Walt Disney World is home to 20+ resorts, filled with frills and amenities. There’s great dining to be found, incredible lobbies to explore, and some beautiful landscaping throughout all of them. But does that really matter? Isn’t it all about the pools? Well, no but I’m not above overselling this blog post as the most important on this website. The resort pools are not the most important part of a WDW stay. In fact, there’s been several trips when I didn’t use them at all. But when I’m gliding down a water slide on a ridiculously hot afternoon, my giggling will tell you where my true happiness really lies. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally here: Wandering in Disney’s Walt Disney World Resort Pool Rankings.
For such an important post there needed to be some criteria involved. I’ve got to make sure my opinions are matched by some numbers that my opinions made up. Confused? Let’s try to make it clearer by showing you how I’m going to rank these pools. Each resort’s feature pool will be ranked based on 6 categories:
- Pool Appearance & Size (10 pts) – Basically, is the pool comfortable and does it look cool?
- Pool Theme (10 pts) – Does the pool fit in with the resort and is it more than just a nice, big pool.
- Pool Slide (10 pts) – Self explanatory. I love water slides.
- Cool/Unique Features (10 pts) – Is there something extra that makes the pool unique?
- Hot Tub (5 pts) – Hot tubs are great! Does the pool have a hot tub? If so, how big?
- Food & Seating (5 pts) – Sometimes you just want to hang out by the pool instead of inside of the pool.
The more points the pool gets, the better. Each resort’s pool will have a chance at 50 points but scoring a perfect 50 is practically unheard of when it comes to pool rankings! Other factors I considered including were distance from the hotel (which is really hard to gauge since rooms can be all over the place), pool hours (they don’t actually fluctuate much from resort to resort and are generally 9 AM to 9 PM), and quieter places for adults (stay away from most feature pools if you want this).
I will say that I haven’t been able to experience every WDW Resort feature pool. Notable omissions from the list include Grand Floridian and the new Riviera Resort. I’ll also stay away from non-feature pools which put resorts like Pop Century, Saratoga Springs and Art of Animation at a disadvantage since they have some well themed secondary pools.
Okay, this is going to be long enough without me babbling on. Let’s get to it!
17. Disney’s Pop Century Resort (Hippy Dippy Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (4/10) – It’s shaped like a flower and that’s nice. There’s also a computer and bowling pin pool. All of them are fairly small relative to most Disney World pools.
- Pool Theme (3/10) – I mean, it’s a flower? I guess that fits in but this definitely just feels like a pool at a hotel and not much more.
- Pool Slide (N/A) – Value resorts don’t have slides and it’s so sad.
- Cool/Unique Features (3/10) – There’s some flower fountains that shoot water into the pool. Fountains get you an automatic two points. If said fountains are oversized flowers then you get three points. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. (Okay, I do make the rules.)
- Hot Tub (N/A) – Value resorts don’t have hot tubs and it’s so sad.
- Food & Seating (2/5) – There’s a pool bar with limited seating and the chairs are just stretched around the outskirts of the pool.
- Overall – 12/50 – Limping in with a measly 12 points. These rankings are hard on Value Resorts but, in these rankings defense, value resort pools are much worse than other pools!
16. Disney’s All Star Music Resort (Calypso Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (3/10) – It’s definitely a big hotel pool, emphasis on the word big.
- Pool Theme (4/10) – There’s not much of a theme to speak of except for the giant statues of the Three Caballeros in the middle and that alone gets it 4 points.
- Pool Slide (N/A) – Oooof
- Cool/Unique Features (4/10) – Did I mention the giant Three Caballeros? Also they shoot water at everyone. There’s a kiddie pool, as well as ping-pong and foosball tables poolside.
- Hot Tub (N/A) – Hey Disney, I think parents could use a hot tub!
- Food & Seating (3/5) – It’s all very average.
- Overall – 14/50 – The Three Caballeros keep it above last place.
15. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (The Big Blue Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (6/10) – It’s a massive pool but doesn’t look like anything special.
- Pool Theme (5/10) – It’s themed to Finding Nemo and there are some cool figures throughout but it’s not my favorite thing. Honestly, I like the Cars pool more but what can you do?
- Pool Slide (N/A) – It could use a slide.
- Cool/Unique Features (4/10) – There’s some pop-up jets, a splash area and a playground. It’s all fine.
- Hot Tub (N/A) – What a shame.
- Food & Seating (3/5) – There’s a decent amount of seating, albeit a little ugly. Same goes with the pool bar.
- Overall – 18/50 – The best of the value pools but still not great compared to the others.
14. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Ol’ Man Island)
- Pool Appearance & Size (5/10) – It’s a decent size. I wouldn’t call it super pretty but it does the job.
- Pool Theme (6/10) – Ol’ Man Island is themed to an old saw mill and that’s an interesting choice! It sort of looks like that.
- Pool Slide (5/10) – It’s a fairly bland slide but there’s a cool bridge to get to it!
- Cool/Unique Features (4/10) – There’s some fountains and water falling off of stuff. I like water falling off of stuff! The island that the pool is on is pretty cool to explore but doesn’t really add to the pool.
- Hot Tub (3/5) – An average hot tub.
- Food & Seating (3/5) – The bar and the seating is fairly bland around the pool.
- Overall – 26/50 – It has some potential but kind of misses the mark.
13. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House (Uzima Springs Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (5/10) – It’s really pretty albeit a little plain. Unfortunately, it does just feel like a standard hotel pool at times.
- Pool Theme (4/10) – I assume from the name that this is supposed to be a spring that came up near the lodge? There are some animals nearby, otherwise it’s lackluster.
- Pool Slide (5/10) – Honestly, it’s a pretty lame slide. My nephew went down it when he was four though and that was so cute.
- Cool/Unique Features (4/10) – There’s a zero entry point and a few animals nearby but it’s nothing too special.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – It’s a secluded and nice hot tub but can get a little crowded.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – The pool bar is honestly the prettiest part of the pool and there’s ample seating.
- Overall – 27/50 – It’s a nice place to relax, I just find it a little boring unlike the rest of that resort.
12. Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter (Doubloon Lagoon)
- Pool Appearance & Size (6/10) – It looks cool thanks to some alligators and a crazy slide! Really livens up an ordinary pool.
- Pool Theme (7/10) – Now we get to see how far a sea serpent slide and alligator band can take a pool’s ranking. Really there’s not much going on here but the theme certainly matches the resort.
- Pool Slide (5/10) – From a looks standpoint, it’s a sea serpent! From a ride standpoint, it’s pretty bad.
- Cool/Unique Features (5/10) – I like the splash area quite a bit but otherwise there’s not much going on.
- Hot Tub (3/5) – Just an average hot tub.
- Food & Seating (4/5) – The seating here isn’t great but the bar is called Mardi Grogs and it’s decent! Plus sitting anywhere at French Quarter is pretty.
- Overall – 30/50 – My favorite pool name mixed with some amazing figurines gives us a middle of the pack finish.
11. Disney’s Old Key West Resort (Sandcastle Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (5/10) – It’s not a big pool and doesn’t look all that impressive outside of a few features.
- Pool Theme (5/10) – There’s a cool lighthouse, bridge and sandcastle. I guess that matches the beach theme? Otherwise it’s pretty generic here.
- Pool Slide (7/10) – I like this one! The slide is in a giant sandcastle. It’s not the most exhilarating but it’s a good ride.
- Cool/Unique Features (6/10) – There’s a tiny little kid pool and a few fountains. There’s also a playground and shuffleboard nearby. Shuffleboard is great but I’m supposed to be rating pools here!
- Hot Tub (3/5) – Average!
- Food & Seating (4/5) – In a weird twist, the pool bar isn’t by the feature pool. There is food nearby. I like that the pool is built right by the river so there’s some nice seats.
- Overall – 30/50 – One of my least favorite deluxe resort pools but have I mentioned shuffleboard?
10. Bay Lake Tower (Bay Cove Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (8/10) – The size of the pool is quite nice and Bay Lake offers a beautiful backdrop. There’s not much ‘cool’ about it but it’s pretty and large.
- Pool Theme (4/10) – Much like Bay Lake Tower, I don’t actually think there is a theme here aside from modern looking architecture with Mickey Mouse thrown in.
- Pool Slide (6/10) – It’s a surprisingly fast and fun slide, although lack of theming and length hurt it.
- Cool/Unique Features (7/10) – The aforementioned lake backdrop is nice and so is the zero entry. There’s also a little splash area with geysers.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – It could be bigger but it also sits right next to the lake so I gave it an extra point back there.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – The Cove Bar is fairly large and offers some unique options. There’s also plenty of lounge around seating here and a nice area right outside of the pool to relax.
- Overall – 34/50 – I like this pool but it doesn’t measure up to some of the other deluxe resorts on the list. It is usually pretty quiet though.
9. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village Resort (Samawati Springs Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (6/10) – When looking at just the pool, it’s slightly boring. But the surroundings are gorgeous, which isn’t surprising considering it’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Pool Theme (6/10) – I’m not sure of the theme. I think it’s just supposed to be a little area that you happen upon in a story? It’s pretty though!
- Pool Slide (6/10) – It’s a decently long slide and goes fairly fast. Nothing too exciting but there are many worse.
- Cool/Unique Features (8/10) – Zero entry, an awesome playground and a couple of splash areas are what make Samawati Springs stand out.
- Hot Tub (3/5) – Just a pretty standard hot tub here.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – Maji Pool Bar offers some interesting options and the seating around here is pretty.
- Overall – 34/50 – I prefer this feature pool over Jambo House’s due to the unique splash areas and slide.
8. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort (High Rock Spring Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (8/10) – I wish the pool was a little bigger but High Rock is lacking there, probably since this resort essentially has two feature pools. Beautiful rockwork throughout though and it’s an inviting place to relax.
- Pool Theme (7/10) – I can’t say I really know what the theme is but with waterfalls abound and pretty sight lines, I’m here for it.
- Pool Slide (7/10) – A surprisingly pretty slide. It’s not about the action here boss, but it’s up in the rockwork and is longer than expected.
- Cool/Unique Features (5/10) – There’s a splash pad and gorgeous waterfalls.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – It’s a secluded hot tub but not all that big.
- Food & Seating (4/5) – As you’ve gathered, it’s a pretty but not huge area. The bar is generic.
- Overall – 35/50 – A somewhat surprising score here but you throw in some waterfalls and I’ll rank it pretty high!
7. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (Luna Park Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (6/10) – Luna Park Pool isn’t too big but it’s got a nice shape and I like the color throughout.
- Pool Theme (7/10) – The theme matches the Boardwalk Inn’s by this being a little amusement park on the pier. This would be higher but they got rid of that clown slide for something generic!
- Pool Slide (8/10) – It’s a good pool slide! But I liked it better with that creepy clown. Still, this is one of the longer slides.
- Cool/Unique Features (7/10) – There’s elephant fountains that spray you. That’s enough to get a fairly high score. A nice kiddie pool here too.
- Hot Tub (3/5) – An average hot tub leads to an average score.
- Food & Seating (4/5) – I like the theme of the bar and they have a few unique options. The seating isn’t anything to write home about so I kept it from a full five points.
- Overall – 35/50 – Keep the clown slide and I’d give it an extra 2 points!
6. Disney’s Riviera Resort (Riviera Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (6/10) – The shape of the pool is pretty strange honestly, like a bunch of rectangles thrown together at weird angles. It’s a little small too. The aesthetic is nice right along the lake though!
- Pool Theme (7/10) – On one hand, it looks like a pretty generic pool. But Riviera Pool (what a terrible name) excels in the little details like the gelato stand nearby and the blending of beach and pool seating. With the hotel so close by, the theme is good enough.
- Pool Slide (6/10) – The slide looks good in its tower but is fairly short and slow relative to WDW’s best.
- Cool/Unique Features (7/10) – The previously mentioned gelato stand and some cool seating will add a few bonus points to the five below. This seems like a good spot to mention that the quiet pool at the resort (Beau Soleil Pool) is mere steps away and one of the best quiet pools in all of Walt Disney World. That makes up for a lack of fountains! The splash area is large!
- Hot Tub (5/5) – Not only is the main hot tub fairly large, there’s another one at the quiet pool that is very nice.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – The gelato cart, nearby bar and exceptional seating give this an easy five points!
- Overall – 36/50 – I think the actual pool and slide are somewhat lacking but Riviera Pool is bolstered by the location and amenities.
5. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Copper Creek Springs Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (10/10) – From an aesthetics point of view, Wilderness Lodge has a top tier pool. It’s not the biggest but it’s beautiful.
- Pool Theme (9/10) – I get a sense that when Disney doesn’t know what to call a pool, then they go with the spring route. Here it works since the spring runs from the hotel all the way down to the pool. It’s beautiful and fits the hotel perfectly.
- Pool Slide (5/10) – A very pretty slide but one of the shortest on the list.
- Cool/Unique Features (4/10) – Outside of the visual features, there’s not much going on here.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – Pretty but not all that big.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – It’s not quite poolside, but Geyser Point Bar & Grill is an excellent outdoor choice. The seating is obviously beautiful.
- Overall – 37/50 – A pool can’t get by on looks alone. But this one does do pretty well for itself.
4. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (Fuentes del Morro Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (8/10) – The pool looks phenomenal and has a very unusual shape. It’s a touch on the small side, maybe it feels crowded due to Caribbean Beach being such a huge resort.
- Pool Theme (10/10) – The colonial Spanish fortress theme is perfect, with cannons in the walls and wonderful architecture throughout.
- Pool Slide (7/10) – There are two slides here but they’ll both get dinged for being short. The longer one is a tube slide and I certainly enjoy those. A decent slide but nothing to write home about.
- Cool/Unique Features (10/10) – A decent amount of features here. There’s a cool splash area for little kids, water cannons all over the place, zero entry, and a few fountains. Some excellent features.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – The hot tub seats 12 people, which is pretty large.
- Food & Seating (4/5) – Fuentas del Morro has some great seating. There’s no actual bar in the pool gates, although plenty of great options very close by. I’ll ding it a point I guess.
- Overall – 43/50 – A well earned 43 points here for a really good pool.
3. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (Dig Site – Lost City of Cibolo Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (9/10) – Coronado boasts a pretty large pool that looks good, with everything revolving around the pyramid. It’s basically a rectangle so that loses it a point here.
- Pool Theme (10/10) – You put a giant pyramid next to a pool and I’m going to give it a 10 out of 10.
- Pool Slide (10/10) – One of the longest pool slides at a WDW resort and an exciting one at that!
- Cool/Unique Features (6/10) – There’s not much here outside of some little fountains that spit into the pool. There’s a playground, arcade, and volleyball court but that doesn’t have much to do with the pool. I do like that it’s on its own little island. A six seems fair here.
- Hot Tub (5/5) – The biggest resort hot tub, it sits 22 people!
- Food & Seating (5/5) – Here’s where I’ll actually factor in the play areas. The pool bar is nice and there is plenty of seating without it feeling like the chairs are in the way of the pool.
- Overall – 45/50 – A really strong 45 points for this pool!
2. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Lava Pool)
- Pool Appearance & Size (8/10) – The knock here is that the pool is too small. Otherwise, the shape and appearance are gorgeous!
- Pool Theme (10/10) – I mean, there’s a giant volcano with waterfalls. That’s all you need to know!
- Pool Slide (9/10) – At the top of the volcano is an excellent tube slide that’s one of the fastest at any resort. I wish it was a tiny bit longer but otherwise it’s great.
- Cool/Unique Features (10/10) -When the splash park looks so good that even I want to play on it then you know it’s special. There’s zero entry, waterfalls and nice views.
- Hot Tub (4/5) – I wish it was bigger but it’s pretty so I’ll give it 4 points.
- Food & Seating (5/5) – There are plenty of seats with a view, a pool bar and Dole Whip nearby.
- Overall – 46/50 – Maybe slightly small but it packs a punch!
1. Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club (Stormalong Bay)
- Pool Appearance & Size (10/10 points) – Yeah, it’s huge and has an interesting shape. There are several pools within the whole pool area. Even though it’s an extremely popular pool, the size gives some sense of privacy.
- Pool Theme (10/10 pts) – There’s a giant pirate ship to go along with the architecture that matches the hotels it’s connected to. The rockwork and landscaping is quite beautiful.
- Pool Slide (10/10 pts) – Another easy 10 points here. This is the best slide at any resort.
- Cool/Unique Features (10/10 pts) – Where to begin? The pool has a sand floor, which is way more enjoyable than you’d imagine.
- Hot Tub (5/5 pts) – While the hot tub is fairly small, there are two of them! And they’re both very nice, sitting above the pool with a nice view and rockwork surrounding them.
- Food & Seating (5/5 pts) – The complex is so big that seating isn’t an issue. The bar has a decent menu full of a few unique options.
- Overall – 50/50 – A perfect 50 for the best resort pool around!
That’s it for my WDW Resort Pool Rankings! Let us know your thoughts or questions below in the comments! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our planning guide for help! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Top 10 Lists, Vacation Tips, Weird Stuff
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