When you are visiting Walt Disney World for a family vacation, you are probably planning to spend much of your time at the theme parks. After all, that’s usually why families choose to vacation at Walt Disney World. However, if you are staying on-site, at one of the Disney resorts, I always recommend saving some time to spend at your resort.
You can choose to spend afternoons at the resort (always a good idea for getting out of the hot sun), or dedicate entire days to resort time (a great way to save money on park tickets). You will want to choose a resort with amenities that you can enjoy during your time at your hotel.
We like choosing resorts with great pools. As guests from the Northeast, we always like to take advantage of the warmer weather to spend some time outdoors. Disney resorts have some of the best pools, with great themes. Here are the best Disney pools at Walt Disney World resort hotels (in our opinion). If we missed your favorite, leave us a comment below.
Disclosure: I’ve visited some of these resorts at no/limited cost, and have also paid my own way. All opinions are my own.
Please check the official Disney website before booking your resort hotel. Sometimes pools are closed for renovations, and if you are choosing a hotel specifically for the pool, you’ll want to know that in advance.
The Best Disney Pools at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
All of the Walt Disney World hotels offer wonderful, kid-friendly pools. Most have one large feature pool, and then other, smaller pools. Often there are poolside activities offered at these larger pools – a schedule can be found at your resort with the latest information.
The larger main pools have a lot more activity and are more themed, but if you are just looking for a quiet swim, or have babies, you may want to start out at the smaller, quieter pools. They are typically located throughout the resort, so you may have a smaller leisure pool closer to your hotel room.
For this post, we are specifically focusing on the pools at Disney World resort hotels. There are also two water parks on property that have separate admission – those facilities aren’t included in this roundup.
Generally, pool towels are provided at the pool, and life vests are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge, one of my favorite resorts on Walt Disney World property, offers more than just animals. Because there are two main sections of the resort – Jambo House and Kidani Village – there are two feature pools.
The Uzima Springs Pool is the main pool located at Jambo House and is named for its location next to the Uzima Savanna. It’s a zero-depth entry pool that is large with lots of seating, and also has a kiddie swimming pool nearby. The Uzima Springs Pool, like the other deluxe resort pools, also has a waterslide.
The smaller (but still large) Samawati Springs Pool is located in Kidani Village. It’s also a zero-entry pool and offers a large waterslide (128 feet long). Both pools have a beach bar offering drinks and snacks.
When we’ve stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, we’ve planned for several afternoons at the resort. There’s so much to do, and the pool area at Jambo House is really beautiful and fun.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate resort located in the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Kingdom area of the part. It’s a large resort that has been recently renovated with the addition of a new hotel tower. Their feature pool area is called the Dig Site, and it includes the Lost City of Cibola Pool and the largest hot tub on Walt Disney World property. The centerpiece of the Mayan-themed Lost City of Cibola Pool, is a 50-foot pyramid, along with a large waterslide.
The Dig Site also offers a pool bar, an arcade, a volleyball court, and a kiddie pool. There’s also a pool bar on site. My kids have loved spending time at the Dig Site – it’s an active area with lots to do. If you prefer, however, there are smaller leisure pools located in the different settlement areas.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
One of Disney’s newest resorts is the Art of Animation Resort. This value resort offers traditional hotel rooms along with family suites that are perfect for a family vacation. There are three beautifully-themed pools at the Art of Animation
The most spectacular of these pools is the Big Blue Pool, sometimes thought of as the Finding Nemo pool. It’s located in the center of the resort, right in the Finding Nemo section by the main building. The Big Blue Pool is the largest hotel pool at Walt Disney World. There’s also the Schoolyard Sprayground, a splash area that is great for little ones.
Also, located at the Art of Animation is the Cozy Cone Pool, named after the motel in Disney/Pixar’s Cars. The theming of the Cozy Cone Pool is amazing – it really does look like the motel in the movie. There’s also the Flippin’ Fins Pool, which is located in The Little Mermaid section. It’s decorated with large statues inspired by the movie’s characters.
We do love the family suites at Art of Animation and think they are a great reason to stay at the resort. But the fantastic pools also add to the appeal.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
I’ve stayed at the majority of the Walt Disney World resort hotels, but for some reason, I’d never had the opportunity to stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. That changed last fall when stayed for two nights before heading out on a cruise on the Disney Dream. I was very impressed with the resort – it’s an especially great moderate resort option with the introduction of the Disney Skyliner.
The main feature pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the Fuentes del Morro Pool. This colonial Spanish-themed pool has some pirate influences and is very popular with kids.
Within the Fuentes del Morro pool, you’ll find the main, zero-entry pool. There are also two waterslides, water cannons, a play area, and more. Adjacent to the pool is the Banana Cabana pool bar. In addition to the Fuentes del Morro pool, there are five leisure pools (one in each of the villages).
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
Disney’s Beach Club is my favorite resort to stay in, due to its proximity to Epcot’s World Showcase. However, the Yacht and Beach Clubs (both deluxe resorts) are also home to the best pool complex in all of Walt Disney World – Stormalong Bay.
Stormalong Bay is a 3-acre water playground located between the two resorts. Guests of both resorts are able to visit Stormalong Bay. It includes a shipwreck replica, a water slide, a sand-bottom pool, and a lazy river.
There is also a pool bar and multiple hot tubs in the area. It’s such a fun pool area, so if you are staying at one of these resorts, you’ll definitely want to plan for some resort time in your vacation plans. Throughout the day, various poolside activities take place. Check with the resort for specific details and a schedule.
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs also offer multiple leisure pools at both resorts. These are much quieter but can be great for a peaceful swim. Older kids, however, prefer the amazing pools in Stormalong Bay.
Although there is a small beach area in front of the resorts, this water is not swimmable. Luckily the sandy bottom area of Stormalong Bay gives you the feel of a beach.
What is your favorite Disney pool? Did we include it here? If not, leave us a comment.
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