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Old 02-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
blackacex2
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Swan vs Moderate

My wife and I are going to Disney for 7 nights in April. Right now, we can use our starwood points to receive two free nights at the swan or dolphin. After that we are moving to the boardwalk for the next 5 nights.

I've read more negatives about the swan and dolphin on these boards and elsewhere than probably any other resort. I wouldn't mind paying out of pocket for a moderate for those two nights, but for those who have stayed at both the swan/dolphin and at the various moderates- which did you prefer?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #2
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I was lucky enough to stay at the Dolphin one year, while POR was under a refurb back in 2002.

It was before the daily fee was added and I didn't have a car, so I didn't have to pay for parking. I was on the land/sea package, so I had transfers included in my package, so I didn't have to worry about not having ME.

One of the great parts in the location to DHS and Epcot. I also like the alternative transportation, however we were the last stop on the loop. It could sometimes be a long time getting back to the resort.

I loved the Buffeteria at the Dolphin, but did not see any good choices for restaurants at the Swan. I ended up eating over at the BW most evenings and walked back.

I have to say the beds are to die for. The rooms are nicely appointed. Although I ended up in a room facing the loading dock, I found it nice and quiet during the day and loved getting the paper included for my stay.

However, I just love staying at POR; there are just so many more options for the cost and the location is much better for me. I enjoy ending my evening at one of the resorts, and the bus hub from the resorts to DTD and then the water taxi to POR is what I much prefer.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
blackacex2
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Thanks, 2002 was a while ago for the dolphin and I wonder how the resort has fared since. We've always stayed off site and we really want that "on site" experience.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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We stay at the Swan or Dolphin about once a year - our last visit was around the summer of 2012. I like both resorts and don't really have a preference. The Swan is smaller but the themes in my opinion are similar. We've stayed in most of the mods as well but if given the choice, I'd pick the S/D over any of the mods. The main reason is the location. Being able to walk to two different parks is pretty cool. The rooms are more luxurious than any of the mods as well. I'm pretty sure you will get hit with junk fees even though you are using points (resort fee, parking fee) but there is no way I'd pay out of pocket for a mod when I could get the S/D on points. And I'm in the camp that I would pay more to stay at S/D than a mod. The main complaint I read is that they are not Disney themed which is true. But they have a whimsical theme and a great beach and pool.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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Come on over and check out our Swan/Dolphin thread! I would stay at the Swan/Dolphin hands down over a moderate. I suggest you giving it a try and seeing for yourself.... Boardwalk is our all time favorite! We would not hesitate to stay at the Swan and Dolphin again! We have stayed at POR a few times during free dining, however I would never choose to stay there over the Dolphin! Location Location Location and the rooms are much nicer than POR.

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2904771
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
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Given the choice, I would pick Swan. We have stayed at CBR and the Dolphin, and the Dolphin is definitely a better experience. I never understand why it gets bad reviews. It's a Deluxe for a moderate price and it's in the Boardwalk area that you will be staying in when you're finished. Beautiful grounds and hotel.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Hate to play the role of "voice of wife" but it really doesn't matter what you do! Use your freebie nights right now and do the split with the BWI..... or do the GF as a split. Your wife is gonna start begging you to go back as soon as you get home so you'll also get a chance in a few months to use those Starwood points! Hahahaha! Use 'em now or use 'em later!
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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I've only stayed at one moderate - Caribbean Beach Resort - and have stayed at the Swan and Dolphin exclusively for the past 4 years.

To me there's no comparison. With the Swan, you're getting a deluxe property at a moderate price. The room is larger, the two bathroom vanities are a plus, the beds are the best on property, and you can book - and be guaranteed - a king room for the same price as a room with two queen beds. (Although, in your case, the price is free, which is the best price of all!) The amenities are better, the location can't be beat and the dining options, within a 10 minute walk, are endless.

Themed as they may be, two things that turn me off about the moderate resorts are the outer hallways/walkways, the multiple buildings and how spread out the resorts are. When we stayed at CBR, it was quite a hike to Old Port Royal, where the shops and dining areas were. And all it takes is getting caught in one of those Florida downpours to make you appreciate a resort where everything is under one roof. Also, while it may not make a difference to you for a brief 2-night stay, the lack of a storage space and a closet would be an issue for me.

The one thing going for a moderate is that it would be a change of scenery, since you are staying at another Epcot resort for the balance of your stay.

As far as I can see, the biggest issue the majority of Swan/Dolphin detractors have is that it's not as themed as other Disney resorts. Personally, I don't need hidden Mickeys on the bedspread and piped-in music to remind me where I am. When I stay at the Swan or Dolphin, I never feel removed from the magic that is Disney. Again, that's just me.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #9
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Sounds like the swan is a good choice! Trying to decide between swan and the dolphin now. I hear the Swan rooms are nicer but the amenities at the Dolphin are better.

Of course, it is tempting to experience something like the grand floridian for two nights since that could be quite special (my wife is in love with the resort). DECISIONS DECISIONS! =)
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #10
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Swan and Dolphin for sure!! I have stayed at moderates and to me there is no comparison. Just the location itself is the best reason. Beds are awesome and personnel fantastic. The rooms are very spacious as well. Most rooms have lovely views but if you are not happy with what you get they will for sure make it right. My vote is Swan and Dolphin.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
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Swan!

I've stayed at the Swan on more than one occasion, and loved it! You can not beat the location! The theming is not a Disney resort, and you do have many conference type people in work attire walking around, but that did not bother us. Our room was clean and sizable. I would stay there again if the price was right, but lately the rooms have been too expensive...enen in the off season. Ive also stayed at POFQ and loved it there too, with the awesome theming, but the location of the Swan would win out for me anyday!
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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I agree on paying the extra for a nice view! We loved seeing the Boardwalk before we ever stayed there and I thought one of these days I would love to stay there!
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackacex2 View Post
Sounds like the swan is a good choice! Trying to decide between swan and the dolphin now. I hear the Swan rooms are nicer but the amenities at the Dolphin are better.

Of course, it is tempting to experience something like the grand floridian for two nights since that could be quite special (my wife is in love with the resort). DECISIONS DECISIONS! =)
We liked the Swan a little more because it is smaller and less hectic, and the beds are queens (Dolphin are double beds). The beds are the best to sleep on in all of WDW without a doubt!

I would choose Swan over a mod any time.

As far as GF or any of the monorail resorts, if you have the $400 per night to do them for a couple of nights then I would definitely do that. Two on the monorail, then five at an EPCOT resort sounds pretty nice to me!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjsm&d View Post
We liked the Swan a little more because it is smaller and less hectic, and the beds are queens (Dolphin are double beds). The beds are the best to sleep on in all of WDW without a doubt!

I would choose Swan over a mod any time.

As far as GF or any of the monorail resorts, if you have the $400 per night to do them for a couple of nights then I would definitely do that. Two on the monorail, then five at an EPCOT resort sounds pretty nice to me!
Yeah.. the GF for a garden view room is $312 per night including taxes for our dates with our travel agent discount. Boardwalk Inn water view is running us $294 per night. This would be an easy decision to stay all 7 nights at the boardwalk or at least split it with the Grand Floridian for a few nights IF we didn't have access to free nights at the swan and dolphin! Hard to turn down free!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:13 PM   #15
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Ha! I know this one! Yes, the S/D patrons get the Extra Magic Hours.
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