Review: King Kamehameha Club Level at Polynesian Resort

Wondering if King Kamehameha Club Level at Polynesian Village Resort is worth the money? This Walt Disney World concierge lounge hotel review details what’s included, photos of the food served, how King Kamehameha stacks up to other Club Level resorts at WDW, and more.

For starters, this focuses only on the Poly Club Level experience. if you’re looking for our thoughts on the hotel as a whole, check out our Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review. We also have a overarching thoughts on Club Level resort tiers and an index of other reviews in our Guide to Club Level & Concierge Lounges at Disney World

King Kamehameha Club is the first concierge level we experienced at Walt Disney World, lucking into a free upgrade here during the off-season. (Ironically, after we packed a bunch of snacks and breakfast items in our luggage–probably the first Club Level guests to bring food from home to save money!) We actually covered our experience at King Kamehameha Club in one of our trip reports, but decided to revisit it now that we’ve done other Club Levels at Walt Disney World.

We stayed several nights at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in the Hawaii Lounghouse, which is home to the King Kamehameha Club. As with all of our Club Level stays at Walt Disney World, we made it a resort-centric trip, opting to spend most of our time in the concierge lounge and very little time in the parks.

What we also really enjoyed was the space of the lounge. Between the two levels and floor to ceiling view overlooking the beach and Magic Kingdom, the physical environment of this lounge ranks among my favorites at Walt Disney World. Others might say it’s dated, but I love the look.

Every day after the breakfast rush, I could take my laptop to the lounge and grab a table by the window with a view of the beach and Cinderella Castle.

I’m a huge sucker for having an “office” with a view, and this is impossible to beat.

Once things started to get busier during lunch and again at dinner, I’d typically relocate to the upper level, which always seemed to be devoid of guests (save for Monday Night Football).

I spent a good 4-6 hours per day working from the King Kamehameha Club Lounge. With no theme park view from our view, this use of the lounge was a tremendous ‘value add’ for me.

To get the most bang for your buck out of Club Level, this is something we highly recommend. Obviously, many of you reading this don’t visit Walt Disney World frequently (perhaps you’re even planning your first visit!), so you may not have this luxury.

At the very least, we’d recommend making a point out of doing breakfast in the King Kamehameha Club Lounge every morning, and as many dinners and desserts in there as possible. Lunch is completely skippable, which basically means you “need” to be at the resort in the morning (that should be easy to accomplish) and back a little before 7 p.m. for dinner (not quite as easy to accomplish).

The big upside to Club Level at the Poly is that King Kamehameha Club offers a perfect view of Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks. We’re talking a dead-on view with music pumped into the room. You can enjoy the Happily Ever After fireworks from a serene, air-conditioned seat. (Note: the photo above was taken outside from a view slightly to the right of the lounge–it’s tough to get good photos in the lounge due to reflections from the glass.)

Not having to fight the crowds on Main Street or being part of the Magic Kingdom mass exodus after the fireworks is huge. This also makes it easier to justify leaving the park around dinner-time. (If one of the parks is open late, you can always head back out afterwards!)

In fairness, this view of Magic Kingdom is simply an elevated view of what you can get from the public beach immediately below the King Kamehameha Club Lounge, so the actual value of this is debatable.

We personally thought it was a nice ‘treat yo self’ experience to sit down, eat dessert, avoid the crowds, and Florida humidity. Reasonable minds may differ on that, though.

If you’re approaching King Kamehameha Club from a value for money perspective, the other option we highly recommend for all Club Level stays is doing a split stay.

Stay in a normal room elsewhere first, and then splurge on your last night or two with Club Level.

This gives you the option to do resort days at the end of your Walt Disney World trip and, for the first time, truly relax and vacation. This also means more of a chance to savor the lounge and get bang for your buck with the food.

Now that we’ve espoused our Club Level ‘philosophy’ here’s a bit of what you can expect if you stay in the King Kamehameha Club at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort…

Guests staying Club Level have access to the Club Concierge Cast Members between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. These Cast Members in the first floor of the Hawaii building can assist with tickets, dining, recreation, transportation, child care, and daily itinerary planning.

Normally, these concierge Cast Members will send out a welcome email prior to your vacation to assist you with planning. This doesn’t always occur, and in large part depends upon how far in advance you book your trip. Since we received an upgrade to King Kamehameha Club at check-in, we were not emailed.

The main draw of staying at King Kamehameha Club, or any concierge level at Walt Disney World is the lounge. Disney states that King Kamehameha Club serves a fairly standard continental breakfast and a variety of Asian-inspired offerings in the evening.

This lounge is open 24/7 and features two-story views facing Magic Kingdom, with a perfect view of Cinderella Castle. From my perspective, this is the best Club Level view at Walt Disney World. You’re not as close as Atrium Club at the Contemporary, but the centered view is superior, as are its layers (beach and Seven Seas Lagoon versus a parking lot).

Throughout the day, the King Kamehameha Club lounge serves the following:

  • Kakahiaka (continental breakfast): 7-10:30 a.m.
  • Auinala (afternoon refreshments): 12-4 p.m.
  • Ahiahi (appetizers, wine, and cheese selections): 5-7 p.m.
  • Aumoe (desserts & cordials): 8-10 p.m.

Consistent with other Club Level lounges around Walt Disney World, we found “Ahiahi” (which we’ll simply call dinner here, since that’s pretty much what it is) to be best of these spreads.

There was a rotating selection of small plates, and these included sushi, bao, skewers, ahi, chicken wings, and other things I’m probably forgetting.

The dinner spread here were almost on par with, but probably still a bit below, the likes of Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Beach Club.

Dessert at the Poly was a mixed bag, with some nights being really strong and others being totally forgettable.

Lunch and breakfast at the Poly were both above average, but still nothing spectacular. None of the Club Level lounges at Walt Disney World do a particularly good job with lunch, and breakfast is more or less the same wherever you go.

It’d be nice if there were hot meats and eggs for breakfast. Even the typical cheap Walt Disney World sausage, bacon, and eggs would be a welcome addition.

While this was our first time staying at the King Kamehameha Club Level, we had visited for dinner and desserts on two other occasions a couple of years ago.

In terms of food quality and service, the most recent experience blew away previous ones. Walt Disney World is clearly raising its game on the Club Level front.

Staying Club Level at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a costly proposition, with rack rates starting at $700 per night.

We’ve stayed at Polynesian Village Resort several times in the last few years, including standard rooms and the Bora Bora Bungalows. We also really like the new Disney Vacation Club studio rooms, and really like the experience of staying at the Polynesian.

The added cost of staying Club Level at the Polynesian ranges from around +$175/night to +$350/night depending on room tier and season.

The difference is greater for theme park view rooms during higher rate seasons. Since the lounge offers the best view you’re going to get of Cinderella Castle, we’d recommend forgoing the theme park view.

For the sake of easy math, let’s say it’s a $200 per night premium to stay King Kamehameha Club Level. If you have 4 people, that’s a cost of $50 per person.

If you do two meals per day here, spend some time enjoying the lounge, watch the fireworks from an air-conditioned seat, it’s arguably worth it.

If you’re a party of 2 and will only use the lounge for breakfast, there’s no way to justify King Kamehameha Club from an value perspective. In other words, your mileage may vary on value–or you might not care at all and just want a pampered hotel experience.

Overall, we really loved King Kamehameha Club Level. A big part of the appeal for us was literally spending 8-10 hours per day there during our trip. Since it’s the best lounge view at Walt Disney World, that’s a strong selling point for us. You may not use the lounge quite as much as we did, so your value there will differ. Irrespective of that, the fireworks view (something you likely will take advantage of) is solid. Finally, the food at King Kamehameha Club is top notch, albeit not the pinnacle of Club Level cuisine. All things considered, concierge level at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort ranks very highly for us, but how it’ll rate for you really depends upon how much you’ll take advantage of the view.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you stayed Club Level at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? Did you spend a lot of time in the lounge, gazing at Cinderella Castle in the distance? Did you enjoy the food at King Kamehameha Club? Do you agree or disagree with our review of this Club Level? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!


14 Responses to “Review: King Kamehameha Club Level at Polynesian Resort”
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