Can I Pool Hop to My Friends Resort?
"If my family is staying at Saratoga and we have friends at Beach Club, can we visit them and use their pools? It says you can't use the pools at Beach Club as a visitor, but we'll have MagicBands on from our Disney resort, so how would they know we aren't staying there?"
The Shadow Knows
The Pirate ship slide at Stormalong Bay is really cool, but probably not an option - Photo by Cliff Wang
The official answer is no, you can not. And yes, your MagicBand knows what resort you are staying at. It's all right there on your MagicBand. Disney knows where you are. (Scary.)
Officially Disney does not allow pool hopping.
Now does Disney strictly enforce the no pool hopping policy. Not really. But if it gets busy, they will check MagicBands and you might be asked to leave.
The MagicBand readers at the gates are there to keep people from pool hopping but if you enter with friends and look like you belong, typically nothing will happen. I'm not suggesting that you do that and not saying that someone won't say something to you if you do.
Rules Were Made to be Broken?
While this seems like a petty rule, it is a rule and the old adage "rules are made to be broken" is just not very Disneylike. There are reasons for rules.
We've all heard the "keep your hands and arms inside the ride vehicle at all times." It seemed like a silly announcement until a couple of years ago someone lost 4 fingers by dragging them in the water of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Rules are not meant to be broken. They are usually for safety and comfort. Yes, we would all like to swim in Stormalong Bay (the real cool pool at the Beach Club and Yacht Club). It's probably the best hotel pool at Disney, but it's reserved for those guests that pay a bunch of money to stay in those resorts.
If we all showed up Stormalong Bay would get really busy and regular guests wouldn't be able to enjoy. In fact, that's why the rule got started in the first place.
I will say, if you are a Disney Vacation Club Member (since you're staying at Saratoga Springs) and you are staying on points, you do have access to pool hopping at some pools. There are some blackout dates (holidays) and excluded pools (Stormalong Bay being one of them), but DVC members are eligible to pool hop to most pools.
But that doesn't help with Stormalong Bay, which is excluded, but the other pools at the Beach Club and Yacht Club are not. So, if you are staying on DVC points, you can go to any of the other pools with your friends.
Dad's Bottom Line
I know we all got used to pool hopping over the years. The newish policy is still a little hard to take, but it's the rules. They are there for a reason. It's probably best if we follow them.
Just my 2 cents.