DVC villas? We thought the saying goes, What About Bob? Pat yourself on the back if you got the 1990’s movie reference. Anyways, we’re not here to talk about great to 90’s movies, we’re here to talk about the Polynesian Resort refurb. In what could only be described as an out of left field announcement, we found out on August 31, 2020, that Moana will be setting up shop at the resort. This is the second major Moana inspired addition coming to Walt Disney World, with the other one being part of Epcot’s new World Nature neighborhood. Or, as we like to say in the DVC Duo house, Disney is doubling down on the Polynesia princess. The big question for all DVC members is, how will this impact the Polynesian Resort Villas? Grab your boards, it’s time to ride the Polynesian Resort refurb wave!
All Disney refurbishments have a scope. Some are major overhauls like the rethemeing of The Great Movie Ride to the now open Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and some smaller for example the Beach Resort Marketplace update. When it comes to the Polynesian Resort refurb, it’s looking like a middle of the road update. What we know at the time of writing is there will be two key areas addressed, the rooms and the Great Ceremonial House (otherwise known as the Poly lobby).
The room updates will center around a brighter color-palette drawing inspiration from the Pacific Ocean and the movie Moana. We already have an early glimpse into what expect thanks to Blog Mickey discovering a few changes to the carpet outside ‘Ohana. Immediately, we see the potential shift in the overall color scheme to include more shades of blue and turquoise compared to the original.
The Polynesian Resort refurb is already underway and will run until the summer of 2021. Disney has stated they will be releasing concept art for the rooms in due time. But, wait. What about the DVC villas?
The Polynesian Resort is made up of two areas, the standard resort, and Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. When Walt Disney World reopened only the villas portion of the Polynesian Resort opened. The rest of the hotel remains closed, with the original plans stating the rest of the resort would reopen in August. Later that was updated to November 2020, and with the announcement around the Polynesian Resort refurb, it moves the date to the summer of 2021.
Does the mean the DVC villas will be closing? No, not at all. When it comes to the DVC villas there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first is how refurbishment works as it relates to DVC resorts. All refurbishments of the resorts are funded by the resort’s annual membership dues from the members and are on a set schedule. The schedule is broken down into two categories, refresh, and refurb. A refresh usually consists of a soft goods upgrade like bedding, carpets, and curtains. A refurbishment would be a full replacement of everything from floors to new furniture.
Based on DVC contracts a refresh usually happens in the first seven years of the resort being open and a refurb being closer 15 to 20-year mark. Right now the DVC resort refurbishment schedule has Saratoga Springs being updated. When it comes to the DVC villas at Polynesian Resort they are not slated for refresh until 2022 as confirmed at the last DVC condo meeting. What we’re not sure about is whether or not Disney will look to move up the refresh on the DVC villas as part of the overall Polynesian Resort refurb. It should be noted when Disney does a DVC refresh, they do not close the resort, instead they do a small portion of rooms at a time.
What To Expect
A quiet resort. Traditionally, the Polynesian Resort is full of energy and people. With the main resort, not opening, we’re expecting a much quieter resort in the short term. However, with a quieter comes a few changes. The big change will be the monorail. Starting in October of 2020, the monorail will no longer stop at the Polynesian Resort and instead, Disney will offer bus transportation to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot from the resort. It should be noted at this time there are no boats to the Magic Kingdom from the resort.
There are a couple of alternatives to the using Magic Kingdom bus. From the Polynesian Resort, it is a short walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you can pick up either the ferry boat or express monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Speaking of walking, in the DVC Duo house we’re projecting the walkway to the Magic Kingdom will also be open by October to coincide with the closure of the Polynesian monorail stop.
Got our attention! The announcement of the Polynesian Resort refurb is something we did not expect by any means. It will be interesting to see how Disney integrates Moana into the resort. If it’s anything like the carpet sample, then it should be a more subtle nod to the movie. It also makes us wonder if we could Moana incorporated into the luau either in both showings or just the earlier showing. This would be similar to when luau had Mickey as part of the first show and the more traditional luau as the late offering. Well, it looks like we’re approaching the beach, time to jump off our boards!
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