Thrifty Thursday: Disney Pools and Poolside Fun

As we fully head into spring and look ahead to those hot summer months, one question that is on the minds of many families is “what about the pools?” Well the good news is that when it’s time to take a break from the parks, Walt Disney World resort pools offer lots of fun ways to cool off and relax. In fact, many resorts offer not only a main themed pool but one or more smaller pools as well!

A few of our favorites include the Art of Animation’s The Big Blue Pool and Cozy Cone Pool,  The Nanea Volcano Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and perhaps surprising to readers, the understated and quiet leisure pool at Saratoga Spring’s Treehouse Villas. The Yacht and Beach Club Resort is on our family’s list for a future stay, largely because of its popular Stormalong Bay water complex.

Feature pools at each resort offer a variety of supervised activities each day, with most events beginning in the hot afternoon hours. From hula hoop contents to dance parties, scavenger hunts and team games, there is something for kids of all ages.

For the youngest travelers, many resorts offer “spraygrounds” to give the toddler set a safe way to stay cool. The Donald Duck play area at Saratoga Springs Resort and The Contemporary Resort’s water playground are good examples. Don’t forget poolside dining too – like that found in Old Key West’s Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks, a great option for that much needed cocktail or for casual fare between water games.

After dark, visit your resort’s pool or beach areas to view a different Disney movie each night. Our family loved watching Finding Nemo while actually swimming under the gaze of giant characters from that movie at The Big Blue Pool.

Looking for a little more water adventure? Check out Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks for a day or at least a half day of fun. After a usually intense morning of early rising, fast passes and roller coaster fun, I always look forward to a few hours of chill time at our Walt Disney World resort pool.


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Amy works as a college administrator and instructor in the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She visited Walt Disney World for the first time as an adult for a conference. But Amy truly caught the “Disneybug” when she traveled with her young daughter. Amy loves all things travel and especially enjoys trip preparation and strategy: trying to find the best deals, exploring new resorts and restaurants, and planning an extra something special for each trip.

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