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PostSubject: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 09:01

..and are we allowed to make a preference to whoever we decide to book with?

i'll gather up the info for each and make individual posts. =)

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PostSubject: (from tikimanpages.com)   June 17th 2009, 09:06



Aotearoa

Native Name: Aotearoa
Local Greeting: Kia Ora
English Name: New Zealand
Island Size: 104,454 square miles
Population: 3,420,000
Longhouse Number: 2
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2009 (new stairways)
Next rehab: May 1 to June 1
Room size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden and Lagoon
Close to: Luau cove, marina, and GCH.


Aotearoa is a favorite longhouse of many. On the one side is one of the best garden view areas on property with the monorail gliding over the top of it. On the other side is a mix of lagoon view and garden view rooms. The reason it is mixed is because some of the rooms have a clear view of the lagoon and others are partial. Even the partial view is a nice one.

Pros: If you get a garden view room on the north side you may have a partial view of the lagoon. On the other side of the longhouse is a garden area with the monorail track. Some love to be able to see the monorail go by from their room. You have a beach directly in front of the building that is never crowded. You are a short walk to the Wedding Pavilion, Grand Floridian and Grand Floridian Spa that is available to Polynesian guests. You are very close to the Great Ceremonial House for food and shopping.

Cons: You are close to Luau cove which can be loud at night from the show. If you end up on the south side of the building, you may get noise from the monorail. Neither noise has seemed loud to me but some have told me they did not like it. The bathroom only has one sink. You are the farthest walk back to the Transportation and Ticket Center (monorail to Epcot). There is a road on the south side of the building that may cause some noise.


Facts about the real island of Aotearoa

The Maori of Aotearoa lived in tribes or Iwi, made up of descendants of a common ancestor. The costumes of dancers would tell through the colors and design which tribe they were from. In ancient times, a stranger was greeted by a warrior who would place a leaf on the ground. If the visitor picked up the leaf, it meant he had come in peace. If he did not, it meant he had come in war. Today, visitors are welcomed with the hongi (rubbing or pressing of the noses.)

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 10:05



Fiji

Native Name: Fiji
Local Greeting: Mbula
English Name: Fiji
Island Size: 7,056 square miles
Population: 764,000
Longhouse Number: 3
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2009 (new stairways)
Next rehab: No schedule
Room size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden
Close to: Luau cove, marina, and GCH.


Fiji is in a very nice location and you can't go wrong with the views on either side. You have rooms facing the Luau cove, beach and an angled view of the lagoon towards the Grand Floridian. On the other side you are right above the marina with a board walk between you and the water. Every time I have been to the Polynesian I have walked past these rooms and thought they would be nice to stay in. If you want to watch the activity of the resort and people watch this is a great longhouse to be in. If you want a quiet low-traffic area this is not a good building to ask for.

Pros: You will either have a view of the marina looking towards the back side of the Volcano pool and Marina or you will have a view of Luau cove and the Wedding Pavilion. The third floor rooms have balconies. The ground level rooms have patios. You are very close to the Great Ceremonial House for food and shopping.

Cons: You are close to Luau cove which can be loud at night from the show. The second floor rooms do not have balconies. The bathroom only have one sink. The rooms that do have views of the lagoon cannot see the castle. You must walk around the marina to get to the pools and boat to the Magic Kingdom. Foot traffic around the marina can get heavy.


Facts about the real island of Fiji

Fijian dancers walk barefoot over white hot coals without getting burned. Another custom is kava drinking, also known as yanqona, the mouth numbing drink. Some songs and dances today, known as MEKE, remember some of the women in Fiji history.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 10:18



Niue

Native Name: Niue
Local Greeting: Fakaalofa
English Name: Niue
Island Size: 100 square miles
Population: 2,000
Longhouse Number: 7
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: not scheduled
Room size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden
Close to: GCH, volcano pool, and quiet pool


Niue is a great location if you want to be close to most of the activities at the resort. It is the smallest longhouse and is the only 2 story longhouse. The Great Ceremonial House is right next to it and there is a pool on each side. Since they contructed the Volcano pool in 2001 the path no longer runs right next to the building so it is a little more private than before. Now a stream runs just next to the longhouse.

Pros: It is not a large building and it is in a great location being right next to the Great Ceremonial House with the Volcano pool on one side and the quiet pool on the other. There are Handicap Accessible rooms located in this building that give close access to many things.

Cons: There are no balconies on the second floor and this is the only building without an elevator. For access to the second floor you can use the Rarotonga elevator and walk across the upper deck connecting the Rarotonga to Niue. There may be quite a bit of traffic along the path between the building and the pool and the Island Guide golf carts travel next to this building alot. The bathroom only has one sink.


Facts about the real island of Niue

Niue is famous for the chasms, caves and crevices for divers, spelunkers and explorers. Two of Niue's highlights are: Matapa Chasm where Niue royalty used to bathe and Arches of Tavala where colorful formations take one's breath away.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 10:29



Rapa nui

Native Name: Rapa Nui
Local Greeting: Rata
English Name: Easter Island
Island Size: 69 square miles
Population: 2,700
Longhouse Number: 11
Built: 1985
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design) some additional exterior work in 2007
Next rehab: No schedule
Room size: 476 sq-ft (14' 5" x 33')
Room views: Garden
Close to: The Neverland Club, the bus stop, the TTC and side parking lot

Rapa Nui is a good location if you enjoy it being quiet. It also is very accessible for those who may need easier access. It has its own parking lot right next to it and is very close to the Transportation and Ticket Center where the monorail or busses can be boarded. It also has rooms with wheelchair accessible showers. The view toward the parking lot is not the best but I have seen much worse at other resorts. The garden view toward Tahiti is very nice.

Pros: This longhouse is very close to the Transportation and Ticket Center. There is a parking lot with a main entrance to the longhouse. These rooms are slightly larger (see layout on room page) and some rooms have double sinks. There is not a lot of traffic in this area. There are balconies on 2nd and 3rd floors. Some of the rooms are set up with roll in showers or easier access bathrooms with grab bars and adjustable showers for those with disabilities. This is a very quiet area of the Polynesian. There is a small parking lot right next to the building that is hardly ever used. It makes it very easy to get from your room to your car. Many of the rooms that face the parking lot also have a view of the monorail coming from the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Cons: Some of the bathrooms only have one sink if they are Handicap accessible rooms. A You could end up with a view of the parking lot. You are farther from the Great Ceremonial House for food and shopping.


Facts about the real island of Rapa Nui

On Rapa Nui hundreds of giant stone statues (Moai) are scattered about the island and controversy abounds as to who created them. In addition to the statues, Easter Islanders had their own form of writing still undecipherable today. Hundreds of giant stone statues (Moai) are scattered about the island and controversy abounds as to who created them. Archeological evidence indicates that the statues were constructed between 1100AD-1700AD. At one time the statues had eyes made from different colored rocks. Occasionally for special events and photographs, the eyes are removed from the museum and placed in the statues. In addition to the statues, Easter Islanders had their own form of writing still indecipherable today. Petroglyphs (rock drawings) cover the island as well.


About Rapa Nui the Longhouse

There are a few Handicap accessible rooms in Rapa Nui and they all face Tahiti. Some have roll-in showers and others just have more open bathrooms with handles added and easy access to the toilet.

WORST VIEW???

There has been much talk about the worst view at the Polynesian and people worried about looking at a parking lot. Well some may consider this the worst view there but I may argue it is the south side of Tuvalu looking right at the end of Fiji but the only real direct view of a parking lot is on the east side of Rapa Nui.

I decided to take a photo of what this view looks like from the ground floor room patio. You decide if it is the worst view you have ever seen or not. This was the room that seem to see the most of the parking lot. Others on this side looked into more plants than this. It was room 1110. I know I have seen worse parking lot views at other resorts.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 10:36



Rarotonga

Native Name: Rarotonga
Local Greeting: Kia Orana
English Name: Cook Islands
Island Size: 93 square miles
Population: 18,500
Longhouse Number: 8
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: not scheduled
Room Size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden
Close to: GCH, The Neverland Club, bus stop, main parking lot and the quiet pool.

Rarotonga is the first place people ask for when they want to be close to the Great Ceremonial House (lobby, food, and shops). It is right out the door of the GCH and runs next to the quiet pool and monorail track until it stops at the building that has the laundry and Neverland Club. The side that faces the parking lot is not a bad view. Unless you are on the 3rd floor you may not even see the parking lot because of all the Great landscaping.

Pros: Good location being right next to the Great Ceremonial House with the East pool right in front of the building. The laundry room is right next to it with the Neverland Club in the same building as the laundry. The bus stop is very close to this longhouse. These garden view rooms have views of the East pool on one side and the Monorail on the other.

Cons: There are no balconies on the second floor. You could end up facing the parking lot but hardly any of the rooms on that side see much of the parking lot at all. The parking lot side rooms may have some noise from the monorail. The bathroom only has one sink.


Facts about the real island of Rarotonga

The population of Rarotonga is 18,500. (although almost 30,000 reside in New Zealand.) They are Polynesian with a Maori language and culture. Traditional culture skills are much admired in the islands, especially dancing. The islanders are friendly, their typical greeting is KIA ORANA (May you live on)


About Rarotonga the Longhouse

The monorail is visable from some of these rooms and the parking lot is blocked by most of the plants in the garden area.

One of the "not so great" areas (below) of Rarotonga where the view looks right into the end of Niue longhouse and there is a service area below the two end rooms.

Niue is next to Rarotonga and is the only longhouse without an elevator. If you were to be in Niue and need an elevator you would use the one in Rarotonga and go right out the doors to this deck that connects the second floors. From the deck you can see the side entrance to the Great Ceremonial House.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 10:50



Samoa

Native Name: Samoa
Local Greeting: Talofa
English Name: Samoa
Island Size: 1,177 square miles
Population: 204,000
Longhouse Number: 6
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: not scheduled
Room size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden
Close to: GCH, volcano pool, quiet pool, boat dock, and beach.

Samoa is also a very popular longhouse because of its location and the side facing the Volcano pool actually has a lagoon view off to the side. The other side looks onto the east pool (aka quiet pool). It is also close to everything.

Pros: It is in a great location (right next to Niue) being right next to the Hawaii club level building. It is very close to the Great Ceremonail House with the Volcano pool on one side and the East pool on the other. You can see part of the lagoon if your room is on the side where the Volcano pool is. Guests with ground level rooms would never have to fight for a lounge chair since there patio is right next to the pool.

Cons: There are no balconies on the second floor. There may be quite a bit of traffic along the path between the building and the pool. The bathroom only has one sink. This building is the most requested so getting it might be difficult.


Facts about the real island of Samoa

Western Samoa is independent, American Samoa is under the U.S. But prior to colonization, the system of titles was in place. Along with the concept of MATAI. Under the Matai system, everything was at the beck and call of a chief. The Samoan way of life was almost a life of consecration, a life of giving almost everything you have to your superiors. This even extended into the family structure as well.


About Samoa the Longhouse

Most Garden view rooms do not even get a peak at the Castle but there is an exception. There are a few rooms in Aotearoa and Toklelau but other than that I was sent this photo from room 3610 that shows if you lean way out at the corner room you can see the Castle. Now don't expect to ask for this room and be guaranteed you are going to get it but the other rooms still have great views. Your best chance to see the Castle from your room is to book a Lagoon View room.


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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 11:02



Tahiti

Native Name: Tahiti
Local Greeting: La Orana
English Name: French Polynesia
Island Size: 402 square miles
Population: 188,000
Longhouse Number: 10
Built: 1985
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: No schedule
Room size: 476 sq-ft (14' 5" x 33' )
Room views: Garden and Lagoon
Close to: Beach and the TTC.

Tahiti is one of the newest longhouses that was part of the 1985 expansion of the Polynesian. Tahiti happens to be my favorite longhouse for Lagoon and Magic Kingdom view rooms. The beach on this end is very quiet and many that have stayed at the Polynesian never even knew the beah was over there. There is no pathway between the beach and the grass area so there are not people walking by the ground level rooms on the lagoon side like at the Hawaii longhouse.

Pros: This longhouse is my favorite non-club level building when it comes to Lagoon view or Magic Kingdom view rooms. The rooms on the lagoon side have a great view of the Magic Kingdom but do look over the island on in the lagoon. The beach is much more quiet and private. These rooms are slightly larger (see layout on the room page) and all the bathrooms have double sinks. You are very close to the Transportation and Ticket Center. The path to the TTC is right out the entrance to the longhouse. There are balconies on 2nd and 3rd floors.

Cons: You are the farthest longhouse from the Great Ceremonial House but the walk is only about a 5 minute walk. The views in the garden view rooms are nice but not the best you can get. They look into the garden area between Tokelau and Rapa Nui and some can be some what surrounded with plants. There seem to be the most maintenace problems at this longhouse.


Facts about the real island of Tahiti

The population of Tahiti is 188,000. (70% are Polynesian) In the Tahitian culture, sharing and reciprocal generosity have traditionally been important qualities. Most land is still owned by the islanders. Most Tahitians live along the coast because the interior is too rugged and possibly inhabited by ghosts. Adoption is commonplace and family relationships complex. Young Tahitians generally go out in groups rather than on individual dates. Their lifestyle can be summed up with AITA E PEAPEA (No problem).

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 11:11



Tokelau

Native Name: Tokelau
Local Greeting: Talofa
English Name: Tokelau
Island Size: 4 square miles
Population: 1,578
Longhouse Number: 9
Built: 1978
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: No schedule
Room size: 476 sq-ft (14' 5" x 33' )
Room views: Garden and Lagoon
Close to: The Neverland Club, and the quiet pool and the beach and the bus stop

Tokelau is a favorite of many because of its central location to everything. It also has a hidden secret (not any more). When it was first built they took a handfull of rooms and used them as test rooms. These rooms have different layouts than any other rooms in the Polynesian. Some had double sinks and others even had the sink area outside the bathroom. There was even one with a vanity area. I am told that in the renovations of the late 90's that the rooms were all made to be the same and the test rooms were changed. For people that have not been there this is a safe bet to suggest because it is hard to complain about any of the views from these rooms.

Pros: This longhouse is very centrally located. The laundry room is right next to it with the Neverland Club in the same building as the laundry. These rooms are slightly larger (see layout on room page). You have a very good chance of getting a side view of the lagoon and maybe the castle with a garden view room on the beach end of the building. The rooms at the end of Tokelau are X914 (corner facing the Grand Floridian side) and X915 (corner facing the Transportation and Ticket Center). Change the "X" to the floor number you want. The last 4 rooms are a great view of the lagoon and beach (X914 - X911) and (X915-X918). As you move farther down each side you start to get blocked by the Hawaii building and Tahiti. Rooms 2914 and 3914 are considered a lagoon view room and you will have to pay a lagoon view price but the surrounding rooms still give a great view (see pictures below). There is not a lot of traffic in this area. There are balconies on 2nd and 3rd floors. A few of the rooms are set up with roll in showers for the disabled (see Mobility page).

Cons: Bathrooms only have one sink. The two lagoon view rooms are not as good a view as all the other lagoon view rooms in the other longhouses for the same money but they are hardly ever booked anymore as Lagoon view rooms.


Facts about the real island of Tokelau

On Tokelau senior citizens are well-respected. One must always step aside to let them pass and NEVER tell them what to do. Bingo is a popular past time with the women and men work together on communal projects one or two days a week.


About Tokelau the Longhouse

Tokelau room 3940 view (photo thanks to Dan Fronckowiak). You can see that even though these are garden view rooms many of the rooms on either side have views of the lagoon looking down the side. Even this room that is far down the building away from the beach you can see the castle in the distance (a little hard to see in this shot but it is there in the middle).



Most of the rooms on the West side facing the pool have sideways views of the castle. On the East side only the rooms on the corner of that side have a view of the castle. The rest of the East side would only see the Contemporary and some of the lagoon.



This is one of the reasons I believe Tokelau is one of the best views for a garden view price. Just imagine at night looking down at the castle and seeing some of the fireworks. That has to be better than none...right?

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 11:17



Tuvalu

Native Name: Tuvalu
Local Greeting: Talofa
English Name: Ellice Islands
Island Size: 9.4 square miles
Population: 9,000
Longhouse Number: 4
Built: 1971
Last rehab: 2006 (new room design)
Next rehab: not scheduled
Room size: 415 sq-ft (14' 5" x 28' 9")
Room views: Garden and Lagoon
Close to: Luau cove, marina, and GCH

Tuvalu is one of the smaller longhouses but can be a nice location. I stayed in a lagoon view room in this longhouse in 1998 and it was much different than my stay in Tahiti. Most lagoon view rooms have access to the beach but Tuvalu has a roped off area that drops off to the water. The nice thing about this is there is nothing between you and the water view. The garden view rooms do not have the best view but you are close to many of the common areas.

Pros: These rooms on the lagoon side are very private and have a clear view of the lagoon. There is a nice beach right next to it. The third floor rooms have balconies. The ground level rooms have patios. Lagoon side rooms can see the fireworks and the Electric Water Pageant .

Cons: You are close to Luau cove which can be loud at night from the show. The view of the Magic Kingdom is partly blocked by Beachcombers Island. The second floor rooms do not have balconies. The bathroom only has one sink. Although right across from the Volcano pool you must walk around the marina to get to the pool.


Facts about the real island of Tuvalu

The population of Tuvalu is 9,000. Only 8 of the 9 islands were inhabited until 1940 when the last one was conquered, giving it the name Tuvalu or "Eight standing together". Most of the inhabitants are Polynesian and speak Tuvaluan, a language closely related to Samoan.


About Tuvalu the Longhouse

Thanks to Nick's info and photos I had to check out the view at Tuvalu ground level rooms sice it had been since 1989 that I had stayed in a ground level room over there to see the view. Nick mentioned that the view of the castle was blocked by trees on the island. He was right when it comes to the rooms closest to the marina. You can see below a series of photos going from the rooms to the left and ending at the right and you can see how the castle starts to hide behind the trees. You can still see fireworks and the Electric water pageant from these ground level rooms but if you are looking for a view that you can see more of the castle you might want to try and be on an upper level or in another longhouse if there is availability.






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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 17th 2009, 21:56

this is actually a harder decision now that i'm looking at all the pros and cons, haha. i would have wanted to go with tahiti since it's right there on the beach, but he says this longhouse has the most maintenance problems. then again, i've read reviews on this house and everyone that has stayed there loves it.

the view is foliage, lots of it:


but if i were to be picky about the view (which, of course, i'm not), i'd rather see pretty tropical gardens over a noisy parking lot. plus, it's peaceful and quiet, and we'd have the beach closeby. it's very close to the ticket and transportation center also. and then you have extra little perks like the room being a little larger than most others.

i know he says it's the farthest building from the ceremonial house, but it's only 5 minutes and there's so many beautiful things to see along the way.

whatcha think? are there any others that you favor more?

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PostSubject: rapa nui pictures:   June 18th 2009, 06:16











-- old man in hat not included.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 18th 2009, 23:29







views/surroundings:











inside:
-- 2 sinks! smug



Notes:

  • you can view the wishes fireworks/water pageant from this beach. less crowded, much quieter and more seating available.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   June 21st 2009, 03:54

Definitely say we made the right choice!

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 8th 2010, 21:38

more pics of the tahiti longhouse. =)








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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 9th 2010, 04:32

It is on our reservation that we want this longhouse, right?

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 9th 2010, 04:37

yep! already got it down as our longhouse request. =)

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 10th 2010, 22:31

Cool! I hope we get it then! =)

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 12th 2010, 10:13

do you think with it being such a..hawiian-based resort it's more likely to have less people or more during the winter?

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 16th 2010, 10:35

I'm sure it'll be booked almost full. It's one of the flagship resorts at WDW, so it's going to be one of the first people try to book.

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 17th 2010, 00:58

well i'm happy we've got a spot there then! tahiti is supposed to be very quiet, and from the things i've read, the most romantic because of it. drink up

i'm stoked!

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 17th 2010, 23:16

Me too, will be so nice to be able to take late night strolls on the beach and stuff big grin

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 18th 2010, 11:18

do they still have a problem with the water? i know they don't want people swimming in it, but what about just walking in it? -- probably gonna be really cold when we go but still. just curious. =)

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PostSubject: Re: Longhouses   April 20th 2010, 11:12

I'm not sure, I guess we'll see what other people do when we get there. I know there is no swimming areas or anything like that, don't know about wading though.

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