CruisesDisney Cruise Line

Get to Know the Disney Cruise Line Pools

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Advertisements for Disney Cruise Line inevitably features shots of happy families splashing in the shipboard pools. Those shots might even be enough to entice you to book your first sailing. While there are indeed multiple freshwater pools on every Disney Cruise Line ship but, depending on your perspective, you may or not find them as relaxing and refreshing as they look in the candy-colored advertising.

Here’s everything you need to know about the pools on the Disney Cruise Line ships, the Dream and Fantasy (sister ships), the Magic and Wonder (sister ships), and the Wish. The Disney Treasure is making her maiden voyage later this year, from everything we’ve seen from DCL, you can assume that Treasure pool situation will be substantially similar to her sister ship, the Wish.

Where are the Disney Cruise Line pools?

The primary pool decks for each ship are located on upper decks. There are also additional pools in other locations:

  • Magic and Wonder: All pools on Deck 9. (Slide entrances on deck 10.)
    • Goofy’s Pool (family pool)
    • Quiet Cove (adult pool)
    • AquaLab (children’s water play area)
    • Nephew’s Splash Zone (small children’s water play area)
  • Dream and Fantasy: Primary pools on Deck 11. Additional pools on Decks 5, 12, and 13.
    • Mickey’s Pool (family pool)
    • Donald’s Pool (family pool)
    • Quiet Cove (adult pool)
    • Vibe Pool (teen pool)
    • Funnel Puddle (soak pool)
    • Satellite Falls (soak pool)
    • AquaLab (children’s water play area)
    • Nemo’s Reef (small children’s water play area)
  • Wish: Primary pools on Deck 11. Additional pools on Decks 5, 12, 13, and 14.
    • Mickey’s Pool (family pool)
    • Minnie’s Pool (family pool)
    • Daisy’s Pool (wading pool)
    • Pluto’s Pool (wading pool)
    • Trixie’s Pool (soak pool)
    • Donald’s Pool (soak pool)
    • Goofy’s Pool (soak pool)
    • Toy Story Splash Zone (small children’s water play area)
    • Quiet Cove Pool (adult wading pool)
    • Quiet Cove Infinity Pool (adult pool)
    • Chip & Dale Pool (quiet soak pool)
    • Concierge Pool (wading pool)
Do the pools have specific hours?

Pool hours vary every day depending on the ship’s itinerary and the weather. Check your Personal Navigator app for the most up to date hours. In general, you can expect to find the primary pools on each ship open from about 9:00 a.m. until about 9:00 p.m. However, the pools will close earlier than that whenever there is an outdoor deck party. (During parties, the pools are covered with wooden decking to make more room for guests to stand.)

Pools will close if there is lightning anywhere near the ship or in the case of exceptionally rough seas.

I heard something about pool reservations. Do I need to make reservations to use the pool?

During the immediate post-COVID return to sailing, reservations and time limits were in place for DCL pool use. These restrictions have been gone for years now. You can feel free to use the DCL pools whenever they’re open, for as long as you want.

What kind of seating is at the pools? Can I reserve seating?

The main pool decks feature a variety of seating styles including standard chairs and loungers. In the family areas the chairs have woven mesh fabric. In the adult areas the chairs are padded cushions.

Disney includes a “No Reserved Seats Policy” in the fine print section of the DCL Navigator app. There is no aggressive signage to this effect on the pool deck itself. I’ve rarely seen the policy enforced. That said, it really is impolite to stake out your spot well before the pool opens or to leave a chair occupied with your belongings if you’re leaving the pool area for an extended period of time. This is very much a Golden Rule situation.

The No Reserved Seats Policy posted on the DCL Navigator app
How large are the pools? Can I swim laps?

Ha! Laps? Hahahahahaha!!! Um, no. Disney Cruise ship pools are much smaller than they look on flyover drone images. There are no lap lanes, no lap swim times, and even if the largest pools were empty (which they rarely are), you wouldn’t be able to get more than two or threes strokes in before you’d have to turn around.

Cruise ship pools are for cooling off, not for actually swimming.

How deep are the pools?

The DCL pools range from 6″ deep to 4’6″ deep. The large family pools have a maximum depth of 4′ or 4’6″

Are there lifeguards at the Disney ship pools?

Yes, there are lifeguards at DCL family pools whenever they are open to guests. Some of the smaller pools and water play areas may not have lifeguards. Children must be accompanied by an adult in the pool areas.

What is the water temperature like?

All are heated to a minimum temperature of 75°F. During sailings in the Caribbean and Bahamas (for example), the sunlight and air temperature will raise the water temperature.

I’m taking a cruise to Alaska. Will the pools be open?

Generally, yes. I’ve taken DCL cruises to Alaska, Northern Europe, and Iceland. Even when the air temperature is chilly (in the 50s F), you’ll still see people in the pools.

Are there towels available at the pools?

Yes, there are towels available for guest use located near the DCL pools. Use as many as you need.

On cooler weather cruises (like Alaska), you’ll also find piles of fleece blankets placed near the pool towels. You may see hardy children splashing the water while their parents on the deck nearby wearing sweatshirts and wrapped in blankets.

Poolside towels and blankets
Are the pools crowded? When are the pools less crowded?

The largest DCL pools (on the Dream and Fantasy) have a maximum capacity of about 70 guests. My unscientific observation is that the pools start to look uncomfortably crowded at about half that. These ships have a maximum guest capacity of about 4,000, so you do the math.

You’ll find that the pools are less crowded when the ship is in port, because a substantial number of guests are off exploring on land, and during the evening dinner/show hours.

Are there quiet pools for adults?

Yes, every Disney Cruise Line ship has an area reserved for guests 18+. These areas all include a Quiet Cove pool.

Are there hot tubs or jacuzzis on the Disney ships?

Yes, there are hot tubs on the main pool decks of every ship. Additionally you’ll find hot tubs near the adult pools and in the outdoor area of the Senses spa on the Wish. There are hot tubs or misting areas in the outdoor portions of the concierge lounges, open only to concierge guests.

Are the kiddie pools onboard?

Sort of, there are kiddie water play areas on all the ships specifically designed for small children. Although there are low-depth pools on the ships (ranging from 6″-24″ deep), diaper-age children are not allowed in these pools.

What’s the situation with diaper-age children? Can they go in any pools?

DCL’s swim-diaper policy states: “The United States Public Health Service requires
that only children who are toilet trained are permitted to enter swimming pools and spas aboard cruise ships.” Swim diapers are not permitted in hot tubs, spas, or any pools or waterslides, including the AquaDuck, AquaDunk, and AquaLab. Little ones wearing swim diapers are permitted at Nemo’s Reef on the Dream and Fantasy, at Nephews’ Splash Zone on the Magic, Dory’s Reef on the Wonder, and Toy Story Splash Zone and the AquaMouse on the Wish.

If poop happens in the pool, all guests must evacuate and the pool must then be drained, cleaned, refilled, and tested for bacteria and chemical balance. The entire procedure takes about 4–5 hours depending on the size of the pool—so don’t be that parent who let your almost-but-not-quite-potty-trained child into the water and ended up spoiling an afternoon for hundreds of other families. Remember, too, that on a cruise, even potty-trained kids may get distracted or overwhelmed; plus, unfamiliar foods may make new digestive demands. Swim diapers, in limited sizes, are available for purchase in the ships’ gift shops.

Disney Dream pool drained for cleaning
Can my child wear goggles in the pool?

Swim goggles that fit only over the eyes are permitted at all onboard pools, hot tubs, and waterslides, with the exception of AquaDunk aboard the Disney Magic, where goggles are not allowed.

Swim masks that cover the eyes and nose are permitted at all pools. They are not allowed on any slides, including AquaDuck. Snorkels are not permitted at any pools, hot tubs or waterslides.

Can my kids wear water wings in the pool?

Water wings and other US Coast Guard–approved flotation devices are allowed, but rafts, floats, and foam noodles are not. There are child-sized floatation vests available to borrow at no charge, find them near the family pools on all ships.

Pool floatation vests are free to borrow
Is there any pool area for teens?

The Dream and Fantasy have teen-only pools accessible through their Vibe teen clubs. Be aware, however, that hours tend to be limited.

Are there food and drinks available by the pools?

The primary pools are on the same deck as the ships’ buffet and quick service restaurants, and the free soft-service ice cream pumps. There are bars near the main pools and the adult pools. Glass containers are not permitted on the pool deck.

Is there any entertainment or other activities near the pool?

The main pool deck on all the ships is positioned under a giant “FunnelVision” screen that shows Disney movies throughout the day.

It looks like the Wish has more pools than the other ships. What’s up with that?

Unlike the family pools on the other ships, which are all on one level, most of
the Wish’s pools are staggered on several levels, stadium-style, between Decks 11 and 12. Stairs connect the various pool tiers; guests with mobility issues may need to head back indoors and take the elevator to access some of the water areas. The six family pools vary in size and depth. Mickey’s Pool, closest to the FunnelVision screen, is most similar in size and design to the main pools on the other DCL ships. The panoply of pools on the Wish could be an issue for single adults in charge of monitoring multiple children. If you think your kids will want to sample lots of pools and water-play areas, set some ground rules about whether they need to stick together or how they’ll let you know which pool they’re visiting.

Are you a Disney Cruise Line pool person? Do you like to swim on the ships?

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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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