I’m happy to announce our newly revamped YouTube channel! On it you will find Disney Dining Reviews, Hotel Room Tours, Attraction Ride Throughs, and other fun and informative videos. Our YouTube channel allows us to bring you even more high quality content. We will be updating the channel with new videos multiple times a week from Walt Disney World and Disneyland, so be sure to subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss anything!
We’ve given you the basics about Disney resort pools in general and the specifics about the pools at the value and moderate level hotels. The series concludes with an in-depth look at the pools at the Walt Disney World deluxe and villa resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower Villas, Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Polynesian, Saratoga Springs and Tree House Villas, Wilderness Lodge and Villas, and the Yacht & Beach Club and Beach Club Villas.
How many pools are there? There are two large pools at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Uzima pool at the main Jambo House, and the Samwati Spring pool in the Kidani Village villas area. There is no “quiet pool” area at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
What is the pool themeing? The African wilderness.
What’s the kiddie pool situation? There are traditional kiddie pools in both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas. Additionally, Kidani has a large interactive water play area intended for children under 48″ tall.
Are there water slides? Yes, both pool areas have water slides. At Kidani, there is a small slide, appropriate for preschoolers, as well as a larger slide for older children. At Jambo, there is one large water slide.
Is there a nearby playground? Yes. There are playgrounds near both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
What’s the nearest food option? The Maji bar next to the Kidani pool offers drinks and very limited number of cold sandwich options. The Uzima Springs bar next to the Jambo pool offers drinks and a small selection of packaged snacks. The Mara quick service restaurant, with complete food offerings, is steps away from the Jambo pool.
Are there showers at the pool? Yes, there are restrooms with lockers and shower adjacent to both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
Are there hot tubs? Yes, there are hot tubs at both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
Are there towels available at the pool? Yes, towels are available at both pools.
How deep is the pool? The Jambo pool is four feet, ten inches at its deepest point. The Kidani pool is four feet, eleven inches at its deepest point.
Are there zero entry pools available? Yes. The main pools at both Jambo and Kidani have zero entry access.
Are poolside cabanas available? No.
Are there poolside activities? Yes. There are activities at both the Jambo and Kidani pools. Schedules may vary seasonally, but recently there were planned events from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. every afternoon, plus a movie under the stars in the evening. Events may include: Bingo, Wild Trivia, Frisbee Toss, Giant Jenga, Chalk Art, Musical Rings, and others. Weather permitting, there is a free campfire with s’mores.
Anything else? The two sections of the Animal Kingdom Lodge are a substantial walking distance apart. Guests with preschool and elementary age children may prefer the pools at Kidani Village due to the appealing children’s water play area. Different evening movies are shown at the Jambo and Kidani areas. Feel free to view whichever film is more appealing to your family. The schedules for both will be available at the front desk.
A few weeks ago, I posted an article aimed at those of you travelers looking to plan your first ever Disney World trip. I covered three very important topics… requirements, when and how long, and tickets. In this second part I am going to go over transportation, accommodations, and the ever important itinerary.
I am pretty sure that almost anyone that looks at a list of possible accommodations in the Orlando area will be totally overwhelmed. There are so many options! Off property, on property, vacation homes, motels, hotels, value resorts, and even cabins! In order to make the big decision of where you are going to rest your head, you want to look at your options in categories and then break it down from there.
First off, if you have no interest in renting a car, either because you are petrified of driving around an unknown area, or because you do not need to go off of Disney property for anything, you probably should look at accommodations available to you right on Disney property. Disney hotels also work well for families looking to camp. When you are looking at on property versus off property, the major differences lie in what discounts and special perks you get from staying right with Disney. Disney offers guests staying right on property benefits like free parking at the Disney theme parks, shuttle service to and from the parks, a “magical” bus shuttle to and from Orlando International Airport, room charging privileges, package pick-up at resorts, and the ability to add-on one of the controversial Disney Dining Plans.
How many pools are there? There are seven real pools. The main feature pool, Fuentes del Morro, is located in Old Port Royale Centertown. There are also six smaller quiet pools, one each in the Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad South, and Trinidad North guest room areas.
What is the pool themeing? The feature pool has an old fashioned pirate theme, with faux pirate outpost ruins.
What’s the kiddie pool situation? There is an aquatic play area, reserved for children under 48″ tall, adjacent to the main feature pool. The water around the play area is shallow and appropriate for the smallest children. There is also a small traditional kiddie pool.
Are there water slides? Yes, there are twin mini-slides in the aquatic play area. There are two medium-sized slides in the feature pool, appropriate for older children.
Is there a nearby playground? The aquatic play area functions much like a playground, with interactive elements. Traditional playgrounds are located in the Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad South village areas.
What’s the nearest food option? The Banana Cabana bar is located directly adjacent to the main feature pool. The Market Street food court and Shutters full-service restaurant are located in nearby Centertown. Other than vending machines, there are no food options near the quiet pools.
Are there showers at the pool? Yes, there is a locker room with showers located next to the main feature pool.
Are there hot tubs? Yes. There is a small hot tub located next to the main feature pool.
Are there towels available at the pool? Yes, there are towels available at the main feature pool. Towels are typically not available at the quiet pools.
How deep is the pool? The main feature pool is four feet, ten inches at its deepest point. The quiet pools average four feet, six inches at their deepest point.
Are there zero entry pools? Yes, the main feature pool has a zero entry access point. The children’s aquatic play area is also zero entry. The quiet pools are standard entry.
Are poolside cabanas available? No.
Are there poolside activities? Yes. All activities take place at the feature pool area. Schedules may vary seasonally, but recently there were planned events from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. every afternoon, plus a movie under the stars in the evening. Events may include: Dance Parties, “What’s in Your Beach Bag,” “Mickey Who?,” Notable Quotes, and others. Weather permitting, there is a free campfire with s’mores.
Anything else? There are laundry facilities near the pool in each village area. There are often hair wrap artists located at the Dig Site pool mid-day. While there are plentiful beaches here, there is no swimming allowed in the lake.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Disney pools in general, let’s get into the specific pool situation at each resort. First up are the Disney value level resorts: All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Art of Animation, and Pop Century. Here’s the scoop on the pools at these hotels.
What is the pool themeing? The main Fantasia pool features elements from the film “Fantasia,” notably a Sorcerer Mickey statue which shoots streams of water into the center of the pool. The smaller Mighty Ducks pool features hockey themeing such as larger than life sticks and a faux goal net.
What’s the kiddie pool situation? There is one shallow kiddie pool with an adjacent water spray feature. This is located to the immediate right of the Fantasia pool, as you face the main Cinema Hall building.
Are there water slides? No.
Is there a nearby playground? There is a playground, located a bit away from the pool, near the Toy Story section of the resort.
What’s the nearest food option? The Silver Screen Spirits bar is next to the Fantasia pool. For a full menu, go inside Cinema Hall to the World Premier Food Court. There are no food options near the Mighty Ducks pool.
Are there showers at pool? Yes. There are locker rooms with showers next to both pools.
Are there hot tubs? No.
Are there towels available at the pool? No. You are welcome to use the towels from your room while you’re at the pool.
How deep is the pool? Both pools are five feet at their deepest point.
Is there are zero entry pools? No.
Are poolside cabanas available? No.
Are there poolside activities? Yes. All activities take place at the Fantasia pool area. There is one poolside ping-pong table. Schedules may vary seasonally, but recently there were planned events from 1:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. every afternoon, plus a movie under the stars in the evening. Events may include: Mickey Bean Bag toss, Twister, Musical Dots, Dance Party, Bingo, Treasure Hunt, and others.
Anything else? Laundry facilities are available next to both pools.
While the theme park attractions may be the reason that people come to Walt Disney World, often the reason they stay at Walt Disney World is the hotel pool. All of the Disney World hotels have at least one, if not several, pools on site, many of which have elaborate themeing, kiddie play zones, or other enticements that can make a day at the resort just as fun as a day at the parks.
Zero entry pool at the Polynesian.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some deep water exploration of the pool situation at Walt Disney World. So put on your swim fins, folks, and get ready to dive in.
What’s the overall pool situation like at the Disney World resorts?
While all Disney hotels have pools, there is a great deal of variation between the resorts in the size, atmosphere, and amenities of the pools at each location. The pools range from basic water-in-the-ground (albeit with colorful themed elements) at the All Star Resorts, to a de facto mini water park, with multiple slides, sandy play areas, and a lazy river at the Yacht & Beach Clubs.
Some resorts have elaborate interactive water play zones for children, some have hot tubs, some have deluxe cabana rentals, some have quiet pools for restful relaxation, some have zero entry approaches to the water. Sometimes these features, or the lack thereof, can have a big impact on your vacation enjoyment.
In a future post, I’ll get into the specific set-up at each hotel, but for now we’ll cover issues that apply to the pools in general.
Every Walt Disney World resort hotel room has a posted maximum guest capacity. For example, the standard value resort rooms allow up to four guests to stay there. However, the fine print also states that you can add an additional guest to the room if it is a child under the age of three sleeping in a crib. In most cases, the crib that child will be sleeping in is a Graco brand Pack ‘n Play.
Here’s what you need to know about the Pack ‘n Play and the “sleeping in a crib” part of your Walt Disney World stay with a baby.
What exactly is a Pack ‘n Play?
The Graco Pack ‘n Play is what Amazon.com calls a play yard, and what many grandmas would call a play pen. The actual surface that the baby sleeps on is just a few inches off the ground. It is not a proper crib.
Are you unfamiliar with the over 70 bars and lounges found on Walt Disney World property? Are you a frequent visitor who is always on the lookout for hidden gems and new experiences? Do you like pretty pictures? Have you always wanted to try your hand at making Disney cocktails at home? This eBook is for you!
With descriptions and numerical ratings of every single bar at Walt Disney World plus over 400 pictures, this eBook is just another way that TouringPlans.com fully prepares you for any Disney vacation. From the Walt Disney World bar novice to the advanced lounge lizard, this eGuide offers something for everyone! It contains information about history, themes, drinks, and food at every lounge along with wonderful pictures illustrating the highlights. The suggestions and tips in this eGuide will easily pay for themselves as the Bars and Lounges eGuide will help you pick the best bars and make the best selections, saving valuable vacation time!
Another wonderful thing about this eGuide is the 26 cocktail recipes that allow you to continue that Disney vacation feeling from your own home lounge. The recipes are designed to minimize the amount of liquor needed to maximize the value of our drink list.
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One floor at a time the rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World are getting a makeover. They are leaving the reds and yellows color scheme behind and adopting one with more greens and grays. Last week we got a peek at the new rooms and we have side-by-side comparison photos to show the changes. The pictures on the left are the old style rooms and the right ones are the refurbished rooms. What do you think of the new style?
In April of 2011, Disney announced Royal Guest Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The initial announcement stated that:
“The story behind these lush rooms is that Princess Tiana (“The Princess and the Frog”) invited some of her royal pals…for a vacation getaway. Princes and princesses of all ages can enjoy their luxurious lodging quarters…”
As expected, many reading the above description anticipated a girly princess explosion. I was personally unsure as to what these Royal Rooms would be like but, as a grown man, I was not as excited about a princess themed room as some others. One “other” that was profoundly more interested in such a theme was my four year old daughter. Therefore I bit the (perceived) sparkly bullet and booked a few nights in a Port Orleans Riverside Royal Guest Room.