7 days at Polynesian and 3 at HRH


Jul 10, 2000
We just got back Sunday night. We had 2 families with children(all sons) who were 8, 9, 12 and 17yo. We stayed at the Polynesian in two rooms, garden view. We had requested Tahiti but it ended up in Rapa Nuie. The room was big and plenty of space for us all. It was non-smoking. The view was partial parking lot, trees and a little of the monorail. We were on the third floor and did have a balcony. Except for checking the temperature every morning we never used it. I was glad that we hadn't paid the extra for a better view. It was very nice to have the two sinks in the morning. The atmosphere was nice and we didn't really find that anything was much of a walk to get to. No odd smell although my SIL said it reminded her of the smell of the vegetation in Mexico on a trip she had there. Not a bad smell but one that was reminescent of that experience. The first night we ate at O'Hanas. It was one the best meals I have had. Four of our group are vegetarians and the chef made them a wonderful pasta dinner but truthfully what was initially presented would have fed them all. The salad with the lime dressing was very good as was the shrimp with the various dipping sauces. The dinner comes with dessert but my ds and I had to have the "Snow ball" which is vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and chocolate sauce. It was very good. We caught a little bit of the fireworks that night out the window but we were by the fire pit. Our p/s was for 7:40 and that seems like a good time if you wanted to see them and eat. The crowds were very small and we usually walked on to almost every ride. I think the longest we waited for anything was 20 minutes. A couple of times we did use the fast pass just to make better use of our time but we accomplished an enormous amount in the time we had. The lack of EE didn't pose a problem and we saw and did just about everything we wanted. Things that we didn't get to had more to do with that with working with 8 people who may have different focuses sometimes causes you to miss opportunities. We also ate at the Plaza, The Sci-Fi diner, The Rainforest Cafe, The Portabello Yacht Club, The Garden Grill and the Kona Cafe. My veggie relatives said the veggies at the Garden Grill were the best meal they had. My highlight was doing Cindy's breakfast. Even though all of the kids were boys they seemed to have a really good time and enjoyed themselves. The food was good and plenty and the atmosphere was great. Well worth the time and effort. The weather was nice for the most part. We did have some cool mornings and evenings but since everyone had at least a couple of long sleeve shirts and a light jacket it was OK. TTC did a good job at getting us where we wanted to be when we wanted to be there. They picked us up from the airport on the 1st and took us to the Polynesian, then the picked us up on the 7th and took us to the HRH and then picked us up on the 10th and took us back to the airport. No problems at all. The drivers were friendly and efficient. The HRH was nice. The rooms seemed small after the Polynesian and the boys had been spoiled by the daybed and not having to share a bed. The Sunset Grill had good food and was convenient. The FOTL passes to Universal and IOA are invaluable. Agian the crowds were not bad but we just whizzed on to everything. We ate at Mythos. The food was good and the atmosphere was interesting. We got to see the Marde Gras parade and my littlest one was very excited about catching the beads. There are special places for those under 9 to stand and they are given first shot at a lot of the beads. It was a very enjoyable trip and there really wasn't anything that we had a problem with.
I am so glad you had such a great trip. That snowball sounds interesting. Maybe I'll give one a try sometimes.
Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation!

Thanks for the report.

I have a question about O'Hana's. You mentioned that desert was included but when I look at the menu on wdwig it only shows desserts separately priced. I was hoping that they would be included! Thanks for any info.
my son in law is a vegan and the last time he was in Disney.....he didn't really complain...but we did our best with meals.....I didn't know about the poly.......thanks again
Sounds like you had a great time! I was wondering if you went to Disney Quest with all those BOYS:D and what did they enjoy? I'll be going next year with 2 15 yo boys, so I was just curious.

I enjoyed reading your report, thanks for sharing!
Hi GeorgiaPeach. We are going to be splitting our trip, too, between Disney and Universal. What time did you ask TTC to come and get you when you 'moved' to HRH? How much more did they charge you for this pick-up?

Sorry this took so long, my computer has been on the fritz.

Cookie2001: At O'Hana's the dessert that came with the meal was fresh pineapple with a caramel dipping sauce.

LynnCC: My SIL hates arcades and was not real thrilled with spending a couple of hours at DQ. We ended up spending 8 hours!!! The boys had a blast. Once you pay for the initial entrance all the games are free. We had Length of Stay passes so ours was already included. The boys thought they were in heaven.

Pumba: We were able to find plenty of things for vegetarians. I had worried about O'Hana's because it is a little expensive and I didn't want them to pay for just a few crumbs. We were pleasantly surprised. We had just made a p/s and then 24 hours ahead of time we confirmed the p/s and reminded them about the vegetarians in the group. They got a really good garden burger at the Sci-Fi diner and as I said they were really impressed with the fare at the Garden Grill. No body went back to the hotel hungry.

Kitty34: We had the TTC pick us up at the Polynesian at 12:30. When we got to the HRH our rooms were all ready even though check in isn't until 4. We got right in and headed for Universal. If it hadn't been ready they do the same thing as WDW and will hold your luggage while you tour. I think the total for the 8 of us was $112.00. This was airport to WDW, WDW to HRH, HRH to airport. This did not included tips. We did tip 3 times(with each pick-up). The first 2 times we had the same driver. Each family gave $8-$10 tips.
Hi Georgiapeach: We love the poly as well, glad you had a good trip.

We are looking at going to universal, never been, but you know I just can't seem to bring myself to book the hard rock hotel. I think I would rather just go over for a day trip, do you think your visit to universal was made much better by staying onsite.

We are already splitting our wdw stay and to stay at a third hotel might be a bit much for hubby. What do others think, just hop over for the day or stay at the hard rock. Also there are some wild rides that we cannot go on, so we won't have to do everything there. Thanks

I think it really depends on what you want to do and what time of year. The front of the line passes that you get by staying on site are really invaluable. We walked on to everything. This time of year it is probably not that much of an issue but at peak times I don't think I would even try to go without it. The hotel was very nice and we enjoyed it. It was also very nice being able to just pop back to the hotel for whatever reason. No busses, no trams, no waits, just a 5-10minute walk and we were there.
cottontail, Stay at the Hard Rock! We went last year fully expecting it to be inferior to a Disney hotel, and that it wouldn't measure up, but boy, were we in for a nice surprise! The Hotel is beautiful, great rooms, great pool, lobby, service AND being a 5 minute walk from the parks is incredibly convenient, not to mention the best perk of all, FOTL. Imagine you just walk up to any ride and walk right on, even in high season with long lines. It's the best! I can't imagine that anyone would be sorry they stayed there.
Hi: It sounds great, I guess I can't visualize what universal is even like, cause I have never been before. I am addicted with wdw, but would like to try the other things in orlando.

The convience sounds great, to be able to walk back and forth and be so close. We are arriving on a sunday around 3 or 4 would that be a waste to book into the hard rock, or would that be the way to do it and have the keys in hand for the whole next day? Or does everyone go over at the end of a disney trip and book in that morning and have the whole day, plus the next day. Tha is for a two night stay. Just wondering?

Thanks for any info,

If you like coasters, thrill rides, etc., you definitely need two days to see both USF and IOA. We are WDW veterans (see signature) who have really been impressed by USF/IOA. My two kids, DD12 and DS10, would rather go to USF/IOA then WDW at this point. If you don't do any thrill rides (aka the Disney mountains, ToT, RnR), then one very full day would be okay for USF/IOA.
No matter what you do, you must ride Spiderman. It is, by far, the best attraction ever at any park anywhere.
Have fun!
Thanks Kdave: I think daughter and I are one day and hubby and son are two days, thanks for your info. Just one question about spiderman, is it a wild ride, with motion that makes you dizzy? I have heard that this one is the fav of many.

Nice split trip report georgiapeach60.

I, like cottontail am curious about Spiderman as well.

Actually My DW & I are thinking of doing 1 to 2 days in October.
We, like all the others are WDW fanatics & have not been to either Universal park.
We are taking our 3 1/2 (at that time) year old DD.
What do you think she would like & be able to ride on. (She loves motion rides!)
Is there a minimum stay for tickets/hotel (more than 1 day)?
Hi Yepod:

Everyone keeps telling me that it is worthwhile to stay at one of the universal hotels for front of the line access, we are looking into it for our trip.

Welcome home! I'm glad you had a nice trip. :) Sorry to hear you didn't get Tahiti though. I have that building requested for my April trip, too. :)

Thanks for the report!
Deb, yepod;
If you can handle the motion of Body Wars at EPCOT, you can handle Spiderman. I have a middle ear problem that normally would prevent rides like this. But last trip to USF/IOA (two weeks ago), I used a scopolamine patch and had no problems whatsoever.
Spidey is like combining Body Wars, Honey I Shrunk the Audience and any of the "track" rides (i.e. Haunted Mansion) all into one. If I remember right, the ride vehicle has seating for twelve (three rows of four each). The sides of the vehicle are kind of high to block out your peripheral vision. The vehicle moves on a track from set to set, which simulate areas of the city. Nested in the sets are these curved 3D movie screens, which, with the glasses, really give a much truer sense of 3D than a stationary "theater" setting. The vehicle moves to the action on the screen and really makes it feel real. The climax is a forty-story fall from the top of a building.
Hope you try it and love it as much as me. I rode it four times on my last trip!


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