B-Roll: Ten Things You Might Not Know About Disney’s Polynesian Resort

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Disney’s Polynesian Resort officially opened Oct 1, 1971 (as The Polynesian Village Resort Hotel) … the same day that the Magic Kingdom theme park opened just across Seven Seas Lagoon. Most folks know that fact, so here are ten things you might not know about Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
1) Disney’s Polynesian Resort is on the monorail route running to and from the Magic Kingdom, but you can also ride a water launch (or water taxi) from the resort directly to Magic Kingdom. On the way back, the first stop is at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
2) The popular Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is not just a Hawaiian luau, but a tribute to many Polynesian cultures, including dances from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand.
3) Hidden Mickeys are tucked away throughout Disney’s Polynesian Resort. They can be spotted in the lobby’s carpet and wall decorations as well as several hidden in the guestroom paintings and desk lamp.
4) Captain Cook’s quick service restaurant is the only spot at Walt Disney World, outside the Magic Kingdom, to find Dole Whip – the famous pineapple flavored frozen treat. Guests purchase a self-serve bowl from the cashier and fill it up.
5) The resort’s King Kamehameha Suite is named for the Hawaiian ruler who united the islands in 1810. The two-level suite includes a kitchen and living room on the first level with two bedrooms on the floor above.
6)  Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the first stop of the night for the famous Electrical Water Pageant, weather permitting. Running since 1971, the pageant features sea creatures and patriotic songs, lighting the way across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.
7) Most days before sunset, performers from The Spirit of Aloha dinner show come to the resort lobby for a torch-lighting ceremony. A drummer plays and sings while a fireknife dancer lights the resort’s tiki torches, capping the tradition with a show of his skills.
8)  The Polynesian Resort’s Nanea Volcano Pool is well-named. The Hawaiian word “nanea” means “relaxing.” The pool features both a gently-sloping zero-depth entry and a thrilling 142 foot-long waterslide.
9) Guests can book a poolside cabana at the Polynesian, including a premium cabana for a party of up to twelve. Inside, the cabana features ceiling fans and love seats, cable TV, and a mini-fridge stocked with complimentary soda and water. Outside, guests get lounge chairs and a private deck with a view of the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, complete with soundtrack playing on the beach. For reservations, guests can call (407) WDW-PLAY.
10)  The tenth thing you might not know about Disney’s Polynesian Resort is actually a person – Auntie Kau’i. Kau’i is originally from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and worked at Disneyland in California before coming to help open Disney’s Polynesian Resort in 1971. Originally a luau performer, Kau’i talks with guests in the resort lobby — explaining Hawaiian culture, making flower leis that are given to newlyweds, and giving hula lessons.