Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Refreshed, Reopened, and Revisited

When Jen and Lori recently visited Walt Disney World Resort and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, they needed a respite from their whirlwind of activity and eating. So, they upgraded themselves to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The Poly, as many if us like to call it, recently underwent a room refurbishment, and is still experiencing a bit of a makeover. 

Before we get to the latest from Disney’s Polynesian Resort, let’s enjoiy our:


trader sams
photo courtesy DisneyFoodBlog.com

Our girls were there for the re-opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a MousekeMoms favorite. More on that later.

Unfortunately, they didn’t learn until later that Trader Sam’s offers a secret drink menu. Check it out:

Heart of Polynesia: Coruba, Bacardi, Blue Curaçao, cream of banana, orange, and pineapple

Grunt’s Grog: Gin, Lemon Juice, Bitters, and Orgeat Syrup 

Shipwrecked on D Rock: Maker’s Mark, Lemon Juice, Mint, and Agave 

As much as I love Trader Sam’s, it’s rum-heavy menu usually disappoints me. I can’t wait to try either of these last two options. And I really can’t wait to find out what happens when I order one.

What's New at Disney's Polynesian Resort

The newly refurbished Poly opened to all resort guests on July 19, just in time for our MousekeMoms.

While the new porte cochere and monorail station aren’t yet complete, changes are visible everywhere. The longhouse hallways now boast lighter, brighter, breezier colors. Gone are the Brady–Bunch-goes-to-Hawaii days. Guest rooms are brighter too, with touches of subtle Moana theming throughout. The nods to Moana are subtle and playful without being cartoonish and kitschy. 


‘Ohana recently reopened to mixed guest reviews. At first the modified menu alarmed guests, and public outcry led to the return of the mucch-beloved noodles. Still, concerns about the food filled the internet. Our MousekeMoms were happy to report that their ‘Ohana food was on point.

And bonus MousekeTip – Don’t have an ‘Ohana reservation?  You can order ‘Ohana menu items at Tambu Lounge while you sip a beverage and wait for your table at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.


Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sams

That’s right. Trader Sam’s is back in all it’s glory. 

We love the atmosphere here. Small and intimate, they do not take reservations, so get there early to put your name on the list for an often 2 hour wait.

Trader Sam’s serves food and opens at 4pm. In the early evening hours children are welcome. Late into the evenings, however, the atmosphere becomes a rowdy and boisterous haven for adults. Think Tiki Room meets Cheers, where the bartenders serve up libations with a story and pull guests into the antics. Bartenders present drinks as an offering to the gods, props around the space move, and be careful. That stool you’re perched on may not be secure!

For those who don’t make it in to Trader Sam’s, you can enjoy some of the drinks from the menu at the Tiki Terrace, located just outside. Or….if you just want a Dole Whip with rum, consider our:


While a Dole Whip with Rum Floater from Pineapple Lanai really hits the spot, we found an even better option. The Barefoot Pool Bar at Disney’s Polynesian Resort serves up a Frosty Pineapple. This Dole Whip slushy with the rum mixed right in goes down way too easily while lounging at the pool. Note: you must be a Polynesian resort guest to enter the pool area and enjoy this libation.

For more about our experience at the newly refurbished Polynesian Resort, download and listen our podcast. How do you feel about the newest changes at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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