General DVC

Is DVC Pool Hopping a Thing of the Past?

Trending over on the DVC Forums this past week was a discussion surrounding the recent removal of pool hopping privileges at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  In reading through this, I quickly began to question how many members currently utilize this benefit and why Disney would limit its availability at certain resorts.

For those unfamiliar with this perk of Disney Vacation Club ownership, members are allowed to visit a variety of pools around the Walt Disney World Resort during their stay.  This is not considered a Membership Extra and is available to both direct and resale DVC owners.

The Lost City of Cibola Pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

In recent history, however, this “benefit” has become subject to capacity limitations, blockout dates during peak seasons, and a steadily increasing lists of pools where pool hopping is not available. These excluded pools include:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Bay Cove Pool
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – pools
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas – leisure pool
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – pools
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – The Lava Pool and leisure pool
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Boulder Ridge Cove Pool and The Copper Creek Springs Pool
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Stormalong Bay
Disney’s Polynesian Resort

While I am sure there are many who have utilized and enjoyed this benefit, I personally have never been drawn to the idea of pool hopping.  With each DVC resort having its own unique pool to enjoy during ones stay, the idea of packing up for the day and traveling across property (especially with Disney Transportation) does not sound like a relaxing way to spend a rest day away from the parks.  

Proposed Pool at Disney’s Riviera Resort – Opening December 2019

If Disney’s increasing restrictions are any indicator of things to come, I would expect that the days of pool hopping may be numbered.  With the pool options that are currently under construction at Disney’s Riviera Resort, this will likely immediately join the list of excluded options when open in December 2019.  

Share with me in the comments below whether you have pool hopped during a DVC stay and whether you believe it is still a valuable benefit of ownership!

Paul Krieger

Amy and I are new Orlando, Florida residents where we live with our dogs Odie the greyhound and Hermès the Spanish galgo. We are DVC owners at Animal Kingdom Lodge, BoardWalk Villas, Grand Californian, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian, Disney World Annual Passholders, and love educating Disney Vacation Club members on how to both use and maximize the value of their DVC points!

20 thoughts on “Is DVC Pool Hopping a Thing of the Past?

  • Yes, we have pool hopped. However, in each instance, it was to enjoy the pool with friends who were staying at the other resort who didn’t have the option to pool hop to our pool. It was Saratoga Springs to Grand Floridian, Saratoga Springs to Caribbean Beach and Saratoga Springs to Boardwalk. Although when I’m staying at my other home resort BLT, I’d be inclined to want to pool hop somewhere quite and less hectic.

  • We always thought that pool hopping would be a great perk once we added kids to our family. Well, it’s 25 years and 2 kids later, and we still haven’t “gotten around to it”!

  • We used it before Stormalong Bay was excluded, but it’s not been important to us since then. I honestly don’t think it’s that great of a benefit now with all the restrictions.

  • My family will go to the resorts and spend an entire weekend pool hopping and never go to a park.

  • Part of the sales pitch for DVC in 1993 was the ability to swim at Stormalong Bay, which we did every visit. The year before they stopped offering that venue due to “overcrowding” we had literally been the ONLY people in the pool!! It was cool and the lifeguards were all wearing jackets! LOL! We tried to get to resorts as they opened, and also took the kids to Coronado Springs, Port Orleans and Wilderness that I remember. We always had a car. It seems now as they add DVC to existing resorts, they add the restrictions. There’s not often a lot of pool time, anyway, so staying put always seems easiest, overall.

  • I’ve never pool hopped but I’ve pool BAR hopped! 😆🤣

  • We pool hopped once and it was at the GF after we had a late breakfast at the 1900. Not that big of a deal just something extra for the girls to say they did. We probably won’t ever stay at the GF due to the high points per night but we enjoy the lobby and the restaurants. Looks like we can’t enjoy the pool again though…unless we stay. Oh well.

  • We have actually pool hopped. We were staying at I think it was SSR and spending our last day at Epcot so we had to check out. Rather than go back to our resort – we packed our swim stuff and went out the IG for an afternoon break at the Boardwalk Pool. We took a swim and lay down in the shade for a nap. We then changed back into our clothes before heading back to the park. A pleasant diversion. All said, I don’t think I would really “miss” the perk as that is the only time we used it, but it is a little sad how limited it’s become.

  • We have only pool-hopped once, because as Paul points out, it is usually more trouble than it is worth. We had a lunch reservation at Sanaa, and we were homesick for Kidani so we swam in that pool after lunch (we did wait the required 30 minutes after our bread service : ) ). Don’t get me wrong; our stay at the Boardwalk was great, but we just missed Samawati Springs so much.

  • How do they even enforce this?

  • Not being one who particularly cares about the shape of the container my pool water comes, I’ve never taken advantage of this perk.

  • We used to hop to the Poly fairly regularly when it was allowed. We also hopped to SSR when it was quite new and the feature pool at CSR. Since my kids are now grown, the Poly is off limits, and we stopped bringing a car, I don’t see us hopping much in the future.

  • We pool hop when we have a reservation for dining at that resort, like if we are doing 1900 Park Fare for breakfast, we will just bring our suits and go to the pool afterwards.

  • We use pool hopping especially for a quick mid-day break close to a park, or prior to a dinner resort reservation. It is getting less helpful as they exclude more and more pools.

  • We like this perk and have used it many times. When we have late flights on our last day we have found it makes for a more enjoyable day to relax at the pool. Since we have to check out by 11 there’s no reason to stay at our resort so we go check out a different pool.

  • We were staying at BWV during Memorial Weekend. One of the life guards had a clip board and wrist bands and went around the whole pool checking names and room numbers. If you were staying at the resort you got your wrist band. You had to do that Saturday and Sunday. Not sure about Monday (Memorial Day) because we didn’t use the pool. I knew that Memorial Day weekend was a black out weekend for any pool hopping so I wasn’t surprised. We have been members since 1996 and that was the first time we experienced that. Our home resorts are OKW, BWV, SSP and Baylake Towers ( which has a gate that you have to use your magic band to get in if your staying there). There have been more than a few changes for DVC members since we joined in 1996. We keep coming back though. ☺️

    • Thanks for sharing, Susan!

  • I believe I have commented on this in the past. On my last stay at GF one afternoon my daughter wanted to take a dip in the pool at the Poly “as we have been guests there many times before” after walking over from the GF we were unable to access the now gated pool and denied access from an attendee. What bothered me the most was the fact that as I was staying at what is considered the most expensive property on sight ! I could not use the pool at Poly but anyone can come and enjoy the ungated pool at the GF ??? pretty unfair my suggestion would be if you are a DVC member staying on “monorail only” your magic band should have access to the other pools on “Monorail”

  • My husband and I pool hopped at GF when we were just “kids” in the late 80’s/early 90’s. My husband swam in the pool then we went inside and he proceeded to play the Grand piano in his bathing suit!

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