Walt Disney World has some fantastic swimming pools, and why not? You have swimming weather available to you most of the year, and thousands of resorts guests looking for a break from the heat and theme park crowds. While the water parks are great, there is an entrance fee involved, and often, they are just as crowded as the parks. So, if you are picking your resort based on the swimming pool, here are the top 10:
#10: Contemporary Resort Pool – The Contemporary features a very nice pool, with a nice, if tame, water slide. The location on the back side of the Contemporary allows the pool to be very quiet and a bit removed from all the activity of the parks. A great beach is adjacent to the pool, and don’t miss the quiet pool just a few steps away, it actually “floats” over Bay Lake.
#9: Port Orleans Riverside Pool - Ol’Man Island at Port Orleans Riverside sits on it’s own island in the Sassagoula River. With easy acces from either the Mansions or Bayou side of the resort, the pool is quite and fits in quite well with the resort. There is a great little water slide and plenty of fun areas to explore. A bit on the small side, but worth the visit.
#8: Old Key West Pool – What used to be one of the worst pools at Disney World, Old Key West just finished a total rehab of their pool, and it now features a nice water slide and play area for little kids. It has nice views overlooking Old Key West, though my one complaint is that it is not private at all.
#7: Polynesain Pool - The Nanea Volcano Pool is a recent addition to the Polynesian. The Volcano water slide is the main feature, and is quite fun. The pool features many quiet areas, including semi-hidden hot tubs. There are also great views from most parts of the pool, including the Magic Kingdom and the nightly water parade.
#6: Saratoga Springs Pool – Great new pool at the new resort, with a super fun water slide, great kids area and plenty of places to sit and relax, both in the sun and shade. Surrounded by buildings though, not private at all.
#5: Grand Floridian Pool – a newer pool, located to the South of the Grand Floridian, Disney World did a great job or making it so that you can’t see the pool from the monorail or really, anywhere else. A great water slide and waterfall make this pool quiet and fun for everyone. Great white sand beach next to the pool is fun as well.
#4: Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool – a decent swimming pool, and very similar to the one at the Polynesian (they were built at the same time), the special thing about the Animal Kingdom Lodge pool is the fact that you can see animals from the pool area. While there won’t be any giraffe drinking out of the kiddie pool, it is special none the less.
#3: Wilderness Lodge Pool – another great pool, with a fun slide, great hot tub area new the geyser, and great views of Bay Lake. The pool actually starts with a small spring in the Wilderness Lodge Lobby, and as it exits under the windows, it grows to a large, roaring river that cascades through the courtyard. It eventually ends up in the pool, and then exits the pool and flows into Bay Lake. It really makes for a cool swimming experience.
#2: Boardwalk Inn Pool – I guess technically Luna Park is on the Boardwalk Villa side of the resort, but, oh well. With a fun Circus theme, and a 200 foot long water slide (Kiester Coaster), the Luna Park pool is fun, no matter what you are looking for. Great quiet areas and a fun, separate kids area make this a fantastic pool.
#1: Beach Club/Yacht Club Pool – Stormalong Bay is fantastic! A mini water park right outside your resort room. A unique sand bottom pool features a lazy river, a shallow beach area just for toddlers, a giant whirlpool, sinking sand, a sunken pirate ship and the best water slide at any Disney property. Located away from the main pool, a sunken pirate ship is marooned on the beach of the resort. Walk over, and you will find a kiddie pool with little slide perfect for toddlers. Dare to climb the mast? At the top, you will find the entrance to the water slide that takes you back to the main pool. Plenty of hidden surprises as well. By far the best pool, and a great reason to stay at either the Beach Club or Yacht Club.
Please note Disney World does not allow “pool hopping”, and many of the pools are closely watched and resort ID is required. So, if you want to swim in one of these great pools, you must stay at that resort.