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Disney World pool rules and FAQs (including the facts about pool hopping)

HomeDisney World pool rules and FAQs (including the facts about pool hopping)
Disney World pool rules and FAQs (including the facts about pool hopping)

Disney World has many beautifully themed resorts and when you stay at one of them you’ll have access to their amazing pools.

From the sand-bottomed, shipwreck-themed Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts to the Finding Nemo themed, zero-entry Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, there is no shortage of great options to choose from when you’re ready to cool-off after a day in the parks.

But, what exactly are the pool rules and can you use a pool at a resort other than yours (pool hop)?

Disney World pool rules

In most cases, you’ll find the pool rules to be the same as those you’d find at any public pool:

Supervision

Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult.

Diapers

If your child is still in diapers, they must wear swim diapers or plastic pants. 

Food

Food and drink must be consumed on the pool deck; no food or drink allowed inside the pool, and no glass containers or bottles of any kind are allowed on the pool deck.

Dining area near a pool

All feature pools have a bar and snack stand (with typically a very small food selection) in nearby.

Slides

Moderate and Deluxe-level resorts have slides (the Values do not).

There are no height-restrictions on the slides; however, guests can only go down the slides 1 at a time, and you can’t wait at the bottom for somebody to come down.

Because the slides dump into water that can be deeper, you’ll want to make sure anybody choosing to use the slides are confident swimmers.

Pool slide at Port Orleans French Quarter

Can you pool hop at Disney World?

In most cases, you can not pool hop at Disney World.

Resort pools are a perk meant to be enjoyed by the guests staying at that particular resort. In order to ensure that resort guests can enjoy their pool without overcrowding, Disney only allows guests staying at that resort to use the pool.

All Star Sports pool Can you pool hop at Disney World?

There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Guests staying at one of the All-Star Resorts (including All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, and All-Star Sports) can use the pools at any of the All-Star Resorts regardless of which resort they are guests.
  • This same situation is true for the Port Orleans Resorts. Guests at both Port Orleans – French Quarter and Port Orleans – Riverside are able to use the pools at both resorts without issue.
  • Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners are sometimes allowed to pool hop, but only at other DVC resorts and only outside of scheduled blackout periods.
  • On-site guests that have reserved a Cabana at either the Contemporary or Grand Floridian (more on that below).
Stormalong bay

So, how would Disney even know if I was pool hopping?

You may think you can pull a fast one on Disney and sneak into a pool at a different resort.

But, that won’t work.

To access many of the pools (including the ever-popular Stormalong Bay) you’ll need to scan your MagicBand, phone (MagicMobile) or Key To The Room Card. If your resort doesn’t match when you scan, you won’t get in.

Just because you aren’t able to use the pool facilities at other resorts shouldn’t prevent you from visiting the resorts for other reasons, though.

Walt Disney World resorts are great for touring and taking some time away from the parks.

To see our suggestions for visiting the resorts, checkout our How to Tour Disney World Resorts (Even if You’re Not Staying There)  post.

Port Orleans Riverside pool

What is the best pool at Disney World?

Although Disney World has several great pools, Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs is nearly everyone’s favorite. It is huge, and feels more like a mini water park than a resort pool.

Other great options are the Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation, the Dig Site at Coronado Springs, and the gorgeous Lava Pool at the Polynesian Village Resort (although it is also very small for the size of the resort!).

Disney World pool FAQs

Are there life jackets available at the pools?

Yes! You’ll find life jackets available for free at all the pools at Disney World. 

Disney World resort pool life jacket stand

Are the pools open year-round?

The pools at the Disney World resorts are open year-round, however, during inclement weather or when the temps are predicted to be unusually low they do close. 

Are the pools at Disney World heated?

The pools at Disney World are heated. Disney has said that they heat the pools to 82 degrees.

Are there hot tubs at Disney resort hotels?

Just like with slides, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas all have hot tubs near their feature pools. Value resorts, however, do not.

Does Disney have any cabana rentals?

Yes! 4 resorts do now offer cabana rentals:

  • Contemporary
  • Grand Floridian
  • Beach Club
  • Yacht Club

The amenities provided inside the cabanas differs slightly from resort to resort and since the number of rentals is limited, is recommended that you reserve those ahead of time (up to 180 days) by calling 407-WDW-Play.

Are there toddler pools (or splash pads) available?

All of the Disney World Resorts offer smaller toddler-sized pools and/or splash pads, or they may have pools that offer zero-entry areas (which are perfect for little ones that just want to splash around!).

Are there towels available?

Deluxe-level resorts do provide towels at their pools. Moderate and Value-level, however, may not (it can vary from resort to resort).

If you are staying at a resort without pool towels, you are allowed to bring your towels from your room with you to the pool.

Are the pools open 24 hours?

Some of them are.

Feature/main pools at Disney World have posted hours. During the summer/warmer months you can expect the pool to be open later into the night, however.

Pool hours

The “Quiet” pools, however, are open 24 hours. But keep in mind, these pools do not have lifeguards on duty.

Can I use toys like pool noodles while swimming?

Disney does allow floats and noodles purchased in their gift shops to be used in the pools.  Items brought from home (outside of smaller-sized toys) are generally not allowed.

Can you use the pool at your resort before your room is ready (or after you check out)?

Sometimes travel and flight schedules mean that you’ll find yourself needing to arrive to your resort before the “official” check-in time or with time to kill after the official check out time.

You can always leave your bags at Bell Services, if you’d like, but what if you’d like to use the pool (or other resort amenities)? Can you do that?

The good news is yes! If you arrive before your room is ready or if you need something to do while you wait for a flight, you are welcome to use the resort pool, as well as the other resort amenities.

And, if you intend to hit the pool before heading to the airport, don’t forget that you’ll probably need something to store your wet suits in, so make sure you plan for that, too!

Are there showers available?

Yes, there are locker rooms near the feature pools where you will find showers.

Are lockers available?

Yes. There are typically a small bank of lockers available near the feature pool.

Pool locker

What is the difference between a “feature pool” and a “quiet pool”?

Feature pools are the big, main pools. For Deluxe and Moderate-level pools, these will be the pools with the slides, for example.

The feature pool is also typically near the main building, often hosts activities, and frequently has music playing.

Quiet pools aren’t totally silent, but because there is no music or the games and activities you find at the feature pool, they tend to be more adult-focused and, consequently, more quiet. 

Pool at Port Orleans French Quarter

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The rules for Disney’s 2 water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) are a little different. You can find the facts on those below.

Blizzard Beach
Typhoon Lagoon

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Heather Thomas

Dee

Saturday 5th of June 2021

I think they changed the rules. The wdw site says that cabanas at Grand Floridian and Contemporary can only be rented by those hotels guests and magic bands or. Key cards are checked.

Adda

Thursday 29th of April 2021

One limit not included on this list, Disney doesn't allow mermaid tails at any of their pools for "safety reasons". Not sure what that would be, the lifeguard gave us no explanation.

Ally

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

The reason is because it is safer if you have both legs to swim.

Melanie

Friday 1st of November 2019

One thing that disappointed my son on our first trip (2016, Coronado Springs) is that he wasn’t allowed to wear his swim mask on the water slide there. He ended up just not using the slide. The swim mask was OK in the pool.

Chris

Sunday 30th of May 2021

Most water slides don't allow anything to go down but a rider in a bathing suit. Goggles, glasses, and other things held in hands can become a hazard quickly on the slide to both the rider and to other persons around, especially at the slide exit. If your child can't ride without goggles for any reason, they need to choose a different activity.

Mariah

Friday 5th of April 2019

So many great tips on all things pools at WDW. Thanks so much for sharing this info!