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GrandCanyon 11-28-2012 10:39 PM

Polynesian vs. Swan/Dolphin Questions ???
We are spending two nights (Dec 31 & Jan 1) at the Polynesian. The cost for a standard "no view" room for those two nights is over $1400. We can stay in a Theme Park View w/Balcony at the Swan for a total of $700. We have a car, don't care about Disney hotel theming, etc ... but have these questions:

1. Are Swan Theme Park View rooms a good way to view NYE fireworks?
2. Is Dolphin better than Swan?
3. Are there specific things we should look for, or ask?

i.e. We know that watching NYE fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian would be most spectacular ... but I'm not sure for our family, that the fireworks show is worth more than $700.

Thoughts please from those who know and have been there, done that?

Jenna319 11-28-2012 10:53 PM

Polynesian is my favorite WDW resort but $1400 is a ridiculous amount to spend for a hotel room let alone a no-view room! We are staying at the dolphin for NYE. Ive never stayed at the Swan / Dolphin before but from what I understand some rooms may have a view of the epcot fireworks... I would switch to swan /dolphin if it were me and if you're dead set on seeing the MK fireworks head over to the poly beach for the fireworks.

GrandCanyon 11-28-2012 11:02 PM

Do you know if Dolphin is supposed to be better than Swan? The only thing we know is that the two beds in the Dolphin are double beds, and the two beds in the Swan are queen beds.

Li Li 11-28-2012 11:08 PM

For what it's worth:

I stayed at resort view Dolphin and really enjoyed it. Although I could see the Epcot fireworks, you have to realize that parts of Illuminations are low to ground so you don't always have a great view of the whole thing. But interestingly, at the windows in the lobby by the elevator banks, I could stand there and watch the MK fireworks. Then back to my room with no wait! Husband and I agreed we would definitely stay there again and hope for similar room(12th floor, resort view).

Jenna319 11-28-2012 11:21 PM

The only thing ive heard is that swan is a little more on the quieter side than the dolphin but on nye I'm sure the whole area will be hopping!

levenhopper 11-29-2012 01:21 AM

From what I understand, you can go to the Poly beach and watch the fireworks, even if you aren't staying there. It might be a little cold due to it being December/January, but if you dress for the weather you can have the best of both worlds!

Marthasor 11-29-2012 03:42 AM

We are staying at the Dolphin for the first time in a few weeks and I posted similar questions on the boards. The consensus seems to be, if the bed size isn't an issue, that you should go with the resort (Swan or Dolphin) that is least expensive although the Swan/Dolphin vets on the official resort thread seem to prefer the Swan.

TaraPA 11-29-2012 07:58 AM

I've stayed at all 3 - Poly, Swan & Dolphin. S&D many many times.

If you're expecting to see MK fireworks from S/D, don't base your stay on that. While you may get a room facing MK - it is miles & miles away, you will just barely be able to make them out. And rooms facing MK are far & few between, and are usually in the "standard" booking category, overlooking the dumpsters. When they say Theme Park View, it's Epcot you're facing. Yes you will see the higher Illuminations fireworks, but most of Illuminations is lower to the ground & can only be seen inside Epcot.

I would stay there for the cost difference alone, and watch MK fireworks from someplace else. I'm not sure if they will let you in Poly, I've heard on NYE you can't go to the beach there to watch them unless you're a guest at Poly.

Swan is smaller & more intimate, Dolphin is larger & more hustle & bustle. Dolphin has the only quick service (Picabu) - Swan has none, and laundry is also only at Dolphin. Dolphin is also closer to the Grotto Pool.

MulanMom 11-29-2012 11:48 PM

We stayed in a theme park view room at the Dolphin when our kids were younger. It was great to stay in the room and see all the fireworks at midnight. The view was such that not only did you see the higher Illuminations fireworks, but we also saw fireworks off in the distance.

That being said, we have watched the MK fireworks from the Poly beach. That was perhaps the best viewing of fireworks from outside the park. However, I don't know if it's worth paying $700 more.

I've never stayed at the Poly for NYE. What I liked about being at the Dolphin was being able to walk around the boardwalk earlier in the evening.

Good luck with your decision.

HM 11-30-2012 08:35 AM

We stayed in the Swan on the 8th floor facing DHS. We could see the fireworks from Fantasmic from our window. Out at the end of the hallway there was a window facing toward Epcot, we could watch Illuminations from it. Of course, there is no music, but it sure was pretty.

Plus, I'll add in that the beds at the Swan are SO comfy.

I'd definitely change to Swan from Poly and save a ton of money.

heidijanesmith 11-30-2012 12:53 PM

The Poly is our favorite resort at WDW hands down. I have never stayed at the Swan/Dolphin I have eaten there and explored the grounds and pool area. The Poly to me is very Disney and immersed my family in the Disney magic. The resort is beautifully themed. The Poly's rooms are huge with large patios and a day bed in every room.

The Swan/Dolphin hotels to me are just nice hotels that you could find anywhere. I did not feel any of Disney magic there like I do at the Poly (AKL or YC too).

There is so much more to the Poly than just the ability to watch the fireworks from the beach. To us it's worth the extra money, but each family is different. The Poly has the best transportation options; easy walk to the TTC, great bus service, monorail and boat service. The restaurant options at the MK resorts, make finding great places to eat very easy.

Buckalew11 11-30-2012 05:27 PM

Love staying at either The Swan or The Dolphin! Love the Epcot resort area.

haPevraftr 11-30-2012 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by HM (Post 46821064)
We stayed in the Swan on the 8th floor facing DHS. We could see the fireworks from Fantasmic from our window. Out at the end of the hallway there was a window facing toward Epcot, we could watch Illuminations from it. Of course, there is no music, but it sure was pretty.

Plus, I'll add in that the beds at the Swan are SO comfy.

I'd definitely change to Swan from Poly and save a ton of money.

Facing DHS may be the best idea b/c they have a NYE fireworks show (not Fantasmic).

Marthasor 11-30-2012 06:18 PM

Here's a thought. How about book Swan/Dolphin and then do one of WDW's special New Year's Eve offerings or even see if you could book a specialty fireworks cruise that evening from an EP or MK resort? (Here is a link for specialty cruises if you are interested:

I'm not sure how many people are in your family, but it's possible Swan/Dolphin plus one of the special events or cruises will come in less or about the same as Poly and it might be more special than standing on a crowded beach at Poly?

Here is some info on some NYE offerings at WDW (from all

Walt Disney World New Year's Eve festivities for this December 31:

At Epcot, DJs will be stationed at select pavilions throughout the evening. "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" will salute the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m. A buffet dining experience inspired by Disney's classic animated films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will take place at World ShowPlace, with reservations available from 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Priced at $68.67 for adults and $44.37 for children. Park admission is required.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Year's Eve Spectacular will take place on a specially built stage in front of the Sorcerer Hat icon. The four concert sets will feature pyrotechnics and special effects and lead up to ringing in the New Year with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears playing live accompaniment to a full-scale fireworks spectacular.

At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney, there will be a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. including a DJ Dance Party, character meet and greets, plus unlimited access to games and DisneyQuest attractions. There will be a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also will get a coupon for a quick service entree, side and drink. Tickets go on sale soon at 407-934-7639.

At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, all guests attending the December 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407-WDW-SEAT .

Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment.

At Narcoossee's restaurant (Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $161.85 for adults and $77.19 for children, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing.

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year's Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with a video DJ and limited viewing of Epcot's fireworks.

For specific information about other holiday dining offerings at Disney resort hotels on December 31, call 407-WDW-DINE.

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