In the 1864 novel by Charles Kingsley The ‘water babies’ were spirits who lived in rivers and streams and if you and your family love splish splashing around join me on a discovery of the best pools in The World.
The value resorts: Did you ever swim in a pool with underwater speakers playing surf music and character voices from the film Finding Nemo whispering in your ears? Search no further and check into Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The “Big Blue” pool will not disappoint and neither will the Little Mermaid and Car Section themed pools of the resort.
All Disney resorts have great pools but some stand out more than others. Among the All Star resorts my favorite is the main pool of the All Star Movie Resort and I love the sixties feel of the pool at the Pop Century Resort. Please note that the value resorts do not have additional quiet pools.
The mid-value resorts: From the moderately priced resorts my vote goes to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort with its impressive pyramid towering smack in the middle. It is especially beautiful when lit at night. The Dubloon Lagoon pool at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort features a sea serpent and King Triton water slide and is only a short walk away from the adjacent Port Orleans Riverside Resort pool and playground. The Caribbean Beach Resort main pool is found at Old Port Royale and is themed to resemble an old Spanish-style Caribbean fort complete with pirates’ cannons and stonewalls. Right next to the main pool is a splash area that makes sure nobody stays dry.
The Deluxe resorts: Much fun is to be had at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. At Kidani Village the pool is nice but the adjacent splash zone is the real draw. It is an extensive and creative play area and it will be hard to get your kids back to the parks!
At Disney’s Boardwalk, an upscale resortwith a 190,000-gallon pool, the slide called Keister Coaster, is built like a wooden roller coaster and themed after the 1920’s amusement parks. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club is like a mini-water park and comprises a huge sand-bottom pool, a lazy river and a waterslide resembling a giant shipwreck.
Parents beware, retrieving your child will get you soaked even at the Grand Dame of all Resorts. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has two pools (The Courtyard and the Beach Pool) with zero- and reduced-depth entry. While the Courtyard pool is more quiet the Beach Pool, has a rock waterfall and water-slide. The most fun however is to be had at the Alice in Wonderland themed splash zone where teapots, teacups and even the Mad Hatter’s famous hat dump water on guests constantly.
If this is still not enough consider a visit to one of Disney’s water parks Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. Both parks have great pools, wild and scary rides, lazy rivers and mini water parks for little tikes. Typhoon Lagoon has one of the world’s largest surfing lagoons, containing nearly three million gallons of water and a 362,000-gallon salt-water Shark Reef where guests can snorkel amidst – you guessed it – sharks! At Blizzard Beach my favorite ride is Teamboat Springs, the world’s longest family raft ride. As for Summit Plummet, you cannot pay me enough to do that ever again.
Liliane Opsomer is the coauthor of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and a photographer to The Color Companion: The Unofficial Guide.
She is passionate about travel, Disney, fairies, hobbits and all things magical. Some of her favorite destinations are Orlando, Anaheim, Middle Earth, Belgium, Sydney, Dresden, Patagonia and Hawaii. Liliane lives in Birmingham, Alabama and visits the parks several times a year.