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Mephistoles
03-31-2006, 12:46 PM
We will be staying in the Swan for our vacation in August (20 - 26). I am so pleased to hear so many great things about the Swan. I have a few questions and I hope that someone can help:

1) We are staying in a room w/balcony. Does anyone know whether there is a "good view" room (one from which we can see fireworks?) and if so, is it possible to request a certain room during check in?

2) Approximately how far of a walk (10 minutes, 20, etc.) is it to Epcot and/or MGM? I'm sure that it's going to be scorching hot when we go. I intend to rent a stroller for my 4 year old and we will probably leave the hotel early (before it gets too hot).

3) Did any of you have any long waits if you decided to take the boat/bus to the parks?

4) Would we be eligible for the extra park hours offered to Disney on site guests?

and 5)..are there refrigerators in the rooms? I would rather purchase my water ahead of time and freeze them rather than purchase them in the parks.

Thanks for any suggestions.

lorik
03-31-2006, 01:17 PM
I can't answer the balcony question, but I'll try the rest. It's about a 10 min walk to Epcot, but the boat transportation is great and no matter how early in the morning you start out it will still be oppresively hot and humid. I was there the end of August this past summer. Even if it wasn't so hot, there is so much walking at Epcot, why add to it. Take the boat.

Yes, you get EMH.

There are no refrigerators, only mini-bars. We used the mini-bar as a refrigerator, but there is no freezer section. There is a $20 charge for the mini-bar to be cleared out. For ice water we filled Rubbermaid 1 qt containers with ice from the machine and then carried it in insulated bags in our back packs. Worked out well and you can refill them duing the day at CS restaurants.

mickeyluv'r
03-31-2006, 02:31 PM
1. I think all of the balconies face towards the fireworks at Epcot, for the best view, you might consider asking for highest floor. I think the balconies only start at like the fourth floor anyhow...and you will have to BWK hotel in front of you, but the area is designed in such a way, that you can see over it.
2. We've always brought our own stroller. I'm not positive you'll be able to get one at the back entrance to Epcot. I think maybe they do rent them from that entrance, but probably in limited quantities. You'll pay $10 a day for them too. Depending on the length of your stay, having your own will pay for itself in just a few days (Jeep is a good light weight stroller, with a top. but no basket) Plus those WDW strollers seem so bulky to me. It's really nice being able to throw your water in a basket under a stroller for the day (in a soft-sided cooler?). And then you have to find your stroller after every atrraction (CM's often move them)..it's better to have one that's unique looking.
3. The boat service is good. I can't speak for how eager you'll be to walk it in August (don't know what you're used to, for one thing). The wait can be a little crowded at times, and the Boardwalk Bakery is a good place to grab a quick bite in the am. At night, you can pick up ice cream on the BWk, so that can be nice too. Plus, if you just miss a boat, it is faster to walk, so we're often tempted into just walking it instead. When you're hot and tired though, you will most likely find the boat well worth the wait.
The walk to MGM is less scenic. It isn't very long - about 10-15 minutes, depending on your pace (maybe 20, if you're slow). For MGM, we usually take the boat. Also, to get to MGM, you have to walk out of your way. Formt he Swan, the boat to MGM is direct. (The boat to Epcot stops at the other resorts on the way.)
The buses from the Swan are great - they all go to the Dolphin second! So that's a BIG plus of the Swan, IMHO. The only time the wait seemed like it wasn't worth it was sometimes if you hit it wrong at non-peak times, like the the middle of the day (when buses only run like every 20-30 minutes). Even then, we usually have good luck.
4. Yes!
5. In the past, we've been able to fit a few water bottles in the mini-bar without getting charged for removing items. We were able to move a few things around, but it wasn't much space. This is probably the biggest downside of the Swan - coupled with the outrageous prices they charge for a micro-bowl of cereal, and coffee. It is after all, a convention hotel first. We get in the habit of picking up a pint sized bottle of milk each night on our way back to the room - mostly for our coffee(as you leave MK on Main St., at the BWK store, at MGM, or at the Swan or Dolphin). You can also use one of the sinks as a make-shift cooler with a towel and buckets of ice. Otherwise, CM's will give you free cups of ice anywhere they sell cold drinks.
Again, we found the BBakery to be a good quick breakfast stop, as is Starring Rolls at MGM. They also have some breakfast items at the Land in Epcot (Get your Soarin' Fastpass first!) the buffet at the Swan is also a prretty good buffet breakfast - esp if you go on one of the character days.

mell
03-31-2006, 04:23 PM
Just subscribing :Pinkbounc

essmom
03-31-2006, 05:21 PM
How far is Magic Kingdom from the Swan/Dolphin-do you go by bus?? What type of beach/pool activities do they have? I may take kids this summer ages 11 and 13 and trying to find best hotel if it's hot and want a break from the parks. How far to animal Kingdom- do you go by bus?

jwfla422
03-31-2006, 05:41 PM
Balcony rooms are located mostly in the 2 wing sections of the hotel. Some face EPCOT, some face the courtyard and some face west. There are a variety of views from these rooms, the ones in the east wing, east side higher up rooms have a good view of Epcot as well as some of the rooms at the end of the hall that face the courtyard also have a view of Epcot. I believe the balcony rooms start on the 3rd floor and continue to the top floor which is the 7th floor. You can ask for an Epcot view room at check-in, of course, it depends on their availability as to whether they can accomodate you or not.

The walk to EPCOT is about 10-12 minutes, the walk to MGM is a little longer, about 15-20 minutes. The boats leaving the S/D usually run every 5-10 minutes or so. I don't remember ever waiting more than 10 minutes even when we just missed one. They actually run continuously, to MGM straight from the S/D and back to the S/D, the YC/BC, then BW, then Epcot and then back again to BW, YC/BC, S/D, MGM and so on. So, you can hop on the boat to the other resorts in the Epcot area as well.

I highly recommend bringing your own stroller if you plan to walk to the parks especially with little ones. It is a long walk to the parks for little legs...I like to walk it a lot since we tend to overindulge in the "food" part of WDW! :rotfl:

The bus will take you to MK, AK, the water parks and DTD just outside the front of the resort. The buses take anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on the time of day. In the morning the buses tend to just go to the S/D and then onto the parks, off peak they will also stop at YC/BC and BW...it depends if it fills up or not. It's usually about a 15-20 minute bus ride to MK & AK.

EE mornings and evenings are extended to S/D guests as well as pkg delivery. The DDP, ME and charge backs from the parks and WDW resorts are not offered to S/D guests (this was a WDW corporate decision).

I think your questions about the refrigerator were answered already. At one time they did rent refrigerators but don't know if they still do that. Unfortunately there are no freezers available, so your best bet is stocking up on the ice from the ice machines. ;)

essmom
03-31-2006, 05:49 PM
what about pool /beach water activities- do they have the motorized water boats? A friend thought they had them there.

Mark P.
03-31-2006, 07:29 PM
How far is Magic Kingdom from the Swan/Dolphin-do you go by bus?? What type of beach/pool activities do they have? I may take kids this summer ages 11 and 13 and trying to find best hotel if it's hot and want a break from the parks. How far to animal Kingdom- do you go by bus?

Hi,
Yes, Disney busses transport to the MK & AK from the Swan & Dolphin bus stops. (each resort has its own bus stop)
Swan & Dolphin bus service is just the same as any of the official Disney resorts offer. So if you're not walking or boating to Epcot, MGM or the Boardwalk, then the Disney busses will handle the rest:)

It takes around 10 minutes or so from the S/D to the MK . I think it's around the same for AK, too.

I'm not sure about beach/pool activities that are available, but I can say the pool / beach area is very, very nice!

Have you checked out their website? (www.swandolphin.com)

-Mark

Mark P.
03-31-2006, 07:32 PM
what about pool /beach water activities- do they have the motorized water boats? A friend thought they had them there.

You can rent the motorized boats from the Yacht Club Marina, which is a 5 minute walk from the S/D.

-Mark

Blondie
03-31-2006, 07:57 PM
1) We are staying in a room w/balcony. Does anyone know whether there is a "good view" room (one from which we can see fireworks?) and if so, is it possible to request a certain room during check in?:

We were in room 632 in February which did not have a balcony, but the room directly above us did. I'm going to assume it would be room number 732. I plan on asking for this room in May! Here I am looking out of our room:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/StellaBella05/WDW%20February%202006/DSCN0606.jpg

We had beautiful views looking towards Epcot, the Villas at the Boardwalk Inn, and the BWI. We could easily see the fireworks from Illumnations, here's our view looking straight ahead:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/StellaBella05/WDW%20February%202006/DSCN0564.jpg

And if we looked slightly to the right (a zoom in):

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/StellaBella05/WDW%20February%202006/DSCN0566.jpg

Looking towards the left, we could see the fireworks from Wishes at the Magic Kingdom! I didn't realize this until our last night there!

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/StellaBella05/WDW%20February%202006/DSCN0567.jpg

Another view from our room looking left:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/StellaBella05/WDW%20February%202006/DSCN0563.jpg

jwfla422
03-31-2006, 11:16 PM
Yes, Blondie, if you notice on that photo looking toward MK the little bldg sticking up on the horizon is the CR (it's lit up at night). I realized this when we stayed in one of the studio rooms in the main bldg. It had the most amazing views of WDW and we could see the fireworks at MK too. The Swan has some awesome views of WDW!!

Another thing to keep in mind, if your room faces west and you overlook the pool you may also have some views of MGM, friends of mine were at the end of the wing and were able to see Fantasmic from their room. In the past you could also see the "Tree of Life" sticking up on the horizon, but now "Expedition Everest" blocks it so you can see that instead, still kinda cool! The higher rooms that face the parking lot in the main bldg (no balconies there though), look right into MGM!

So keep in mind, I'm pretty sure the even numbered rooms in the east wing face Epcot. Odd would face the courtyard area.

essmom-here is a link to some of the beach/pool activities at BOTH the S/D:
Swan/Dolphin Poolside Activities (http://www.swandolphin.com/summer_recreation.html) I believe they still have the "Swan" boats that you can take out on the lake. I think they are the pedal kind though??

Mephistoles
04-01-2006, 08:58 AM
Wow...thanks for all the responses and the photos...I am truly psyched now! The only problem that I have is that, and it may just be me, the water had a rather peculiar taste to it. The first time I went to Disney (1990), I remember having a Coke (w/ice) and thought that something was wrong with it because it had a weird taste. So I sent back for another and had the same problem. The third time, I just ordered water and then I realized what the problem was.
Anyway, I guess that I'll just purchase the water in the parks.