There’s so much to do at Disney World other than the parks!
You can visit Disney Springs, go golfing, or book a lunch reservation at one of the resorts. Or, you can take a short walk to your resort pool and spend the afternoon there! After all, the pools have their own unique features and special theming. In fact, some of them even have SECRETS. If you don’t stay on property at Disney, or if you just don’t spend a lot of time at the pools, you may not know these fun facts!
1. There’s a hidden water park at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
You may have heard that Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts share a pretty awesome pool, but did you know they have a whole mini water park?! Stormalong Bay is over 3 acres of sunshine-y fun and features the highest Disney resort water slide, a lazy river, 3 whirlpool slides, and more.
This MASSIVE pool holds over 795,000 gallons of water, making it the largest Disney resort pool (if you count the whole thing as one big pool!). And part of that pool’s floor is actually sandy on the bottom — after all, we are sticking with a beachy theme here!
If a crowded water park isn’t really your scene, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts have 3 other pools. The Tidal, Admiral, and Dunes Cove pools all have steaming whirlpool spas and are a bit more relaxing.
2. There used to be underwater speakers at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Listening to music underwater sounds pretty awesome, right? At the Nemo-themed Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, you used to be able to do just that. The surface music was piped right into the water!
The Big Blue Pool is the largest single resort pool on property (not counting the multi-pooled massiveness that is Stormalong Bay), but the underwater music gave it another claim to fame! Unfortunately, this unique feature hasn’t been around for a little while. However, the Big Blue Pool is currently undergoing refurbishment, so who knows what the future will hold!
3. Disney has “quiet” pools for when you want to escape the crowds
Pools can get LOUD. There are trivia contests, kids playing, and music blasting from speakers. Sometimes, you may just want to go to a pool to relax. Disney gets it — so they have designated quiet pools for just that!
“Quiet pools” lack the interactive activities and loud music played in the feature pools. Each resort typically has a feature pool (that’s the BIG crowded one, typically near the main building) and one or two quiet pools. Some of our favorites are the Courtyard Pool at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or one of the FIVE quiet pools at Port Orleans Riverside Resort: three in Alligator Bayou and two in Magnolia Bend.
And Caribbean Beach has a quiet pool for every village in addition to their feature pool, Fuentes del Morro!
4. You can pool hop…on one condition
Guests are not allowed to pool hop in Disney World. That means when you pick your resort, you’re picking the pool, too! However, you CAN go to a different pool on one condition: if you’re staying at one of Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts.
If you’re at one of these resorts, you can hop between the pools at Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. That’s access to over half a dozen pools! Port Orleans Riverside has a feature pool (Ol’ Man Island) and 5 leisure pools, while French Quarter has the Mardi Gras-themed Doubloon Lagoon (with a pretty awesome sea serpent water slide!). If you want lots of options, this may be a factor you want to consider when choosing a resort. Keep in mind, however, that both Port Orleans resorts are temporarily closed. We’ll keep you updated as we get reopening information!
Note that typically Disney Vacation Club members CAN pool hop to other DVC resorts if they show proof of their membership, but the list of acceptable pools to visit has gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Pool Hopping for DVC hasn’t been allowed since the reports reopened. If you’re a DVC member, be sure to check which pools are available to you if/when this feature returns.
5. You can rent a cabana in Disney World
If you want some extra luxury while you’re lounging by the pool, you can rent a cabana! They’re available for all resort guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and they’re available at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts for those guests only.
Your cabana will have padded furniture, a TV, a ceiling fan, and a mini-fridge stocked with complimentary snacks and water. Cabana rentals start at around $150 for a half-day and vary based on resort and pool location — be sure to call for information specific to your stay. Each cabana can hold up to 6 people.
Keep in mind that there’s a cheaper option, too: there are free cabanas at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at the Cozy Cone Pool. Your cabana won’t have all the same plush perks, but it’s complimentary AND shaped like a cozy cone!
6. You can watch a movie from some of the pools
“Movie Under the Stars” is a complimentary movie screening series for all Disney resort guests. On select nights, guests will gather at a designated outdoor location and enjoy a movie night in the fresh air. Some of these locations are at pools — which means you can swim or lounge while you watch!
Both All-Star Music and All-Star Sports host their movie nights at their pools — however, both of these resorts are temporarily closed. If you want to enjoy this perk, you’ll have to book a room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and head to the Hippy Dippy Pool deck (but heads up, that’s closed starting February 15th for refurbishment too!).
7. You can get spiked Dole Whip at some pools
You can get your spiked Dole Whip fix at several locations in the parks, like Tamu Tamu in Disney’s Animal Kingdom or the Flower and Garden Festival in EPCOT. But did you know you can get this refreshing treat at certain resorts, too?
The Drop Off Pool Bar at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort serves the Captain’s Pineapple, which is spiced rum blended with pineapple soft-serve. Or, you can grab some at Pineapple Lanai at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! This one’s called the Dole Whip with Rum Floater, and it’s pineapple Dole Whip with coconut rum. Pineapple Lanai isn’t technically the Polynesian’s pool bar, but it’s just steps away!
8. Your little one can go mermaid swimming
Kids can shimmy into their own pair of fins and take mermaid classes at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. These 1-hour lessons are for guests ages 4 and up and cost $50 per person. This pricey extra may be worth it if your little one is celebrating a special occasion!
Keep in mind that mermaid swimming is temporarily unavailable as Disney is limiting crowds. We’ll keep you posted here at DFB on its return!
9. Want a water slide? Don’t stay at a value resort
There’s a quick trick to figuring out which features your resort pool might have. Moderate and deluxe resorts all have water slides, while value resorts do not! So if you’re staying at any of the All-Star Resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, or Disney’s Pop Century Resort, you will not have access to a slide.
Some of the moderate and deluxe resorts have some mind-blowing water slides, especially for the little ones! At Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, the Doubloon Lagoon water slide is shaped like a sea monster! Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has a jaguar slide, and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn’s recently redone slide (goodbye, creepy clown!) features Mickey and Minnie’s sunny summer day. We especially love the Polynesian’s water slide in a VOLCANO!
10. Disney’s Pop Century Resort’s pool is shaped like a bowling pin
Disney’s Pop Century Resort has some iconic pools themed after various decades. And their 50s pool is shaped like a bowling pin!
You know what’s even cooler? There are 9 bowling pins scattered around the 50s section of the resort, forming staircases for the various buildings. That tenth bowling pin is the pool! Disney definitely didn’t spare (get it?) on any details here.😂
Disney’s pools are full of details, exciting theming, and opportunities for fun — as long as you know where to look! We hope you enjoyed our trip around Disney’s pools as much as we did. Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news and updates!
Which of these pool secrets did you know about? Let us know in the comments!