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With the official start of summer kicking off this weekend I thought I’d take this week’s post to talk about a topic essential to summer fun: resort pools. While these facilities provide a lot of fun, they can also be used as a great tool to keep your sanity while touring in the Florida heat. Here at Touring Plans and the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World we highly recommend taking an afternoon break from the parks. The midday hours are often the busiest and hottest so it really pays to high tail it out for there for a few hours. Many folks may opt for a leisurely lunch or a nap, but many seek relief at their resort’s pool. Each Disney resort has multiple pools for their guests so take advantage and cool off before you head back to a park for the evening hours!
So with that in mind, I wanted to point out some of the stars in the Disney pool line up. Let’s take a look at what I consider to be the best swimming holes of the deluxe, moderate, and value resorts. I’m going to discuss the feature pools at these resorts below, but also keep in mind each of them also has at least one “quiet pool.” These may come with less fanfare, but should also be less crowded. If you are looking to have a peaceful break from the usual Disney World run around they could be a great option for you.
Since many of the deluxe resorts go all out to bring fun swimming areas to their guests it is hard to pick one favorite! So I narrowed my choices down to three. Before I get into my picks, it is good to know each of the deluxe resorts’ signature pools feature a water slide and guests may get pool toys and towels free of charge poolside. These are also usually the most heavily themed pools on property so they are a lot of fun even if you can only swing by to check them out for a few minutes.
The most well known deluxe resort pool is shared by the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts. Stormalong Bay sits between these two hotels and is so popular cast members check room keys before allowing guests into the area. It is also the only resort pool to get a five star rating from the readers of the Unofficial Guide to WDW! There are several sand bottom pools to pick from as well as a slide built to look as if its the remains of a ship wreck. There is even a kids’ area which is shallow and has areas for them to build sandcastles. The complex is huge so be sure to keep and eye on your kids and maybe pick a set of lounge chairs to keep as a home base.
Across the lagoon The Boardwalk Inn also has a fun pool made to look like an amusement park’s wooden roller coaster thus giving it its name: the keister coaster. This pool only gets 3.5 stars in the Unofficial Guide, but I think its adorable. I may be biased since the Boardwalk is my favorite resort, but I think you’ll have fun if you give it a shot. The bar here called Leaping Libations is also one of my favorites on property.
To round out my top deluxe resort picks I’ll swing over to the monorail loop to
discuss the volcano pool at the Polynesian. Not only does the volcano house the resort’s water slide, but it steams as if its active! A fun feature of this pool is music is piped into speakers in the water so you can enjoy Hawaiian tunes even under water. The added bonus of using the Polynesian’s pool is the view of the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon. If you really want to take advantage of this location, you can take a break from your evening swim to watch Wishes! from the beach.
The moderate resorts also have nicely themed pools complete with water slides, but you will have to supply your own towels, etc. I must confess I’ve only stayed at one moderate resort and I did not take a dip in their pool. However, I took to twitter to find out which ones people loved most. I got the most votes for Coronado Springs’ Dig Site pool. It has received a four star ranking from our readers. The feature of this pool is a 46 foot tall Mayan temple which is meant to be the subject of an archeological study. A water slide, hot tub, and kids area round out the wet fun here.
The value resorts’ pools are a bit less showy, but can be equally relaxing. There
are no slides at these resorts, and guests must supply their own towels. All of the value resorts’ pools rank with three stars in the Unofficial Guide to WDW. My favorite pool at the value resorts is the Hippy Dippy Pool at Pop Century. Since it is located between the buildings depicting the 1960s this flower shaped pool rolls along with the theme of the decade. Bright colors adorn the area and flower shaped fountains spray swimmers.
If getting wet isn’t your thing don’t fret. All of these pools have plenty of lounge chairs where you can take a nap or read a book while your kids (or friends) play. There is also an outdoor bar close to all of the pools in case you feel the need to sip a fruity drink while you relax poolside. However, you may be surprised how great a swim will sound when the heat index is over 100 degrees this summer!
I hope my favorites have inspired you to take some time out from you busy touring schedule to check out your resort’s pool. Try to remember that a trip to Walt Disney World is actually a vacation and you should carve out some time to relax!
I haven’t stayed at every resort so I may have left your favorite off my list. Tell me all about which resort pools you like most in the comments!