I know how you’re feeling right now. You probably turned on the heat in your home for the first time this year.
You’re wearing layers and fearing what the Farmer’s Almanac suggests will be brutal winter. Yes, winter is nearly here, and it looks to be a tough one.
Now seems like an excellent time to fantasize about escaping to Disney, the home of pools that are warm and soothing year-round.
Here’s how I would rank the top seven DVC resort pools. Hopefully, this conversation keeps you warm on a chilly day!
Uzima Springs Pool – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
Determining the best Disney pools isn’t easy. Everyone’s criteria will differ depending on personal preferences.
Personally, I like pools with excellent lounging areas, a fun water slide, a tranquil backdrop, and plenty of space.
Uzima Springs Pool satisfies three of those criteria but not the fourth. If you’ve ever swum here, you know which one of those things isn’t true.
This spacious pool covers 11,000 square feet (!) and features a spectacular waterslide. You seemingly come out of the forest and explode into the water.
The downside is that this pool’s convenient location ensures it’s always mobbed. Seriously, it’s probably the most crowded of all DVC pools at Walt Disney World.
So, if you want a more relaxed swim, pick a DVC quiet pool instead. Still, the beauty of this place is hard to beat:
The Sandcastle Pool – Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Here’s a pool that most of us have used over the years. I say this because Old Key West is the oldest resort and one of the last to have availability on most days.
We all end up here eventually, and some of us (like me!) happily buy here, partially because of the Sandcastle Pool.
Imagineers have themed the place to appear as a permanent sandcastle, and the waterslide here even comes with a lovely touch.
The waterslide’s exit is a Mickey Mouse face! I wouldn’t call it a Hidden Mickey, just a Mickey. Still, this one’s a ton of fun to ride.
Meanwhile, all the lounge chairs here will provide you with ample opportunities to soak up the sun.
Plus, the beachy South Florida setting will cause you to forget that you’re at Walt Disney World…as long as you don’t look at the Mickey Mouse face.
The Riviera Pool – Disney’s Riviera Resort
When you stay at the Riviera, you’ll feel an almost hypnotic pull toward the Riviera Pool.
That’s probably because many of the hotel rooms overlook the pool grounds. You can’t help but notice the outdoor activities available beneath your hotel room.
The Riviera Pool area is close to various oversized board games and one of DVC’s best playgrounds, S’il Vous Play.
Still, the massive pool itself is what I love about this place. Disney has designed the space to be open-ended so that you can see it from anywhere.
Meanwhile, the water stretches east and west to match the hotel’s unique shape.
However, one odd inlet allows fortunate guests to sit right beside the water on both sides. It’s also conveniently located under a tree. The people lounging here claim bragging rights for the day.
The ambiance of the entire area will remind you forcibly of the French Riviera, even though a nearby gondola will carry you straight to EPCOT.
While the Riviera Pool is the newest selection on this list, it’s also the one that’s surging in popularity as more guests discover its greatness.
Beach Pool – The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
An integral part of enjoying a pool involves setting the mood. You need to feel as if you’re in paradise.
That won’t be a problem at the Beach Pool at the Grand Floridian. All the private cabanas go a long way in identifying that you’re at a luxury pool.
The nearby pool bar with an excellent dining menu helps as well, as does the view of the water beside the adjoining beach.
Cascading waterfalls amplify the serenity of this view, as do the steeplechase-style buildings surrounding the pool.
Frankly, this place is a panoramic picture that just so happens to be a pool. Even the bridge that crosses over the water seems exotic and stylish.
Best of all, you can catch glimpses of the monorail from here. How many pools in the world can offer that ability?
Lava Pool – Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Who among us hasn’t ordered a meal at Capt. Cook’s or a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai, then sat outside by the hotel pool?
DVC members love to do this because the tables here provide an impeccable view of the pool and accompanying playground.
Obviously, the unforgettable visual here is the volcano pool with its multi-story waterfalls.
This artificial structure is so impressive that Disney has added stairs and a bridge to maximize the views. You can climb across parts of the area to witness the volcano from on high.
Should you choose, you can also walk to the top and ride the waterslide down to the bottom, which I highly recommend.
Don’t ignore the other sights, though! You can admire the recent improvements surrounding the hotel lobby from the comfort of a lounge chair.
Also, you can look the other way to watch the beach area, its Bungalows, and even Magic Kingdom across the water!
This pool offers one of the best lounging spots at Walt Disney World.
Waikolohe Pool – Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Admittedly, many DVC members have never experienced this pool, which is tragic. You owe it to yourself to book a trip to Aulani one day soon!
At the resort, you’ll discover that Disney has constructed a tourist mecca that fulfills all your wishes.
Yes, swimming is one of those activities, with Aulani almost overcompensating in its depth of options.
You’ll find multiple pools and lazy rivers here, all of which are breathtaking to behold.
Still, the most breathtaking one is the Waikolohe Pool and its sibling, the Waikolohe Stream. You can grab a tube and ride the lazy river at the Stream.
Alternatively, you can casually walk into the zero-entry pool and admire its 8,600 square feet of Pacific Ocean views.
The lush foliage in the surrounding area will distract you so much that you’ll forget the laws of time and space.
When you close your eyes and fantasize about an island vacation, THIS is what you have in mind.
You’ll find that beauty and serenity at the Waikolohe Pool. It’s probably the most gorgeous of all Disney pool settings and could easily win this category if not for…
Stormalong Bay – Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Look, we all know which pool is the best one in the DVC collection. That’s because it’s kind of a ringer.
Stormalong Bay at Beach Club is legitimately larger in size than many water parks in tourist areas.
The fact that this pool remains an exclusive amenity to guests staying at Beach Club (and Yacht Club) blows my mind.
Disney has stacked this area with amenities, including the beloved Beaches and Cream Soda Shop and a high-quality pool bar.
Even the section surrounding the pool accentuates the theme by adding a shipwreck element.
As for the pool itself, its sand bottom floor recreates the sensation of swimming in the ocean. However, you don’t need to worry about jellyfish ruining the mood here.
This pool lets you feel the sand beneath your toes and provides you with ample room to move. Yes, it’s crowded, but it’s such a big space that you’ll always have plenty of personal space.
Plus, there’s an actual lazy river here, something that shouldn’t be possible at a Walt Disney World resort.
There’s a reason why we’re all constantly keeping an eye on Beach Club contracts. Stormalong Bay is the best!