The Pools at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort

This article previews the pools at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resorts and at Disney’s Swan Reserve. We’ll look at the resort’s feature pool, the Grotto Pool, along with the leisure pools available between the trio of hotels.

Disney’s Swan and Dolphin sits in the Epcot Resorts area at Walt Disney World. Additionally, the Swan Reserve, the newer of the three, sits across the street within close proximity.

These hotels are unique to Walt Disney World because they are Marriott owned-and-operated. For the most part, the hotels offer similar amenities to the Walt Disney World Resorts.

Since these hotels are considered deluxe resorts, you’ll find that they offer pristine pool areas. Perhaps, one of the best amenities between the Swan and Dolphin, other than location, is the Grotto Pool.

The Grotto Pool at Disney's Swan and Dolphin features a shaded grotto with waterfall feature.

Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to stay at the Swan and Dolphin countless times. It is one of our top choices for many reasons, but primarily due to the pools and recreation areas.

How great are the pools at the Swan and Dolphin Resort? We rank them as one of our top three choices in our list of the best pools at Disney World. That’s substantial, considering we rank ten pools and include a few honorable mentions.

Guests of Disney’s Swan and Dolphin hotels (and the Swan Reserve) can take advantage of the tremendous pool area, including six pools covering an expansive three-acre area.

The Grotto Pool

Most everyone will want to spend some time at the Grotto Pool, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts feature pool. It’s located on the Dolphin side of the resort and gets its name from having a grotto area that sits underneath a waterfall.

Unfortunately, the waterfall wasn’t on when I took these photos early in the morning. But you can see on the left side of the image below where the water usually runs over the rocks in front of the covered seating area.

Speaking of early, at the time of this update, the Grotto Pool is open daily between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. So if you’re an early riser, you can enjoy the pool with little to no crowds first thing in the morning.

Of course, if you’re visiting during the cooler months, the pool hours will likely be reduced. However, all of the pools at Walt Disney World are heated. So guests can enjoy the pools unless they are closed for frigid temperatures, which is rare.

Here is an older photo of the Grotto when the waterfall was running.

The grotto portion of the pools at Disney's Swan and Dolphin.

On a previous stay, I was able to snag a chair at the edge of the covered area. This location worked well because a small rain shower came through at one point. Thankfully, I was able to remain in my seat and continue reading a book while it rained. Yes, I read.

Since the Grotto Pool covers such a large area, several bridges cross over it at various points. On the weekends, a resident DJ often sets up equipment on one of the bridges.

I enjoyed the music and some of the commentary during our last stay. So having the DJ wasn’t a deal breaker.

Poor guy, he mentioned someone was having a birthday. Before you knew it, every other kid at the pool was having a birthday. Then it was one shout-out after another, which turned pretty comical.

A sloped sidewalk sits to the right of the grotto area leading up to the pool’s waterslide. Unfortunately, it doesn’t open until later in the morning. A sign at the entrance indicated the slide opens at 10:00 a.m.

Below is a photo of where the slide exits into the pool.

I have found it convenient that the grotto area is near the entrance and exit to the waterslide. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot in the shade, you can relax while your children enjoy the nearby slide. That’s what we did when my son was younger.

The Grotto Pool’s waterfall provides a “moment of zen” or perhaps a couple of hours. Not only is it pleasing to look at, but the sound of the water hitting the pool is soothing.

Undoubtedly, these are the most coveted seats at the Swan and Dolphin pools.

What’s not to like–a hot day, cool water, and lovely shade?

Three hot tubs are spread out around the Grotto Pool.

Each one provides a semi-private space to relax, depending on your timing.

An additional whirlpool tub is available only a few steps away on the Swan side of the resort.

Back at the Dolphin, we’ll look at the rest of the Grotto Pool. The photo below shows where the Grotto Pool starts when coming from the Swan or Swan Reserve.

Then you have the Grotto area towards the middle.

Landscaping and other water features provide a soothing backdrop for the entire area.

Past the waterfall, the Grotto Pool continues.

The Spring Pool sits separately at the end.

Directly behind the Spring Pool is the lap pool on the Dolphin side. The lap pool is closest to the Dolphin side of the resort and tends to be a pretty popular area.

Cabana Bar and Beach Club, the pool bar and quick service, is directly behind the lap pool. They offer table service dining, mobile ordering, and a walk-up bar.

Related: Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the Dolphin

To enjoy a meal poolside, you can mobile order from the Cabana Bar and Beach Club. You’ll want to use the Swan and Dolphin Hotel app to place your order. Then you’ll scan the tag on your lounge chair so they know your location.

A large outdoor recreation area is also available between the Dolphin and the lap pool. Some items available on my last visit included billiards, ping pong, tic tac toe, and a basketball court.

A kiddie pool is also available on the Dolphin side of the resort. It has a zero-entry area on one side.

A private sitting area in the shade is available directly behind the children’s pool.

In addition to the pool area, the hotels share a beautiful white sand beach. Plenty of recreational activities, like volleyball, watercraft, and ping pong tables, are available. Since the swan paddle boats are included in the resort fee, there’s no extra charge for guests to rent one.

A playground sits near the beach area. It has child-friendly rubber flooring.

However, a few disclaimers warn that the surface can get hot.

Private cabanas are available for rent at each pool.

Related: Cabana Rentals at Disney World

You can rent cabanas or purchase other items from the Cabana Beach Hut on the Dolphin side. This is also where you’ll want to pick up and return complimentary pool towels. A room key is required to receive towels.

Swan Lap Pool

A separate lap pool is available on the Swan side of the resort.

Here is another view.

Splash sits adjacent to the Swan’s lap pool. This location mainly serves drinks and a few snacks.

Swan Reserve Pool

In addition to the pools at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin, the Swan Reserve has a feature pool. It’s a beautiful pool. But most guests who plan to spend an entire day at the pool will likely want to walk over to the Grotto Pool.

We have a review of our stay at the Swan Reserve that includes spending time at the pool. We enjoyed it and had excellent service.

A towel hut sits near the back of the pool. You can pick up towels and other complimentary items here. Additionally, they sell sunscreen and a few other pool essentials.

Tangierine sits directly behind the Swan Reserve’s pool and serves as the poolside bar.

Here is a photo that shows how close the Swan Reserve is to the Swan and Dolphin’s pool area.

Swan and Dolphin Pool Video

We have a video that shows the walk from the Swan Reserve to the Grotto Pool. It includes a few clips of the Grotto Pool.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the pools at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin are some of the most pleasant. You can spend an entire day at the pool enjoying the area and not get bored.

If you would like to know more about the Swan and Dolphin, we have a guide that lists all of our articles related to the resort:

Or you might enjoy these articles:

Additionally, if comparing resorts for an upcoming vacation, check out our overview of Disney World Resort Reviews.

One last mention–the Swan Hotel has excellent restrooms with a shower, toiletries, a hairdryer, and a few other essentials. This restroom sits directly behind the lap pool near the hotel’s gym. We’ve used this area to change when we spent a day at the pool on our check-out day.

In the comments:

What do you think of Disney’s Swan and Dolphin pools? Does this look like a place you’d enjoy spending a resort day?


  1. Thanks for the info. On a no kids trip which hotel would you prefer, taking into account the pools: Swan/Dolphin or Beach/Yacht Club?

    1. This is a tough question. Overall my preference would be Yacht Club for a no-kids trip OR I would go with whichever hotel had the best price. You can’t go wrong with any of them though!

  2. How are the changing room facilities and bathrooms? We will check out of our room and hang by the pool for much of our day of departure. Just wondering since we had stayed at the Yacht Club last year and they had a nice changing room which came in handy once we checked out.

    1. Last summer, I did the same thing on our departure day. I used the restrooms on the Swan side next to the pool and gym. Several shower stalls were available with room to change. There were also toiletries and a hairdryer. I remember thinking it was a nice area.

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