The 6 Best Pools at Walt Disney World
Here’s a breaking news alert for you: Walt Disney World is in Florida! And the weather in Florida is temperate bordering on hot most of the year. When you take a trip to Central Florida, you should spend some time in or at least by the pool. But which pool? Ah, therein lies the rub. Disney resorts have at least one pool and most of them have more. As you plan your next vacation, keep in mind the time you’ll spend relaxing in the sun and splashing around in the water. Here are my six favorite pools at Walt Disney World.
6) Cozy Cone Pool – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
This resort has three different pools, all of which merited consideration for this list. The Big Blue Pool is the largest one at Walt Disney World, and while I love the color scheme theme, its massive size worked against it. You’ll never have the Big Blue Pool all to yourself. Meanwhile, The Little Mermaid Pool is adorable AND the quietest pool at the resort. As much as I love The Little Mermaid, however, it’s not my favorite intellectual property (IP) at Art of Animation.
That honor falls to Cars. Yes, I realize that even the most diehard Disney fans are a bit grumpy about the way that Disney has run the Cars franchise into the ground. They did it for good reason, though. It’s among the most lucrative new Disney IPs of the 21st century. And the first movie, Cars, is absolutely delightful.
At Art of Animation, Disney recreates the cartoon world of Radiator Springs, and the pool is right beside the sign for Wheel Well Motel. The backdrop of the hotel facing creates exactly the sort of illusion that Walt Disney coveted with his theming. While the pool is nothing special in and of itself, I love it for the engrossing setting.
5) The Lost City of Cibolo Pool – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Several factors come into play when evaluating Disney resort pools. All of them are terrific in their own ways, with terrific theming, great slides, and accessibility features that assure everyone will have a wonderful time. For me, the most important aspects are the visuals, the slides, and personal experiences. Like you, I favor pools that instantly remind me of happy days spent at Walt Disney World. Many of those moments occur in (or close to) the water.
In the visuals category, The Lost City of Cibolo Pool is impossible to beat. The specter of swimming in the shadow of an ancient pyramid is intimidating. The theming of this Dig Site reinforces the notion the Mayans once claimed a mighty kingdom here. You’re a visitor on their land, and their spirits are unlikely to appreciate your cannonball dives. For that matter, your date won’t, either. It’s a huge pool accompanied by the largest hot tub on the Disney campus. When you’re in the mood to feel small and insignificant, this is the place!
4) Doubloon Lagoon – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Disney markets this pool as “celebrating Mardi Gras every day!” While I don’t recall any beads flying around here, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is one my favorite hotels at Walt Disney World. It’s got such a friendly atmosphere, kindly cast members (even by Disney standards), and a small resort feel, no small feat at Disney.
The Doubloon Lagoon pool is similarly comfortable in size. It holds 225,000 gallons, meaning that it’s one of the largest pools at Walt Disney World. It just doesn’t seem that way because the resort hosts fewer guests than most Disney properties. So, the pool is rarely crowded, giving guests ample time to ride the sea serpent. No, that’s not a Breaking Bad-esque metaphor.
The highlight of Doubloon Lagoon is its sea serpent slide, an epic construct with a silly name. Scales has parts of his slithery body popping out of several parts of the pool. The most memorable one is, of course, the slide, but kids will have a lot of fun piecing together the scope of Scales.
3) Uzima Springs Pool – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Jambo House
Anyone who loves the sound of children laughing will feel perfectly at home at this Jambo House pool. Kids are already in a great mood here after walking the grounds and seeing/interacting with the animals. It sets a joyous tone, and Uzima Pool enhances that vibrant feeling.
I’m convinced that guests at Animal Kingdom Lodge spend a disproportionate amount of time at this hotel relative to most Disney resorts, and the pool is one of the reasons why. At 234,980 gallons, Uzima Pool is almost the largest on the Disney campus. And it needs that space to host all the gleeful children. The theming here is also phenomenal, with a pool bar styled to look like an African hut. Even the hard-to-see water slide blends into the background, but it delivers a thrilling splashdown.
Perhaps the only pool on this list that skews younger than Uzima Springs is Cozy Cone Pool. As long as you trust the chlorine to do its job (*ahem*), it’s a wonderful place to spend an hour or two. A lot of Disney fans view it as the best pool at Walt Disney World, but I quickly slotted in third. My top two choices are clear cut.
2) Lava Pool – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of the most inviting destinations at Walt Disney World. I’ve been known to hang out here for hours on end…and not JUST because they sell Dole Whips here.
The Lava Pool at the Great Ceremonial House was modified in 2015, a move that angered some. For me, it improved something that was already phenomenal. The new iteration of the pool has a larger pool deck and better seating. Historically, grabbing a chair almost required a bare knuckled brawl. Now, countless guests can rest comfortably between excursions to Kiki Tikis Splash, the children’s play area at the pool.
The zero-entry part of the pool has a beach access feel to it, which is intentional since the entry is right by the lagoon. Similarly, what Disney calls an “endless hot tub” features a glorious view of Seven Seas Lagoon. I’m also a sucker for waterfalls at pools, and there’s one here. Combined with the water slide/walkway, it’s such a relaxing place to spend an afternoon.
1) Stormalong Bay – Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Ranking this one at the top of the list almost feels like a cheat. Stormalong Bay isn’t accurately described as a pool. It’s a functional water park that covers three acres of space at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It comes with a catch, though. Only guests staying at Disney’s Yacht Club or Beach Club Resort can use the pool. Technically, that’s true of a couple of other pools on this list, also, but cast members monitor Stormalong Bay as if they’re guarding Fort Knox. On some days, you must wear a special wrist band to show that you’re rightfully at the pool, even if you have a Magic Band that verifies that you’re a guest at the resort.
Disney takes these steps because if they didn’t, thousands of guests would flock to Stormalong Bay each day. It’s like a water temple tribute to Neptune, complete with nearby shipwrecked vessel. And I’m not really describing one pool here inasmuch as several medium-sized pools that happen to connect.
The glory of this place is that Stormalong Bay is large enough to host a lazy river. You’ll see rafts floating by as you swim. It also offers something unique for a hotel pool. Disney’s imported sand to make guests feel like they’re playing in the ocean.
Nothing else here can compete with a zero-entry sand-bottom pool. Even if it could, Stormalong Bay would still distance itself from the competition thanks to its ample lounge seating. It’s even multi-leveled to assure every possible hotel guest of a seat. This pool is not just the finest at Walt Disney World but the best at any Disney resort in the world. It’s a great reason to contact a Mickey Travels agent to book a stay at Beach Club or Yacht Club. And if you do, remember to book an Advanced Dining Reservation for Beaches & Cream!
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, fill out the form below!