DVC Refurbs Starting, Polynesian Returning
Disney Vacation Club resorts are undergoing some changes over the next few months. Let’s talk about what you need to know.
Saratoga Springs Refurb Starting Now
Okay, you know how much havoc the pandemic wreaked on DVC’s 2020/2021 plans. Here’s how you know that everything’s getting back to normal.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa has started its refurbishment, the one I previously mentioned that will modernize the hotel lobby and porte cochere.
During Phase 1, as part of this work, the connecting route to the hotel lobby will remain closed until Disney finishes the needed work here. However, you will maintain access to The Artist’s Palette and the nearby restrooms throughout the process.
Meanwhile, the porte cochere will close on July 12th and stay that way through the end of September, barring something unforeseen. This is Phase 2.
Despite the closure, Magical Express will continue its practice of dropping off guests here. So, it’s slightly different than what we’ve witnessed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, a place we’ll discuss in a moment.
Those of you who drive to the resort will head to the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center for curbside check-in.
Until early August, the hotel lobby will remain open. A temporary walkway will allow guests to reach this area. Afterward, Phase 3 begins.
The hotel lobby closes at this point. However, Disney will reopen the connecting hallway again. That’s where cast members will perform check-in and concierge services during Phase 3.
DVC has promised an enhanced check-in experience once it completes the work. For the next three months, guests will go through some modest inconveniences, though.
Old Key West Lobby Update Has Started, Too
The other multi-phase hotel lobby renovation will occur at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. It, too, started in earnest this week.
We’re still in phase one here, meaning that you’ll perform check-in at the main lobby as usual. The only change is that the den area is unavailable.
In phase two, Disney will flip the order. The hotel lobby will close, but the den will reopen. You’ll perform check-in and concierge services there.
This refurbishment will be more noticeable once it’s done. However, the actual inconveniences are much less impactful than at Saratoga Springs.
You may have to check-in somewhere different, the den, and you may notice some construction. That’s about the extent of it. As a DVC member, you’ve gone through far worse.
I still remember walking in circles at the Polynesian during 2015 due to all the blocked-off paths. Speaking of which…
The Polynesian Will Fully Reopen Soon
You probably guessed this from the ‘Ohana news last month, but Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will reopen soon.
While DVC members have had the run of the place during the pandemic, standard hotel rooms will return on July 19th.
On that date, most of the resort will go back to standard operations after an extremely strange year.
For starters, the currently relocated front desk, concierge, and bell services will go back to the Great Ceremonial House. So, one day, you’ll get to tell your grandkids about checking in at Pago Pago!
Disney utilized this time to renovate both the Great Ceremonial House and many of the hotel rooms at the Polynesian.
Moana has become the star of the show at the resort, with themed hotel rooms debuting soon.
There’s one twist to this story, as some of the DVC rooms will receive a soft goods refurbishment later this year.
Disney has notified some guests that they will receive room changes to accommodate these renovations.
So, you may get switched to a standard hotel room, one with the new Moana theme!
We also received one other news update about the Polynesian’s reopening. Unfortunately, the monorail service won’t be ready yet.
Unfortunately, the new station needs a bit more time before it’s ready to debut. Disney still expects it to be ready in time for the 50th-anniversary party, though.
I’ve got three other significant updates for you.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
The first involves a pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village will close in early 2022 for refurbishment. Disney will close the pool on an undisclosed date in January and keep it offline into April. Please allow for that as you make your 2022 vacation plans.
Traveling to Aulani
If you’re traveling to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, you should know about an essential policy change. It’s one that should make your next visit much easier.
The Governor of Hawaii has changed travel requirements, with the new rules going into effect on July 8th. You no longer need to pass a COVID-19 test before arrival!
The state will require you to upload proof of your vaccination at the official website, Hawai’i Safe Travels. You will also need to pack a physical copy of your vaccination card. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go!
Reservation System Issue
Finally, DVC has acknowledged the obvious. Something has gone wrong with the reservation system. When guests try to modify reservations, some attempts to book will lead to an error message.
You probably know the one. It says: “Sorry, the room you requested is no longer available for the dates requested.”
That shouldn’t be happening, and the official website has been updated to reflect this bug.
When you attempt to modify a reservation, you’ll receive a message alerting you to the fact that it may not work. DVC will encourage you to call Membership Services at 800-800-9800 instead.
I presume that this bug is one of the reasons why the entire system will shut down from July 17th through July 19th. So, please be aware of the frustrating glitch and defer to phone support for the time being.