What it’s like at Disney’s Polynesian overwater bungalows

Some of the only overwater bungalows in the United States are located where you may least expect it — Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. Yes, in Central Florida.

Believe it or not, sitting on the shore of Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon, there are 20 true overwater bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Disney World called the Bora Bora Bungalows. And if what you associate with Disney World lodgings are cartoon-decorated, otherwise pretty standard hotel rooms, you’ll be surprised when you walk down the dock and open the door of these bungalows.

Not only do these well-appointed two-bedroom Polynesian overwater bungalows that first opened in 2015 come with a unique overwater setting and outdoor private plunge pool, this is Disney World, so they also come with a view of the evening fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, complete with piped-in music timed perfectly with the fireworks overhead.

I’ve stayed in many Disney hotels ranging from very nice resorts to some budget-friendly options, but these bungalows seemed like a dream way too big to ever dream.

So, when TPG’s long-time DVC points rental partner, David’s Vacation Club, reached out and offered me a chance to try this bungalow using some of their points, I couldn’t have possibly said yes and extended an existing trip by a night fast enough.

Here’s everything you may want to know about Disney’s Polynesian overwater bungalows, including the much-asked question of just how much they cost (spoiler alert: it’s a lot) and a way you can potentially book for almost 30% less by renting Disney Vacation Club points instead of paying the going cash rates.


Related: We tested saving money at Disney by using David’s Vacation Club

Inside Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows

Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows are laid out on the shore of the larger Polynesian Village Resort. To find these bungalows, you’ll walk towards the ‘beach’ area of the resort and look for the hard-to-miss gated dock that leads to these bungalows.


It’s not likely you will get too close to these villas without a reservation, as you’ll need to scan your MagicBand or keycard to get past the gate.

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Other than slightly different locations (which we will talk more about shortly), each of the 20 Polynesian Bungalows are essentially identical, with a dock leading to the covered porch, complete with a wind chime and a padded seat on the porch adjacent to the front door.


Stepping into the bungalows, you’ll enter into a hardwood floored hallway which leads into the open-concept living room and kitchen. The hallway is flanked on either side by the two bedrooms.


There is a vaulted wooden ceiling and bits of Polynesian-inspired decor with an ocean-themed color palette of blues and browns, likely to represent the water and the beach. Much like in the Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, these are best thought of as mini high-end homes that happened to be located on the Disney monorail loop with a view of the Magic Kingdom.

The kitchen has full-sized appliances, silverware, cooking utensils, pots, pans and sponges, dishwashing soap and other necessities. There’s a dining table for eight, which is also the maximum occupancy of the bungalow.


The living room has a couch which also serves as the location for a pull-down Murphy bed that can sleep two. Underneath the large living room TV is a pull-down single bed with one of the most unique themes hidden inside … the classic Electrical Water Pageant, which has been around since the park opened in 1971 and you can still see from the back porch of the bungalow each evening.

The primary bedroom is quite large for a Disney bedroom and has a king-sized bed and a direct door that takes you out to the back deck. Fortunately, given how many gadgets and gizmos families usually have to charge each evening while at Disney, such as the new MagicBand+ options, there are plenty of outlets to juice up your electronics.

A shining star of the primary bedroom is the en suite bathroom which is gorgeous.

There is floor-to-ceiling ocean blue shimmering tile, double vanity, a deep soaking tub, walk-in shower and in-mirror TV. I’ve seen in-mirror TVs before, but none as well done and all-around fantastic as this. I’ll admit, I watch recordings of the Disney welcome screen on YouTube at home as happy background noise at times, so having it in my overwater bungalow’s bathroom was just #goals I didn’t know I had.

Across the hall is the secondary bedroom with a surfboard-inspired headboard over the queen-sized bed and another single pull-down bed underneath the TV, this time with a Lilo and Stitch theme hidden within when you pull out the bed. This room is more compact than the primary bedroom but it still feels spacious, with a large window and a sitting area. It doesn’t have an en suite bathroom, but one is accessible from the hallway located between this room and the living room.

In the same area as the secondary bathroom is also a washer and dryer, which is an underrated amenity on a family trip.


Outside on the large deck, you’ll find two largely impractical and somewhat uncomfortable (but still fun) swinging chairs, two lounge chairs and a small table for four.

But the crown jewels out here are the view itself and the plunge pool, which at first may seem like an afterthought as it’s neither heated nor large enough to truly swim in. But let me tell you, after getting back from Magic Kingdom on a 100-degree day, it was pretty fantastic to take a quick dip there without having to head all the way to the main pool.

Of course, with the massive and fantastic Lava Pool a short walk away, the plunge pool may understandably not be where you do the bulk of your swimming. But, it’s still quite nice to have, even if all you do is dangle your feet in it while enjoying an on-deck cocktail.


Related: These are the best hotels at Disney World

Best things about staying at Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows


Related: How Disney has renovated 22,000 rooms in 5 years

Things I didn’t love about the Polynesian Bungalows

I’d have stayed in those overwater bungalows for as long as they’d let me, which sadly was just one night, so take all of the things I didn’t love about them with a huge grain of salt. But, if I were to give some constructive areas where the bungalows could be even better for those paying top-dollar to be there, the list would include:

  • We were in one of the bungalows closest to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC). From an hour before early entry to the Magic Kingdom (7:30 a.m. on our date) until 90 minutes after the park closed (11:30 p.m. for us) you would hear the frequent horns of the ferries taking people back and forth to the park. It was loud and unless you are a heavy sleeper (or using earplugs), it could make for pretty short nights of sleep if you are staying in the villas for multiple nights. I’d request a villa far away from the TTC, if you have that option.
  • Adding to the short night issue, there’s really no good way to keep out the light and sleep in. The bungalows are appointed with somewhat translucent window shades and there are hardwood slats on the door leading to the deck, neither of which kept out the sun.
  • The price. This probably goes without saying, but as we will dive into next, this is an extraordinarily expensive place to stay at Disney World that costs in one night what an entire Disney World vacation could cost for a family. So as much as I love the bungalows, the odds are short that I could ever truly afford to stay here for real.

Related: The best restaurants at Disney World

Price to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows — and how to make it lower

The bad news: the retail cash price for a night in a Polynesian overwater bungalow often starts at $3,200+.

And that’s when the bungalows are even available to book with cash, which they often aren’t, given that there are only 20 in all of Disney World and Disney Vacation Club members booking with their points often get first dibs. However, therein lies the silver lining.

You can book these with Disney Vacation Club points if you own points — or even if you just want to rent someone else’s DVC points.

It’s still pricey, with stays starting at 112 DVC points per night during the least expensive time of the year (weekdays from Sept. 1–30). In contrast, the regular studios at the Polynesian that more closely resemble standard hotel rooms start at just 14 points per night during that same lowest-priced time of the year. So, one bungalow can cost the same number of DVC points as eight studio villas.

But let’s not let practicality get in the way of achieving a bucket list goal. Even though it does cost a lot of points, it can still be cheaper to rent DVC points to stay in the bungalow than pay the going cash rate. It’s also a little easier to find DVC availability than cash availability.

David’s Vacation Club, who provided the points for my stay, typically charges $21 per rented DVC point for stays within seven months ($23 per point for stays 7–11 months). At that $21 per rented point cost, 112 points would set you back $2,352 per night for the villa. Contrast that to the lowest cash rate I could find at $3,272.75 all-in, and you can save close to 30% if you go the rented points route.

That’s still incredibly pricey for most vacation budgets. Still, since it sleeps eight, it could be split by two families, and then it drops from never-would-I-ever expensive to maybe once-in-a-lifetime for a night or two kind of expensive.

Given that a regular Disney hotel room at a deluxe resort can cost $500–$700+ per night (let’s assume that’s within your budget), then paying $1,176 if you split the bungalow during the lowest-priced time of the year with another family for a night isn’t that crazy if this is on your list of Disney goals.

Related: Rent Disney Vacation Club points via TPG’s partner David’s Vacation Club


Don’t stress if this is never going to fit in your budget, no matter how many times you split it. Just book a standard room or studio at the Polynesian — which, again, you can do for as few as 14 rented DVC points in the lowest-priced times of the year, coming to $294–$322 at $21–$23 per rented DVC point. No matter your room, you can still enjoy one heck of a stay at what is unquestionably my favorite Disney resort hotel.


From onsite Dole Whip, outdoor evening movies, watching the fireworks from the beach, the pools and splash pad, waterslide and more, I’d argue there isn’t a better theme park resort anywhere.

Related: Why I don’t regret buying a Disney Vacation Club ‘timeshare’

Bottom line

The overwater bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are at the top of the Disney resort hotel food chain.

They are indulgent while also being very practically appointed for a family or friend group trip. You’ll have to make the hard choice of spending time in your expensive and hard-earned villa vs. enjoying all that the Polynesian and surrounding theme parks have to offer. And sadly, no amount of magic will add hours or minutes to your day while you’re there — trust me, I tried.

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