Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hop A Pool!

Welcome to those of you joining me from YourFirstVisit.net and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail. 

When it comes to planning your Disney Parks vacation, undoubtabtly, your first instint will be to go "Park Commando" and schedule non-stop in-park activities that'll leave your family's Pixie in the Dust. I can't stress the importance of scheduling time to (Disney) unwind. One of my family's favorite out-of-park Disney activities is to "Pool Hop". 

Pool Hopping is a perk available to Disney Vacation Club Members that offers members the opportunity to experience other resort pool offerings. Now, I know there is gray area here, and I'm sure many non-dvc members have enjoyed resort pools of which they're not official guests. However, the official rule is; unless you're a DVC Member, pool hopping is frowned upon. 

DVC Members have some restrictions as well. For example, pool hopping is never allowed in Stormalong Bay at the Yacht/Beach Club, Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower, or Samawati Springs Pool at Kindani Village. In addition, peak travel times also enforce a no pool hopping policy, in an effort to keep the pool capacity avaliable for it's guests. 

Here is the DisneyFAITHful pool resume:
Uzima Pool -Animal Kingdom Lodge 
Pros: Zero-entry, African theme, pool bar, two hot tubs; counter service eatery, The Mara, in close proximity to pool.
Cons: Slide is mediocre. No other water features. 
Best for: Families that want to relax.

Bay Cove Pool- Bay Lake Tower
Pros: Decent slide, also a small kiddie size slide, zero-entry, size of pool makes it easy to keep an eye on little ones,  pool bar, hot tub near pool, kiddie splash pad, other recriational activities within site of pool.
Cons: Uninteresting theme for children, but the slide lit up at night is attractive.
Best for: Adults, families with smaller children.

Stormalong Bay- Beach Club/Yacht Club
Pros: Great ship-wreak themed slide with kiddie pool and small slides on boat section of slide, fun activities, two hot tubs tucked away within rock landscaping but still near pool, lazy river, sand bottom, pool/beach combo on Yacht Club side, most elaborately themed pool complex
Cons: large swimming complex makes it hard to keep an eye on the littlest ones. Guests must exit pool area and walk across main boardwalk to get to slide entrance (awkward for us ladies!), the seams of the slide can hurt as travel down, pool bar difficult to access (must climb over bridges & stairs).
Best for: Families with older children comfortable in water.

Luna Park Pool- Boardwalk

Pros: Great slide, kiddie pool, kiddie splash pad, kiddie playground, pool water features, hot tub near pool, pool bar near pool.
Cons: Dining options limited, Distance from Boardwalk Inn section of resort. 

Contemporary Resort
Pros: Two pools, near Bay Lake & Marina, Bay Lake Tower guests may access, kiddie splash pad, dining near pools.
Cons: Uninteresting theme for children, No shade.
Best for: Adults, families with smaller children.

Nanea Volcano Pool- Polynesian 

Pros: Great slide, zero-entry, kiddie water sprayers near-by, easy beach access, pool bar, Captain Cook's counter service near-by, near marina, pool size condusive to watching children.
Cons: Sections of slide are in the dark; may be frieghtning for smaller children.
Best for: All families.

Hidden Springs Pool- Wilderness Lodge
Pros: Beautiful surroundings, kid friendly slide, pool bar, kiddie size slide
Cons: large pool divided into two sections makes it harder to watch children, hot tub a bit seperated from main pool, no other water features.
Best for: All families. 

Old Key West
Pros: Great slide, fun theme, kiddie pool, playground, sand play area, hot tub near pool, sauna near pool, near marina, near community hall.
Cons: No zero-entry, large lay-out, food/beverage located outside pool area.
Best for: All families, great for older children.

Grand Californian
Pros: three pools, slide has separate pool, two hot tubs, fun themed slide area, peaceful surroundings.
Cons: Keeping an eye on little ones going back and forth between pools, seems a bit non small child friendly (slide area exception), no other water features for little ones.
Best for: Adults, older children.

I hope you've enjoyed reading a bit about my family's favorite way to experience Disney Magic outside the parks! And remember........

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on our Magical Blogorail Loop is The Many Adventures of a Disney Lovin' Spectrum Mom.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to
make a stop along the way and want to reboard:


  1. Great article!! I LOVE the proc and cons list. I am hoping to someday be able to stay at Beach Club so that I can take advantage of Stormalong Bay...looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loved the reviewes! Loved that it could help choose your resort.

  3. Hey Faith, great review. Over time I've particularly come to love both AKL pools...Uzima because of the sense of many different spaces, and the one at Kidani for its sheer vistas...

  4. Faith, it looks as though both our families LOVE to swim at WDW! There's a Disney resort theme pool for everyone!

  5. Hi, Faith! We are going to Disney at the end of September and I'm having the HARDEST time deciding between the Polynesian or the Contemporary. We want to be on the monorail, because our youngest daughter will only be a year old then. If it were up to you, which would you choose? I can get the dining plan and two day tickets at Contemporary (garden wing) for $2300 or the Poly (near pool) $1900 no package, no tickets (military tickets four day park hopper).

    HELP. I'm tormenting myself. Coupon mamas don't often drop over $300/night for a hotel but I NEED THAT MONORAIL.