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Walt Disney World is moving forward in a limited capacity, and while it is certainly good for the company as a whole that the resort is open at all, it's clear that business hasn't been as good as many at Disney had hoped. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has been honest that the resort has seen more cancellations than expected as Florida saw a surge in coronavirus cases ahead of the reopening, and now the majority of those visiting are locals, rather than the more financially lucrative vacation travelers. As a result, many Walt Disney World hotels are delaying reopening, and now one of the original resort complexes, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, will remain closed until at least the summer of 2021 as it undergoes a major refurbishment.
Originally set to reopen in mid-August, back at the end of July Walt Disney World revised its phased reopening calendar and the Polynesian Village Resort was then set to reopen in October. Now, however, it's been confirmed that the resort location will remain closed while it undergoes a major refurbishment that will include, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the inclusion of colors and theming inspired by Disney's Moana.
The combination of hotels seeing their reopenings delayed, and the fact that more and more theme park reservation space is being made available to Annual Passholders, makes it clear that Walt Disney World simply doesn't need a bunch of hotel rooms available to guests, as having them open but unused would be more expensive than keeping them closed. As part of the closure, Monorail service to the Polynesian Village Resort will be suspended beginning in October.
At the same time, if you're planning to give one of your locations a major overhaul, now is certainly the time to do it. There are plenty of other places that guests can go if they want to stay on property, so you're not losing anything financially. At least, not anything that you're not going to lose anyway. Walt Disney World needs to be planning for the future and that means spending some money now to make improvements throughout the resort so that the work is done when people are ready and willing to come back. The day will certainly come, even if we don't know yet exactly how far off that day is.
Certainly, if you're going to renovate a hotel property to add Moana inspired elements, this is one to use. And you won't have to stay at the Polynesian Village to see more Moana at Walt Disney World, as the popular film is getting its own attraction at Epcot, called Journey of Water, though details on exactly what this attraction will be are somewhat vague.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort was one of the two original hotel complexes that made up Walt Disney World when it opened in 1971, the other being Disney's Contemporary Resort. Assuming everything goes according to plan the resort will reopen in time to celebrate Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary, on October 1, 2021.