Where to go after a fun night at the BoardWalk? Your resort, of course.
Each of the over 20 Walt Disney World resorts are unique, with elaborate theming, extravagant resort buildings, dining locations, and of course, themed pools.
However, Disney pools are no ordinary pools; they are experiences themselves where the designers pulled out all the stops to make the resort experience at Disney unrivaled.
I’m here to give my list for the 7 (yeah, seven) best pools for college students at WDW, including all three categories of resorts on property.
Please note: Disney resort guests are not permitted to use pools at resorts other than the one where they are a registered guest. Disney Vacation Club member do have limited pool-hopping privileges, but there are exclusions and block-out dates, so please verify the current policies before attempting to pool-hop.
With that being said, let’s get into the list!
- Stormalong Bay (Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts) – You cannot make a list of the best pools at Disney without including this as the #1 pool area. Stormalong Bay is so large that it is shared by both resorts. Some of the features of the pool area include a giant replica of a shipwrecked boat converted into a water slide, three hot tubs, a massive sand-bottomed pool, and the cherry on top of the cake: a lazy river surrounding the pool area. It perfectly complements the seaside themes of the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and guests get a panoramic view of Crescent Lake, and Disney’s BoardWalk Resort across the lake, which is a beautiful sight at night. With the right timing, you might even get to see some of the higher fireworks from IllumiNations.
- Luna Park Pool (Disney’s BoardWalk Inn/Villas) – This pool area is a personal favorite of mine, simply because of the theme. The pool area is almost a copy of the Coney Island-style amusement parks and boardwalks of the 1910s-1930s era, and is beautifully themed. Add on the poolside bar and the Keister Coaster water slide that is designed like a wooden roller coaster where you come out of a clown’s mouth, and you have one of the best pool areas on property. It’s a cool feature that complements the rest of the pool area and resort.
- All Star Resorts Pools – Comprised within the three All Star Resorts (Sports, Music, and Movies), are six themed pools, two at each resort. All six pools are available for use by guests staying at any of the three All Star Resorts. Personal favorites are the baseball diamond pool at All Star Sports and the piano pool at All Star Music. Each resort has a main pool near the check-in building, towards the center of the resort, and then a secondary, smaller pool in the center of one of the themed areas of the resort. Though the All Star Resorts have the most rooms out of any of the on-property resorts, having a large selection of pools spreads out guests, which was a nice touch by the resort designers.
- Uzima and Samawati Springs Pools (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – This resort hosts two main pools: Samawati Springs at Kidani Village and Uzima at Jambo House. Both are great as stand-alone pools, but combined, they are incredible. Uzima is one of the largest pools on property, and has a slide and nearby bar. The pool is themed beautifully and the rock features are amazing. Rivaling Uzima Pool is Samawati Springs, which has the same amenities and features, but with half the crowds because most guests roam around Jambo House instead of Kidani Village. Less people means more chairs open and more space in the pool, and a great experience.
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Walt Disney World’s newest resort offers three pools: The Big Blue Pool, Cozy Cone Pool, and Flippin’ Fins Pool. The Big Blue Pool, themed after Finding Nemo, is the largest resort pool on property, at over 300,000 gallons. The Drop Off near the pool offers drinks and food. The Big Blue Pool is the only pool with a nearby bar, and the first Disney pool to have underwater speakers. All three pools are available to guests staying at the resort and are beautifully themed, with large set pieces modeled after their respective movies. The Cozy Cone and Flippin’ Fins Pools, both much smaller than The Big Blue Pool, are themed to Cars and The Little Mermaid, respectively,
- Pop Century Resort – Pop Century has three pools: the Hippy Dippy, Computer, and Bowling Pools, all themed to different decades of during the last century. The three pools are open to all Pop Century guests. The Hippy Dippy Pool is the biggest of the three, but the Bowling Pool is shaped like a bowling pin, which, when you think about it, is both funny and cool, like something that you would never think is a real thing. There are also select nights when the resort features “Movies Under The Stars” for pool guests, so you can watch movies while relaxing in the pool.
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside & French Quarter – Ol’ Man Island at Riverside and Doubloon Lagoon at French Quarter, while not the most outlandish and extravagant of the pools on property, are quaint and wonderful. Doubloon Lagoon is themed to Mardi Gras everyday with the Mardi Grogs pool bar, and Scales sea serpent water slide, where you slide down his tongue. At Riverside, Ol’ Man Island is only accessible by wooden bridges and is tucked away from the rest of the resort. Along with a water slide, there’s also the nearby Muddy Rivers pool bar and a whirlpool tub. The pools are accessible for guests staying at either resort, and are both wonderfully themed to their respective resorts.
Next time, I will discuss the best of the best of recreation and sports on resort property.