Best Pools at Disney World for Kids with Autism
Let’s be honest.
We dish out a ton of cash to visit Walt Disney World, yet our kids would be content to play in the pool the entire time.
I have created a list of the best pools at Disney World for kids with autism, we have also included a note for potential sensory pitfalls. These pools also include water play areas and splash pads.
We find the best pools at Disney World for kids with Autism to be:
10. Fuentes del Morro Pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach:
This playful pool resembles an old Spanish fortress. There is a pirate-themed splash pad, two water slides, a zero-depth entry for tiny children, and water cannons. What kid doesn’t love water cannons?
The Autism/sensory concern is that it is very crowded and the lifeguards seemed overwhelmed near the chaos of the pirate ship with my son’s squeals. It would rank higher if it wasn’t for my concerns about attitude, patience, and acceptance.
9. Sandcastle Pool at Disney’s Old Key West Resort:
This is a pool that channels the ambiance of the Florida Keys with a twisting sandcastle water slide to a peaceful pool and a sand beach. In the background, dolphins spout water, spas summon you with their siren song, and the lighthouse sauna call you at the end of a long Disney day.
Specific sensory concerns involve the water slide. The slide seems to back up to a long line and the kids push past and shout quite often. We spent some time near the baby pool when the slide and main pool became overwhelming.
Here is a gratuitous shot of our baby in the pool.
8. Samawati Springs Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village:
This is a zero-entry pool with two water slides and spas that lives up to Disney expectations. However, the best part is the Uwanja Camp, a splash pad meets water play land! It’s hard to resist water cannon wars or splashing in the mask’s water mist.
Our biggest issue was not the pool itself, but was having to walk past the pool for each meal to the Mara. Our son would try to swim every time we walked him past. It eventually became easier to send one adult to bring meals back to the room!
7. Boardwalk Clown Pool at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort:
What’s not to enjoy about creepy clowns? I kid, I kid. However, nostalgia is a compelling emotion and the wooden roller coasters, brave little elephants, and creepy clowns invoke a nod to the past. The bar even looks like a carousel! This pool resembles a now defunct seaside amusement park on Coney Island, named Luna park.
Due to clown fears by my child and myself, this pool only makes the list because of the fun you have on the slide.
6. Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation:
Since it’s opening in 2012, this pool is often touted for its size, the underwater music, the splash area, and its fun Finding Nemo decor. However, the pool area attracts huge crowds. For our family and our son’s sensory issues, this is overstimulating.
5. Doubloon Lagoon at Port Orleans French Quarter:
Celebrate the Mardi Gras year round. This pool features a twisting serpent slide. It also has a children’s pool, a hot tub, and a pool bar. The other side, Port Orleans Riverside feature pool is a close runner-up.
4. The Lost City of Cibola Pool at Coronado Springs:
There is a gorgeous water slide, Mayan temple ruins, arcade, play area, and a large pyramid. For adults, there’s the large pool bar, volleyball court, and the largest hot tub at Walt Disney World featuring a capacity up to 22 people!
3. Silver Creek Springs Pool at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge:
Follow the gorgeous Copper Creek in the spacious Wilderness Lodge lobby and walk out the back doors towards the pool area. Also, this is a gorgeous and relaxing area to fetch a cocktail from the pool side bar. Looking for more excitement? There’s a children’s water play area. The pool slide twists through rocks, boulders, and pine trees. The pool features views of Bay Lake and the hotel’s “Old Faithful” geyser in the distance. Still not enough? Relax in one of the hot or cold whirlpool tubs.
2. The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort:
The volcano pool slide was rebuilt and a splash pad was added. The area also has a poolside bar, gorgeous walking bridge, waterfalls, and a secluded hot tub. You can relax and check out the views of Seven Seas Lagoon here. The atmosphere is both relaxed and festive. With brightly colored flowers and tropical music, it truly feels like a slice of paradise for families.
Looking for the best of the best Disney World pools for kids?
1. Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club
The best Disney World pool for kids is this three acre expanse of beach fun with multiple different swimming areas, including a sandy-bottom and a lazy river. The long “pirate ship” slide is set off from the main pool and allows you to shoot across, featuring a smaller slide area with warm water pools. Finally, there is a sandy “beach” nearby that my son loves due to sensory seeking.
From a sensory standpoint, it is very large and even when busy, we can usually find a place to be away from the crowds.