The Night the Lights Went Out at Disney
Guests at the Polynesian this week will have plenty of stories to tell their friends. They’re having quite the strange vacation. Allow me to explain.
A few nights ago, I read a social media post that swore the power was out at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
The same individual claimed that the Transportation and Ticket Center had also shut down.
After researching the matter a bit, I could find no credible confirmation of the story. But it was absolutely true.
Wide swaths of Walt Disney World lost power on January 4th. We may never know the reasons why, but it’s a real thing that happened.
As a reminder, Disney utilizes several power systems and backups to prevent situations exactly like the one I’m describing here.
In fact, park planners built a 270-acre solar farm to prevent such doomsday scenarios. It’s twice the size of Magic Kingdom, and it’s entirely for power production.
Despite this power management system in place, a shocking outage shut down Disney ferries and monorails alike.
Interestingly, these services went offline around 6 p.m. and were back up and running by 7:30 p.m.
Other parts of the parks and resorts remained without power for up to four hours. So, we learned a bit about what Disney prioritizes during these situations.
The power outage impacted the Magic Kingdom area, including the three DVC monorail resorts and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Here’s a Twitter image of Wilderness Lodge without power:
Perhaps the oddest part of the story is how underreported it was. Fox35 Orlando had this news segment about the power outage. And that was pretty much it.
Disney hasn’t publicly discussed the matter and apparently won’t. So unless something else comes out, we may never know what caused the shutdown.
The OTHER Incident at the Poly
Guests at the Polynesian are having a rough week. Before the power outage on Tuesday night, the Great Ceremonial House suffered flooding on Monday night.
I guess those renovations in early 2021 didn’t work out all the kinks. I’m not trying to be glib here, but…yeesh. That’s a bad 24 hours for hotel guests.
The “Caution – Floor May Be Wet” signs were out in force in the hotel lobby on Monday evening.
Also, cast members moved furniture to prevent guests from walking in the spots where the leaks were still happening.
Do you remember where the DVC sales booth used to be on the first floor near BouTiki? That’s the spot that got hit the hardest.
Disney placed trashcans where the podium used to be. They were there to catch the leak from the ceiling.
More Details about the Flooding
All this occurred around 10 p.m. when a pipe apparently burst. That’s what cast members told guests anyway. Who knows whether it’s true?
The leak happened on the second floor but had a more dramatic impact on the first floor.
The sofa/chair seating area near BouTiki also got bombed with water.
To me, the funniest part involved the clean-up. Cast members rolled in multiple towel carts, the ones we often see outside our hotel rooms.
For a time, there were towels everywhere as the late shift desperately tried to mop up the water. It was a busy night for those poor souls.
Meanwhile, guests at the restaurants on the second floor, Kona Café and ‘Ohana, received instructions not to exit through the main lobby.
Cast members directed them toward the back stairwell instead.
If you were a guest at the Polynesian on Monday or Tuesday, you’re likely entitled to some sort of compensation.
That’s presuming Disney hasn’t already made good on the matter.
Mainly, I feel sorry for the already overworked cast members. That sounds like an absolutely miserable shift.