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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows just reopened with a dedication ceremony that featured a fire artist and drums. A small group of cast members and media gathered atop Sunset Pointe for a ceremony that brought the spirit of Polynesian islands to Orlando to officially open the newest Disney Vacation Club option for guests.

We also were able to interview with Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, who gives his best pitch for why the latest Disney Vacation Club resort is the best option for families that love to visit Disney.

Three longhouses from the Polynesian Village Resort were converted into Disney Vacation Club Villas featuring 360 deluxe studio villas. 20 over-the-water bungalows will, no doubt, become the prized reservation for the well-to-do at Walt Disney World.

“This is truly a stunning addition to the Disney Vacation Club portfolio,” said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Research has told us that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of our most beloved Walt Disney World Resort hotels. As a result, we integrated a new Disney Vacation Club resort that stays true to the original character of this spectacular and iconic property.”

The Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are the largest at Walt Disney World Resort, sleeping five guests each. Each features tropical décor complete with striking prints, bamboo-style fixtures, a whimsical hidden pull-down bed and a split bathroom perfect for families. The Deluxe Studios also offer the flexibility of connecting to an adjacent room.

The resort’s Bora Bora Bungalows are the first such accommodations ever created by Disney. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom Bungalows transport guests to a tropical haven filled with Disney touches. Each Bungalow sleeps eight guests and offers a view of the Magic Kingdom Resort area. Inside the Bungalows, modern luxuries with an island touch add life to the already exquisite design. Amenities include a full kitchen, two bedrooms complete with flat panel televisions, split bathrooms, washer and dryer, two hidden pull-down beds featuring playful artwork, a private plunge pool on the back deck, and many other special touches.

Check out our Fact Sheet for Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows DVC below:

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The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows just opened as the 14th resort in the Disney Vacation Club. Join us as we tour one of the Bora Bora Bungalows. It sleeps 8 and features one of the most prime locations in all of Walt Disney World.

The villas are completely new, but they look and feel like they could have been there since 1971. Yes, there is new technology inside (flat screen TVs and a modern kitchen and bath), but you do feel transported back in time immediately upon entering.

As a fan of mid-century architecture and design, I love the look of the Villas. Add in the Tiki elements and I want to move in immediately. Disney recreated some great Mary Blair-esque graphics and brought in Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney to create a unique piece of art that includes the Orange Bird and other Walt Disney World icons. Plus there are other Tiki themed works from the Kidney’s in the kitchen.

I’ve also included a gallery featuring some of the details I wasn’t able to capture on the video tour.

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After a small opening ceremony last night, Disney’s latest resort is welcoming it’s first guests today. The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are the 14th resort to join the Disney Vacation club portfolio.

Offering 360 Deluxe Studio accommodations (opening in phases through summer 2015) and 20 over-the-water Bungalows, the new resort delivers the spirit of the South Pacific along with fun Disney touches to create a vacation experience that only Disney can provide. Nestled along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the resort is a quick monorail ride from the enchanting Magic Kingdom Park and steps away from the world-class amenities of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, one of the original Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

“This is truly a stunning addition to the Disney Vacation Club portfolio,” said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Research has told us that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of our most beloved Walt Disney World Resort hotels. As a result, we integrated a new Disney Vacation Club resort that stays true to the original character of this spectacular and iconic property.”

The Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are the largest at Walt Disney World Resort, sleeping five guests each. Each features tropical décor complete with striking prints, bamboo-style fixtures, a whimsical hidden pull-down bed and a split bathroom perfect for families. The Deluxe Studios also offer the flexibility of connecting to an adjacent room.

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File under: They must really need a drink. A couple Tiki Bar die-hards have actually been spotted waiting outside the future home of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace inside the Polynesian Village Resort. Disney World just announced they’ll be waiting a bit longer as the official opening date is still not set. However, it’s expected to be sometime late-April with soft openings coming a bit sooner  (tomorrow). Apparently, they’re waiting for the themed Tiki souvenir glassware to arrive.

According to Disney,

Founded by Adventureland’s famous “head” salesman, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto has some similarities to the Anaheim original. But at Walt Disney World Resort, the magical theming reflects its new resort location. This enchanted South Seas hideaway welcomes guests to explore a menu of “magical tropical drinks and food,” and while this new version shares a few cocktails and small plates, Beverage Manager Brad Ward, Chef Lenny DeGeorge, and the Concept Development team have created new menu items just for the Walt Disney World Resort Trader Sam’s

Sounds great. I can’t wait to get inside either. I guess I’ll have to line up with everyone else. The good news is Disney did release a photo from inside the tiki bar and some shots of very delicious looking drinks and small-bites.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Foxx Fur, whose Passport to Dreams blog I return to time and time again for her detailed dissections of Disney’s theme park & resort design, is out with a wrap up of how good (or bad) 2014 was for Disney’s domestic theme parks. Okay, technically, the full reviews ended in 2011. Foxx Fur just hasn’t had the heart to continue them since then, too depressing. Instead this year, we get a take down of epic proportions on three huge mistakes Disney made in 2014.

To be fair, there is some good stuff to be happy about in 2014, New Fantasyland finally opened its final attraction “The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” and it is a charming dark ride (albeit with some unforgivable errors at the end) and the Magic Kingdom also got a parade it deserves in “Festival of Fantasy.”

But three major changes are pretty much unforgivable from the author’s perspective.

I haven’t been to Disneyland in much too long. When I was last there, you could still visit Walt Disney’s un-used apartment above New Orleans Square. It was great having that previously private space open to guests, even if it was as a store. When it became the Dream Suite, that space was lost to guests. I knew that the expansion of Club 33 in 2014 cost guests another space (the Court of Angels), but I didn’t realize how badly it mangled Walt Disney’s vision of New Orleans Square destroying perspective and genericizing facades that were previously some of the best examples of Imagineering in any of the parks.

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With both the Contemporary and Grand Floridian getting Disney Vacation Club exclusive extensions, it was only a matter of time before the “worst kept secret” made its way to the Polynesian too. Unlike the other two projects on the resort monorail loop, there is no new dedicated wing, instead there will be remodeled rooms and new bungalows that are perched out over the Seven Seas Lagoon.

We have watched as the Bungalows were constructed, but we finally have a better idea of what they’ll look like, what the floor plan will be, and what a stay will cost.

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Each of the 20 Bungalows will sleep 8 in 1093 sq. ft pacific island design themed luxury. But it’s a tight floorplan with 4 of those beds either murphy or pullout beds.