Polynesian Village vs. Beach Club Disney World Resort Guide 2023

So, you’re planning a trip to Disney World, and you’ve narrowed it down between two of the most ICONIC Disney resorts in existence (you lucky, lucky person!).

Beach Club Resort

But how do you choose between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resorts? Well, let’s dive into the deets to see which one is right for you!

Choosing between the Polynesian Village and the Beach Club, is like choosing a favorite child, a favorite Disney cupcake, or between a Dole Whip or a Mickey Pretzel — there’s enough love to go around! But just like cupcakes and classic Disney snacks (and maybe your kids, too… only you know your family dynamic…😂), there’s a certain flavor that might just hit the spot for what you’re looking for.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

There’s no doubt that Disney vacations are expensive, and no one wants buyer’s remorse when it comes to what can usually be the most EXPENSIVE part of your Disney trip. We’re approaching this chaos-agent of a decision with as much logic as possible, so we’re breaking it down into five categories:

  • Common Ground
  • Theme/Rooms
  • Pools
  • Food
  • Transportation

We’re putting each resort through these paces to see where they stand and which one may be speaking to you for your Disney trip.

Aloha!

Common Ground

Before we start down the rabbit hole into the Wonderland of their differences, let’s review the similarities of these resorts. These resorts are both Disney Deluxe Resorts, so they will be at a similar price point, with similar room sizes, and the same perks.  They both have close proximity to the Disney Parks, and even within walking distance! And both offer Disney Vacation Club Villas as additional accommodations.

The Beach at the Polynesian

For the Polynesian Village, that means that for the cheapest room at the cheapest time to visit, you can expect to pay around $662 per night (not accounting for any tax or current discounts), and it goes up to $5,492 per night (not accounting for any tax or current discounts) for the most expensive rooms at the most expensive time to visit.

For the Beach Club, that means that for the cheapest room at the cheapest time to visit, you can expect to pay around $534 per night (not accounting for any tax or current discounts), and it goes up to $4,763 per night (not accounting for any tax or current discounts) for the most expensive rooms at the most expensive time to visit.

Extra Theme Park Hours Benefits for Disney World Resort Hotel Guests

Theme/Rooms

Just like our ol’ Friend, Chandler Bing, would say, “Could these resorts BE any more different?” Both the Poly and the Beach Club are Deluxe resorts and offer the poshest of Disney’s accommodations and perks, but that doesn’t mean they look the same!

The Polynesian

The Polynesian celebrates tiki culture, and offers a nostalgic image of Pacific island vacations, but isn’t necessarily a literal representation of those environments. It’s filled with dark woods, tribal symbols, and tropical flowers. The Polynesian is one of Walt Disney World’s opening day hotels, it has a rich history, and a large following among Disney fans. It really does embrace its name of “village” as its layout is comprised of 11 longhouses plus the over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows, which branch out from the Great Ceremonial House.

Polynesian Village Resort

All of the rooms have recently been renovated and updated with a Moana-inspired theme, and Kona Cafe, a table service restaurant in the Great Ceremonial House, has also recently reopened with a new look and refreshed menu. So even though this beauty is 50 years old, she’s gotten some TLC and looks better than ever!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

But with renovations and updates comes construction, like over at the old Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show location, which is currently an active construction zone as it will be the site for a new DVC tower. Though it shares the same white sand beaches as the Grand Floridian, the island vibe here just makes them pop. Sunsets on the Poly beach are just superior to the other Disney World “beaches”.

Beach at Polynesian Village Resort

Beach Club

Not to be confused with its up-tight and snooty sister resort, the Yacht Club, the Beach Club is where you can relax, let your hair down, and wander through the lobby in bare feet with your bucket of collected seashells.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort Lobby

The Beach Club steers clear of those bold nautical colors and embraces pastels and the soft tones of the beach at sunset.

Beach Club Standard Room

Though, we wouldn’t mind some more Disney touches, these rooms are soft, cozy, and embrace the beach cottage vibe of New England.

Bathroom

The Beach Club renovated and updated the rooms in 2016, for a more sophisticated appearance with simple features and softer coloring.  These rooms don’t have the personality that you can find at the Contemporary and Polynesian. So, if you’re looking for a room with some “character,” the Beach Club may not be your jam.

Results

This is a difficult decision because both of these resorts really channel in those beachy vibes. Do you want your beachy-themed vacation to feel more like Hawaii or Bora Bora? Or are you looking for more of the coast of Maine feel? Do you want to feel like you just stepped in from a New England clambake or from a tropical luau? Your preference may give you a particular leaning, but if you’re looking for rooms with a bit more “character”, then the Polynesian might be your choice.

Why You Should Add Disney’s Yacht Club to Your Resort Hopping List Right NOW

Pools

Pools, splash pads, hot tubs, and lounge chairs, vacation just doesn’t feel completed without spending some time by the pool. Which of these resorts is the aquatic champion of water lounging? Only one way to find out…

The Polynesian

The Polynesian’s whole vibe is stepping into a tropical oasis, so the pool game is strong with this one!

There are two pools at the Polynesian: the Lava Pool and the Oasis Pool. However, the Lava Pool is the showstopper here — because it’s a volcano! Ok, not a for-real volcano, obvi, but it has a waterslide from the top of the volcano’s peak, which is pretty epic.

Lava Pool!

Even if you’re not looking to swoosh down a volcano waterslide, the lounge area at these pools and the pool bars (which definitely enhance the atmosphere), the Barefoot Pool Bar, and the Oasis Bar & Grill. And Capt. Cook’s and Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace are also so close they could be considered pool area enhancements, too.

There are lots of drink options and plenty of food options for your day by the pool. You can even try a DFB Dole Whip drink hack that became a permanent menu item on the Barefoot Pool Bar menu!

And now we’re officially on island time!

Beach Club

The Beach Club may be understated when it comes to its lobby and resort rooms, but it is not to be outdone in the pool category. Disney’s Beach Club shares a pool complex with its neighboring resort, the Yacht Club, Stormalong Bay.

Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club

Stormalong Bay is a destination on all its own. This pool complex is almost like its own mini-water park, with sand at the bottom and even a lazy river! So, your kiddos can take advantage of the ‘shipwrecked’ themed water slide, while you leisurely float around the lazy river, so just relax on of the many lounge chairs.

Stormalong Bay Shipwreck

Stormalong Bay is also nestled in close to Beaches and Cream, an iconic ice cream shop, providing over-the-top milkshakes, sundaes, and comfort junk food essentials like burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Results

Both have two pools, and both have pool bars, lounge chairs, and splash areas. Are you looking for adventure on a shipwrecked water slide or a cruise down a lazy river? Or something a bit more casual and with that island vibe? Seeking the pure wow factor with the Volcano and the proximity to Dole Whips? Or are you craving getting your toes in the sand and a deluxe ice cream sundae?

There’s no real loser in this category if you’ve found relaxation and joy, but our heart leans towards the Beach Club, because that pool is just epic!

10 Hidden Secrets About Disney World Pools

Food

Because we are Disney FOOD Blog, we take food seriously. Very. Seriously. And we love it all. We love the cheap, comfort of plastic cheese, and we love the high-brow sophistication of a wine flight or a multi-course pre-fixe meal. We don’t discriminate; we are a lover of all foods. Since food is SO important, let’s see who these resorts stack up against each other in the restaurant category.

Polynesian Village

Polynesian Village has ten (10!) dining options, including lounges and pool bars (because those count!)!

Barefoot Pool Bar is the perfect place to grab a specialty cocktail to enjoy while lounging by the Lava Pool. Oasis Pool Bar & Grill serves up Polynesian-themed food and specialty cocktails to guests enjoying the Oasis Pool.

Captain Cook’s is a quick-service location, popular for being the place you can grab Tonga Toast for breakfast in the morning, and Island-inspired dishes like the Pulled Pork Nachos and Thai Coconut Meatballs for lunch and dinner.

The recently renovated and reopened Kona Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual setting. The sweet Tonga Toast makes breakfast at Kona is a guest favorite. Kona Island conveniently sits right off the second-floor monorail entrance. In the morning, this location serves Kona coffee and pastries, while at night, it becomes a sushi bar with cocktails.

Kona Cafe is right next to Kona Island

‘Ohana has an oak wood fire pit that flavors the grilled meats served at an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal each evening. In the morning, Lilo and Stitch entertain guests during an Island-style character breakfast. Hawaiian side dishes complement each meal. Tambu Lounge is a relaxing bar where you can enjoy a drink prior to your dinner at ‘Ohana or Kona Cafe. The Lapu Lapu (a rum concoction served in a pineapple) is its claim to fame.

Our favorite noodles

Pineapple Lanai is where you can find the famous Dole Whip! This is a Polynesian Village Resort claim to fame, as it was the first Disney World Resort where Dole Whip was served outside of the parks. The Polynesian remains the only Resort with its own spot dedicated to the treat.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a unique tiki bar located in the Great Ceremonial House, complete with an interactive room (elements react based on the ordering of certain drinks) and wacky hijinks from your servers, the Skippers! Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is the more relaxed (but still entertaining) outdoor counterpart to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

Learn more about the Polynesian Village Resorts Restaurants here!

Beach Club

Hurricane Hanna’s is a pool bar, tucked under the Stormalong Bay waterslide that provides fixes for your hunger without having to wander too far from the pool.

The Beach Club is home to one lounge, one quick-service market, a table service option, and a Character dining restaurant. Not to mention its close proximity to Yacht Club and all of those dining options.

Beaches and Cream

The Beach Club Marketplace is the quick service location and gift shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Once you make your way through the gift shop you’ll find yourself in the quick service dining area, complete with a sandwich counter. Guests will find basic staples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in addition to a dry goods section (think boxes of cereal, peanut butter, and other essentials you might need). This is also the location for filling your Refillable Resort Mugs.

Hot breakfast choices include a breakfast platter, pastries, and oatmeal. Lunch and dinner options include sandwiches, salads, and some truly tasty baked mac and cheese dishes. Oodles of tempting sweet treats are often found in the refrigerated cases, so keep an eye out for specialty cupcakes and more!

Beach Club Marketplace

Ah, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop… THIS is the place to go for classic diner eats and GIGANTIC ice cream sundaes in Walt Disney World! Tucked between the Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts, this authentic soda counter restaurant is decked out in pastels and is complete with a jukebox! Though the sundaes and shakes here are sizable no matter which sweet treat you order, Beaches & Cream is especially well known as being home to the famous Kitchen Sink: an eight-scoop ice cream sundae (made for sharing with the whole group) served up with EVERY TOPPING in the house! Beaches and Cream underwent a renovation to expand the dining space and reopened in late 2019, so this formerly small spot can accommodate many more guests these days. And you can always grab some ice cream (or hard shakes & floats for adults) at the Beaches & Cream To Go Window, too!

No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream

Cape May Cafe is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, just inside the lobby! Cape May Cafe currently features an all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast buffet with Disney pals! Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast is one of the best places to see some of the most beloved Disney characters outside of the parks. Though characters may vary, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy can often be found at Cape May Cafe, all dressed up for a day at the beach!

Though Disney characters are not present during Dinner, the evening meal serves up something unique, as all-you-can-eat surf-and-turf gets the spotlight, with plenty for landlubbers and seafood fans to enjoy!

Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast

Located directly next to Cape May Cafe near the lobby of the Beach Club Resort, Martha’s Vineyard Lounge is a relaxing spot to get a bite and a drink in the evening hours. Specialty cocktails, craft drafts, wines, and a full bar menu are available. And, like Cape May Cafe, the cuisine (a small selection of appetizers) is inspired by a Northeastern clambake, with comforting seafood favorites like clam chowder served alongside a few pub classics like chicken wings.

Martha’s Vineyard

Sometimes, Martha’s Vineyard Lounge will also host drawing or painting activities, so be on the look out for those.

Has Disney World Gone TOO Far With Their Creative Drinks?! You Tell Us!

Results

It’s so hard to designate a clear winner for food — because we love it all! If you and your family love some more “unique” food, and options that vary away from the traditional comfort food of fried chicken, steak, seafood, burgers, and chicken nuggets, then the Polynesian might be your jam! All of its menus are influenced by island flavors, and though not bizarre or untraditional, you’ll definitely find some creative takes on your familiar favorites.

Kids’ Sushi

The Beach Club really embraces the casual vibe of its setting with over the top sundaes and milkshakes at Beaches & Cream, and the casual fun of a clambake with your favorite Disney pals over at Cape May Cafe. Nothing hoity-toity here, just good ol’ fashioned family-beachy fun!

EVERYTHING to Eat at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Transportation

Do these resorts offer anything different when it comes to transportation? Let’s see!!

Polynesian Village

Polynesian Village is on the Monorail loop. It’s the first stop after the Transportation & Ticketing Center (TTC) on the way to the Magic Kingdom. If Magic Kingdom is your destination, there is also a boat option to sail across Seven Seas Lagoon to the front steps of the Magic Kingdom. You can also get your steps in by strolling the walkway over to Magic Kingdom, but it’s not for the faint of heart as it is about a 20-25 minute walk.

Boat launch from Polynesian Village Resort to Magic Kingdom

If Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs is your destination, then you can board one of Disney’s busses to transport you over to these parks.

Polynesian Bus Service

But if EPCOT is your park for the day, here is where the difference sets in. Because the Poly is so close to the Transportation & Ticketing Center, if you don’t mind a brief 5-10 minute walk, you can waltz over to the TTC and board a Monorail to whiz you off to EPCOT. This may give the Poly the edge over the Grand Floridian as it does provide relatively easy access to that EPCOT Monorail loop.

Beach Club

The Beach Club is considered an “EPCOT-area” resort. It sits on Crescent Lake, next to Yacht Club Resort, and across the lake from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.  This resort is situated in between TWO Disney parks, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Yep, that’s right, you can walk or enjoy a relaxing boat ride on a Friendship Cruise boat to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

EPCOT Boat

If Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs is your destination, then you can board one of Disney’s buses to transport you over to these parks.

Disney buses can get you just about anywhere!

And as if walkways, boats, and buses weren’t enough options for you, Beach Club guests are also within walking distance of the EPCOT Skyliner station. This means you have easy access to the other Skyliner resorts if you want to go exploring other resorts or just have a relaxing cruise through the sky.

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Results

These neighboring resorts are pretty much a tie when it comes to transportation. They both have pretty quick access to TWO Disney parks, and have the options of busses, boats, and even direct walkways to help you get around.

EPCOT

The Polynesian is right on the Monorail loop, and the Beach Club gives you access to the Skyliner, so they both have some unique offerings as well. It might just boil down to which parks do you plan to spend more time in, Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom?

Why You Should Skip the Monorail on Your Next Magic Kingdom Trip

The Winner!

So, who is the ultimate winner in the Polynesian vs. Beach Club battle? We hate to say it, but it depends! The Polynesian may seem like a clear choice because of its theming and popularity with Disney fans. If the Beach Club seemed like the clear choice to you, it is a great hotel, it has an awesome pool and is just a quick walk from EPCOT’s World Showcase. It’s up to you and your group to decide what makes the most sense for you using all that we talked about above.

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What do you think? Is Polynesian Village or Beach Club Resort better? Let us know in the comments!

The post Polynesian Village vs. Beach Club Disney World Resort Guide 2023 first appeared on the disney food blog.

source https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2023/01/04/polynesian-village-vs-beach-club-disney-world-resort-guide-2023/

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