Welcome to the Sunshine State! As you can tell, we’ve skipped right over spring and it already feels like summer with temperatures approaching 90 degrees. Florida was the only state that didn’t get any snowfall this record-cold winter. (Even Hawaii had snow-topped mountains.) We know you’ve been through a bitter winter, so now we welcome you with open arms, warm sunshine and amazing pools. Check out some of our favorites, from Universal to Disney and everywhere in between, designed especially for families.
Discover Orlando’s Best Hotel Pools
The Hard Rock Hotel
This rad brand of hotels has a Universal Orlando Resort location that doesn’t disappoint. The Hard Rock Hotel pool is a whopping 12,000 square feet with a stage right at the water’s edge and underwater speakers. Kids will love the sand beach and water slide along with poolside activities like ping-pong games, hula hoop contests, dive-in movies, water balloon tosses and basketball. Live bands and DJs keep it fun for the teens as well. Private cabanas are available with a ceiling fan, plasma TV, Wi-Fi and refreshments.
JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes
Luxury meets family at these deluxe properties at Grande Lakes, set at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades in Orlando. Guests at either hotel can enjoy the amenities at both properties, whether it be the serene pool with cabanas and a private concierge at the Ritz-Carlton or the amazing lazy river through lush, tropical landscaping at the JW Marriott. The whole family can have fun together with activities like bocce, beach volleyball and dive-in movie pool parties.
Four Seasons Walt Disney World
Orlando’s only five-star property certainly boasts a five-star pool. Just past the lovely adult pools at the Four Seasons Orlando is a five-acre Explorer Island water park with a lazy river, two water slides, and a splash zone. Poolside activities include ping-pong, bocce, beach volleyball, and a rock-climbing wall. A complimentary kids camp for children ages 4 to 12 is offered daily. For those who want to relax or nap with their little ones, be sure to check out the amazing swinging beds that resemble little butterfly cocoons in the garden.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
The newest hotel from Universal Orlando Resort offers tons of family fun for a great price and a super-cool, retro ’50s theme. Amenities at the two pools at Cabana Bay Beach Resort include a lazy river, water slide, splash pad area for toddlers, interactive water guns, and zero-entry. There’s even a sandy beach for building sandcastles. Grownups can get a poolside cocktail at the Atomic Tonic. It’s the kind of classy place Don Draper would take his kids.
World Center Marriott
Near Disney, the World Center Marriott Falls Pool Oasis has been named one of the “World’s Coolest Hotel Pools” by Forbes and one of the Top 10 “World’s Coolest Hotel Slides” by ABC News. The 104-foot slide tower features two 200-foot winding waterslides and one 90-foot speed waterslide. The Splash Zone offers children a zero-entry pool, playground, and activity zone.
Lake Buena Vista Resort Village
While a relaxation pool is offered for adults, children can run free at the separate zero-entry pool complete with a pirate ship featuring water cannons, a water slide, and waterfalls at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village. Parents can look on from the hot tubs or hammocks or join in on the fun. The family can grab lunch or dinner poolside at the hotel tiki bar, Lani’s Luau.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Walt Disney World’s premier resort, the Grand Floridian, offers several amazing pools, but the Alice In Wonderland pool is just for the kiddos. The kids can cool off after a day at the parks as the monorail zooms overhead. Several interactive features make the pool a constant surprise such as Mad Hatter’s hat that dumps water and an oversized teapot spilling water into teacups. Sprinklers, water spouts, and two mini water slides are perfect for kids who can’t yet swim.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The largest pool at Walt Disney World is the Big Blue Pool located at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The gently sloping pool, with a whopping 308,527 gallons of water, features a Finding Nemo theme with that adorable clownfish and his sidekick Crush along with a schoolyard spray ground, Squirt’s Righteous Reef playground, and speakers that play your favorite Disney tunes underwater.
Hilton Bonnet Creek/Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Guests at the Waldorf Astoria and the Hilton Bonnet Creek have access to the three-acre lazy river, water slide, and zero-entry, lagoon-style pool that’s earned the property a No. 1 ranking on TripAdvisor for Fantastic Pools. The recreational team leads activities besides the pool like arts ‘n’ crafts and dive-in movies every Friday and Saturday, where you actually watch a movie in the pool from the comfort of your float.
Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Waterpark
The newly remodeled family resort features spacious suites with waterpark amenities including slides, flumes, a whirlpool, tropical cabanas, a poolside bar and entertainment, a signature 4-D Experience, Batman Laser Challenge, and a huge arcade. There’s also a kid’s spa and live, nightly Family Rivals show along with karaoke inside the Celebration Theater at Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites.
Just a few miles down the road from Walt Disney World is Reunion Resort, with vacation homes and condos with all the amenities. The resort is home to three signature golf courses and 11 pools. The kids will go wild over the five-acre water park with a lazy river and lots of games.