Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Green. Enjoy the ride as we share the best pools at the Disney resorts.
“The hotel “theme resorts” — so called because each is being based upon a single theme that represents a culture or architectural style around the world — will offer far more than simply convenience of location to the new “Magic Kingdom” and its attractions. In design motif, food specialties, recreation activities, convention facilities and even the type of entertainment to be presented, these major hotels will complement each other and the attractions of the theme park.” (Official press release, 1969)
And I remember this announcement like it was yesterday. Walt had promised. A “Vacation Kingdom” was coming; one that would reinvent family vacations forever. Uncle Walt did not disappoint. As we stepped into the lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in 1972, we were whisked away to the South Seas- a land I had only read about in old books. That waterfall, the sweet smell in the air, the palm trees on the wall, umbrellas in our Shirley Temples- everything immersed us in this exotic getaway within a vacation. But nothing impressed this youngster more than the VOLCANO. Look! It has a pool! LOOK. It has a slide built into it!! Perhaps these were simpler times, but I don’t think any edifice since has impressed me so. We lived in that pool for the next week; occasionally, and almost begrudgingly, we took a break and visited that spot across the Seven Seas Lagoon. Incredible, nothing says Walt Disney World to my sister, brother and me more than this pool. Walt had transported us to a far, far away land, and we loved it.
Loved it so much we needed to return the following year…
In 1985, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort would become Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and a full refurbishment began. In 1987, the Volcano Pool mountain was repaired, and the pool was resurfaced. Minor periodic repairs were done until 2000, when construction on the new, Nanea Volcano Pool began. (Aptly titled! “Nanea” means relaxing in Hawaiian…) This massive project included installation of a stream bed exiting the Great Ceremonial House, and winding to the pool.
A newly-constructed 40 foot tall volcano housed a new Barefoot Pool Bar, a waterfall, lockers and showers, and a 142 foot long tubular slide. The pool was made shallower, (gone are the diving boards of old), and a zero-entry design was adopted. Heating, (water is maintained at 82 degrees), underwater jets, and piped-in underwater music were also added.
|A short walk to the beach or Barefoot Pool Bar.|
In 2010, three pool cabanas were installed; two Standard Cabanas at the south east section of the pool, and one Premium Cabana close to the beach.
As a safety measure, the East Pool was drained in 2011, and the deep end was filled in. Both pools now have a maximum depth of 4’6″.
In 2013, construction begins on the Disney Vacation Club villas and water bungalows in Seven Seas Lagoon. This marks yet another “new concept” for this beloved resort, including a return to its original name. Both pools will be included in this major “reimagining”. Beginning July 28, 2014, the Nanea Volcano Pool will close for approximately 8 months. The planned pool deck expansion will accommodate more Guests and volcano redesign is once again in the works, with the addition of a perimeter fence to enclose the area. A 12 person hot tub will also be introduced. During this period, though there will be continued access to the East Pool, each Guest will receive one complimentary ticket to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park for the length of their stay.
Everything old is new again. There is and has been a circle of life for this Walt Disney World classic. The resort motto, given nearly 43 years ago, was so prophetic!!
As long as that day includes a volcano, a pool, and a slide, all is right with the World.