An Evening at the Polynesian

On the final Friday evening of winter break, my brother, our friend, and I were sitting at Panera Bread, lamenting our boredom. Our conversation, somehow, turned to how much fun we’d had touring Disney hotels during the break to see all the Christmas decorations… This resulted in my asking the wonderful people of twitter whether or not there were any 24-hour dining locations in the resorts. I was quickly informed that both Polynesian and the Swolphin (Swan/Dolphin) had such options.

As with any other plan that is born of boredom, we didn’t plan ahead – we just jumped in the car and decided to drive the 80-90 miles over to the Polynesian.

I decided to take some pics, because how else would I justify this otherwise completely pointless photo blog? Below you will find photos of the Polynesian on an empty foggy Friday night between the hours of 11:00pm and 1:30am, approximately.

If there’s some reason (such as insanity) that you’d like to see any of these pictures larger, just click on them for the full size. I will warn you that the full-size pictures are needlessly VERY, VERY LARGE. I’m still learning WordPress and now know to shrink them down a bit when I upload them. Pictures are in chronological order. The photo set can be found on Flickr here:


This is the window that divides Captain Cook’s from the hallway that leads down to the arcade. Birds of paradise set a nice tropical mood on a cold and foggy night. Easy to forget the outside world.IMG_2068

Our booth in which we cozied up to people watch. A GIANT hibiscus is a necessity for any late-night Dole Whip and cupcake consumption, right?


Captain Cook’s, or the Golden Girls’ house? Doesn’t matter, both are awesome.


Remember when I said it was empty?Yeah.


We step outside to see… No one.


I’d only ever seen this area absolutely jam-packed during the daytime. Very strange to see it so empty.


Signature WDW orange night sky highlights the color palette of the resort.


The volcano over the pool. I feel strange wanting to take a cooling dip in lava. I’m glad the pool’s not painted reddish orange. Note to self: price bulk food coloring.


Steamy pool.


One thing I set out to see was whether or not I could capture a decent shot of Cinderella Castle. I am uncertain if I accomplished “decent,” but I definitely got some pictures.


The fog’s messing with me.


I used a 30-second exposure here, and managed to capture the Main Street Christmas tree.


Here Main Street Station comes into the picture, on another 30-second exposure. Water on the lens, a bit of movement… if you keep the pic small, it’s not bad, but it gets ugly quick.


Wet lens, long exposure of the Grand Floridian. That DVC construction is coming along nicely, and I feel the blur beautifies the shot a bit.


Building end.


This does not work at midnight.


A friendly pool shower tiki.


Another look at the steamy pool, with a shot of the covered Hoyer lift and accessible pool entrance. I’m glad to see WDW becoming more and more accessible.


Wannahockaloogie, wannahockaloogie!


Pink Cindy’s!


Trying to capture the Kiss Goodnight strobes.


Blue is hard to capture.


See? The blue causes a loss of detail. Human eyes have problems with blue, too. It’s okay, little camera, no one judges you.


Magenta castle.


Some more strobes, along with lens artifacts.


Strobes on a dark castle.


Why have none of you ever rented a cabana at the Polynesian for me?


A small cascade in the creek the Imagineers would have you believe feeds the pool.


Another shower tiki. I was unaware so many gods in Polynesia were dedicated to cleanliness.


Rooms well out of my budget? Right across that quaint bridge.


Behind the bridge, we find the spring that feeds the creek that feeds the pool.


Leftover Christmas in this window display.


The whale family of Wyland gallery fame. They don’t really fit. They don’t really not fit.


Dolphins are known for their plant-jumping abilities.


Moves like Flipper.


Empty lobby is empty. Also, comfortable.


It’s ours! All ours!


Trying to see how shallow the depth of field is on the 28mm lens. Answer: pretty shallow! Mickey’s in focus, but not his feet.


Getting artsy.


Not-so-hidden-Mickeys adorn the gloriously colorful lobby carpet.


There’s a lot to do here at the Poly. Even restrooms!


Little drummer boy…


Also outside the Wyland Gallery. I assume “Wyland” is Hawaiian for “ocean-bound mammal.”


Tiki drummer, would you pass a blood panel?


Probably not, but do your thing!


At least the drummer is peacefully standing in the corner. These guys commandeered a shop. The one on the left looks especially intense.


Ooooh! Orchids! Pretty!


TLC tells us not to chase these. However, photography is fine.


Seriously, this is the first time I’ve looked up in the Polynesian’s lobby. It’s very, very large and sunny… almost like an air-conditioned outdoors.


Okay, THAT guy needs to bring it WAY DOWN. He’s got nails in his mouth. He needs more of whatever the drummer tiki is on… The mellowing stuff.


Bromeliad! I used to grow these when I was younger. I guess it’d be weird to say I grew these when I was older.


Heading home… Bye lobby! You’re beautiful!


I wish this arrangement was made of real flowers :(


Bamboo shot toward the Boutiki sign.


Walkway fountain, longer exposure.


This little tiki god protects the fire, and is eating a Dole Whip. He seems happy enough, with his fish and all…. but I think he could be happier!


There we go! Look how much happier he is with a lei.


Smile, darn ya, smile!


Last little bit of tropical getaway before heading to my car and back to the real world. :(


Bootprints in the concrete at the top of the steps. I have to wonder if there’s a story here, as I can’t imagine Disney leaving them there without a reason… Anyone know?

That’s it! Please leave a comment, I really want to know what you think… I guess I also take requests. I’ve got a lot of posts to write and pictures to share. I took 4000 or so pictures over the New Year’s festivities, hope to get some of them up this weekend for you guys. Please let me know in the comments below what’s great and what’s awful. Thanks!!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Joey says:

    Awesome shots! I captions were fantastic also.

    1. Joey says:

      Correction: THE captions were fantastic.

  2. adrif says:

    Awesome!! I wont more!

  3. leeshka says:

    Needs moar ToT.
    Also? <3 this!!

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