In recent years, some renovations at the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World have brought something new. So during our visit last summer we decided to check it out, at least from a distance, because the construction had ended and everything was finally finished.
The newest addition to the resort are bungalows situated out over the water of Seven Seas Lagoon. These bungalows are accessible by a series of boardwalks, and they are meant to be reminiscent of similar bungalows over the water in Bora Bora and other exotic locations. While the Seven Seas Lagoon water is not quite as blue as that of Bora Bora, and the location is not quite as remote, I suppose those real Bora Bora bungalows don’t have a view of Cinderella Castle and the Magic Kingdom across the water, if you consider that to be a fair trade. And the real bungalows don’t have one of those cool trash cans with the Maui logo on it, either. Mahalo.
Just to make sure that these bungalows remind you of those in Bora Bora, the creative Disney folks have even named them the Bora Bora bungalows. However, besides the differences listed above, there is another difference: the price. The real bungalows in Bora Bora are actually a good bit cheaper per night than the Disney version of these bungalows. Of course, you do still have to provide your own air fare to get to Bora Bora, but I think if you stay for more than one or two nights, which of course you would if you were going that far, it would turn out to be cheaper, even with airfare included. You wouldn’t be able to visit the Disney parks in Bora Bora, but just think of how much money you would be saving!
By the way, you can see our three shadows among the palm tree shadows there on the sand. As you might guess, this was in the late afternoon, which explains the golden light and long shadows. A perfect time for photography, and it was made even better by those cool clouds overhead.
I included this photo mainly because of the lantern on top of the post at the right. You may have seen those lanterns in a few other Polynesian Village Resort photos around here, because I think they are pretty cool, and I like what they can add to a photo. It would have been slightly better if this had been at twilight and the lantern were actually on, but we didn’t wait around for that. I also liked that you can see a ferry boat in between a couple of the bungalows, just to the left of the lantern. Another reminder that this is Florida and not the actual Polynesian.
Also, it looks here like the palm trees are still rather young. Not that they are saplings or anything, of course. Do you even call young palm trees saplings? I don’t know. Anyway, I’m sure as these trees mature over the years, the area will have even more of a tropical feel to it.
You have probably noticed by now that all of our photos of the bungalows are from a distance. There is a good reason for that, and that reason was that we could not get any closer. All of the boardwalks leading to the bungalows were blocked by gates, and we did not have proper Magic Band authority to open those gates. I suppose they were trying to keep out riffraff like us, and it worked. I can’t say that I blame them, though. If I were paying thousands of dollars per night (yes, you read that right) to stay in a place like that, I wouldn’t want just anyone to be able to walk right up to my door, either. Because if every person with a camera were standing right outside of your bungalow, then it really would not feel like the real Polynesian at all. Not to mention all the crowds that would block your view of the Electrical Water Pageant and Magic Kingdom fireworks at night. So we were respectful of that and didn’t try to climb over the gate or anything.
Maybe one of these days we will get closer. Or maybe not.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. - Romans 12:16
About the photo:
As with many of the recent photos here at Burnsland, these were taken with a fisheye lens to get as much into the frame as possible. That certainly helps when you have towering palm trees and cool clouds up above, so that you don’t want to leave any of that out. Also, the bungalows are spread out pretty wide, so with the fisheye lens I was able to get more of them in a single photo than I would have with a more standard lens.
Of these photos, the first one is definitely my favorite, with its golden tones from the late afternoon sun and the wooden walkway leading your eyes right to the bungalows. And of course that cool trash can, too.
So if you are curious, here is a before-and-after view of that first photo:
It just goes to show that the cool trash can stands out even better in the final version than it did in the original. And yes, the blue sky and wood tones, too.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: June 7, 2016
Location: Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida