Hotel Pool Fun Day ~ By John Leever
A trip to Walt Disney World has been many things to us; fun, exciting, magical, but rarely relaxing. We get up, get dressed, have breakfast, and head to a park or two and not end the day until the park closes. These are long days on your feet walking, and standing and in summer you add in the Florida heat and humidity. After several days of this, it would really tire us out. So we decided when we plan a trip of more than a few days we would break it up with a “Hotel Pool Fun Day.” The phrase was first coined by my sister and has stuck with us for years.
The resorts of Walt Disney World offer a host of activities outside of the 4 theme parks and 2 water parks and spending a day around our resort allowed us to take advantage of them, have fun, and get a little rest so we would could continue to close the parks. The most obvious activity on Hotel Pool Fun Day is swimming and hanging out at the pool. The pools at the Disney resorts are not your average hotel pools. The Yacht and Beach Club has a sand bottom pool, a lazy river, and a shipwreck water slide. The Caribbean Beach has several pools but the main pool is designed like Spanish citadel with cannons. The Port Orleans French Quarter has a giant sea serpent slide. The Coronado Springs has a Mayan pyramid with water slide. But my favorite is at the Polynesian which had a volcano pool and the pool is right near the beach so you can see the castle and fireworks at night. And that is just a sample of the fun that awaits you at Disney resort pools. But it is more than just theming and slides, there are activities for the kids and some pools have bars next to them for older kids. If lying on the beach is your idea of fun, then the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, the Caribbean Beach, and the Yacht and Beach are places you may want to try.
Another thing we like to do on Hotel Pool Fun Day is rent a sea racer, at least that is what they are called now. They have had other names throughout the years such as water mice, or water sprites, but whatever you prefer to call them, they are a lot of fun. The boats do not travel very fast but the small size can make them seem faster than they are. You can rent them at Downtown Disney, the Caribbean Beach (although they were not available in May of 2014), or the hotels of the Magic Kingdom. When you rent them from a Magic Kingdom resort, you take the boats out onto the waters of Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, my favorite place to ride. Riding across the water bridge that links the two bodies of water is somehow magical that only Disney can do. You get great views of the Grand Floridian and the Wedding Pavilion, the Contemporary Resort, and the front of the Magic Kingdom; remember to bring your camera. I would ride with my niece, the youngest member of our group, she would drive and I would use the camera.
When you get back from your voyage on the waters of Walt Disney World, you can choose to take a bike ride or better yet a Surry bike ride. The four pedal power Surry bikes can take a little to get started but once going you travel far and fast. These bikes, like the water mice are available at many Disney resorts. If you are staying at the Yacht and Beach Club or the Boardwalk then you can pedal along the paths that connect the 3 resorts. Just be careful coming down the ramps and don’t forget to ring your bell. The first time we rode a Surry bike I was in the driver seat. We had been given instructions to ring the bell to let people know we were coming and ring the bell I did. Some people said I rang it a little too much. But with practicing ringing the bell and ringing the bell to make sure the pedestrians were safe, I felt I rang the bell the appropriate number of times.
Another activity we have enjoyed is beach volleyball. The resorts even provide the volleyball. When we play, it is not about score it is more about just getting the ball over the net a few times, by no means Olympic quality. When both sides are trying to keep the ball in play it makes for a fun family game where no one has to feel like they lost, because this is Disney where good conquers evil, were loves kiss breaks any curse, and O’hana means family and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten, or in our case no one loses at volleyball.
So how do you end a “Hotel Pool Fun Day”? If you are staying at Port Orleans maybe you take the boat to Downtown Disney and do a little souvenir hunting. If you are at the Polynesian Resort, you can watch fireworks over the Magic Kingdom, and see the Electric Water Parade. Maybe you want to watch a Disney movie. Many Disney resorts show them at night outside. Or you can go for a night time swim. After a slower paced day splashing in a resort pool or riding a water mice, you can turn in early, because tomorrow the Magic Kingdom has Extra Magic hours at night and it is open until 3:00 AM and we’re closing the park.
What are your favorite resort activities?
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