Paved Paradise: Final Look at Polynesian Village Resort Waterfront as “Project U” Disney Vacation Club Tower Construction Begins

    Earlier today, we took a final lap around the soon-to-be construction site along a beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as survey work marked the start of “Project U” – the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) tower coming to the west side of the resort. Up until recently, we didn’t know a lot about the new building beyond a single piece of concept art and a 2024 opening timeframe. Earlier today, permits surfaced and gave us a little more insight into the location and size of the Disney Vacation Club structure.

    First, here’s a look at the concept art.

    And here’s a look at the location of the tower as seen in permits released recently.

    And here are some photos from our walk around the area today!

    We’ll start between the Aotearoa and Fiji buildings, looking west over the plot. The Aotearoa building, which is on the left side of the image, will remain.

    Continuing our walk along the southern side of the future construction site near the Aotearoa building, we can see that Disney not only has some survey flags out and about, but some of the lights have also been tagged.

    Walking to the far west side of the Aotearoa building, we can see the nearby Floridian Way roadway and the monorail beam. This area will turn into a parking lot (likely for service vehicles) and, further down, the entrance to the new DVC tower.

    Going back to the pathway between the Aotearoa longhouse and the Polynesian Resort beach, we come across the shuttered Spirit of Aloha dinner show venue. Disney has announced that the Spirit of Aloha dinner show will not return and the space will be demolished for the tower. In fact, the heart of the tower will stand where the Spirit of Aloha dinner show venue stands today.

    The walkway into the venue is closed off, but we can see the Spirit of Aloha sign one last time. The entrance would be up the path and to the left of the photo immediately below.

    Another angle gives us a peek into the abandoned venue.

    We’ll pause here quickly to offer our thoughts on the announced DVC tower. Ultimately, Spirit of Aloha sat on very valuable land. The entire DVC tower project will consume about 7.25 acres, and while the Spirit of Aloha dinner show venue sits on a relatively small part of the land, it sits right in the middle of where the tower will end up. It had to go. It’s sad to see the show go, but the business decision seems easy. Trade a single dinner show for what amounts to a new resort. What we take issue with, like many, is the look of the resort. It doesn’t look like it will fit in with the rest of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Instead, it looks like a very slight deviation from the canceled Reflections resort over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. In short, the use of space is arguably “better”, but the design of the resort, at first glance, doesn’t fit.

    Popping back out of the thick vegetation, we’re heading over the to Tuvalu building for a good look at the current waterfront views.

    Here’s a look at where the pool area will be. Some of the beach will remain.

    We’ll continue along the walkway to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. This is the last stretch of walkway that contains the Walk Around the World bricks that will succumb to the upcoming construction site.

    Here’s a reverse view, looking back toward the Fiji and Tuvalu buildings.

    Continuing down the path, we have a look back at the Polynesian with the Spirit of Aloha structure to the right of the image.

    Here’s a look at our final stretch of walkway as we get nearer to the Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion.

    Finally, here’s a look back at the construction site from near the Wedding Pavilion.

    Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has received quite a bit of capital recently, with a Moana renovation of the guest rooms completed last summer.

    ROOM TOUR: New Moana Hotel Rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
    Take a tour of the all-new Moana rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! Over 50 photos and videos from opening day

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

    Mike is the owner and writer for Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]