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Travel, Family and Fun

Universal Orlando Resort Pools: Best Options For Kids

Universal Orlando Resort has five absolutely amazing on-site hotels, and with that comes beautiful feature pools for a full day of play. During our last trip, my youngest daughter wanted to visit all of the pools so she could make a list of the best options for kids. Now this girl knows her pools, she is a total fish, so her expectations for a fun pool are pretty high. If you are planning a family vacation to Universal Orlando Resort, and the pool is a priority, you will want to keep reading.

universal orlando resort pools

Universal Orlando Resort Pools

Maddie put a lot of energy into deciding what the best pools for kids are at Universal, she went to each resort and researched them herself. My takeaway from her research is that a good pool must have a water slide, a deep end and kids play areas. Let’s take a look at her picks in order from the best, to her not so favorite pools at Universal!

Blog Squad Tip: When you stay at one Universal on-site resort, you can play at all of them! Feel free to pool hop your days away.

universal orlando onsite pools

Best Pools For Kids

1. Cabana Bay Beach Resort

It really goes without saying why this is the number one choice for a 9 year-old. It not only has a water slide, it also has a lazy river and not one but two feature pools. You can easily skip a day in the parks and enjoy the pools at Cabana Bay.

The North Courtyard pool features an iconic dive-tower feature with a water slide and 17 cabanas available for rent.

  • 10,000-square-foot heated pool featuring zero entry
  • White sand beach
  • 100-foot water slide
  • Splash pad for kids
  • Pool-side activates for kids, such as ping-pong and hula-hoop contests
  • Pool-side bar (Atomic Tonic)

The South Courtyard, Cabana Bay’s second pool features a lazy river surrounded by botanical gardens.

  • 6,000-square-foot heated pool featuring zero entry
  • White sand beach
  • Universal’s first lazy river
    • Float tubes for sale, or you may bring your own
    • Note: a flotation device is not required to use the lazy river
  • Two fire pits
  • Small splash pad for kids
  • Pool-side activates for kids, such as ping-pong and hula-hoop contests
  • Pool-side bar and grill (The Hideaway)
universal orlando resort pools
Our friends, 2 Travel Dads absolutely LOVE staying at Cabana Bay as the kids splash areas are perfect for their little guys. photo credit: Rob Taylor

2. Sapphire Falls Resort

The pool at Sapphire Falls meets all of Maddie’s criteria, and only gets second place because it has one pool. She said “the beach and palm trees make it feel like you aren’t in Orlando”. This pool is the largest of the five on-site and the tropical island vibe lets you while away your worries.

  • 16,000 square-foot zero-entry pool
  • Two white-sand beaches
  • Children’s play area with pop-up jets
  • Water slide
  • Hot tubs
  • Fire pit
  • Pool-side bar (Drhum Club Katine)
  • Cabanas for daily rental that include a ceiling fan, flat-panel television, refrigerator (stocked with water, soda, and fruit), outlets, and a personal server (prices range from $50 to $400 per day, depending on the season)

universal orlando resort pools

3. Portofino Bay Resort

During our last visit, Portofino Bay was our home resort. Maddie certainly got a lot of mileage out of the feature pool. The Beach Pool is the ideal place for the family to spend the day together — enjoy a Roman aqueduct-themed water slide, a sandy beach, and relaxation in the sun. Cabanas are also available for rent, though they are limited. There are also two smaller pools, if you are looking for a more quiet environment.

  • Zero entry — Beach Pool
  • White sand beach — Beach Pool
  • Heated pools — Beach, Villa, and Hillside Pools
  • Lifeguards — Beach Pool
  • A Roman aqueduct-themed water slide — Beach Pool
  • Pool bar and eatery — Beach Pool
  • Pool-side activates for kids, such as ping-pong and hula-hoop contests — Beach Pool
  • Cabanas for daily rental that include a ceiling fan, flat-panel television, refrigerator (stocked with water, soda, and fruit), outlets, and a personal server (prices range from $50 to $400 per day, depending on the season) — Beach and Villa Pools

universal orlando hotel pools

4. Royal Pacific Resort

This pool is large and has a huge water play area for kids, what is doesn’t have is a water slide. That is why it takes the number four spot on the list.

  • Zero entry
  • White sand beach
  • The Royal Bali Sea: an interactive water feature
  • Pool bar and eatery
  • Pool-side activates for kids, such as ping-pong and hula-hoop contests
  • Cabanas for daily rental that include a ceiling fan, flat-panel television, refrigerator (stocked with water, soda, and fruit), outlets, and a personal server (prices range from $50 to $400 per day, depending on the season)

universal orlando hotel pools

5. Hard Rock Hotel

While this pool does have a water slide, it does not have a deep end for actual swimming and my little fish didn’t like that. It’s a party pool to be honest, with live music and a vibrant atmosphere. One cool feature it does have that the others do not is an underwater sound system. So when you do duck your head under to cool off, you can hear some serious jams.

  • Zero entry
  • White sand beach
  • 260-foot pool slide
  • Pool bar and eatery
  • Pool-side activates for kids, such as ping-pong and hula-hoop contests
  • Cabanas for daily rental that include a ceiling fan, flat-panel television, refrigerator (stocked with water, soda, and fruit), outlets, and a personal server (prices range from $50 to $400 per day, depending on the season)

universal orlando resort pools

Blog Squad Tip: All of the pools at Universal Orlando Resort have lifeguards on duty during pool hours, free life jackets for kids of all sizes and are heated during the cooler months.

universal orlando resort pools

There you have it, the pools at Universal Orlando Resort ranked in order by my nine year-old. If you are planning your family vacation, and have kids that love swimming as much as mine, I hope this helps you decide on a resort.


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