Disney Announces Polynesian Expansion
Fellow Disney Vacation Club members, I have some phenomenal news and some heartbreaking news, all from the same resort.
Yes, DVC has announced an upcoming expansion at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. We must lose something extraordinary to make it happen, though.
Disney Adds to the Polynesian
Disney’s CEO and CFO both recently acknowledged that the company is cash strapped.
As such, theme park expansion plans are essentially on hold until Disney can get its balance sheets in line.
This sticking point prevents the development of a previously announced project, Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge.
The one thing Disney can do is add more hotel rooms, though. This strategy empowers Disney to monetize existing space even more.
We’re currently watching it happen with The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where DVC is converting an entire building.
During the second half of 2021, another rumor emerged. Disney was toying with the notion of adding a new hotel tower at the Polynesian.
Alas, the opportunity cost for this plan would be Luau Cove, the home of the beloved Spirit of Aloha show.
Yes, friends, I’m sorry to tell you that the Polynesian has hosted the final performance of Spirit of Aloha. It’s officially gone forever.
In the place of Luau Cove, Disney will build new villas at the resort. Here’s how DVC is describing them:
“Inspired by the early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the Imagineers of today are honoring the past while furthering the resort story with this innovative addition.
Projected to open in late 2024, the proposed vacation ownership property would complement the existing resort and evoke the spirit of the Pacific Islands.”
Obviously, these rooms will reside near Seven Seas Lagoon. However, they’ll also be close to the walkway connecting the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian.
So, in a way, the two expansions will tie together as Disney commits to more DVC rooms at monorail resorts.
About the Expansion
We really don’t have much information about the expansion beyond what Disney stated in its official release.
So, I’m going to do something I’ve never done here before. I’m going to link you to something I previously wrote on another site.
Last August, the Jim Hill/Len Testa podcast discussed a rumor about the Polynesian. I spent a few days chasing down the story and wrote about what I’d learned.
To the credit of Hill and Testa, their suggestion is pretty much exactly what Disney has confirmed this week.
The Spirit of Aloha dinner at Luau Cove has left so that Disney can reclaim this space for an expansion tower at the Polynesian. Kudos to them for the scoop!
In my rumors article, I referenced a plan for twin towers. That doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not based on the published illustrations.
Instead, Disney has planned a multi-section, multi-level tower. It’s also a beachfront property with most rooms facing the waters of Seven Seas Lagoon. Just don’t think you can swim in the lagoon because…alligators.
Some buildings appear to be six floors, while others contain nine or possibly ten floors, presuming the drawings are accurate.
I’ll add that the early illustrations for the Disneyland tower expansion showed more floors than the resort will apparently have.
DVC has since posted images of a hotel that’s only ten floors. As such, we shouldn’t expect those early Polynesian illustrations to be the final plans. Things happen in construction.
Still, I can say with some confidence that this new DVC inventory will sell like wildfire.
The monorail resorts are definitely where a disproportionately large percentage of DVC owners want to be.
For this reason, Disney is adding several hundred rooms of inventory this summer and again in late 2024.