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Ranking the Best Pools at Disney World

by Tad on April 15, 2019 16 Orlando

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.

Best Pools at Disney World - Stormalong Bay

Every resort hotel boasts one fabulous feature pool, and many offer an additional "quiet" pool or pools, usually set among rooms instead of near 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 (as low as $504 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - Courtyard Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian

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, this Grand Floridian pool offers zero-entry and a nearby whirlpool spa. It is also open until 11 p.m., 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 (as low as $359 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - Uzima Springs 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 the pool bar as well as 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 (as low as $178 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - 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. Copper Creek Springs at Disney's Wilderness Lodge (as low as $358 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - 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 pools at Disney based on its theming. 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 (as low as $233 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - Ol' Man Island at Disney's Port Orleans - 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 playscape and catch-and-release fishing.

6. Samawati Springs Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village (as low as $359 a night)

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 (as low as $172 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - Disney's Caribbean Beach

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 waterslides, 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 (as low as $171 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - Lost City of Cibolo Pool at Disney's Coronado Springs

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 waterslide, 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 (as low as $519 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - 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 a new infinity edge 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 waterslide. 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 (as low as $178 a night)

Best Pools at Disney World - 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!)

(The Big Blue Pool will be closed for refurbishment beginning in Fall 2020.)

1. Stormalong Bay at Disney's Beach and Yacht Club Resorts (as low as $383 and $398 a night, respectively)

Best Pools at Disney World - Stormalong Bay at Disney's Beach and Yacht Club Resorts

These adjoining Boardwalk area resorts share a three-acre mini water park called Stormalong Bay. The centerpiece is the 230-foot-long shipwrecked waterslide, one of the longest 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!

Related: The Best Disney World Hotels for Families

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
View Comments
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Jul 7, 2019 at 10:51 p.m. Elizabeth Parks Scott Says...

Great advice, thanks!

Mar 17, 2019 at 2:21 p.m. Disneyphile Says...

I was disappointed not to see Port Orleans French Quarter on your list, Neptune's slide is the absolute best and the character features are great too. Also, an update, many of the moderate and deluxe resorts have had young child water play areas added since 2017. These are fantastic for children under 5!

Jul 24, 2018 at 9:08 p.m. Carlos Says...

The pools are great it was supertastic i was having a good day at Disney when I came to the pool it was brilliant

Jul 24, 2018 at 9:04 p.m. Carlos Says...

I love the pool at the animal kingdom lodge it was great and it was outstanding great theming i was majestic

Sep 30, 2017 at 7:04 a.m. pool builders austin texas Says...

nice to know here the best pools at Disney world! helpful!

Jul 23, 2017 at 3:28 p.m. Suzy Says...

Good morning!

This may seem a little strange or a tad bit selfish on my part but, as the only female in a family of boys I want to visit Disney World by myself. I feel that it's the only way I can truly see & enjoy everything that I always miss because, my boys don't like the so called "girly" things.

My question is.. What resort would you suggest for a female traveler who just wants to be the princess she secretly is hiding in a family of boys. :)

Oct 3, 2017 at 7:27 p.m. Also a Princess Says...

It depends on what kind of Princess you are. I love Riverside, and the Royal Rooms are very cool. Also, sometimes you can't beat being a Cinderella in the Grand Floridian or a Moana at the Polynesian. Plus, you can always stare at Cinderella's Palace from your resort, and GF has a spa.

Sep 19, 2017 at 1:22 p.m. Just a suggestion Says...

Port Orleans Riverside has Royal Rooms that look very regal (from the pictures) in southern mansion themed buildings. The pool there is anything but princess-y but you can also use the pool at Port Orleans French Quarter (because they're sister resorts).

Jul 25, 2017 at 10:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Suzy,

That would be Magic Kingdom Park! It is filled with Disney princesses, Cinderella Castle and Fantasyland. Enjoy!

Stay cool!


Mar 22, 2017 at 6:34 p.m. Bill Says...

Just an update, a couple of the pools on the list an not accessible unless you are a guest of the actual resort. Tried to go to stormalong bay today and was turned away even though we are staying at Saratoga springs. Bummer as the pool looked like fun.

Jun 17, 2017 at 12:46 a.m. mike Says...

You shouldn't be going to any but your resort pool because almost every time you will be turned away. People pay a lot of money to go to their resorts and it wouldn't be fair for Disney to just let people sneak into pools that are not theirs. Thanks Disneyfor kkeeping on your toes

Jul 3, 2017 at 8:37 p.m. Jamie Says...

Actually, that's not correct. DVC Members are allowed to "pool hop" to other resorts, although Stormalong Bay and a few others are excluded, see here: https://disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/discounts-perks-offers/recreation-relaxation/pools/

Jul 19, 2017 at 11:39 p.m. Chap Says...

I understand some places are private but I am also paying a lot of money. May not be top notch but everyone knows none are cheap.

My point is I should be able to visit any pool as a disney guest as we all are.

Will be there next month for 2 weeks so we will be checking them all out.

Dec 22, 2016 at 5:23 p.m. Elaine nelson Says...

We are planning on going march 21,2017. I am getting FOL passes for my kids but not me cause I am not much of a rides person, but would like to do the tour ride. When is it best for us to all go on that together?

Dec 28, 2016 at 8:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elaine,

Which park and ride are you talking about? It sounds like you are talking about the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. If so, we would recommend that you do the tour early to avoid big crowds, perhaps after visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 16, 2016 at 9:25 p.m. Joanne Says...

Thanks for the info most helpfull

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