Walt Disney World Resort Comparisons: Pools

When choosing a Resort to stay at on a Walt Disney World Vacation, there are a wide variety of options that travelers can use to compare. Disney offers four different resort categories, each offering both subtle and significant differences. In this newly updated post we'll look at a few of the popular amenities that help guests make the decision of which hotel will be best for them.

Walt Disney World Resort Pool ComparisonsWalt Disney World Resort Pool Comparisons

For sun bathers, water lovers, and those who plan on spending quality vacation time outside the Parks the Walt Disney World Resort Pools can be important factors in deciding where to stay. Most of the pools at Disney resorts have similar features with the difference largely in the perceived "quality" of the pool area's themed elements, spas, and amenities. In 2017, a project was completed to enclose Disney pools with fencing for the safety reasons. Guests can access Disney Resort pools with their MagiBands during operational hours, when life guards are on duty. If you'll be traveling with little ones, Disney pools also offer complimentary life vests.

So which are the Best Disney World Pools for Adults? We'll leave big question for you to decide, but here's a look at what the different resort categories offer in their pools, and where you'll find our favorites.

Value Pool: Art of Animation Feature PoolValue Pool: Art of Animation Feature Pool

Value Resorts

At Disney's Value Resorts (All Stars, Pop Century, and Art of Animation) you'll find the simplest of pool facilities. These offer a basic swimming enjoyment and may have some water play elements like fountains splashing into the pool. Feature pools offer vibrant colors and larger than life character statues. Value Resorts have kiddie pools, a pool bar, and a guest laundry nearby. Shade at these pools is minimal. Value Resorts also offer a quiet pools outside of the main swimming courtyards.

Our Best of Value Resort Pools: The Big Blue Pool at Disney's Art of Animation is a dip into the water with Nemo and Friends. Underwater speakers provide a soundtrack for your swimming adventure.

Value Pool: All Star SportsValue Pool: All Star Sports

Moderate Resorts

At Disney's Moderate Resorts (Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter, Coronado Springs, and Caribbean Beach Resort) guests will find elaborate themed feature pools as well as quiet pools. The fun themes at the Moderate pools seem to be more natural in their detail with some shade. You may find yourself in a bayou swimming hole or splashing beneath an ancient pyramid. Moderate Resort pool areas offer a large spas at the feature pool, a pool bar (some with food), a kiddie pool, and guest laundry. Many have a few water play elements, and a modest water slide.

Our Best of Moderate Resort Pools: Ol' Man Island at Port Orleans Riverside is our choice in this category. Hammocks near the spa, and one of the best pool bars on property only enhance the fantastically playful pool.

Moderate Pool: Coronado Springs Feature PoolModerate Pool: Coronado Springs Feature Pool

Deluxe Resorts

As might be expected, Disney's Deluxe Resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Yacht & Beach Clubs) offer both intricate themed pools and lush quiet pools. These oases have water play zones and interactive elements near a kiddie pool. Deluxe pools offer least one water slide, and have additional fun features such as playgrounds, waterfalls, sand play areas, campfire pits, and screens for movies under the stars. Most of them have at least one whirlpool tub and an extensive full bar. Some Deluxe Resorts that have Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Villas attached to them have a second pool almost as elaborate as the featured pool. The Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts also offer Cabana rental at the feature pools. These posh pool retreats offer guests an upgraded pool experience with ample amenities and personal service.

Our Best of Deluxe Resort Pools: At Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Stormalong Bay offers an almost water park like experience with it's interactive water features, giant slide, sand beach area, and sprawling pool deck. Plus a full counter service menu at Hurricane Hanna's means you don't have to leave to get some lunch.

Deluxe Pool: Yacht & Beach Club Stormalong BayDeluxe Pool: Yacht & Beach Club Stormalong Bay

Vacation Club Resorts

Themed pools and "quiet" pools are available at the dedicated DVC Resorts. They have water play elements, whirlpool spas, and pool bars. Most will have at least one water slide, and a kids splash-and-play area. Bonus water features such as waterfalls or sand playgrounds can also be found. At DVC Resorts that are attached to a Deluxe Resort Property, DVC guests are allowed to use both sets of pools.

DVC Pool: Kidani VillageDVC Pool: Kidani Village

Does the resort pool factor into your choice when picking a Disney Resort hotel? I must admit I've become quite fond of the Uzima Spring Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I think it may be my overall personal favorite due to it's lush landscaping, friendly bar tenders and hidden whirlpools.

Which one of Disney's great resort pools is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know why!

Brenda wrote on Tue, 03/12/2013 - 01:43:

Brenda's picture

I love the Disney pools! Yes, the pool does factor in when choosing which resort I stay at. First, it depends on the time of year I go. If I know I will want to swim in the winter or early spring I have to pick a resort with a hottub available! Second, if it is summer I must have a water slide! It is fun to have this option by the pool! My favorite slide is probably the Jaguar Slide at Coronado Springs (because it is a fast slide and water squirts on you) and the pool itself has a large hot tub by it.

JeffC wrote on Tue, 03/12/2013 - 03:46:

I think I have to go with Stormalong Bay. The sandy bottom, the slide (oh yes, I have done it!) and the lazy river kinda area....really nice.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 03/12/2013 - 16:51:

Kristen K.'s picture

ANimal Kingdom Lodge's pools are my favorite, I'm just happy to be DVC so I don't have to worry about not having a hot tub at the pool!

Lisa B. wrote on Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:01:

Lisa B.'s picture

We at least we agree on the best deluxe pool (Stormalong Bay). I think the pool at Port Orleans Riverside is very small and there really is no place to relax near the pool. Kids are jumping in everywhere and throwing things at each other. Skip this pool if you can.

I like the pool at the French Quarter better. It seems a lot less crowded and you can find a chair to relax.

Darleen wrote on Tue, 06/30/2020 - 22:53:

Darleen's picture

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