For years now the Great Ceremonial House has needed to be replaced but they keep fixing it with small fixes that don’t last. Is there an asbestos problem? Yes but only in the GCH. There is no asbestos problem in the room that was rumored a while ago. These rooms were gutted in 2002. My site will show you photos that there was nothing in the rooms other than the steel framing. Also the GCH needs to become ADA compliant as well as up to code in other areas. So this is the one thing I have been hearing for a while and from many sources. They were even trying to figure out logistics on how they would move check in and offer other dining options including opening back up Tangaroa Terrace and having the Luau maybe serve lunch. Because they were trying to figure this out I believe it was going to finally happen soon.
The next thing that has been going on is that they are getting to the point where it is time to change the room design. In the past the rooms were changed every 6 – 8 years and taking about 2 – 3 years to complete fully. Well the last start of a redesign was in 2005. I just toured the suites that just got a completely new look (photos to be added to my suites page) but I have not heard or seen and evidence of any test rooms on property like there usually is a year before a renovation.
There have been some major plans that have been changed last minute. There is an artist rendering of a grotto with hot tub that was going to be put in (I believe where the east pool is) and when the east pool was going to close for renovation it was described as getting a zero entry. Well now we all know that it turned out the change was only a resurface it and make it shallower. Something caused them to change major plans.
Other major plans were to redo or remove and replace Tahiti and Rapa Nui to put in new buildings (DVC is what was suggested). This idea I believe is also dead. Just taking down Tahiti and Rapa Nui or redoing their rooms into DVC would only be about 200 rooms.
Along with all these major plans being changed, trouble with the logistics of removing the GCH and keeping the resort open to me is an indication that something else is in store. Talking with some CMs that work in different areas of the resort, they mentioned possibly being moved to a “new resort” while major work is being done to the Polynesian. Also lately there have been reports of groups from Imagineering all over the resort and on a few occasions Survey teams all over the entire grounds. They were asked what was going on and all they said was “Something big!”
Trying to get a straight answer is close to impossible. When you mention some things to people they just stay silent and smile.
As much as every time I have asked about DVC and they have told me they did not have the land to do it and it would not happen, this time DVC seemed to be what everyone was mentioning.
After all I heard I came up with my theory on what I see when I put the pieces together and some at Disney agree with me.
DVC will go in but to do this and to give the resort the attention it needs they will not just take down the GCH (which is needed anyway) but they will take down the resort and build a new one with the same theme.
I heard that even the last thing constructed at the resort in 2001 (the volcano pool) is cracking and possibly sinking so it may be that starting from scratch might be easier than patching things up year after year. Since the land it is on is small I would think they would build up since they can’t build out unless they fill in the lagoon like they are doing over at the Grand Floridian DVC. After seeing Aulani I would even think they would model it after what they have there. That way they get their new lobby, pool, hot tub and room for DVC. With the resort only having 847 rooms it is not impossible to move their reservations off to other resorts.
Now as with everything Disney some of this info might not be 100% correct or even if it is plans and timelines seem to always change. Most of the CMs at the Polynesian find out things totally last minute so often they don’t even know what is going to happen. I don’t think I will know what will happen and when until just before it does. I remember when that rumor came out a while back about the Polynesian being torn down and I was told it would not happen. I even when on the discussion boards and said it was not true. Well after some of my discussions I think there is some truth to it but I think we will have to wait and see.