View Full Version : Swan or Dolphin?
06-05-2006, 02:34 PM
My husband has a meeting at Disney World in September which gives us the option of staying at the Swan or Dolphin at a discounted rate. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to staying at one or the other? And any suggestion on room preferences, views, etc? Thanks!
06-05-2006, 07:25 PM
They are both gorgeous resorts. They share the main pool complex, as well as resort amenities. You can't go wrong w/ either.
06-06-2006, 05:03 AM
The Swan has queen beds instead of doubles, which makes a big difference for us.
06-07-2006, 10:44 AM
Wow, that makes a BIG difference to us, too. That's the kind of feedback I was hoping get. Little things can mean so much! :thumbsup2
06-07-2006, 12:46 PM
Tried to post this earlier but it didn't work! We've stayed at both - Swan 2004 & just returned from 5 nights at the Dolpin. Some observations: both are great hotels in a superb location with great service ( & concierge at both hotels was very helpful!) & shared amenities. The Swan had a slight edge for us with the 2 queen beds & 2 sinks vs the 1 sink at the Dolphin. The Swan seemed a lot quieter in the hallways/rooms. ? more kids at the Dolphin. I think also the fact that when we stayed at the Swan it was beginning to mid-May (quieter time?) vs end of May & they upgraded us from a standard room to a resort view w/ a balcony! The Swan is also totally non-smoking now.
The Dolphin, on the other hand, had great access to eateries: 24 hr Picabus (w/ Starbucks coffee) was just a short elevator ride, the Dolphin Fountain, Fresh, etc. to the first floor & down the hall from there was the game room, laundry room (which I used toward the end of our stay), & a much bigger fitness center (which my DH liked & used even when we stayed at the Swan; the one at the Swan was tiny!); also has the Mandara Spa (which I used!) & closer access to the shared beach pool.
The Swan did have a coffee cart area in the lobby that served bagels, pastries, fruit, beverages that was convenient.
I would say the Swan was a bit more restful for us & we loved having our coffee out on the balcony, but the Dolphin was great for its conveniences; also we loved the Blue Zoo restaurant in the Dolphin & a friend who recently stayed at the Dolphin for a review course enjoyed Palio's at the Swan. Hope this helps!
06-07-2006, 05:04 PM
We've stayed at both many, many times. We do prefer the Swan because it is easier to navigate and the atmosphere is a little more intimate.
The biggest difference is the size. The Dolphin is much larger. In certain areas you will need to actually transfer elevators if you want to get to the ground floor to the boat launches. You can also take the escalator from lobby level but this is tough to do if you have a stroller. Bus transportation is picked up on the west side of the resort so if your room is in the east wing it can be a long walk.
My 8 yr old dd loves both but likes the Swan a bit better because it's a shorter walk to the room. She's been spoiled at the S/D since she was 2. There may seem to be more kids at the Dolphin because it is so much larger. But, it really varies.
Another room difference is the sinks. The Swan has 2 sinks, one in the bathroom and one right outside the bathroom. the Dolphin has a vanity area across from the bathroom area, but not an extra sink.
As mentioned there are more amenities available at the Dolphin but they are there for you if you stay at the Swan, you just need to walk across the courtyard area.
mouseRD-we tried Blue Zoo FINALLY for the first time on our past trip, it was excellent!! We also are big fans of the Palio and this is a "must do" every trip!
Oh and one last thing, you might find more info about the S/D on the Disney Resort board. Even though they aren't owned by Disney they are on Disney property so they are considered Disney resorts for that reason. ;)
06-07-2006, 05:24 PM
If you are there during a large convention, the Swan might be a quieter choice. My husband was there last September for large conference and you couldn't even move in the lobby of the Dolphin. All of the meetings, etc. took place in the Dolphin so that's where all of the people were. Other than that the queen beds and 2 sinks were a big plus for us. Both hotels are great. You will be fine at either.
06-08-2006, 07:27 AM
Thank you all so much! These reviews will be a tremendous help to us, and it sounds like we're "Swans".
One more question.....are reservations made through Disney, or can a reservation be made online directly for a stay at the Swan (and if so, does anyone have a link)? I'm a big fan of online reservations.
Thanks again, everyone.
06-08-2006, 08:32 AM
I haven't tried to make ressies online, but I bet you could: swandolphin.com.
I usually call 407-934-4000, but there is another reservation # -888-828 8850. Don't forget to sign up on the Starwood site for a free SPG number (Starwood Preferred Guest) & have them note in on your reservation. When you check in, they have a separate line for SPG members & they often give perks like free room upgrades. Have a great stay!
06-08-2006, 08:49 AM
jwfla422 - Glad you like Blue Zoo; my DH liked it better than Flying Fish. Looking forward to trying Palio's; have you ever tried Shula's? We were going to try Yachtsman Steakhouse this past trip (my sister raves about it & the menu looked more varied than Shula's), but ended up at Le Cellier again!
06-11-2006, 10:21 PM
You make the reservations through the hotel or Starwood, not through Disney. You'll get many of the perks like EMH for staying here. BUT they are not Disney owned. Meaning no Mickey Mouse wake up calls, towel animals, or Mickey Soap. However, the amenities for the price cannot be beat.
When we stayed at the Dolphin last time we had a balcony as well w/ a direct view of Epcot. We were able to watch Illuminations and the PI fireworks nightly.
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