Local 6 Theme World: Polynesian's future revealed

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By Ken Pilcher - Producer
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May 15, 2014

Polynesian's Future Revealed

Aloha! Remember when I told you about some of the changes coming to the Polynesian?  Well, with all of the construction going on -- people have been asking me for an update.  Today, Disney revealed much of what is going on. So I'll start with their news.

I told you the iconic waterfall, rocks and planter at the heart of the lobby was being bulldozed.   Disney confirmed that about a week ago and released art of the new look lobby with a tiny waterfall and planter with a tiki on top.

 Well, that didn't sit well with many Polynesian fans who, until the art was released, hoped that was a bad rumor. More than 1,800 people have signed a Change.org petition to save the waterfall. Disney responded by giving us another look at what  the new "open concept" lobby.

Walls are going up as we speak to take out the waterfall and planter. While I am personally not impressed with the art, I think there is almost zero chance the waterfall can be saved.   Disney also confirmed some of what I reported earlier about the 14-year-old Nanea volcano pool.

The pool will close at the end of July for a major makeover that will last through early next year. Disney calls them "enhancements" and they will include a new aquatic playground with slides for children, a hot tub, and a larger deck with more seating for guests.  How are they going to do that? Disney isn't saying. Several sources still say the volcano itself is going to be partially or completely removed.

To compensate, the extremely reliable webmaster of WDWMagic.com reports Polynesian guests will receive a free ticket to Blizzard Beach for a day and transportation right to the park while the Poly main pool is being renovated.

Interesting that Disney picked Blizzard, since Typhoon Lagoon is much closer to the Polynesian theme. Other changes announced are proving much more popular with fans.

The resort will gain a new main marquee with waterfall, along with an old name: "Disney's Polynesian Village Resort" -- which is the name it went by from opening in 1971 til the early 90s.
 Also popular with guests, news that  a 'Pineapple Lenai' food and beverage kiosk will open  this year,  featuring the Magic Kingdom's famous Pineapple Dole Whip. That sweet treat used to be available at the Polynesian's Captain Cook's -- which is now closed for major renovations. A temporary quick-serve restaurant is open in a cast member break area.

More details are now out on what will quickly become one of the resort's most popular places. Taking the place of Moana Minnie's arcade will be Trader Sam's Grog Hut.
 A family-friendlier version of a tiki bar that's very popular at the Disneyland Resort in California.

It's similar to Pleasure Island's long-lamented "The Adventurer's Club" without live actors playing characters.
That art was released last week. Today -- a new view was released that features an old friend.

That sure looks like the Uh-Oha "Tiki Goddess of Destruction" animatronic. She was one of the few highlights of the "Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management" bird show at the Magic Kingdom until it, mercifully, caught fire in 2011.
Our Trader Sam's will open  next year. 
Opening in June will be a children's activity center called Club Disney.

Bye-bye Peter Pan & Neverland Club theme. In its place expect children to be "Disney cast members while they play dress up, make crafts and participate in storytelling experiences while their parents have fun on their own.... The area itself looks like a child's fairy tale brought to life,"
  The look is apparently inspired by the "Little Golden Books" versions of classic Disney movies.
Nothing new was said about these new bungalows and boardwalks popping up beachside.

We know they are for an expansion of the Disney Vacation Club. I'll be taking a closer look at that soon in a future Theme World.

That's all for today!

Keep your emails, questions, tips and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback. You can always find all of my blog entries at www.clickorlando.com/themeparks

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