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-   -   Anyone on-site junkies feel let down by a stay at Swan? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3068962)

thisismyusername 02-22-2013 07:22 AM

Anyone on-site junkies feel let down by a stay at Swan?
 
I'm planning a short trip for later this year with two other girlfriends. If it were up to me, I'd pick a deluxe resort in the Epcot circle for our stay since I think we'll be interested in having access to the IG, but neither of them wants to pay deluxe prices. So now, I'm primarily looking at Swan or POFQ. I know that prices will be the ultimate deciding factor, but right now, they're fairly even: my friend can get a teacher discount at the Swan, and I'm assuming some sort of discount or package will be out for later this year since we're not traveling during peak season.

My only requirement is that the rooms have queen beds. As long as free dining doesn't come out (which if it does, we'll stay at POFQ), it's OK that we can't get the dining plan if we stay at Swan. Theming is not important to us--as long as the rooms are nice and comfortable and not ugly or gaudy, we're good. We'll also have a car, so no ME isn't an issue. We also won't have any kids with us on this trip--my friends primarily are interested in swimming, sunning and eating (I'm primarily interested in going on all of the thrill rides I've never gone on with my chicken kids... ;) )

Has anyone felt let down at a stay at the Swan? Or does it feel just as "special" as any of the other Epcot circle resorts? Would you choose it over POFQ?

TaraPA 02-22-2013 08:05 AM

I've stayed at many deluxe resorts, as well as The Swan, manny many times. The reason people don't care for Swan/Dolphin are for the reasons you said didn't matter to you - lack of Disney theming, no ME. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how much you love The Swan for the price. The rooms are large, staff is fabulous & location can't be beat. You're getting the equivalent of a Disney deluxe, in the most perfect location, for a fraction of the price! Do it!!!

TheShea's 02-22-2013 08:14 AM

I've stayed at the Swan for business 2x and while the Swan isn't a bad hotel, it has that stagnant, "large hotel servicing conventions" feel to it. I've been to several of the Deluxe Disney resorts and I can't say that the Swan is in the same league.

Having said that, looking at your requirements, the Swan serves the very purpose and needs you and your friends have. It's clean, spacious rooms, centrally located to Epcot, good resaurants etc.

Scott MC 02-22-2013 08:18 AM

Not let down at all. I find the S&D to be an incredible deal. The location is perfect, the bedding, pillows, mattresses, and toiletries are a great deal more deluxe than any Disney deluxe resort. As far as the theming goes? I'm a huge fan of the Epcot resort loop in general, and have stayed at BC and BWI, and I don't feel a lot of Disney theming there at all. Yes, there are a few hidden Mickeys in the room, but otherwise, the beach theme and the Boardwalk theme come through much more. I'm reminded of Disney when I hit the gift shop. Now, at S&D, I get "Luxury Floridian Hotel" everywhere I look, and I like it. They do have a gift shop full of stuff if you need your Disney fix. On our last trip to the Swan, we could see Epcot when we looked to the right, and Expedition Everest when we looked to the left. I can't see it being much more Disney that that!

Sooo...in conclusion, I was not let down at all by S&D and would gladly stay there in the future, and recommend others to do so as well!

ElizabethB 02-22-2013 08:20 AM

We have stayed at nearly every deluxe as well as the Dolphin (not the Swan). I would second what TaraPA says -- you're getting a deluxe at a moderate price.

The Dolphin beds and bedding are very comfortable (I assume Swan's are the same) -- second only to GF club level (and we've slept in nearly all the beds at WDW at one time or another from All Star Sports to GF main building club level).

The Swan and Dolphin have lots of great (really great) dining options. Most of our favorite WDW restaurants these days are at the Swan Dolphin.

The location cannot be beat -- very convenient to both Epcot and DHS.

The rooms are nice. We had a great view of the water, the boats etc. We did not have a balcony and I would pay for a balcony if I stayed at Swan or Dolphin again.

We found the service top notch -- superior, really, to service at any Disney deluxe. We misplaced our TV remote and called for another. They sent another TV remote plus a box of chocolates for our trouble. (Turned out we found the first remote under the bed!).

We loved the pool area -- IMO only the Beach Club/Yacht Club Stormalong Bay pool is better than the Swan/Dolphin pool

However, I have seen some comments on these boards that the Swan/Dolphin pool area has become rather run down. Since you indicate swimming and sunning are important to you, I would try to nail down what the story with the pool is. We especially enjoy the pool at Swan Dolphin because many of the hotels' guests are conventioneers in meetings all day, so the pool was never crowded. But, I would try to determine its condition.

We have stayed at POR as well, and I would definitely pick Swan/Dolphin over POR (unless you get free dining).

Hope you have fun!

vicb 02-22-2013 08:21 AM

Prior to my first stay at the Dolphin last year I had stayed at Poly, BWI 2x, BC and CSR. We dropped from deluxe to mod when we decided we needed two rooms as our kids were big teenagers. We did not have a bad stay at CSR but it was a difference from the deluxes we had been used to. Seemed more out of the way in terms of having to bus everywhere, we missed walking into the WS for dinner so easily. and the rooms were more motel-like. So last trip we tried Dolphin as an alternative and were not disappointed.

Yes it is a bit less disney themed but still had nice atmosphere and ammenities. Plus the location is awesome! We have encountered conventions at BC and CSR so that argument doesn't hold water with me.

If the discounts are right we will try BC or BWI again next year but if not I won't hesitate to stay S/D.

patty57 02-22-2013 08:25 AM

We did not feel let down by the Swan at all after staying almost exclusively at BC & BW for years. Liked it so much, I'm staying at the Dolphin in May. You just cannot beat the price for an Epcot location.

ella6599 02-22-2013 08:25 AM

We stayed at the Dolphin a few years ago with DH's teacher discount. LOVED it! We've never stayed at a Disney deluxe (first time will be this year), but have stayed at POFQ, which we also loved- but other than the fun theming, Swan/Dolphin is a nicer resort, and the boat/ short walk to the IG was just awesome. We had some bus issues with the other parks, but nothing terrible. And going in October, the pool was not as heated as Disney pools have been when we've stayed in November. Otherwise, the pool was fine. And there are nice hammocks on the beach for sunning.

Scott MC 02-22-2013 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vicb (Post 47588765)

If the discounts are right we will try BC or BWI again next year but if not I won't hesitate to stay S/D.

We've pretty much come to that conclusion as well. Upcoming trip to POR aside, our agreement is when the discounts are right and the money is there, we will stay BC, YC, or BWI. When money is a little tight or Disney decides to be stingy with the discounts, we will be perfectly happy to stay at S&D.

On a side note, we had a great time hiring a limo service when we stayed at the Swan. $60 each way bought us being met at luggage and a stop at Publix. We wouldn't hesitate to do this again!

cjsm&d 02-22-2013 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TaraPA (Post 47588603)
I've stayed at many deluxe resorts, as well as The Swan, manny many times. The reason people don't care for Swan/Dolphin are for the reasons you said didn't matter to you - lack of Disney theming, no ME. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how much you love The Swan for the price. The rooms are large, staff is fabulous & location can't be beat. You're getting the equivalent of a Disney deluxe, in the most perfect location, for a fraction of the price! Do it!!!

+1

I was gonna type the same!

ella6599 02-22-2013 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott MC (Post 47588822)
On a side note, we had a great time hiring a limo service when we stayed at the Swan. $60 each way bought us being met at luggage and a stop at Publix. We wouldn't hesitate to do this again!

We did this too- it was awesome!

EagleScout 02-22-2013 09:39 AM

Love the dolphin - like the Swan very much
 
We are very frequent Disney visitors- we always stay onsite and my wife demands deluxe (and I am a bit spoiled too), but as part of "onsite", that includes the Swan/Dolphin. REgarding "theming", in our family's opinion, the Dolphin is a bit more "fun" than Swan - the decor, color scheme, lobby, etc., so we typically stay Dolphin. The Dolphin also has the two main breakfast choices - the "fancy" buffet, and the cafeteria style (which is also surprisingly good), so a bit quicker to get day started if you like to sit and eat. Dolphin's lobby bar also has a "grab and go" coffee shop in morning with beverages and basic pastries, etc. (and a smaller version at Swan lobby). The Dolphin also has the main gym, so if daily exercise part of routine, a bit more convenient. Also, in truly objective terms, the Swan and Dolphin both have better amenities (beds, furnishings, gym, etc) than probably any other hotel on site other than possibly Grand Floridian, which can be literally triple the price. Regarding customer service, I have always been very impressed with Swan/Dolphin service, from front desk, to concierge, to housekeeping. There was a time when staying at a Disney-owned hotel made me feel like I was actually in a commercial about customer service being serviced by "actors" (i.e., literally almost unbelievably amazing service), but now it is just "really really good" customer service (with possible exception of some club level experiences). Disney is making strides to revive the "Disney standard", but they are still not there yet, so the slight differential is only "worth" a minimal amount - coincidentally enough, we are going to Beach Club in a couple months because we got a great discount and Dolphin was not substantially discounted, so it was "worth it". Finally, regarding Dolphin pool, it is super! There was a brief incident late last summer/early fall where the pool got dirty (a couple of their filters/pumps decided to die), and it took a few days to fully clean out, but these things happen and have been fully resolved. We were there in fall and pool was spotless. The problem was that at the exact same time, they were also considering closing the pool for a few weeks to convert one of the edges of the pool to zero-entry, but the simultaneous timing of the two incidents turned into a weird "rumor zone" where the two stories got merged and people thought they were having to close the pool for several weeks to clean up the pool. Unfortunately, there was such a backlash that I believe still have not yet converted to zero entry. Dolphin also has a bunch of pool/beach recreation activities that are rivaled probably only by Yacht/Beach club.

Megsie1000 02-22-2013 09:52 AM

we have stayed there before and if it wasn't for the lack of ME we would probably stay there more often. We have small children and just find the ME such a perk for our particular needs.

But I would not count on a "discount" coming out later for the Swan even if you're going off-peak. They may have a convention going on at your time, which will make the resort very full and at risk of selling out. If you decide on the Swan, I would book it now. Your friend may be able to book 2 rooms under her teacher discount and if you can do that, I would go with that option for now. If a better price comes along, book it, but I wouldn't hang out and wait to see what happens.

thisismyusername 02-22-2013 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Megsie1000 (Post 47589718)

But I would not count on a "discount" coming out later for the Swan even if you're going off-peak. They may have a convention going on at your time, which will make the resort very full and at risk of selling out. If you decide on the Swan, I would book it now. Your friend may be able to book 2 rooms under her teacher discount and if you can do that, I would go with that option for now. If a better price comes along, book it, but I wouldn't hang out and wait to see what happens.

Thank you so very much everyone for your feedback! It's much appreciated! So you would suggest booking the Swan right now? If Disney did come out with a really good promo for later this year--free dining or a deep discount on rooms that would make POFQ more desirable for my friends--does the Swan offer a good cancelation policy (e.g., no money lost if it's more than 2 months away from your travel dates?)

Since I am going to Disney this June, and getting an AP then, I was holding out on us booking anything until I saw what the bounceback/AP deals were.

roydavid7771 02-22-2013 08:13 PM

That's what's beautiful about the whole area.....missing the Disney "magic"? Head to one of the parks!

Believe it or not, I kinda liked the whole vibe at the Swan. I was able to take a break from the Mouse whenever I needed to. It was kinda nice being able to watch my Boardwalk Empire after a night in the parks rather than having to hear and see Stacy again and again (No offense, I love her too!).


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