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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Disney's Polynesian Bungalows: Are they worth the price?

I was a bit shocked the first time I priced out a Polynesian Bungalow for myself. It was only for a 4 night stay, but it came out to something in the neighborhood of $8000. How is that possible, it's just a hotel room and I only sleep there right?
Clearly. I did not book that room and instead went with a standard theme park view room that was significantly cheaper, I did take the opportunity to tour one of the bungalows though and here are my thoughts on why it might be worth it:

If you have questions about booking one of these bungalows, or about renting DVC points to book one, contact us today!

1. It's two bedrooms and two baths: For larger families this room is going to be much more comfortable than your standard room. Besides having 2 bedrooms, it also has 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a washer/dryer. The bed setup is even better, 1 bedroom has a king, the other a queen and a bunk-sized pull down, and the living room has a double sleeper sofa and a bunk-sized pull down. You add all that up and you're talking sleeping space for up to 8 people. 

2. A room with a view: The bungalows are all located along the beach of the seven seas lagoon with a fabulous unobstructed view of Magic Kingdom. So much so that those jerks obstructed my view a bit in my cheaper theme park view room. This pic below is pretty much what my view was, so imagine what the view from the back deck of one of those is like!

What's better than a fabulous view of Magic Kingdom? How about a view with a plunge pool? That's right, I said a plunge pool. Each bungalow has a rear deck overlooking the seven seas lagoon. The deck is furnished with a small table and two hanging basket chairs, two lounge chairs, and a small 2-4 person plunge pool. Now, I do not recommend the plunge pool for very long. After all, it's like sitting in bath water, but I really enjoyed having a drink and sitting in one while I watched the electric water parade and the Wishes Fireworks. It felt like I was on my own little island.

3. Location! Location! Location! The Polynesian is conveniently located on the Magic Kingdom resorts monorail line. I cannot stress enough how awesome this convenience is. From the bungalows, you have about an equal walk to the front of the resort as you do the the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). This means that you can actually walk to the TTC for the monorail to Epcot as well. The monorail is not perfect, it does occasionally stall or have to stop and wait for one on the track ahead, but it is sooooooo much better than sitting on a bus. Soooooo much better, and 9 times out of 10, it's faster too.

I like what I am hearing, but what kind of savings tips can you offer? 
Okay, so clearly there is not much you can do about the price. It is what it is and if you want to stay there, you need to prepare yourself for the price tag. However, here are a few strategies for saving:

Go during the "off" season: Pricing on all resorts when they are the slowest is the lowest; Disney calls this "Adventure" or "Value" season and there is almost always some promotion running to entice you to the more expensive rooms. The added bonus of traveling during these times is that the parks are much, much slower. I took a picture in Epcot one time in the last few days of August and you would have thought that the park was closed.

Yea, this was 2 in the afternoon....
Share and share alike: 8 people to a room is a lot. So if you have another family member or friend who is itching to stay in one of these, consider splitting the cost. It's still going to be expensive, but if you can get a promotional rate and split it with someone as crazy as you are, it just might work out!

Start a Disney Savings Account: The Disney Savings account has a promotional element to it that gets you a $20 gift card for every $1000 spent on a Disney vacation. Now, there are some requirements as far as how long the account is open and what you can use it for, but free money is free money. You combine that with the added flexibility of being able to "fund" the account with a credit card and a savvy rewards card user could really compound some dollars out of the process. Nothing better than money earning money!

Rent DVC points: This one is a bit trickier. When you rent DVC points, you are essentially renting someone's timeshare that they are not going to use. You would have to rent enough points for the dates that you want and you would want to make sure that those dates are available (you may need to book 7-11 months in advance). As a result, I highly recommend talking to someone who has done it before and who is well versed in how it works. Since I am a DVC owner, and have rented and rented out points many times, I would be happy to explain it. Email me today!

Get a travel agent: I know, I know, this one is self serving since I am an agent and own an agency, but I cannot stress enough how much having a travel agent in your corner can help. Between snagging a promotional rate before it runs out, helping with dining, and explaining the whole fastpass system, a travel agent can easily be the best vacation decision you make. For most destinations (like Disney) our services are totally free, so it's a win-win. By having a solid strategy for my clients, I have saved them anywhere from $500 to $1000 per night on the bungalows specifically.

Contact us today to help you plan your next adventure!
Here is a peak at a short Disney commercial about the resort!

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