The end of the school year is upon our household, and that can only mean one thing…SUMMER!!!  When I think of summer here in the middle of the country, I immediately start sweating.  With temperatures in triple digits almost every day the last few summers, we spend a lot of time in our pool. However, no matter what time of year we visit Walt Disney World, the first thing the kids do is change into their suits and head out to the resort pool. Here are our three favorites.

3. Nanea Volcano Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

This may be one of the smaller pools on property, but we LOVE it!  Yes, it’s at our Disney “home,” but that’s not the only reason it makes our top three.  The proximity to Captain Cook’s is great for when we want to grab a Dole Whip and lounge.  The beach is just a few steps from the pool, and the cabana rentals are a nice touch, too.  Then there’s the awesome volcano slide that is much more than just a cool looking thematic element.  Our favorite feature of this pool, though, is the view.  You’re directly across from the Magic Kingdom and can see Cinderella Castle and, more importantly, the fireworks!  How great is it to be able to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks while floating around a volcano pool?!

ŸGet Pool Wise: If someone is not sitting with your items while you’re swimming, consider using a waterproof case to store your cash, ID and room key.  I’ve often seen items moved from unoccupied loungers, and, even at Disney, tourists are a target for criminal activity.

2. The Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The newest addition to the Walt Disney World Resort family is Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  Offering three sections of family suites with indoor corridors and one section of standard rooms, this resort has something for everyone.  With three themed pools, there’s no shortage of water fun here.  Our favorite, though, is the Big Blue Pool just off of Animation Hall.  Remember to bring your hotel key because the area is gated and requires the key for entry.  This pool is huge!!  We never felt crowded like you can in some of the smaller resort pools.  With plenty of seating, a pool side bar and mug refill station, we were good to go for an afternoon at the resort.  Near the pool is also a great Nemo-themed sprayground full of colorful characters.  Don’t forget to dunk yourself underwater because you’ll be able to hear music and maybe even a conversation between some of your favorite characters from Finding Nemo.

This is a HUGE pool.

ŸGet Pool Wise: The laundry facilities are located in the gated pool area.  If you’re doing laundry on vacation, you might consider throwing it in and enjoying the sun in the seating area just outside the doors.  If you’re comfortable leaving your items unattended, the entrance to the laundry room is within clear view of the pool.

1. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club

The number one slot, not surprisingly, goes to Stormalong Bay.  This is more than just a pool, it’s like a mini water park!  With its sand bottom, whirlpool, sand bar, lazy river, Flying Jib slide, smaller slide for little ones and, my favorite, the sinking sands, there’s enough here to keep you busy all day!  Stormalong Bay also offers several hot tubs for those aching muscles after a day in the parks.  The complex does require resort ID as armbands are issued to those staying at the resort to cut down on “pool-hopping.”  Also in the area is a pool-side quick service restaurant, an ice cream parlor and a pool gift shop.  Aside from location, this pool area is one of the biggest draws for our family to stay at the Beach Club!

ŸGet Pool Wise: Life vests are available at all Disney resort pools for guest use free of charge.

So, those are our family’s top three pools at Walt Disney World.  And now I’m wishing I was floating along the lazy river at Stormalong Bay.  What are your favorite Disney World resort pools?