Picture this: You have skimped and saved for a Disney vacation all year long and finally, your trip is here! Two days in and you’ve rope-dropped, lightning lane’d, and shut down the parks for the first few days. Now it’s the middle of the day and your trip is halfway done. There is still so much you want to see and do but your family is looking a little less ardent than they were on days one and two.
It’s hot. You’re feeling a bit snippy, your spouse is a touch less patient, and the kids aren’t as enthusiastic about the activities and special treats you brought to entertain them in attraction queues. What is a die-hard Disney fan to do?
The obvious answer is that your family needs a break! Let’s face it: Disney parks are overstimulating! With every one of our senses receiving an enormous amount of feedback to process throughout the day and night, we NEED time to rest and reset.
Sure, you could go all day for every day of the trip like this, but the truth is, if your family can’t or simply doesn’t want to, you’re all better off giving the Disney Do-or-Die approach a rest. I understand! You came for the parks, not to lounge at the pool, but hear me out! Heading back to the hotel for some R&R could be just what your family needs to make the rest of your trip more enjoyable. A mid-day break can help to avoid the most crowded times at the parks which in turn can help preserve the energy and patience of everyone in your party.
On both coasts, the weather at the parks is warm and even hot for most of the year. What better place is there to relax in the Florida or Southern California sun than at the pool? Many Good Neighbor Hotels have great pool areas but of course, the Disney Resorts have some of the best-themed pools you will find at any hotel. The hotels of the Disneyland resort are a quick walk or monorail ride from the parks, making a time-out even more enticing. At Walt Disney World, the hotels are a bit further giving you the opportunity to decompress on the way back and strategize how long of a break you want to take and what poolside treats and beverages you’ll want to enjoy during your downtime.
At Walt Disney World, the Fuentes del Morro Pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has a colonial Spanish fortress feel with water cannons and two waterslides for brave buccaneers. The shipwreck play area allows for more cautious fun for the smaller swashbucklers in your group. This resort also features a 22-person hot tub and 5 leisure pools for those who prefer a less lively pool experience.
The Copper Creek Springs Pool at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge boasts a beautiful spring-fed pool where the water originates from the Copper Spring Creek in the hotel lobby and cascades over a waterfall into the pool! The two hot tubs in this area are themed as hot springs. Kids will enjoy the waterslide and water play area here as well.
The zero-entry Lava Pool is the Polynesian Village Resort’s main pool and has a 142-foot-long waterslide. Kiki Tiki’s water play area is close by along with two hot tubs, one of which has an “infinity” edge, and overlooks the beach.
Ol’ Man Island is the feature pool at Port Orleans- Riverside. The expansive 3.5-acre pool area is themed after an old, abandoned sawmill and features, you guessed it, a waterslide with various other pools and hot tubs in the area.
You may be sensing a theme by now: Big, action-packed main pool areas with smaller, more tranquil pools in other parts of the resorts. This is what makes the pools of the Disney Resorts so great! There is something for everyone!
Over at the Disneyland Resort, the Disneyland Hotel features two Monorail-themed waterslides that splash down into a pool below. The E-Ticket Pool is perfect for both playtime and relaxation while the D-ticket pool is where you can get some laps in. Mickey and Minnie-themed hot tubs are in close proximity making it easy to enjoy action and relaxation all in one pool session.
The pools at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel also offer a mix of excitement and respite with three pools to choose from: the Redwood Pool is located just behind the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney’s California Adventure and features a waterslide that swirls around a giant Redwood tree stump before plopping you into the pool below. The Mariposa Pool is a simple and serene area to relax with loungers and a hot tub close by. The Fountain pool offers an in-between for those who want to play and chill while cooling off in the water.
Once your downtime is complete, heading back to the parks in the evening will feel much more magical. Your group will be refreshed and ready to enjoy a nighttime spectacular or maybe even check a few more attractions off your must-do list. Although taking a break may sound counter-intuitive to making the most of your Disney vacation, I think it is a great way to prevent burnout during your trip!