Ask a returning family about their trip to Walt Disney World, and you might hear the common refrain: "My kids just wanted to swim in the pool the whole time!"
It's tough to top the nostalgic appeal of classic rides like Peter Pan's Flight and Haunted Mansion, the high-speed thrills of Expedition Everest and Tron Lightcycle Run, and the draw of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, but the kids are onto something.
Tucked away from the bustling parks are some of the most meticulously themed and immersive pools you'll find anywhere. Walt Disney World's resort pools aren't just a place to cool off. They offer an experience that, for some, can rival the theme parks.
If you already know your itinerary will include some serious pool time, this guide to the best pools at Walt Disney World will help you pick the perfect pool for your trip.
Related: The return of all-day park-hopping and the other major changes coming to Disney World in 2024
Every Walt Disney World hotel has at least one pool, with most of the larger, more sprawling resorts boasting three or more. Each resort's main pool, known as the feature pool, will be the most elaborate, with increasingly impressive theming and features as you go up the pricing ladder across Disney's three hotel tiers — Value, Moderate and Deluxe.
The feature pool will also have a pool bar and quick-service food options nearby. At Moderate and Deluxe resorts, you'll also find a waterslide and kids splash areas. Value resorts have large feature pools but no waterslides or hot tubs.
Daily recreation activities take place at the feature pool, typically in the afternoons. Recreation hosts will lead games for kids, sometimes with small take-home trinkets as prizes and Disney trivia everyone can join in on.
The feature pool is also where you'll find the biggest crowds and most noise. So, if you prefer to lounge quietly with a good book, you may want to seek out a leisure pool, sometimes referred to as a "quiet" pool.
Walt Disney World pools are heated to 82 degrees year-round, though the water can be warmer in the summer thanks to the blazing Central Florida sun. Complimentary towels and life jackets are available at all pools. Lifeguard availability and pool hours vary by pool.
Related: The best Disney World hotels
Many of Walt Disney World's resorts are destination-worthy even without the addition of the nearby theme parks, perhaps none more so than Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
More than 200 different animals, including zebras and giraffes, roam numerous savannas. The Africa-themed resort is also home to two fantastic feature pools, one at each of the resort's two hotels, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House and Disney's Animal Kingdom
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A diverse crop of new ships will set sail in 2024, including intimate yacht-style vessels to never-before-seen mega ships from luxury players like Silversea and Cunard. There will be plenty of bells and whistles expected of these brands, including restaurants from top chefs, but also a few features new to the industry (think glass domes on the hull). Some are sister ships to those already on the waters, but with enough points of difference to feel like something entirely new—including the soon-to-be-sailing largest ship in the world, from Royal Caribbean, of course.
Disney and travel just go together! Whether travelers love visiting the Disney theme parks, enjoy having an adventure on a private island during a trip with Disney Cruise Line, or long for a European river cruise from Adventures By Disney, they can experience the magic of Disney all over the world. While the Disney enthusiast in your life satiates their wanderlust, help them enjoy their journeys in style with these fun gifts. There’s something that’s sure to inspire joy for every kind of Disney traveler on your list.
This cheery diner might be located deep in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, but it’s immensely popular, particularly with families. It’s both child- and dog-friendly, and there’s an enormous play area out front. Once you’ve finished snapping photos of the kitsch interiors, sink your teeth into a mushroom Swiss burger or enjoy a refreshing glass of sarsaparilla from the restored 1940s soda fountain.
Danish design, a style characterized by its simplicity, excellent craftsmanship, and focus on function, has become known around the world for its seamless blend of tradition with contemporary aesthetics.
Hotel Lutetia Paris named hotel of the year, Capella voted leading luxury hotel brand, Japan shines as most popular holiday hotspot and Portrait Milano recognised as best new hotel, while Dubai wins multiple airline and airport accolades.
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