Contemporary or Polynesian?

FordFam

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
We are planning a 4 night stay in Disney in April and can't decide between the Contemporary and Polynesian. We've been to Disney several times, but have never stayed at a Disney resort before. We like the idea of being close to everything and don't want to rent a car this trip. Which would you choose and why? We'll have our family of 5 (kids ages 4, 7, and 11).
 

Summer2018

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
I stayed at both and loved them both. The Polynesian was my favorite of the two.

The convenience to MK is excellent for both. If you don't mind walking, you can walk to MK easily from the Contemporary. If you stay in the Contemporary, insist on a high tower room.

The theming at the Polynesian is very immersive with Hawaiian music piped in throughout the resort. We will be staying at the Polynesian the next time we go to WDW.
 
  • Angela63

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    I've stayed at both and MUCH prefer The Contemporary. The Poly has a very retro Brady Bunch in Hawaii feel (that feels a little cheesy to me) but I have always loved The Contemporary, everything about it. Different strokes and many different opinions here - which is good! :0)
     

    mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    We are planning a 4 night stay in Disney in April and can't decide between the Contemporary and Polynesian. We've been to Disney several times, but have never stayed at a Disney resort before. We like the idea of being close to everything and don't want to rent a car this trip. Which would you choose and why? We'll have our family of 5 (kids ages 4, 7, and 11).
    We haven't stayed at the CR, but we love everything about the Poly:

    - the grounds are beautiful and relaxing
    - the pool is great as it backs up to the beach with a distant view of the castle
    - the beach is a great place to watch the fireworks
    - just 2 monorail stops from MK and a quick 5-7 min walk to the TTC to catch the Epcot monorail
    - Captain Cooks is great for quick CS meals/snacks
    - walking path to GF (about a 15 min walk, depending on your pace)

    My choice would be the Poly, but I'm sure you'll have a great time no matter which one you choose :).
     

    Minnie1222

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2018
    Poly! Please!!
    The theming at CR is too austere and I really dread waiting for those crowded elevators. Even the guards at the monorail check point seem meaner.
    Stay at the Poly and take the monorail to CR for a brief visit.
     
  • zoo2tycoon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2012
    We did both- 2017 Contemporary TPV main tower and 2018 CL Poly had GV but upgraded to partial TPV (we could see fireworks). Love both but fir some reason the Contemporary would be my first choice.

    You can’t go wrong either way. It just seemed Contemporary easier to get in and out of (with own car), like being able to walk to MK and very easy to get monorail to TTC and change to Epcot monorail.
     

    Collette

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    I hope some families with kids the ages of yours can offer some thoughts about pools, etc.

    Poly was always the resort that "if I ever get to WDW, I am staying there." After over 20 years of wishing I finally did. While I liked it very much, I wasn't quite as wowed as I was hoping to be, but I do hope to go back again. The lobby was always packed with people - I think because of the popularity of 'Ohana and the luau. I will have different expectations next time and think I will enjoy it more. I agree with a previous poster about the retro Brady Bunch in Hawaii feel. I didn't mind it probably because I'm a little nostalgic about that time period, but some younger adults in the family not so much.

    We loved CR. I know there are those who feel like it is more of a convention hotel, but with the monorail going through the hotel and Chef Mickey's being the first restaurant we ever ate at on our first WDW trip, there is a lot of Disney feel to us. We also love being able to walk to Magic Kingdom. And the Transportation and Ticket Center is the next stop on the monorail to catch a monorail to Epcot. California Grill is our favorite restaurant. There is an outside area near the gift shops to watch the fireworks. If you don't want to go out on the dock for the Electrical Water Pageant, I think you can see it well from the upper walkway that connects the CR to Bay Lake Tower.

    For me they are both quintessential Disney and I would love to stay at either any time funds allowed. It will be a wonderful trip for your family!
     

    soccermom54

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2015
    When our children were growing up, we alternated each summer between the Contemporary and the Poly. I love both. The view on either side of the Contemporary tower is very beautiful and relaxing and being able to walk to MK is a real plus. At the Poly, the Polynesian theme completely immerses you from the moment you enter the property. The Poly also offers a boat to the MK as an alternative to the monorail that seems to have issues some days. Both resorts are wonderful, have huge rooms and are both classic Disney World. Now that it is just my DH and I, we stay at French Quarter but I have such wonderful memories of both resorts. But the Poly does have Dole Whip and that for me is a real plus :)
     

    buzzrelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2005
    I love them both and have stayed at both many times, but for the convenience of walking to the MK, I give a slight edge to the CR. You can't go wrong with either.
     
  • RRB

    I've got Cabin Fever, Copper Creek that is
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2001
    Contemporary pros

    · Walking distance to MK

    · Monorail goes right through the lobby (after all these years it still is awesome)

    · Great Restaurant/bar on top of the building to eat and watch fireworks

    · Great views of MK (if you get that room location)



    Poly pros

    · Resort is spread out so a more laid back feel, landscaping and the grounds are outstanding

    · Main pool is awesome, quiet pool is awesome

    · Has Ohana’s restaurant (one of the most popular restaurant at WDW)

    · Dole Whips!!!!!
     

    BayouQueen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2014
    No strong opinion either way...but had to chime in that it's so cool you are taking your kids at the ages they are -- 4, 7 and 11. They will have so much fun! Perfect ages! Have a great time!

    (BTW...we are going Contemporary for the first time this year, because we are traveling with a baby and want the ability to quickly walk back for naps. But with older kids, that's not really a consideration. ) :flower:
     

    Anniefrances

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 15, 2010
    Another vote for CR. It is so convenient to walk to MK, especially at the end of the night when the monorail is crowded. There is a splash area for your youngest to play in. It feels much more relaxed and upscale than Poly. And I prefer Contempo Cafe over Captain Cook's. I agree with Collette about the Poly feeling packed with people - we experienced a similar vibe. Plus the Poly main pool was quite crowded both summers we stayed there. And you have to walk outdoors between your room and the lobby (but not at CR), which is not great when it rains. Even after trying PolyCL twice, I just don't care for this resort. But I will admit that I am likely in a minority on this.
     

    ShannyDoesDisney

    Dreaming of Palm Trees
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2017
    I have only stayed at the Poly but would choose Contemporary next. Being able to walk to MK is so handy and one stop to the TTC to go to Epcot! I love Hawaii and have been enough that to me the Polynesian didn't really capture it for me. Plus getting soaked on a bad Orlando day when I just wanted to grab tonga toast and bring it back to my room was a downer.

    However.. if you love Dole Whips, Tonga toast and eating at Ohana and a cheesy Hawaiian vibe then well Poly is perfect!
     

    momof2halls

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2013
    I've stayed at both and MUCH prefer The Contemporary. The Poly has a very retro Brady Bunch in Hawaii feel (that feels a little cheesy to me) but I have always loved The Contemporary, everything about it. Different strokes and many different opinions here - which is good! :0)
    Agree 100%!! We stayed at Poly in May and we were very disappointed considering what we had paid. We love the Contemporary and can’t wait to stay there again this Thanksgiving.
     

    Childs1stTime2Disney

    *A dream is a wish your heart makes*
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2012
    Another vote for CR. It is so convenient to walk to MK, especially at the end of the night when the monorail is crowded. There is a splash area for your youngest to play in. It feels much more relaxed and upscale than Poly. And I prefer Contempo Cafe over Captain Cook's. I agree with Collette about the Poly feeling packed with people - we experienced a similar vibe. Plus the Poly main pool was quite crowded both summers we stayed there. And you have to walk outdoors between your room and the lobby (but not at CR), which is not great when it rains. Even after trying PolyCL twice, I just don't care for this resort. But I will admit that I am likely in a minority on this.
    What exactly feels more upscale to you about the CR? I have stayed here 2 times when I was a teen.Stayed at Poly as an adult with my own child, with another stay coming with my young kids again. I have watched YOUTUBE videos to see if I want to stay in CR again and it feels dated to me. Is just curious what feels upscale to you?
     

    Gbeards07

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 20, 2016
    No contest IMO. Besides the Monorail going through the lobby and nice views the contemporary feels like every other high end hotel. Like some others mention when staying at the Poly you feel completely immersed. Just my opinion of course.
     

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