Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Photo: Ellice Ford

Staying on Disney property has its perks, and one of my favorites are the various pools. Each resort, from Value to Deluxe, have multiple on-site pools that are great to use when winding down from a long day in the parks. This post will focus on ranking the Value Resort pools. Value Resorts include: All Star Sports, All Star Movies, All Star Music, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. I used four factors when ranking each of the Value Resort pools. I looked at their theme, activities, space, and amenities. As a matter of fact, pools at all resorts have essentially the same activities and amenities, so while they are important to think about, it really came down to the size of the pool, the space around it, and the theme.

There are two pools at each resort, although both Pop Century and Art of Animation have three. All Value Resort pools have a specific theme that ties into the all-around theme of their resort. Any of them would be fun no matter which resort you stay in. And of course they all have one very important feature: keeping you cool in the hot Florida sun!

5. All Star Sports

Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Photo: Kelly Nobles

Surfboard Bay Pool

Theme: The theme for the Surfboard Bay Pool is fun with a beach atmosphere and pool shaped like a big wave. The hotel rooms that surround it are decorated with giant surfboards and shark fins as tall as the building. Palm trees line the entire area around the pool complex. This is a nice sizable pool.

Activities: Every afternoon, fun activities are led by staff members who encourage everyone to participate no matter what your age! Games such as ping pong, corn hole, and life size connect four are also available.

Space: Plenty of space for guests to lounge by the pool and not feel crowded.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the largest pool of All Star Sports Resort. It is located in the “Surfs Up” area and sits directly behind Stadium Hall (the main building) that holds the End Zone Food Court, Arcade, Gift Shop, Bar, and bus access.

The kiddie pool is located adjacent to Surfboard Bay Pool.

Most evenings, Movies Under the Stars takes place on the football field located in the touchdown section of the resort, in the area closest to Surfboard Bay Pool. Here, they set up a gigantic screen and play a Disney movie while handing out free popcorn (it’s one of my favorite activities). Check with the front desk to see which movie is playing and what day.

 

Grand Slam Pool

Theme: The theme for this pool is baseball. They’ve even shaped the pool to look like a baseball diamond complete with “bases” around the edge! Goofy sits in the middle at the pitcher’s mound ready to squirt water at guests. Some of the surrounding buildings are made to look like grandstands, while the lounging area looks like the outfield. To top it off, the Homerun Hotel buildings are decorated with huge baseball bats, pennants, and baseballs. There’s even a two story scoreboard to make you really feel like you’re at a baseball game.

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating, it may feel crowded during busy times of the year.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the smallest pool at All Star Sports. It is located in the “Homerun Hotel” area and is the farthest away from Stadium Hall. However, if you stay in the “Touchdown” area this pool may be closer than Surfboard Bay.

4. All Star Music

Calypso Pool

Theme: As you might have guessed, everything at this resort is about music, even the shape of their pools! This pool is shaped like a guitar with a Three Caballeros fountain squirting water at guests while they swim. I like the fountain, it’s bright, colorful, and has my favorite character, Donald Duck! The hotel rooms surrounding this area are decorated with huge bongos and maracas. It has a fun Island vibe.

Activities: Every afternoon, fun activities are led by Cast Members who encourage everyone to participate no matter what your age! Games such as ping pong, corn hole, and life size connect four are also available.

Space: This is a nice open space with plenty of room to walk around, play games, and not feel crowded.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the largest pool of All Star Music Resort. It is located in the “Calypso” area and sits directly behind Melody Hall (the main building) that holds Intermission Food Court, Arcade, Gift Shop, Bar, and bus access. It’s also easily accessed by guests staying in Jazz Inn.

The Kiddie Pool is located adjacent to Calypso Pool and makes up the top of the guitar.

Most evenings, Movies Under the Stars takes place in the area of Calypso Pool. Here, they set up a gigantic screen and play a Disney movie while handing out free popcorn (it’s one of my favorite activities). Check with the front desk to see which movie is playing and what day.

 

Piano Pool

Theme: The Piano Pool is just that, a pool shaped like a piano. The piano keys painted on the deck at the entrance to the pool are a unique and fun feature. Nearby, there is a cute statue of Ariel playing guitar with Sebastian and Flounder; and two of the buildings surrounding it are made to look like radios. While it is small, it’s close to many of the buildings on property and has a fun theme that everyone will enjoy.

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating, it may feel crowded when busy.

Amenities: complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know:This is the smallest pool of All Star Music Resort. It is located in between Broadway Hotel, Country Fair, Rock Inn, and Jazz Inn. It is the farthest from Melody Hall.

Specials – WDW

3. All Star Movies

Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Photo: Ellice Ford

Fantasia Pool

Theme: When a guest swims in this pool, they’ll feel like they’ve stepped inside the movie Fantasia. Sorcerer Mickey stands on a rock in front of a red curtained stage, hands in the air, spraying water on guests swimming below. The surrounding buildings are decorated with giant brooms with water buckets, the sorcerer hat, and other characters from the movie. The size of the pool can accommodate many guests and the larger than life characters give it a fun atmosphere.

Activities: Every afternoon, fun activities are led by Cast Members who encourage everyone to participate no matter what your age! Games such as ping pong, corn hole, and life size connect four are also available.

Space: This is a nice open space with plenty of room to walk around, play games, and not feel crowded

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the largest pool for All Star Movies. It is located in the “Fantasia” area and sits directly behind Cinema Hall (main building) that holds World Premiere Food court, Arcade, Gift Shop, Bar, and bus access. Fantasia pool is also easily accessed by guests staying in the “Toy Story” and “Love Bug” rooms.

The kiddie pool is to the side of Fantasia pool. Unlike the other All Star resorts, it also includes a splash area. This pool is themed as well, with icebergs all around the pool and splash area.

Most evenings, Movies Under the Stars takes place at The Reel Spot outside of World Premiere Food Court. Here, they set up a gigantic screen and play a Disney movie while handing out free popcorn (it’s one of my favorite activities). Check with the front desk to see which movie is playing and what day.

 

Duck Pond Pool

Theme: Remember the movie The Mighty Ducks? Well, the Duck Pond is all about them. The pool itself is a hockey rink complete with a goal and Goofy playing goalie. The area around the pool is themed well with huge hockey sticks and goalie masks decorating the buildings. Other buildings closer to the pools such as laundry and bathrooms are themed to look like a locker room, while another serves as a score board. Although it doesn’t have a water feature, I think this theme is fun and has several extra components to it that give it a nice entertainment factor.

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating, it may feel crowded when busy.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the smallest pool for All Star Music Resort. It is located in the Mighty Ducks area and is the farthest away from Cinema Hall. Guests staying in the 101 Dalmatians area can easily access this pool. However, because of the property’s layout, it would be a hike for guests staying in other areas.

2. Pop Century

Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Photo: Ellice Ford

Hippy Dippy Pool

Theme: Five different decades are represented here at the Pop Century Resort. The Hippy Dippy Pool is themed to the swinging 60’s and is super groovy! The pool is shaped like a flower and has showers (also shaped like flowers) spread around the pool spraying everyone who swims by. The surrounding buildings are decorated with fun expressions from the 60’s , flowers, and dancing people dressed from the 1960’s. Huge statues of Baloo and Mowgli from the Jungle Book dance along on one side, while a gigantic can of Playdoh is on the other side. The whole area has a fun party atmosphere that’s great for guests to enjoy.

Activities: Every afternoon, fun activities are led by Cast Members who encourage everyone to participate no matter what your age! Games such as ping pong, corn hole, and life size connect four are also available.

Space: This is a nice open space with plenty of room to walk around, play games, and not feel crowded.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the main pool for the Pop Century resort. It is located in the 60’s section and sits directly behind Classic Hall (main building) that holds Fast Forward Arcade, Food Court, Gift Shop, Bar, and bus access. Hippy Dippy Pool can be easily accessed by guests staying in the 70’s section.

The kiddie pool is directly behind Hippy Dippy Pool.

Most evenings, Movies Under the Stars takes place at The Hippy Dippy Pool. Here, they set up a gigantic screen and play a Disney movie while handing out free popcorn (it’s one of my favorite activities). Check with the front desk to see which movie is playing and what day.

 

Bowling Pin Pool

Theme: Though this isn’t the main pool for Pop Century, it is still a good size and themed really well. This pool is set in the 1950’s and shaped like a bowling pin. To the front of the pool is a larger than life jukebox with people dressed from the 1950’s dancing along the outside of the buildings and expressions from the 50’s along the top. Even the bathroom/laundry building is themed to look like a place to store bowling shoes. As with the 60’s pool, popular Disney characters from that era surround the pool. Here it is Lady and the Tramp watching everyone play. It’s a great place to hang loose and have fun!

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The Bowling Pin Pool is very spacious and offers plenty of room to walk around or just lounge and not feel crowded.

Amenities: complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: The bowling pin pool is located in the 50’s area and is close to Classic Hall. Guests staying in the 50’s section and parts of the 60’s section can easily access this pool.

Computer Pool

Theme: The Computer Pool pulls double duty by spanning two decades at Pop Century. It represents both the 80’s and 90’s. In fact, I love this theme because it reminds me of my childhood. The pool itself is shaped like a computer monitor with a keyboard painted on the pool deck. In front of the pool sits a larger than life laptop (representing the 90’s) with a screen that shows different browser windows. People dressed in 80’s and 90’s clothing surround the buildings dancing away. In the 80’s section Roger Rabbit and a Walkman stand as tall as the building. The laundry/bathroom building is a giant computer with floppy discs leaning to the side.

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating, it may feel crowded when busy.

Amenities: complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: The computer pool is the smallest of all three pools at Pop Century. It is located in the middle of the 80’s and 90’s sections. Guests staying in the 70’s section can easily access this pool.

 

1. Art of Animation

Ranking Walt Disney World Value Resort Pools

Photo: Tim Rogers

The Big Blue Pool

Theme: The Art of Animation pools are by far my favorite out of all the value resorts. The theme of each area feels all inclusive, as if you dived right into the story. The Big Blue Pool represents Nemo and they do it so well! Larger than life statues of all your favorite characters such as Nemo, Marlin, Crush, Dory, and more are visable throughout the pool area. Beautiful jellyfish and coral surround the area as well. The buildings on either side of the pool are completely painted to look like you are under the sea. This pool includes a unique feature, letting guests listen to their favorite Disney songs underwater!

Activities: Every afternoon, fun activities are led by Cast Members who encourage everyone to participate no matter what your age! Games such as ping pong, corn hole, and life size connect four are also available.

Space: This is a nice open space with plenty of room to walk around, play games, and not feel crowded.

Amenities: complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: This is the biggest and most heavily themed pool at Art of Animation. It’s located in the Nemo section and sits directly behind Animation Hall (main building) that holds the Food Court, Arcade, Gift Shop, Bar, and bus access. Guests staying in parts of the Lion King and Cars areas can easily access the Big Blue Pool.

The Schoolyard Spray ground (kiddie pool) sits behind the Big Blue Pool. Here you can find even more of Nemo’s friends!

Most evenings, Movies Under the Stars takes place in the grassy area between the Nemo and Lion King buildings. Here, they set up a gigantic screen and play a Disney movie while handing out free popcorn (it’s one of my favorite activities). Check with the front desk to see which movie is playing and what day.

 

Cozy Cone Pool

Theme: Its name gives away the theme of this pool; it’s Cars of course! The whole Cars gang is here including Lighting, Sarge, Mater, Fillmore, and Sally. Other characters from the movie are spread around the Cars area. The shape of this pool is a half circle and has a unique feature not seen at any of the other value resorts. The cozy cones that line the pool are actually cabanas! With the surrounding buildings painted to look like the desert of Radiator Springs, this pool truly looks like an oasis.

Activities: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating (and awesome cabanas!), it may feel crowded when busy.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to know: Cozy Cone Pool is the smallest at Art of Animation. It is relatively close to Animation Hall and a short walk to The Big Blue Pool. It is the furthest away from guests staying in the Lion King and Little Mermaid areas.

 

Flippin’ Fins Pool

Theme: Any Little Mermaid fan will tell you this is their dream pool. The “under the sea orchestra” conducted by Sebastian surrounds you as you swim. Also, larger than life statues of Ariel, King Triton, and Ursula make the theme even more immersive. The buildings around the pool are painted to look like waves and are decorated with fish swimming and dancing the day away.

Activites: This is a “quiet” pool and does not offer activities.

Space: The space here is small and although it has a lot of seating, it may feel crowded when busy.

Amenities: Complimentary umbrellas, chairs, pool towels, and life vests. They have self-service laundry, and public bathrooms with showers for all guests to use.

Things to Know: Flippin Fins pool is smaller than Big Blue Pool but bigger than Cozy Cone Pool. It is located the farthest away from Animation Hall and would be a hike for guests staying in the Nemo and Cars areas. Guests staying in the Little Mermaid and Lion King areas can easily access Flippin Fins pool.

Which of the Walt Disney World Value Resort pools is your favorite? Share in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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