Testing and touring the waters

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I really wish that Disney would let its resort guest’s pool hop. Believe me when I tell you that not all pools are created equally. To be honest, we do not utilized the pools much when we are at Walt Disney World as a family but I tend to take the time to laze around the pool on the girls-only trips that I take with my sister every couple of years.

My first resort pool experience was at All-Star Music. Really, we just took pictures of it. The weather was warm enough to swim (in December) but it was our first trip as a family and so we were more excited about spending the time in the parks. We walked the resort property and saw the pool that was shaped like a grand piano. My then six-year old son thought it was amazing; I was impressed with the laundry building shaped like a giant radio. Go figure.

Our other value resort pool experiences included the sorcerer’s apprentice pool at All-Star Movies and the Hippy-Dippy pool at POP Century. While these pools are fun to look at, they are basic pools; no frills.

My first experience with a deluxe resort pool was at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. While the pool itself is big and beautiful, it was a bit ordinary. The slide was small and tame and really, I was less than impressed. It rained every afternoon on that trip but by the second day we would just shrug and stay in the water because hey, we were already wet!

But on that same trip (and unaware of the no pool hopping rule) my sister and I went over to Yacht & Beach to swim in Stormalong Bay. If you have never experienced this pool, you should. It is one of the largest sand bottomed pools in the world and has a circular lazy river, waterfall, and the “Shipwreck” which is a large replica of a ship wreck with one of the highest resort water slides at Walt Disney World. It is an attraction within itself. Funny story about it, too. We sort of stayed when we should have left and ended up hiding behind potted plants and sliding down the slide WAY too many times and eventually I got “stuck” in the lazy river and decided that this was not fun anymore!

The other deluxe pools we experienced were at The Boardwalk Inn and the Grand Floridian. The pool at the Boardwalk wins, hands down, as the better pool of the two. With Luna Park Pool at the Boardwalk you can take a slippery ride down the 200-foot-long Keister Coaster water slide, or make a splash under spouting trunks of grinning elephant statues. Again, the slide at this pool was an attraction within itself because it is constructed like a wooden roller coaster like you’d find at Coney Island or the Atlantic City Boardwalk!

The pool at the Floridian (actually, both of them) were very basic but to soak, splash and slide in the crystal-clear Beach Pool, distinguished by its zero-depth entry feature. Cascading waterfalls, a waterslide and a Jacuzzi all provide for a day in paradise. It was beautiful because you could walk out of the pool and you were just a few feet away from the white sandy beaches around the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Even if you don’t get to swim in them, the pools at the Walt Disney World resort are interesting to see while exploring the on-property hotels.

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