Say “Aloha” to the Polynesian Resort Lobby, Closes in March 2014 for Renovations

A few weeks ago, rumors began circulating that the lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Resort would be forever changed from the look it has now, one it has sported since it opened back in 1971. The huge water feature and somewhat of a mildew smell in the lobby have been staples of Walt Disney World for almost 43 years, but starting next month, it will be erased.


The project is part of a remodeling of the entire resort taking place between now and the opening of the Disney Vacation Club wing of the resort that will open in 2015. The Wyland Gallery downstairs in the Great Ceremonial House has already closed to make way for expanded dining options (which may include a new restaurant, expanded Captain Cook’s, and maybe even a Dole Whip bar depending on who you ask). The Captain Cook’s counter service restaurant is also set to be closed from March until June of 2014 for major modifications. The Neverland Club, which closed a few weeks ago will reopen in late-April, may re-open as a new food service location as well.

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The lobby will be the latest victim, currently slated to go behind work walls sometime in March. in area desks should resemble the podiums at Art of Animation where cast members can walk out from behind them to easily assist guests.

Only time will tell what actually happens and what remains a rumor. We will keep you posted as more becomes available over the coming weeks.

What do you think? Are you sad to see the old lobby go?

  1. Wow! I dont know how to feel about this! I have loved the water feature for years and am sad to see it go, but I do know that it has needed some updating so I'm excited to see what Disney has in store for the Poly.

  2. I will be extremely saddened by the changes. The water feature is what makes the lobby one of WDW's best and most beautiful. I recently visited the Poly and Wyland gallery is already missed. I went over to Boardwalk to see it there and do some shopping. I also don't know how I will like the free standing podiums verses the long bamboo desk. Too many changes everywhere!!!! Too many construction walls and tarps!!!!! This is not what Walt would have wanted. What happened to maintaining the "show"?

  3. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am devastated. That mildewy smell is my "Disney" smell. I've loved that lobby my entire life. I know all good things must come to an end but I will still be so sad over this change :(

  4. To think last July was the last time I would see the Lobby and by the time I come back in July it will be gone.My daughter goes in March for lacrosse tournaments from Jersey and maybe she can get the last video/pictures we will have of the old Resort.We are excited about DVC coming since we have been members since 2000.

  5. We just stayed with are grandchildren last june.I’m sad that are youngest grandson who will be arriving at the end of this month will never have his picture taken inffront of the fountain.My husband and myself, daughter and now are grandchildren enjoy taking our picture at the fountain each year. Who made this decision? It’s getting harder and harder to have family tradition at Disney World. Walt is almost gone.

  6. Whatever they do I hope they put a Trader Sams East or grog hut or whatever the rumors have been. Its my favorite thing at the Disneyland hotel.

  7. To say that I am livid over the recent renovations to the Polynesian lobby is the understatement of the century! It has been completely ruined. It is no longer special – just very generic. The lobby of the Polynesian was our family’s favorite place at WDW. Now, there is almost nothing left at WDW that is magical and special. Everything has become generic and underwhelming. Walt would turn over in his grave if he could see some of the changes that have been made over the years to the Magic Kingdom and the iconic resorts. We have been loyal and devoted fans of WDW since it’s inception in 1971, however, we have just decided to change the venue of our summer vacation. It is truly the sad end of an era……

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