By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Pool Closings at Jambo House and Coronado Springs; Four Seasons Gets 60 Day FastPass+



By Dave Shute

The following items aren’t exactly news, as they’ve been known for a month or so now, but I have not yet posted about them, so maybe they are news to you!

  • The main pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the Lost City of Cibola pool, and its surrounding amenities at the Dig Site, will close for refurb from ~September 4, 2018 to mid-December 2018. The three smaller pools here will remain open.
  • The main Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will close for refurb from ~September 4, 2018 to early December 2018. The Samawati Springs pool at sister resort Kidani Village will remain open to all Animal Kingdom Lodge guests
  • In a more positive development, guests at Four Seasons Resort Orlando have access to FastPass+ at 60 days for the balance of 2018.

THE CLOSURE OF THE DIG SITE AND LOST CITY OF CIBOLA POOL AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Most of the Disney World resorts have more than one pool, typically one main pool with the most amenities, which Disney calls the “feature pool,” and one or more smaller pools that create more capacity and limit walks that Disney calls “leisure pools” and which many others refer to as “quiet pools.”

The Lost City of Cibola pool, to close for refurb in September

At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the main feature pool is the Lost City of Cibola pool, and it and the set of amenities—ranging from a bar to a volleyball court—surrounding it are collectively called the Dig Site.

All of the Dig Site, including the Lost City of Cibola pool, will be closing for refurb in September 2018, and re-opening in December. The most reliable source suggests the dates of the closure will be 9/4/18 through 12/12/2018. (Take the re-open date with a grain of salt, as construction can be unpredictable.)

Coronado Springs includes three smaller, simpler leisure pools, one in each of its room areas, marked with green circles in the image (the Cibola pool is marked with a red “X”).

There is not remotely enough capacity in these three smaller pools for all the guests at Coronado Springs who might wish to use them, so if access to a pool is a key part of your vacation and you are traveling during the affected dates, I’d suggest not staying at Coronado Springs.

THE CLOSURE OF THE UZIMA SPRINGS POOL AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE

The main feature pool at Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Uzima Springs pool, will also close for refurb later in 2018.

The Uzima Springs pool, to close in September

There’s not as definitive a source (yet) for the dates, but the assertions I’ve seen mark the close as from 9/4/18 through 12/4/2018. (Take the re-open date with a grain of salt, as construction can be unpredictable; you’ll find some claiming an earlier September 1 close date, but I find it unlikely that Disney would leave a pool open the Friday before a holiday weekend, and then close it the Saturday of that weekend.)

The Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village

There are no leisure pools at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but sister resort Kidani Village has an equally nice option in its Samawati Springs pool, and (as always) Jambo House guests are welcome there.

It’s a bit of a hike—the two pools are about half a mile apart*—so the already-existing shuttle service between Kidani and Jambo House will be a good option. However, Samawati Springs may well be full when you get there, as both pools already commonly run near their lounging capacity.

On the other hand, a room refurb project is also reported to be kicking off at Jambo House in August 2018. Depending on how many rooms at a time are out of inventory for refurb, crowds at Samawati Springs may be less pressing. But my best guess (assuming a floor at a time is refurbed) is that Jambo capacity will be down at any moment no more than 25%.

So, like at Coronado Springs, if access to a pool is a key part of your vacation and you are traveling during the affected dates, I’d suggest not staying at either Jambo House or Kidani Village.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT ORLANDO NOW OFFERS FASTPASS+ BOOKING AT 60 DAYS

Between December and January all the on-property but not-Disney-owned resorts gained access to FastPass+ at 60 days except for Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

In mid-April 2018, Four Seasons joined this group, and guest staying there can now book their FastPass+ at 60 days. This removes the principal reason why before then I would have suggested that first-timers avoid Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

As is the case with the other resorts that gained 60 day FastPass+ access in late 2017 or earlier 2018, this perk is explicitly labeled as available through December 31, 2018, and “subject to change without notice.” And note that with just 443 rooms and suites, there aren’t enough folks at Four Seasons to make a material incremental difference for the ability of other folk to get FastPass+.

 

*To put this into context, the much-complained-about walk from the furthest Pirate rooms in Trinidad South at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to its feature pool is just a hundred yards shorter.

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13 comments

1 Ellen Quarrato { 06.06.18 at 10:27 pm }

Hi, your article so far has been the most informative regarding the pool rehab at AKL. We are in. a Deluxe Standard View DVC Studio room during this time in September ( Sept 8 to 19 ). I’m not so worried about the pool being unusable but the noise. I’m not sure what to expect – we’re not early risers and had wanted to sit on the balcony and relax. If there’s a lot of construction going on it will be a waste to stay there. What should I expect regarding the noise during the early stages of the rehab? Any idea?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Ellen

2 Dave { 06.07.18 at 10:16 am }

Hi Ellen, and thanks!! I don’t know any specifics other than that noise won’t usually start until 9a. The pool area will be more unsightly, but there’s so much greenery that it may not matter a lot.

3 Jenny { 06.20.18 at 4:27 pm }

We have never stayed at AKL and I was SO looking forward to this trip. We always have pool days and the pool will be closing mid trip for us. We like to come back from the parks and jump in for a couple hours mid day. I am so disappointed as I found out today the pool is closing. Do you have any idea if the baby pool and hot tubs remain open??? I am torn on what to do….

4 Dave { 06.21.18 at 7:37 am }

Jenny, if this will be your only chance to stay at AKL, I would keep it. If you can return to it another time I would switch.

5 Jenny { 06.21.18 at 4:50 pm }

Okay I appreciate your feedback. Thank you, Dave….

6 Sandy { 06.24.18 at 3:14 pm }

Hi -thank you for all the info. Isn’t it odd that the pool refurbishments for both AKL and Coronado would happen September through December? We’ve been to WDW in October and it was still very hot and kids wanted to swim. November or December through March seems less disruptive to guests.

7 Dave { 06.25.18 at 6:57 am }

Sandy, there’s no good three month period. The last third of December and part of February see some of the highest crowds of the year…

8 Jenny { 07.26.18 at 12:54 pm }

I have an upcoming stay at AKL September 2-8th. This is what is weird I have not got a letter or any notification from Disney about the pool or the room refurbs…??? Don’t you think I should have got a notification? I only know from your website!!! I read others that got letters?

9 Dave { 07.27.18 at 12:34 pm }

Jenny, you may be before the closure–I’m not certain the “official” dates are announced. On Disney’s website, all we get is “fall”:

10 Barbara { 07.30.18 at 9:27 pm }

Is either pool heated in December 2018 when it is open?

11 Dave { 07.31.18 at 6:55 am }

Hi Barbara, all the Disney hotel pools are heated.

12 Samantha { 09.12.18 at 7:37 am }

Will the close date on the Uzima Springs pool be updated closer to that time? We will be in Disney Dec 5-7 and have always wanted to try AKL and are staying there despite the pool being closed. I have heard in the past that Disney guests can use pools at other Disney Resort hotels, is that true? For example, could we drive the the wilderness lodge one afternoon to swim?

13 Dave { 09.13.18 at 5:23 pm }

Samantha, it may open early, but typically they don’t announce such. You can use the Kidani pool, but not other pools. The only pool sharing is between a small set of sister resorts–the All-Stars, the Port Orleans resorts, and the Yacht and Beach Club.

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