu here), but will hopefully reopen soon!
Also, one of the hidden gems for amazing food is the Grand Floridian Cafe. This quaint, Victorian themed restaurant often has openings for reservations, and serves fantastic food (view the menu) for all three meals of the day.
Gasparilla Grill is the Quick Service location. And, as far as Deluxe resorts, it has a decent menu and grab and go selections.
Not only can you find table and quick service options, the Grand Floridian also houses Narcoosee’s (see the full menu), a Signature Dining Experience.
Room Options at Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian
Both resorts have standard rooms that allow up to 5 guests in a room. The standard rooms have two queen beds and a convertible couch that changes to a single bed. Guests can book various views – Garden, Lagoon, Theme Park View – at each of these resorts as well.
As of recently, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is undergoing a massive room refurbishment, and changing the standard guest rooms into Moana themed rooms. They are GORGEOUS.
Not only can you find standard rooms, but these are both DVC properties as well. Both the Polynesian and Grand Floridian have villa properties.
RELATED READING: Disney World Resorts for Large Families and Groups (5 – 12 People)
These offer guests studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom, or 3-Bedroom Grand Villa set ups. The Polynesian offers guests a unique experience as well, with over the water bungalows.
Pools & other Amenities at Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian
Both of these Deluxe Resorts offer guests fantastic pool options. It is so hard to choose a favorite between the pools, because they are both fantastic.
The pool at the Polynesian is a volcano themed pool. The main pool has a volcano themed slide – that is good for both kids and adults! Also, for younger children it has a zero entry area and a VERY fun, recently updated splash play area.
If you need a quieter area, you can visit the quiet pool just a short walk from the main pool. This is a nice way to relax, and enjoy some covered seating in the first come/first serve patio “cabanas” by the pool.
RELATED READING: Tips for Staying Cool When It’s Hot at Disney World
The Grand Floridian’s main pool, the Beach Pool, is also very fun for kids. It has a zero entry area, and it houses a Mad Hatter/Alice in Wonderland splash play area for younger children. The main feature pool also has a water slide.
And, the Grand Floridian main pool houses pool cabanas. These luxurious cabanas are home to padded lounge chairs, the sides close for privacy and sun shade, they are stocked with drinks and food.
Transportation options at Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian
Both of these resorts have very similar transportation. Both access Magic Kingdom and Epcot (when that line is open) via the monorail. You can also access the Contemporary from both of these via monorail or boat.
Magic Kingdom is accessed by monorail, boat, and most recently a walking path. Not only can you access these via monorail and walking, but also boat. If you do not want to walk back to Grand Floridian, take the boat! The Grand is the first stop on the boat route from Magic Kingdom. And Magic Kingdom is the first monorail stop from the Grand. Great options!
Overall, both of these amazing resorts have a lot to offer guests and families of all ages. If you are looking for a luxurious, “bucket list” Disney trip, you will want to stay at one of these!
I would highly recommend these for guests who want that Disney feel, but not an over the top theme to their resort. Both of these are great for families, or for someone who is looking for a “staycation” at their Disney resort.
These are both excellent resorts when you have young children, as well, as the pools and dining options are great for families.