Beyond the ParksDisney in a Minute

Disney in a Minute: What is a Zero Entry Pool?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

Every Walt Disney World resort hotel has at least one outdoor pool and most have two, three, four, or even five pools. Most of these are standard step-in pools, where you enter via a set of stairs or a ladder. But several resorts also have zero entry pools.

The pool entry point is marked as zero depth.

Zero entry pools are those with entry points that blend seamlessly into the surrounding land, with no harshly defined edge, rather than having a drop-off point that requires steps or a ladder. Picture walking into the ocean and you have the right idea.

At Walt Disney World, there are zero-entry pools at:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Art of Animation
  • Bay Lake Tower (the Disney Vacation Club arm of the Contemporary)
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Grand Floridian
  • Riviera Resort
  • Boulder Ridge (a Disney Vacation Club arm of the Wilderness Lodge)
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Saratoga Springs

In addition to the above, one end of Stormalong Bay (the pool shared by the Yacht & Beach Clubs) has the tiny step down (so not truly wheelchair-friendly), but otherwise has a shallow grade into the rest of the pool. And bonus, this part of Stormalong Bay has a sandy bottom, just like at the beach.

Click photos to enlarge.

Zero entry can be helpful for guests with mobility issues. Water-capable wheelchairs may be rolled directly into the pool, allowing access without the need to step down or up for swimming. Many guests with younger children also like zero entry pools because little ones can have the fun of being at the big pool without actually going in very deep. Of course, this also requires extra vigilance because although the pool starts out with minimal depth, it does increase precipitously.

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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