Polynesian in Blue Sky
As mentioned on August 31st, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is actually going under refurbishment and won't open until summer of 2021. This is amazing because since the last Polynesian refurbishment back in 2015, have several different Polynesian inspired movies and shorts coming out. On top of that, they've also been very popularly received with guests. Disney said not only will they be working on making Moana inspired rooms but also including enhancements to the Grand Ceremonial House. This is a very big deal with the mixed reviews of the most recent refurbishment, because of the attachment to the old lobby's smell and feel due to the giant rock work fountain and vegetation since opening.
I feel like Moana is a good middle point that can bring old and new again. So, I decided to do a Blue Sky session to see what some possibilities would be for the Grand Ceremonial House and even beyond in the future if they want to go ahead and add to the entire the area. Nothing official, just a fan having some fun.
Let's start with the main lobby in the center, you'll usually see this 1970s Tiki which was originally in Disney's Polynesian Village resort's artwork and several different things that WDI brought to bring the 70s retro feel back to the resort.
I, personally, do think would be amazing to replace him and bring Te Fiti in the center of the Grand Ceremonial House, for many reasons. Not only does Te Fiti symbolizing earth's nature, but she also would bring that lush, green, towering structure that the older generation Polynesian Village Resort seems to be sentimental for. It'll be just a little bit taller by a couple of feet, to the point where people will be like, "OK this is what I remember." It makes the concept of an island resort very front and center as soon as you enter the lobby.
Moving on to the pool area. I'll be honest - I'm a big pool design person. I think it's important to understand that one of the biggest things guests do on vacation is go to the pool. If they're not at the parks, or Disney Springs, they're probably going to be at the pool or they're gonna be in the room.
On that note, let's clean it up a little bit. First, I had this cool concept for a Te Fiti inspired makeover to the rock work, then I thought it was a little bit overkill because of my previous lobby design, so I scrapped that. Then, I realized in the 90s the Polynesian used to have a Volcano pool, and it got my wheels turning. The Lava short actually came in during 2014, when the refurbishment project was well on it's way at the Polynesian.
I feel like this is a beautiful short, and it should honestly be represented in the hotel, so on that note, I decided to turn the current Polynesian pool into the main character from lava.
Connecting the water play area to the Polynesian Moana re-theme, it would be really easy and simple to just refurbish the kiddie play area and add Kakamora. Their mischievous, they're fun, they're dangerous (probably not a good omen for pools - but it's fun for kids) And for an additional fun design, I added a little Hei Hei on a pillar as well, because honestly, if kids like Stitch spitting out water in Disney Springs, they're going to love Hei Hei spitting water on them at the Polynesian Resort.
That's all the blue sky for now! Stay tuned for another refurbishment well on it's way!