For us frogs especially, the pool is a major factor when it comes to picking a hotel, and we know that is the case for most of you families too. With nearly year-round warm temps in Orlando, no matter what season you visit, it's almost always pool time. Luckily, I'm hoppy to report that there are great Disney World pools at all price points. No matter which hotel you pick, your tadpoles are going to love it! (You moms and dads will love our Disney World hotel room discounts.) Today we're diving into our favorite Walt Disney World Resort hotel pools so you can make your best pick.
As mentioned above, aside from a handful of days, one of the things that is toadally awesome about visiting Orlando is you can swim year-round. Disney's hotel pools (plus water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) are heated, so Lily and I always pack our swimsuits — even in winter. And since it pretty much feels like summer in Orlando from March through November, it's always nice to take a park break and head to the hotel pool.
Every resort hotel boasts one fabulous feature pool, and many offer an additional "quiet" pool or pools, usually set among rooms instead of the lobbies. While most of them aren't themed, a handful of them have made it onto our list of the best pools at Disney World.
Ranking Disney World's pools isn't an easy task — there are so many great pools to choose from — but there's one clear winner. (You diehard Disney fanatics probably already know the answer, but let's not hop ahead.)
The Best Pools at Disney World
Honorable mention - Courtyard Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The Courtyard Pool is considered a quiet pool, but it was once the Grand Floridian's feature pool. Both pools are fabulous, and the main Beach Pool offers a 181-foot waterslide, water falls and splash pad, but the Courtyard Pool is still our favorite. Unlike most other quiet pools, it offers zero entry and a nearby whirlpool spa. It is also open 24 hours, so it's a nice choice if you arrive back at the hotel after a long day in the parks, and just want a quick soak.
10. Uzima Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House
One of Disney World's largest pools, weighing in at 234,980 gallons, Uzima Springs is a sparkling, tropical oasis with animal viewing areas — including the flamingos — just a hop, skip and a jump away. It offers zero entry and a 67-foot-long waterslide. Moms and dads will especially like Uzima's hot tubs, which are tucked amid the canopy trees and other tall foliage.
9. Cozy Cone Pool at Disney's Art of Animation
With its distinctive cone cabanas, the circular Cozy Cone Pool feels more like a feature pool and is a popular choice for guests staying in the Cars Suites at Disney's Art of Animation. The cabanas are available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. They offer ample room and shade, so they are perfect for families who want to make a day of it.
8. Silver Creek Springs at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
While it's one of the smallest feature pools on property, Silver Creek Springs is certainly one of the best themed. The springs begin in the hotel lobby, and you can follow the creek down a winding, rocky trail, past glorious falls and the 67-foot slide built into the oversized boulders. The pool, along with two hot tub jacuzzis and splash play area, offer spectacular views of Fire Rock Geyser, which erupts on the hour from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
7. 'Ol Man Island at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Lily and I feel just like we've found a secret swimming hole whenever we visit the pool on Ol' Man Island. The pool is themed after an abandoned sawmill, with lots of (purposely) leaking water and a 95-foot-long waterslide built into the millworks. Parents will like that the adjacent tadpole pool gets plenty of shade from the tall pines. Accessible by three wooden bridges, the island also offers hammocks, a play scape and fishing.
6. Samawati Springs Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village
One of the best pools at Disney World is tucked away at one of the newest deluxe villas — Kidani Village. Just like Uzima Springs, it is surrounded by palms and tall trees, giving it a lush, jungle-like setting. There is the main zero-entry pool, but the Uwanja Camp splash areas are where it's at. The tadpoles can climb through cargo crates and splash around in the geysers, while older children will have fun spraying each other with water cannons. The only thing odd about this pool is its location. It's actually set in front of the resort, since the back is home to the animals that live on the savannas.
5. Fuentes del Morro Pool at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
There's plenty to explore at the Fuentes del Morro Pool, which is awesomely themed after a colonial Spanish fortress. Little adventurers can climb the staircase in one of the Fort's turrets to access one of its two water slides, wade into the water at the zero-depth entry, or take aim behind the water cannons. The nearby pirate ship-themed splash pad is a swashbuckler's paradise.
4. The Lost City of Cibolo Pool area at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Depending on where your room is it can be a trek to get to, but the Lost City of Cibolo Pool at the Dig Site is worth it. Themed after Mayan ruins, the focal point of this humongous pool area is the 50-foot pyramid and its cascading wall of water. Young adventurers can let loose on the 123-foot-long water slide, while parents unwind in one of two hot tubs, including the largest at Disney World. There is a nearby play area, an arcade, a kiddie pool, a sand volleyball court and eats at the Siesta Pool Bar.
3. Lava Pool at Disney's Polynesian Resort
Already one of the most popular pools on property, the Lava pool emerged from a refurbishment in 2015 even better — with an expanded deck and seating area, Tiki-themed sprawling water play area (including tadpole-sized slides) and new hot tub. Of course, with a name like Lava Pool, there has to be a volcano, and the little ones can climb to the top of it, before making a 142-foot-long plunge down its water slide. Set on the Seven Seas Lagoon, across from Magic Kingdom, the Lava Pool offers perhaps the best views of any pool at Disney World.
2. Big Blue Pool at Disney's Art of Animation
At 308,527 gallons, the Big Blue Pool weighs in as the largest pool at Disney World. Colorful, oversized set pieces of Nemo, Crush and other film characters surround the pool area, which features zero entry and plays tunes from its underwater speakers. Tadpoles can splish splash just like Nemo on the Schoolyard Sprayground, with its pop-up jets and more fun characters. (Hello, Dory!)
These adjoining Boardwalk area resorts share a 3-acre, mini water park called Stormalong Bay. The centerpiece is the 230-foot-long shipwrecked water slide, one of the largest at Disney World. Lily especially loves playing on the beach area and splashing about in the zero-entry, sand-bottomed pool. There is also a pool for water volleyball, a lazy river, three whirlpool spas and plenty of chairs for lounging around. If you're staying at Disney's Beach Club or Yacht Club, you'll definitely want to spend at least one full day at Stormalong Bay.
So there you have it — our ranking of the best pools at Disney World! Remember, you can now book your discount Disney World hotel room through us. And if you're still not sure where to stay, you can hop over to the Where to Stay in Orlando page inside our Orlando Planning Timeline! Now you have no excuse not to dive in!