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Old 10-07-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
merina888
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Swan and Dolphin vs. WDW resort?

My younger sister is attending a conference in June at the Swan and Dolphin and is really excited. I would like to know what's the difference between staying at the Swan & Dolphin and staying at a WDW resort (as in those owned and operated by Disney)? What do you get at a WDW resort that you don't get at Swan & Dolphin? Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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A WDW resort offers room charging to your KTTW card, free transportation to/from the airport (DME), package delivery to your resort, free transportation around WDW (bus/monorail/boat), Disney dining plan (if you choose to get it), and EMH. I'm sure I'm missing some things, but that's all I can think of right now. When staying at the Swan or Dolphin, you can't get the dining plan or charge back to your room. I'm not sure if DME is available to Swan/Dolphin guests or not. I think guests get EMH and package delivery, but hopefully someone will be able to verify that or give the correct information.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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Correct. No magical express, no dining plan, you cannot charge to your room, you have to pay daily for parking at the hotel, and you cannot send packages to your resort. You do get extra magic hours thought and Disney transport on property which I guess everyone gets while on property. We stayed there once and liked it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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Actually, you can send packages back to the resort, and you can use all of the WDW internal transportation (buses, boats, monorail).

It is true that there is a daily parking fee at the S/D resort, but you do not have to pay to park at the theme parks.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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There is a 15.00 a day fee to park at the resorts.

The pools are better maintained at the Disney resorts. The Dolphin pool in June had a film all over it.

The hotels are better maintained too. ( the carpet on floor 10 was thread bare in certain places.) and many rooms have a musty smell.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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We fly from the west coast,stay at Epcot resorts and have often considered the S/D option... but since we don't rent a car, the cab expense vs ME to/from MCO, plus a little shorter walk to our favorite WS restaurants!!! has always made it an easy choice to go with BC/YC/BWI.

Good luck, you have nice choices for sure!

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Old 10-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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You can be on the Disney dining plan and you get free transportation to the parks, downtown Disney district, and the water parks.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke3d98 View Post
You can be on the Disney dining plan and you get free transportation to the parks, downtown Disney district, and the water parks.
You can be on the dining plan? Really? I didn't think so....
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic3forme View Post
There is a 15.00 a day fee to park at the resorts.

The pools are better maintained at the Disney resorts. The Dolphin pool in June had a film all over it.

The hotels are better maintained too. ( the carpet on floor 10 was thread bare in certain places.) and many rooms have a musty smell.
I have to disagree with blanket statements like these. Of course, the S/D may have their share of issues from time to time, but so can other resorts. There's an on-going thread in this forum right now about how one guest found the guest rooms and public areas of the Beach Club to be run-down and dirty, but other guests have chimed in about being quite happy with the cleanliness and condition during their trips.

It's the same with the S/D. I've stayed at both properties over the past four years and have never had a problem with cleanliness or musty smells...as as someone who has asthma, believe me, I would have noticed that instantly! Have there been a few people over the years who were less than thrilled with the condition of the resort, as you were? Of course. But there are also dozens and dozens of people on the S/D Resort thread who have come back from there trips raving about the resort.

And as far as the pools at the S/D go, yes, it appears that there have been periodic maintenance issues with the pools over the past few months, but it's not as if it's a given that the pools are like that all the time. Again, in my stays over the past several years, I have used both the main Grotto pool and the lap pools, and have never had a problem with them being unclean, or the water being anything other than crystal clear.

Different guests, different experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ke3d98 View Post
You can be on the Disney dining plan and you get free transportation to the parks, downtown Disney district, and the water parks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott MC View Post
You can be on the dining plan? Really? I didn't think so....
Guests of the S/D cannot participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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I've stayed at both the Swan and the Boardwalk. Both hotels have their pluses and minuses. The biggest plus for the Swan and Dolphin is the price. On average, the Swan is about 30% less than the Disney hotels on the boardwalk. At the Boardwalk my room was about $335 a night. At the Swan it was $179 per night including the extra per day fee (August date - normally it's about $250). The Swan has great restaurants like the Fresh Market buffet breakfast and Don Shula's Steakhouse. You can walk to Epcot from there (I've done it) and you get internal transportation to all Disney parks for free. What many people have a problem with is that it's not "Disney" enough. There are no hidden Mickeys and such. No dining plan or DME. So if you want full Disney immersion, you may not like it. I love both places though.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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I've stayed at both S/D a few times as well as YC/BC because we like the BW area. My preference for S/D is the ability for free room nights using Starwood points for the same quality hotel as the BW area Dis hotels. If you need to pay, the rooms are usually cheaper at S/D than the BW hotels even with the other charges figured in. A lesser item for guests at S/D is you can't use DCL transfers to the ships anymore - only Dis hotels. The DME is a nice value but not worth $100-150 per night more. If I remember correct: Swan is like YC with queens in two bed rooms and Dolphin is like BC & BW with doubles.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke3d98 View Post
You can be on the Disney dining plan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott MC View Post
You can be on the dining plan? Really? I didn't think so....
The dining plan is not available at the Swan/Dolphin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2disneycruzrs View Post
Swan is like YC with queens in two bed rooms and Dolphin is like BC & BW with doubles.
All of the Disney deluxe resorts have queen beds, including the BC & BWI.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:16 AM   #13
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Hey OP - I hope your sister has a great trip. We usually stay at YC/BC, but have stayed at Swan and Dolphin several times, either for a cheaper option or because of last minute trips and could not get into YC/BC resort. We have always had a great time at S&D, and found them to be really excellent for the price.

The differences that are a downside for us: The daily parking fee, and resort fee tack on...but the hotel is so much cheaper than YC/BC, it is still chepaser than "free parking" at YC/BC. And there is a little less Disneyfication: the lamp is not a Mickey, and the floor has no hidden Mickeys. We never do dining plan or DME so those have not come into play for us. We don't find not being able to charging to the room that big a deal - just keep a credit card on hand.

We love Kimonos at the Swan. Love the location. Transportation is same as YC/BC/Boardwalk for the most part. I think she'll love it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #14
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The pluses for Swan & Dolphin:
Location, walk or boat to EPCOT and HS
Price, folks like to throw the extra charges into the conversation (which you get at WDW resorts too, they just add them into the total). Even with the these "added costs" you can almost always get rooms for under $200 including the "added costs." You will pay $350 to $400 a night at the WDW resorts.

BC/YC and BW are terrific resorts and if money is no object, or if you can get FD, then they are the better choice. For my family, money counts, and if I can stay there for about the cost of a moderate, I always will.

Also, they have the best beds in all of WDW at S&D.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #15
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My last two stays were at the Swan and then Dolphin respectively.

You can get EMH... and yes, they can deliver packages back to the lobby of the S or D but not to your room is typically how it goes.

You can get transportation between the hotel and various parks and waterparks.

You cannot get Disney Dining Plans of any variety, you can not get Disney Magical Express, you can not charge back to your room with your room key.. and your tickets remain separate media. They cannot be added to your room key either.

One night when entering the Magic Kingdom for EMH, we realized we didn't have the required room key for each member of our party. Only one of us brought a room key. We stopped at guest services outside the park and they were able to accommodate us. But it was just something I hadn't thought about before heading out that evening. Obviously when tickets are on the room keys .. that's one less thing to worry about.

These are the major differences.
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