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Old 04-23-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
Lynne M
 
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Exclamation >> Using Pools at Other Resorts - FAQ and Questions Thread (No Debate) <<

From now on, all discussion of using pools at other resorts (also known as pool-hopping) will be kept in this thread. Any new threads posted on the Resorts board on this topic will be merged into this thread, or closed with a note to see this thread. If you have a question that's not answered in the FAQ, or if you need clarification of some information in the FAQ, please post here.

Here are the ground rules for discussion:

1. No debate on Disney's rules, which can be found in the FAQ below. If you don't like the rules, by all means, take it up with Disney, but endless discussion and debate on this board isn't going to change the rules.

2. No discussion of how to get around the rules. If you pool-hop on every trip, that's your choice, but please don't post about it here.

3. No fighting, rudeness, name-calling, sarcasm or accusations. No flaming of anyone, for any reason.

4. No off-topic posts. Posts not related to use of pools at resorts other than your own will be deleted.

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We appreciate your support in making this thread a place where useful information can be shared.

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Using Pools at Other Resorts: Frequently Asked Questions


The pool at my resort is just OK, but wow, the pools at those deluxe resorts look great. Will they let me swim there?

No, you can only use a resort's pool if you're a registered guest of that resort, with a few exceptions described below.

Disney's pool use policy can be found here, on the official WDW site:

"Please note that pools are for use only for Guests of that specific Resort hotel."

The policy is also posted on signs at the pools.


Bummer. But how will they know I'm not staying at that hotel?

You may be approached by a cast member and asked to show your resort ID (room key, Key to the World card). There's a code on every resort ID that identifies your resort. If you can't produce a valid ID for that resort, you will be asked to leave the pool area.

You might be asked to show just one resort ID for your party, or everyone might have to produce ID (including kids).


But why does Disney care if I take the monorail over to the Polynesian and use that fancy volcano pool? One extra person won't make a difference.

It's true, one extra person won't matter. But believe me, lots of people want to use that fancy volcano pool, and if they let non-guests swim there, it's going to get very crowded, very quickly. There are something like 30,000 resort rooms on Disney property, and if even 50 of those people decide to swim at the Poly at the same time, it won't be fun for anyone, let alone the people who paid to stay at that resort. The pools are sized for the number of guests at that resort, and don't have excess capacity for visitors.


I'm staying at a resort that shares facilities with another resort. Can I use the pools there, too?

In most cases, yes.

Guests at the All-Star resorts may use any pool at any of the All-Star resorts (Music, Sports, Movies)

Guests at Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter may use any pool at either resort.

Guests at Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at Wilderness Lodge can use both pools.

Guests at Boardwalk Villas and the Boardwalk Inn can use any pool at either resort.

Guests at the Yacht Club, Beach Club, or Beach Club Villas may use any pool in this resort complex.

Guests at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Jambo House and Kidani Village may use the pools at both buildings.

There's one exception: Guests at Bay Lake Towers may use the pools at BLT and the Contemporary Resort. But, CR guests may not use the pool at BLT. It's gated, and a BLT room key is required to open the gate.


I'm a DVC member. Is it true that I'm allowed to pool hop?

Yes, with some restrictions. Currently, DVC members staying at a DVC resort on points can 'hop' to the pools at any Disney-owned resort, except YC/BC/BCV, AKV, and BLT. Pool hopping is not permitted during certain blackout dates, usually around busy periods. Check the DVC Member site for up-to-date information on blackout dates and other restrictions.


Some of my family/friends are staying at a different resort, or offsite. Can they come to my resort and swim with my family?

Possibly. Disney policy states that only registered resort guests may use the pool, but IF the pool isn't too crowded, and IF you ask, the lifeguards have been known to make exceptions for visiting family and friends. Of course, the fewer guests you want to bring into the pool area, the more likely the lifeguards will say 'yes'. If you want grandma and grandpa to join you, it likely won't be a problem. If you show up with 4 uncles, 3 aunts, and 14 assorted cousins.....well, expect the lifeguards to suggest you visit a water park instead.

Do ask; it's much better to have the lifeguard's permission ahead of time than to subject your family and/or friends to the embarrassment of being asked for ID and possibly being asked to leave.

Be aware that the lifeguards have final say in the matter. If the lifeguards feel that there are an unsafe number of people in the pool area, it's not going to matter if the front desk or the nice lady on the phone at Reservations said you could have guests.


The main pool at my resort is closed for refurbishment. Can I use another resort's pool?

Don't worry, you won't be left without access to a pool. Most resorts have multiple pools, and in many cases, your resort will make arrangements for you to use the pool at a nearby resort. Guests are usually contacted by mail prior to their stay if the main pool will be closed, and that letter will describe any alternate pool arrangements. If you have any questions, ask at the Guest Services/Concierge desk when you arrive at your resort.


Didn't Disney used to allow pool-hopping? What happened?

Yes, way back in the day when there were only a few resorts on property, guests were allowed to use the pools at any resort, and it all worked out fine. Essentially, all of the resort pools were equally nice, so there was no reason for any resort's pool to be overrun with visitors. As time went on, Disney created multiple tiers of resorts, and suddenly there were value resorts with very basic pools, moderate resorts with slightly nicer pools, and deluxe resorts with super-fancy pools. The system was out of balance...everyone wanted to go to the deluxe pools. No one was beating a path to the pools at the values. So, no more pool-hopping; everyone swims at their own resort's pool.


My friend just stayed at WDW and said he went to a different resort pool every day and nobody stopped him. How come you're saying I can't do that?

As with most Disney rules, enforcement is spotty. Some resorts are very strict about access to their pools, some not so much.

Enforcement is probably most strict at Stormalong Bay, the feature pool at YC/BC/BCV, which is the most elaborate resort pool on WDW property. Cast members check each guest's ID upon entering the pool area and issue wristbands.

Deluxe resorts that are close to the theme parks are also more likely to check resort IDs, since day guests at the parks may be tempted to pop over for a swim. At these pools, cast members will check resort IDs of guests in the pool area from time to time.

Moderates and values are less strict about pool use, since their pools aren't as attractive to hoppers as the deluxe resort pools. There are occasional reports of IDs being checked after a pool gets an upgrade/refurb.

The bottom line: If you try to use another resort's pool, you may be asked to leave. Or not. Disney's policy is clear; the choice is yours. As Jiminy Cricket says, "Let your conscience be your guide."


OK, OK, so I can't pool-hop. But the kids really want to use a pool with a cool slide, and my resort's pool doesn't have one. What can I do?

There are two terrific water parks at Walt Disney World: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Both offer a wide variety of slides and other attractions for all ages.

Last edited by Lynne M; 04-23-2010 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to post this.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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Happy to see threads on pool hopping banned.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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To clarify, we're not banning discussion of pool-hopping - just debates on the rules and how to get around the rules.

We want people to ask questions about pool use, and we want them to be able to get their questions answered without the thread being taken over by arguments and unnecessary drama.

Last edited by Lynne M; 04-25-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #5
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I'm a DVC member, I'm aware of the rule and they are fine by me. I just wondering if anyone has ever pool hopped to Vero. We would like to spend a day at the beach and it would be nice to have a place to shower, relax and get a bite before going back. I do plan on calling the front desk the day before. I've stayed there and I know I will need a pass to access the pool and the beach. I do plan on getting a pass at the desk when I arrive. Then have a new towel policy so we are bringing our own. Really just wondering if I'm the only nut who has thought of this.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Very interesting question. The member site says this:

Quote:
Whenever you are staying on your Membership at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney's Beach Club Villas, Disney's BoardWalk Villas, Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, or The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, you and any Guests staying with you, are permitted to use most of the other Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney World® Resort hotel pools (in addition to the pool at the resort hotel at which you are staying) if they are not at capacity.
Now, I don't know whether that means that guests staying at Vero can hop to WDW resort pools, or that the reverse is also true. But I don't see Vero on the list of no-pool-hopping resorts.

Quote:
Pool hopping is not available at Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Uzima Pool and Samawati Springs Pool at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and the leisure pool at Disney's Beach Club Villas.
I'm not seeing anything on the member site that says you can't hop to Vero, but I'd still check with the resort before you drive over there. Pool-hopping can always be suspended at the resort's or lifeguard's discretion if the pool is crowded. And do check the list of blackout dates on the member site to make sure your trip doesn't fall within those dates.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:02 AM   #7
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Any Ideas

My family and extended family will be at Disney World next spring. We are all staying at different deluxe resorts.My sister and our famalies will be staying closer to MK because our children are younger.My parents will be staying at the BC or YC. We had planned on spending evenings together and allowing the children to swim. We thought we would meet at my parents hotel since they are older and will probably want to be closer to their room.We are staying for 11 nights, we already have a couple days planned at a water park,so we are not looking to spend all day,just some quiet time, to end the day, with the ones we love.We are not trying to cheat or break any rules.Our children are 3,3,4,8,and 9.So we need an activity while adults are visitiing.My question is should I ask my parents to switch resorts,since the BC and YC seem to be popular.Our kids are not big swimmers,so any of the slides,and extras would not be a plus while swimming.(I was actually happy to se the CR slide was so small,maybe they will give it a try.)Any ideas? Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbenson View Post
My family and extended family will be at Disney World next spring. We are all staying at different deluxe resorts.My sister and our famalies will be staying closer to MK because our children are younger.My parents will be staying at the BC or YC. We had planned on spending evenings together and allowing the children to swim. We thought we would meet at my parents hotel since they are older and will probably want to be closer to their room.We are staying for 11 nights, we already have a couple days planned at a water park,so we are not looking to spend all day,just some quiet time, to end the day, with the ones we love.We are not trying to cheat or break any rules.Our children are 3,3,4,8,and 9.So we need an activity while adults are visitiing.My question is should I ask my parents to switch resorts,since the BC and YC seem to be popular.Our kids are not big swimmers,so any of the slides,and extras would not be a plus while swimming.(I was actually happy to se the CR slide was so small,maybe they will give it a try.)Any ideas? Thanks for any help.
You should probably have your children swimming at the resort they're stying at. Just a thought, since pool hopping isn't allowed - and they've been known to check passes. However, YC/BC does have children's activities outside of swimming. Movies, sandcastles, smores, etc.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:51 PM   #9
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Help, more specific:)

I was wondering who we should speak to,to get the okay to swim. Should I call ahead,or ask the manager upon arrival if the request to bring guests could be accomadated? or wait until the 1 or 2 evenings we plan on letting the children swim?
Has anyone ever done this and got it okayed?
My father is from Disney past,and thinks it is not pool hopping, if your family is a guest,and you are also a guest. Okay I get it but, I am personally, from Disney that does not cause an embarassing scene
Is there a very close beach we could let the kids play in the sand at? We want something low key,but entertaining enough for the little ones.I know someone had mentioned other activities available,would we be able to participate being from another deluxe resort?
I have visited the Disney web site several times,it is very slow on my computer,and I don't come out with half the info I get from here.Thanks for all of your hard work!!!

Last edited by nbenson; 06-08-2010 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbenson View Post
I was wondering who we should speak to,to get the okay to swim. Should I call ahead,or ask the manager upon arrival if the request to bring guests could be accomadated? or wait until the 1 or 2 evenings we plan on letting the children swim?
Has anyone ever done this and got it okayed?
My father is from Disney past,and thinks it is not pool hopping, if your family is a guest,and you are also a guest. Okay I get it but, I am personally, from Disney that does not cause an embarassing scene
Is there a very close beach we could let the kids play in the sand at? We want something low key,but entertaining enough for the little ones.I know someone had mentioned other activities available,would we be able to participate being from another deluxe resort?
I have visited the Disney web site several times,it is very slow on my computer,and don't come out with half the info I get from here.Thanks for all of your hard work!!!
There is no way to ask ahead of time. The lifeguard has the ultimate authority at the pool. Stormalong Bay is the most desired pool on the property and pool hopping (which is allowed for DVC members) isn't allowed there at all. The hotel manager isn't the one to get pool access from unless he/she is fully aware of the pool situation. If you are going during Spring Break/Easter time, it will probably be a very busy time at the pool anyway.

You could get away with the kids playing on the beach at the BC/YC or at your resort (many do have beach like play areas). Just not swiming there. WDW is just too big with too many hotels to let guests swim wherever they want to swim and not where they pay to swim.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #11
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Deb & Bill is correct, you'll need to ask the lifeguard, at the time you plan to swim. The lifeguard's decision will be based on how crowded the pool is at that time.

I understand where your father's coming from, but Stormalong Bay is sized for the number of registered guests at the YC/BC and BCV. There are over a thousand guests at those three resorts, many of whom chose it to use SAB. Let's say that just 25 of the guests at decide on one particular afternoon to invite a couple of friends or relatives. That's FIFTY additional people in the pool.

And if they opened it to 'guests-of-guests', there'd be a lot more than that, likely. It's just not workable, and not fair to people who are paying big bucks to stay there.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:23 AM   #12
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Hooray!!!!

Disney will be giving admission (arm bands?) for a couple days, for each of my father's grandchildren,at the YC. Hooray!!!!!!
We are such are large group 40-46. We would have never been able to select a single resort,that would accomadate all.So I was confused, why meeting at a resort, was to be such a large ordeal.
They have been nothing but accomadating since we have booked our packages,and the planners have been great.Planning various meals and experiences with other families in our group.You can also pay (very expensive$$$$) a VIP service to hold seats, and provide transportation around the park.I am so relieved for my father.
I personally feel the rules are great,but I am also glad Disney is not black and white,and sees when exceptions need to be made. Just wanted to update for anyone else in this situation.
Thanks All
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbenson View Post
Disney will be giving admission (arm bands?) for a couple days, for each of my father's grandchildren,at the YC. Hooray!!!!!!
We are such are large group 40-46. We would have never been able to select a single resort,that would accomadate all.So I was confused, why meeting at a resort, was to be such a large ordeal.
They have been nothing but accomadating since we have booked our packages,and the planners have been great.Planning various meals and experiences with other families in our group.You can also pay (very expensive$$$$) a VIP service to hold seats, and provide transportation around the park.I am so relieved for my father.
I personally feel the rules are great,but I am also glad Disney is not black and white,and sees when exceptions need to be made. Just wanted to update for anyone else in this situation.
Thanks All
I hope for you and your family's sake that all this happens when you arrive. It ultimately is the lifeguards' responsibility at the pool not the concierge staff.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:47 AM   #14
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I hope for you and your family's sake that all this happens when you arrive. It ultimately is the lifeguards' responsibility at the pool not the concierge staff.
I can only tell what happened to us. We were heading to Beaches an Cream to enjoy the famous "Kitchen Sink".
We got of the boat and took the wrong side to enter the Board Walk and ended up at th pool entrance. (Yeh we got lost but wait until you get old )
We were stopped right away and we were just send back. No discussion.
When I explained the to the pool guard we only wanted to go to the restaurant he escorted us along the pool and made sure we left.
There was NO way we could have swim there and that was very good. This was on a very slow day in May and the pool was almost empty.
BTW the pool was not even attractive to us. I guess us old farts are way better of at "our "Grand Floridian pool.

Last edited by Disneyadore; 09-25-2010 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:48 AM   #15
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Funny...

Dont aska a question about pools unless it's in the pool section!!

------------------------------------

I understand both arguments...really, even staying offsite Disney will be getting a whole heck of alot of my money, is it such a terrible thing to wonder about a little convenience for a family of 4 including two children under 3?

Then again, if I was staying at the resort and it was packed with non-guests that would probably annoy me a little bit...however, I see no reason why the resorts don't sell a limited amount of day passes.

I'll be in Orlando for 10 days, 8 of which will be spent in WDW parks, touring WDW resorts, eating in WDW restaurants including the hideously overpriced Cindy's Royal Table, farting around in Downtown Disney etc. It'd be nice if we had reservations at Ohana for dinner one night if we could hang at the resort for a few hours before hand.

Terrible job by Disney...
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