Disney has shown it isn't afraid to make changes, and next up on its revamp list at Walt Disney World is the Polynesian Resort. Part of moving forward though is a bit of a throwback.
"As part of this transformation, the resort is returning to its original name, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort," said Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis.
Work began in 2013 renovating the 847-room resort that's been hosting guests since the park opened in 1971, and this year will see more change as Disney reworks the public areas and continues construction on the newest Disney Vacation Club option that will be adjacent to the hotel.
The iconic resort pool with its waterfalls and slide as well as the Great Ceremonial House are part of the renovation, although what changes will come their way have not been detailed. One new feature to the resort that has been revealed will be the introduction of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto, which is inspired by a popular dining option at Disneyland in California.
"Trader Sam's will continue the evolution of food and beverage offerings across the parks and resorts," Kalogridis said. He said work on Trader Sam's will be finished in 2015 and will feature a themed lounge area with tiki cocktails and small plates of food.
The Disneyland version, known as Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is described as follows on the park's website:
"All around you are mementos of Sam's exploits, many with a sprinkling of his trademark humor. You may very well laugh your head off! Then try to keep cool as surreal events unfold: Exotic elixirs of untold potency are shaken, walls shake with volcanic eruptions and you may not be able to shake the feeling that the tiki gods are watching you."
Some of the drinks offered there include Uh Oa, It's Magic!, Shipwreck on the Rocks, Krakatoa Punch and the Shrunken Zombie Head. Renderings released for the Florida version show a lot of tiki dolls, pith hats and single octopus arm mounted on a wall trophy, curling along a rafter and holding a bottle.
"We'll complete that work next year and I'm looking forward to seeing it in its beautiful new forum," said Kalogridis.
While work continues on the hotel meant for Walt Disney World's regular guests, Disney Vacation Club is working toward the 2015 opening of Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, featuring new construction right on the Seven Seas Lagoon. When open, Walt Disney World will have Disney Vacation Club options along all three of the resorts on the monorail system.
Disney Vacation Club, which began in 1991, is a point-based system unlike traditional week-based time-share models. The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will be the 13th Disney-owned resort for club members, although they also have access to 4,000 nonmember resorts and hotels across the world. Disney Vacation Club units are available for rental when members are not using them.