Orlando is the top vacation spot for visitors from out of state and overseas, but a lot of those visitors flowing in become permanent residents. So sure, the hotels and theme parks have stepped up their game by creating incredible pool areas with cabanas, lazy rivers, swim-up bars and more to attract the tourist dollar – but there's no reason locals can't enjoy the fruits of their labor too! To visit many of these pools, you must be a hotel guest, but a few don't require it. Either way, please don't sneak into these amazing, amazing pools.
Grand Bohemian Hotel
325 S. Orange Ave.
The heated outdoor pool and whirlpool might be a little on the small side at the Grand Bohemian, but nothing beats the views – from its prime rooftop locale, you can soak up not only plenty of sunlight, but also the ever-growing downtown Orlando skyline. You must be a guest or a visitor of a guest to use the pool.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Lake Buena Vista
At the Four Seasons, you can take a break from your hectic life and take a ride along a lazy river that snakes around two water slides. If you'd rather take a basic swim, the adult-only pool features underwater audio and a jacuzzi to change up the mood, or the family pool overlooks the lake and has a gently sloping entry. The pool is available for guests at the resort or visitors who reserve an 80-minute treatment at the spa. Anyone staying at the resort can use the pool area, but no additional guests are allowed.
Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando
6550 Adventure Way
Cabana Bay has two tricked-out pools guests can dive into. At the Cabana Courtyard, make a splash from the dive tower water slide or grab a frozen margarita from the Atomic Tonic poolside bar. The Lazy River Courtyard features a pool with a sandy beach, plus, you guessed it, a lazy river with waterfalls and water cannons. Registered guests are the only ones allowed to use the pool, but if you have a friend visiting or staying overnight, they can join you for the day.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista
Get in touch with your wild side at the lodge's Uzima Pool, an 11,000-square-foot watering hole straight out of a tropical paradise. But what really makes this pool stand out is the scenery – African wildlife can often be seen from the pool deck grazing in the neighboring savanna. Resort guests are the only ones allowed to use the pools.
Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
5800 Universal Blvd.
Rock out at this 12,000-square-foot pool complete with a sand beach, interactive fountain and a 260-foot slide. Plus, you'll never miss a beat of any of the live music or DJ-crafted hits found poolside, even when completely submerged, because of the hotel's underwater sound system. Only registered guests are allowed to use the facilities – the pool area requires a hotel key to gain access.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Travel down a pirate ship water slide or take part in daily poolside arts and crafts at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Pool. The pool area features private cabanas for rent that include lounge chairs, personalized food and beverage service, and HD flat-screen TVs. Although you have to be a guest at the hotel to use the pool, you are allowed to bring friends and family to join you.
This story is from the Aug. 8, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly's Newcomers Guide 2019. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.