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View Full Version : Can You Book Magical Express for the Swan and Dolphin?


mjaclyn
09-06-2010, 09:18 AM
DH and I are traveling to WDW for a weekend without the kids in a few weeks. Since we're trying to pack as light as possible we'd really like to use Disney's Magical Express Service. I can't find anywhere if this is offered to guests of the Swan and Dolphin, so can anyone tell me if it is? Also, does anyone know if the Swan and Dolphin has the airline check in service that the other hotels do as well?

tony67
09-06-2010, 09:24 AM
No, you can't use the ME.
I think the only option is Mears or a towncar.

Depending on how many of you there are it may be worth it to stay one night on each end of your vacation at a value resort so you can get the ME.

I have not tried that yet, but I am thinking about it since it will get me some extra time in Disney.

mjaclyn
09-06-2010, 09:27 AM
That's irritating... What about the airline check in that's offered at the other hotels?

How does it make sense that Disney doesn't offer Magical Express to Swan and Dolphin? They literally have to drive right past there if they're dropping off guests to the other Epcot resorts.

tinkbyday
09-06-2010, 09:28 AM
No, unfortunately, you can't - but you can get a towncar for about $55 each way or take a taxi which I believe is cheaper.

tinkbyday
09-06-2010, 09:29 AM
That's irritating... What about the airline check in that's offered at the other hotels?

How does it make sense that Disney doesn't offer Magical Express to Swan and Dolphin? They literally have to drive right past there if they're dropping off guests to the other Epcot resorts.

Because Swan/Dolphin are not Disney hotels, so they don't have that perk. They do get to share in the EMH and internal bus though.

figmentgirl
09-06-2010, 09:33 AM
That's irritating... What about the airline check in that's offered at the other hotels?

How does it make sense that Disney doesn't offer Magical Express to Swan and Dolphin? They literally have to drive right past there if they're dropping off guests to the other Epcot resorts.

Since the Swan and the Dolphin are NOT Disney resorts, I'm just counting my lucky stars that they DO honor extra magic hours and provide disney boats and busses and even let you send stuff you buy in the parks back to your hotel. They don't have to do any of it. I will miss having my Key to the Kingdom.

I am in the same situation you are. DH and I are taking a romantic getaway and could not afford a deluxe this time but the Dolphin worked out. I have done a lot of research in this area and it looks like if you want to save money you shuld use mears, but if you want to get to your hotel quickly use a towncar/cab. Another thing we are doing to save time is each bringing a carryon bag rather than checking luggage. That way we don't have to deal with the baggage claim.

goofy4tink
09-06-2010, 09:42 AM
You have a few options...but none of them include DME. DME is soley for those staying at a Disney owned resort...which the S/D are not. It is a huge deal that they are offered bus service to the parks (which they pay for) as well as EMHs. Technically, Disney doesn't have to offer either one of those 'perks' to the guests of the S/D.

Your options are...
1. car service which will be about $100 r/t plus gratuity. Could be a bit more..depending on the company you use.
2. cabs..which will run about the same as a car service.
3. Mears shuttle which is about $32 r/t pp. If you have more than 2 or 3 in your party, it makes more sense to use the car service. With just the two of you, I would go with the Mears shuttle.
I don't think RAC is offered at the S/D...at least I have yet to see a counter for it there. While it isn't technically part of DME, it does tend to be lumped in with it.
Lack of DME and RAC is one of the reasons I tend to not stay at the S/D more often.

mjaclyn
09-06-2010, 09:44 AM
I know Swan & Dolphin aren't Disney hotels, but I thought since they still provide transportation to the parks with the buses and boats as well as offer extra magic hours, DME would be included too. I guess it's just confusing to me that they would offer some of the resort amenities but not others.

We've never stayed at S/D so I wanted to try it this trip without the kids. I can see now why they have such good discounts compared to the other Epcot Resorts. We were able to get the room for $169/night whereas the Disney Epcot Resorts are well over $100 more per room per night.

Since DH travels a lot for business he's able to get a rental car for 'free' (still have to pay taxes but it only comes out to about $20). And we'll just have to get to the airport a little earlier to check our own luggage. I am definitely going to miss the airline check-in....

One question, does anyone know if the airline check-in desk at the Disney resorts check to see if you are a guest of that hotel? For instance, if on our day of check out we wanted to have breakfast at Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club, could we check our bag into their luggage counter if we have all of our flight info? I'm not trying to beat the system, I was just wondering if it's possible since we plan on having breakfast there on our last day.

KerryCM
09-06-2010, 10:06 AM
My husband and I were at the YC 2 weeks ago. When we went to check in using RAC they asked for our room#.

goofy4tink
09-06-2010, 10:08 AM
I know Swan & Dolphin aren't Disney hotels, but I thought since they still provide transportation to the parks with the buses and boats as well as offer extra magic hours, DME would be included too. I guess it's just confusing to me that they would offer some of the resort amenities but not others.

We've never stayed at S/D so I wanted to try it this trip without the kids. I can see now why they have such good discounts compared to the other Epcot Resorts. We were able to get the room for $169/night whereas the Disney Epcot Resorts are well over $100 more per room per night.

Since DH travels a lot for business he's able to get a rental car for 'free' (still have to pay taxes but it only comes out to about $20). And we'll just have to get to the airport a little earlier to check our own luggage. I am definitely going to miss the airline check-in....

One question, does anyone know if the airline check-in desk at the Disney resorts check to see if you are a guest of that hotel? For instance, if on our day of check out we wanted to have breakfast at Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club, could we check our bag into their luggage counter if we have all of our flight info? I'm not trying to beat the system, I was just wondering if it's possible since we plan on having breakfast there on our last day.
You are supposed to be a guest of that resort when using RAC. You show your room key. I suppose you could try using RAC at the YC/BC but if you aren't allowed, you then have to drag your bags back to the Dolphin with you. Not trying to be argumentative, but is kind of trying to beat the system. Having RAC/DME available is a perk of staying at a Disney owned resort.

Are you aware that you have to pay for parking at the S/D? I think it's about $12-14 a day now.

It does get confusing when a resort offers some perks while not others. The S/D don't allow you to use the DDP or DME. But, you can get package delivery service (to the resort gift shop) and buses to the parks. I sometimes wish that the S/D had their own buses...rather than sharing with BW all the time. But it is what it is.

Brian Noble
09-06-2010, 10:26 AM
We've never stayed at S/D so I wanted to try it this trip without the kids. I can see now why they have such good discounts compared to the other Epcot Resorts. We were able to get the room for $169/night whereas the Disney Epcot Resorts are well over $100 more per room per night.
Even after resort parking and/or getting a towncar, you're saving money. Enjoy the Swolphin! They are lovely, and a little more "grown up" than their Disney counterparts.

rie'smom
09-06-2010, 10:31 AM
The S/D I'm sure would love to offer ME but that's a Disney decision. IMO, these are such fantastic resorts that ME is not a big deal. We rent a car as I see you're doing or use a car service.

tony67
09-06-2010, 10:36 AM
I know Swan & Dolphin aren't Disney hotels, but I thought since they still provide transportation to the parks with the buses and boats as well as offer extra magic hours, DME would be included too. I guess it's just confusing to me that they would offer some of the resort amenities but not others.

We've never stayed at S/D so I wanted to try it this trip without the kids. I can see now why they have such good discounts compared to the other Epcot Resorts. We were able to get the room for $169/night whereas the Disney Epcot Resorts are well over $100 more per room per night.

Since DH travels a lot for business he's able to get a rental car for 'free' (still have to pay taxes but it only comes out to about $20). And we'll just have to get to the airport a little earlier to check our own luggage. I am definitely going to miss the airline check-in....

One question, does anyone know if the airline check-in desk at the Disney resorts check to see if you are a guest of that hotel? For instance, if on our day of check out we wanted to have breakfast at Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club, could we check our bag into their luggage counter if we have all of our flight info? I'm not trying to beat the system, I was just wondering if it's possible since we plan on having breakfast there on our last day.
Personally I am glad they are not part of Disney, but no question I miss the ME when I stay at the Dolphin.

They are very reasonably priced for an Epcot area resort, and I think the service is much better.
The food in their restaurants is also much better quality IMO.

They are not Disney hotels, but they are on property and like ALL hotels on property they do have some of the perks.

BTW: You said your husband travels a lot for business, does he have a Starwood Preferred guest Card? If not he may want to consider it. One big plus of the Dolphin is that they are part of the SPG and the recognize that you stay at their chain (Four Points, Sheraton, Westin, W etc..).

I typically get upgraded to a suite for free and get at least 5 free nights a year at the Dolphin with my SPG points.

TaraPA
09-06-2010, 11:31 AM
We've done taxis & towncars to/from S/D. They are almost exactly the same in price. Last time we used a car service it was $120RT plus tax, just this year we took a cab, it was $60 or $65 plus tip one way. We prefer a taxi since we only bring carry-on luggage, we can get off the plane & literally walk into a waiting cab & be on our way. A car service would offer you the same speed, but once ours didn't show up for our return to the airport & that was enough to scare me away for awhile!

Sometimes we spend our last day in a park, and using a taxi saves us time. We stow our carry-ons in a locker at the park & then grab a taxi from there right to MCO. It eliminates having to use time to return to the resort to get a ride to MCO.

juliemcalister
09-06-2010, 02:01 PM
I've never stayed at The Swan or The Dolphin. Are they comparable to deluxe resorts at WDW? I was thinking about the potential savings but when one factors in $130 r/t transportation from MCO or average rental car cost plus $12-$14 per day for hotel parking, the savings starts to shrink. For anyone who put pencil to paper, what did you end up saving? We're going as a group in June and this is an option I hadn't really considered but maybe should.

Thanks for sharing any info. you might have.

rie'smom
09-06-2010, 03:41 PM
I've never stayed at The Swan or The Dolphin. Are they comparable to deluxe resorts at WDW? I was thinking about the potential savings but when one factors in $130 r/t transportation from MCO or average rental car cost plus $12-$14 per day for hotel parking, the savings starts to shrink. For anyone who put pencil to paper, what did you end up saving? We're going as a group in June and this is an option I hadn't really considered but maybe should.

Thanks for sharing any info. you might have.

IMO, the S/D are nicer than WDW deluxe resorts. There are better restaurant choices, nicer staff, better housekeeping...

You can take a Mears shuttle for $50 roundtrip. It's faster than ME. The parking costs don't bother me. Most hotels charge for parking. When we travel, we either book 2 rooms or a suite. The Dolphin suites are cheaper than those at WDW. The standard rooms are too. You won't ever get a Disney deluxe resort room (not including the WL and AKL which are more deluxe light) for $169/night.

Like everything else, it's a personal reaction one gets when a resort just feels right.

CarolMN
09-06-2010, 06:11 PM
S/D is able to offer EMH and bus/boat transportation to the parks because they pay Disney to provide those perks for their guests.

DME is not free - Disney is paying for it. They believe that overall, guests will spend more money if they are not easily able to venture off site.

I do not think there is much of an advantage for the S/D to offer DME. Certainly not enough to pay for it.

mjaclyn
09-06-2010, 09:28 PM
The more I think about it, it probably doesn't make sense for Disney to offer DME and the DDP for guests of S/D because they still want to separate themselves from those hotels, so that people will see a difference and want to spend the extra $100+ per night to stay at a Disney owned resort. (That doesn't mean that I still don't WISH they had it but I guess I can understand why they don't). Of course, after looking at it that way, DME and DDP aren't worth the extra money IMO. DH and I wanted to try something new this time and went with S/D because there was a great rate available and it's very close proximity to Epcot. We've stayed at all of the other Epcot resorts so I'll be able to compare them.

I'm glad we'll be able to try the S/D so that in the future we can decide whether it's more important for us to have a cheaper room but less amenities, or pay more and have the extras. I think I was upset about it this time around because I booked the room thinking that since S/D uses Disney transportation and offers EMH, the other things would be available as well.

Straitlover
09-07-2010, 05:20 PM
The Dolphin has a rental car desk (not sure which company) unless it has recently closed. You could do one-day rentals for your arriivla and departure days.

snowy76
09-07-2010, 06:51 PM
The Dolphin has a rental car desk (not sure which company) unless it has recently closed. You could do one-day rentals for your arriivla and departure days.
It's Alamo/National and we've used it when we stayed at BWV. Super convenient.

DebbieB
09-07-2010, 06:57 PM
When you are looking at rates, be aware that the S/D charges an additional $10 per night "resort fee" which includes internet, 2 bottles of water per day. They also charge for both self and valet parking.

Blondiex46
09-25-2010, 10:55 PM
so how do you get Mears?

rie'smom
09-26-2010, 12:11 AM
so how do you get Mears?

http://mearstransportation.com/

In the airport:
Mears - operates from counters on Levels 1 and 2 (A and B side)
Load in Commercial Lane Spaces
A side Mears A9, A10, A36, & A37
B side Mears B9, B10, B40 & B41

Redbudlover
09-26-2010, 12:58 AM
I have stayed at the Swan and found it more luxurious than the disney deluxe resorts. The resort fee you are charged is less than paying for internet and water at WDW resorts. And personally I do not find DME either magical or express. The first couple of times I used it it was fast and fun. since then I have waited in very long lines to get on to the bus and then waited a long time on the bus to leave and then went to a bunch of different resorts before arriving at mine. Not magical not express but free. Plus I then don't have my luggage for 3 or more hours. Not magical nor express. I now use a towncar - fast, not expensive, they help with my luggage and I have it when I get to the hotel. plus I get a grocery stop for water or other incidentals...So for me -and I own at BCV - the Swan is wonderful - when I am out of points or can't get a ressie when I want one I head there!

Kdog
09-26-2010, 09:39 AM
When you are looking at rates, be aware that the S/D charges an additional $10 per night "resort fee" which includes internet, 2 bottles of water per day. They also charge for both self and valet parking.

The S/D resort fee used to bother me until I realized that I almost always purchased daily internet for 9.99 a day at the Disney-owned resorts. Since I like having access to my bank account when I'm on vacation, I would purchase internet each day of my stay. The resort fee at S/D includes internet, the two bottles of water, and gym access (if I remember correctly) for the same price that internet alone costs at a Disney-owned resort. Now, the difference is S/D doesn't give you a choice; the fee is mandatory, but in my case, it works out better for me.

ETA: I shouldn't have included the gym use at S/D as an extra perk when comparing S/D resort fee to disney-owned resorts. Disney-owned resorts that have gyms don't charge their guests to use the gym.

Poohbear123
09-26-2010, 05:10 PM
I booked a "Shared Ride" thru Mears does that mean it will take most of the day to get to the Swan from the Airport?:eek:

duffy
09-26-2010, 05:28 PM
Oops.

rie'smom
09-26-2010, 06:14 PM
I booked a "Shared Ride" thru Mears does that mean it will take most of the day to get to the Swan from the Airport?:eek:

No, my niece was at the Dolphin 40 minutes after she landed.

Deb & Bill
09-26-2010, 06:22 PM
...We stow our carry-ons in a locker at the park & then grab a taxi from there right to MCO. It eliminates having to use time to return to the resort to get a ride to MCO.

Don't the park security have to go through your carryon before they allow you to enter the park? I'd hate to be the guest in line behind you if they go through it like they do at TSA when your luggage is hand searched.

rie'smom
09-26-2010, 06:28 PM
Don't the park security have to go through your carryon before they allow you to enter the park? I'd hate to be the guest in line behind you if they go through it like they do at TSA when your luggage is hand searched.

It's isn't a big deal. If it bothers someone, they can move to another line.

TaraPA
09-26-2010, 06:35 PM
Don't the park security have to go through your carryon before they allow you to enter the park? I'd hate to be the guest in line behind you if they go through it like they do at TSA when your luggage is hand searched.

It was no big deal - my carry on is just a duffel bag, which is the same size as many other people carry into the parks for the day. I only have 1 zippered compartment inside to open for them, which is less than most purses or other bags that people have. I've seen it take longer to go through large backpacks & duffels that others have as their "day" bags!

Poohbear123
09-27-2010, 08:41 PM
No, my niece was at the Dolphin 40 minutes after she landed.

Great, was she booked on a "Shared" ride?

rie'smom
09-27-2010, 09:55 PM
Great, was she booked on a "Shared" ride?

Yes, she was. I don't remmeber how many people were with her but it wasn't many.

Poohbear123
09-28-2010, 09:16 PM
Yes, she was. I don't remmeber how many people were with her but it wasn't many.

Thanks a bunch, I am staying at Swan, so the 33 bucks is a Bargain!:thumbsup2

rie'smom
09-28-2010, 09:37 PM
Thanks a bunch, I am staying at Swan, so the 33 bucks is a Bargain!:thumbsup2

You're welcome, have a great trip!