It’s easy to do. I’m guilty of it myself. At Walt Disney World, we can forget to take time to slow down, take in the details, and relax. We get so caught up in making dining reservations and rushing from park to park, that we run ourselves ragged. How many of us have heard children “melting down” in the parks because they are overstimulated and overtired? To prevent this from occuring, don’t forget the pool. Continue after the break for our family’s experience taking time for the resort pool.
When our family vacations at Walt Disney World, we intentionally schedule “off days” from the parks to sleep in and spend the day at the pool. Heck, you’re paying enough to stay on property at a Disney resort, and the pools are beautifully themed – often enhancing the story of your resort. So take a step back and enjoy them.
This summer we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. It was a blistering hot Saturday in August. We had tickets for the Last Tour to Endor Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later that evening and no plans for the day. That was intentional. We wanted to rest up for the party. The pool was gorgeous, and surprisingly empty for such a hot afternoon – everyone was at the theme parks. We were so happy to be soaking in cool water rather than sweating the afternoon in the theme park, and it was great to have the pool nearly to ourselves.
Port Orleans’ Riverside main pool is called Ol’ Man Island. It is surrounded by trees and vegetation making for many shady spots to escape the sun. In fact, there is a massive Oak Tree adjacent to the “well house” that makes the top of the slide. A sign near the base of the tree describes how the 85 ton tree was relocated to this spot from 13 miles away over 3 days, and the pool was constructed around it.
In true Disney fashion there is a backstory to the pool/island, and you can find the “Legend of Ol’ Man Island” on a sign post placed beside the pool.
Because we know we have scheduled a vacation day to enjoy the pool, we’ll stop at a local dollar store before traveling to Florida to pick up some cheap inflatable pool toys. In the past we’ve brought down inflatable animals and beach balls. They pack flat, do not take up much room in the suitcase, and the girls love playing with them in the pool. Of course we’re mindful of the people around us in the water and make sure not to disturb other guests with the toys. However, once our vacation has ended, we’ll pass the toys off to some other family at the pool so they can enjoy them.
Our girls love to swim, and love to spend as much time as they can in the pool. We learned early on in our traveling that oftentimes when we ask what the girls’ favorite part of the vacation was, they’ll answer – the POOL!!! Plus, the water soothes those aching legs and feet that have been pounding the pavement during long hours of theme park touring – recharging you for another day in the parks. Finally, it’s great for Mom and Dad to have some time off our feet too, and just lay back and relax in a chase lounge by the pool. It’s our vacation too…
So how do you plan your vacation time? Do you make sure to schedule time for the resort pool, or would you rather not take time away from the parks? Log in with your DISboards username and password to leave a comment below.