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Old 06-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #2491
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Originally Posted by lmminghe View Post
Thanks so much! I will definitely have all of my reservation numbers with me - thanks for the reminder! Glad to know that we can gain access through the International Gateway. We have always entered through the main entrance so I wanted to make sure.
We've been going to WDW since the 90's and just stayed in the Dolphin last year - we enjoyed it so much that we're returning for the Epcot F&W even tho we are part of the Disney Vacation Club. The Dolphin was so nice - great location, places to eat, staff and service. So looking forward to returning.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:46 PM   #2492
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Hi everyone!

We will be staying at The Dolphin for the first time in just a few weeks!! I have a couple of questions, and hope you all can help.

First, we have TiW and AAA. Does the AAA discount cover alcohol the same way that TiW does?

Second, which is the fastest, easiest transportation from the airport to the hotel? A taxi or a town car? We have 5 year old twins, and will have their booster seats with us. We don't want a shuttle or bus because we don't want to have other stops, or wait around for it to load. We just want to hop in a car and go I'm leaning towards a taxi, but I've never tried to get one at an airport while also bringing along carseats/boosters, and I'm not sure how that would work.

Anyway, thanks any advice, and I'm looking forward to our stay! We usually stay at BWI or BC and love the Epcot area. We just could not turn down the deal we got on the Dolphin through travelocity!
Hello!

I can't answer for the TIW/AAA question... But I highly recommend Tiffany Towncar. You can book online and get a coupon... We paid $130 plus tip round trip for a family of five. If you are only 4 and can fit in a town car, the fee should be less. They were very prompt and professional. And will supply car/booster seats at no charge. My three year old needed a car seat and it was clean and safe. They will also stop at a grocery store at no charge for supplies if you like.

Have a great trip!
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #2493
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Hey S & D fans! I am new to trying to figure out Travelocity and I wondered if anyone could help. If I put in Lake Buena Vista there are quite a few top secret hotels that are great deals! Some say free Disney shuttle and fitness center which might be the swan or dolphin? Does anyone know the details to determining which ones are the swan and dolphin? How many stars? What the rating out of 5 is? It looks like the dolphin's rating is 4/5. Help! We're thinking of taking a second trip this year, so a great deal might make or break the decision!
I would be a little Leary booking thru Travelocity. Keep in mind any rates you see there do not include fees and taxes, and they typically don't give you that info until after you book. Call the Swan/Dolphin direct and see what rates they can offer. They give great discounts for AAA and AARP. And you can sign up for their SPG program online which also helps with rates/upgrades. Booking with Travelocity or any of the hotel filler websites typically do not get you the best rooms. Just my experience/opinion from having worked the hotel industry.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:04 PM   #2494
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Originally Posted by CindyPA View Post

I would be a little Leary booking thru Travelocity. Keep in mind any rates you see there do not include fees and taxes, and they typically don't give you that info until after you book. Call the Swan/Dolphin direct and see what rates they can offer. They give great discounts for AAA and AARP. And you can sign up for their SPG program online which also helps with rates/upgrades. Booking with Travelocity or any of the hotel filler websites typically do not get you the best rooms. Just my experience/opinion from having worked the hotel industry.
Thank you so much! I did a little more digging after I posted and started noticing that! I'm a teacher, so the teacher rate is actually quite a bit less than the advertised travelocity rate. The surprise rate that I was thinking was the dolphin was $94/night, but I am not willing to take the risk! . I am a member of the SPG program and have quite a few points, but I don't like to redeem them at the dolphin since it doesn't seem like a very good value. Isn't it like 8,000 points per night or something!? Thanks again!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:12 PM   #2495
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Originally Posted by SRUAlmn View Post
Thank you so much! I did a little more digging after I posted and started noticing that! I'm a teacher, so the teacher rate is actually quite a bit less than the advertised travelocity rate. The surprise rate that I was thinking was the dolphin was $94/night, but I am not willing to take the risk! . I am a member of the SPG program and have quite a few points, but I don't like to redeem them at the dolphin since it doesn't seem like a very good value. Isn't it like 8,000 points per night or something!? Thanks again!
A free night at the Swan or Dolphin requires 10,000 SPG points per night. Keep in mind that when you transfer 20,000 SPG points to an airline, Starwood gives you 5,000 bonus miles - which equals a free domestic ticket on some airlines. I definitely wouldn't use points when the room rate is heavily discounted.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #2496
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Just booked the Dolphin for the Swan/Dolphin Food Festival in October.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #2497
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Originally Posted by CindyPA View Post
Hello!

I can't answer for the TIW/AAA question... But I highly recommend Tiffany Towncar. You can book online and get a coupon... We paid $130 plus tip round trip for a family of five. If you are only 4 and can fit in a town car, the fee should be less. They were very prompt and professional. And will supply car/booster seats at no charge. My three year old needed a car seat and it was clean and safe. They will also stop at a grocery store at no charge for supplies if you like.

Have a great trip!
Oh, thank you! I didn't realize they would have car seats at no charge. I know they charge when you rent a car, so I was expecting the same thing. This definitely helps!
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #2498
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Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post

A free night at the Swan or Dolphin requires 10,000 SPG points per night. Keep in mind that when you transfer 20,000 SPG points to an airline, Starwood gives you 5,000 bonus miles - which equals a free domestic ticket on some airlines. I definitely wouldn't use points when the room rate is heavily discounted.
Thank you so much for your reply. We don't fly, so transferring the points to flights is something we'd rarely have a use for, but its great to know about!
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #2499
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Originally Posted by campbell95 View Post
Hi everyone!

We will be staying at The Dolphin for the first time in just a few weeks!! I have a couple of questions, and hope you all can help.

First, we have TiW and AAA. Does the AAA discount cover alcohol the same way that TiW does?

Second, which is the fastest, easiest transportation from the airport to the hotel? A taxi or a town car? We have 5 year old twins, and will have their booster seats with us. We don't want a shuttle or bus because we don't want to have other stops, or wait around for it to load. We just want to hop in a car and go I'm leaning towards a taxi, but I've never tried to get one at an airport while also bringing along carseats/boosters, and I'm not sure how that would work.

Anyway, thanks any advice, and I'm looking forward to our stay! We usually stay at BWI or BC and love the Epcot area. We just could not turn down the deal we got on the Dolphin through travelocity!
We use the TIW discount and the Mears shuttle = RT $68 for 2 adults with good results and we'll be using both again this year.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #2500
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I am going to either apply for the Disney Visa or the Starwood AMEX. If I use it for all groceries, gas, etc over the course of a year, am I more likely to have more value on the Visa to spend towards park tickets or more points on the Amex to spend on hotel nights at the Dolphin? (We won't be accumulating other Starwood hotel stays throughout the year.). Now I use the USAir MC but am tired of being tied to USAir for flights, although I will certainly keep it for the yearly $99 companion flights in case it does end up being the best deal.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:20 AM   #2501
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I just realized that my trip post from last week didn't show up, must not have clicked send, so here's my abbreviated version.

Had a great stay at the Dolphin last week!

Check in went much faster this time, but they only had the Suite portion of the Executive Suite ready when we arrived around 2:30 but that wasn't a big deal at all. When the standard room was ready we went down to the main desk and have them add it to our room keys, but when we got back too the room they didn't work properly. Took three attempts and trips back and forth for them to get it right. Again, not a big deal but was a little annoying.

As far as the rooms were concerned, they were very nice, but the configuration was different the suite we had two years ago. I think the suite portion was better this time and the room portion was better last time. We're located on the 4th floor and had a nice view of to pool and beach area and could actually see the Tower of Terror. Will try to post photos of the rooms and view in the next few days. The only other issue I had was that the room safe battery was dead when we arrived, but they fixed it when we were at Epcot. Three days later it stopped working again and I had to contact security to get my laptop out.

Other than those few minor issues the stay was wonderful! The staff was great and the pool area was great even though we didn't use it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:12 AM   #2502
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Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
I just realized that my trip post from last week didn't show up, must not have clicked send, so here's my abbreviated version.

Had a great stay at the Dolphin last week!

Check in went much faster this time, but they only had the Suite portion of the Executive Suite ready when we arrived around 2:30 but that wasn't a big deal at all. When the standard room was ready we went down to the main desk and have them add it to our room keys, but when we got back too the room they didn't work properly. Took three attempts and trips back and forth for them to get it right. Again, not a big deal but was a little annoying.
A very similar thing happened to us when we stayed in a grand suite last summer. We checked in around 2:30 and they told us our room was ready, but only one bedroom of it and gave us a key for that room, so the luggage porter took us up.

When we entered the room there were guys on ladders fixing a vent. Our luggage porter called the front desk and they said the main room should be ready so we went around the corner to that door, but it wasn't ready either, so he called the front desk again. The other bedroom in the suite WAS ready, so in we went. We unloaded all our bags (and we had a lot) from the cart and checked out the room and were about to head down to Picabu when the phone rang.

The maintenance issue in the other bedroom wasn't going to be fixed anytime soon and the luggage porter was on his way back to get us and move us to another suite (4 floors down with a worse view.). So off we went, got to the new suite and it wasn't ready. Bless this guy's heart. He went in and helped them finish cleaning while we stood in the hallway with the luggage cart for almost 20 minutes. It was crazy, but the suite was wonderful once we finally got inside! Ha!
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**Thanksgiving 2007 - Pop Century
**July 2008 - Grand Floridian, Coronado Springs Jr. Suite, Contemporary Club Level MK View
**July 2009 - Boardwalk Inn Deluxe Club Level
**July 2010 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (Savanna View)
**June 2012 - Dolphin (2 Bedroom Grand Suite)
**June 2013 - Port Orleans Riverside (Royal Room)
**July 2014 - Bay Lake Tower (2 Bedroom, Theme Park View)
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #2503
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Originally Posted by luvallprincesses View Post
I am going to either apply for the Disney Visa or the Starwood AMEX. If I use it for all groceries, gas, etc over the course of a year, am I more likely to have more value on the Visa to spend towards park tickets or more points on the Amex to spend on hotel nights at the Dolphin? (We won't be accumulating other Starwood hotel stays throughout the year.). Now I use the USAir MC but am tired of being tied to USAir for flights, although I will certainly keep it for the yearly $99 companion flights in case it does end up being the best deal.
I'm not sure any of us here can give you the answer.

With SPG Amex, you have a $65 annual fee. You earn "points" which can be used for Starwood property stays OR converted to airline miles. The only times you earn "bonus" points is when you stay at Starwood properties or when you refer others who subsequently enroll in the Amex card.

There are 2 different Disney Visas. You can get the one with no annual fee, earning 1% on purchases. The rewards dollars can be used on Disney vacations or the Disney Store. The Premium Disney Visa has a $49 annual fee and earns 2% on Disney purchases, groceries, and at gas stations; 1% on all other purchases. With both Disney Visas, there is also a 6 month 0% interest option on Disney Vacation Packages. Disney Visa also occasionally has "special offers" such as a discount code for WDW being offered 3 days before it's offered to the general public.

In your situation, I tend to think a Disney Visa would be the better option for you, but that is just my opinion!

Good luck with your decision!



Mike - glad your family had a great vacation! Looking forward to photos!
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #2504
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Considering booking w points at some point. What is the cancellation policy when you book w point? I read on a different travel board if you cancel at some Starwood resorts they will charge you several thousand dollars! Has any ever booked w points and then needed to cancel? Or does anyone know the policy really well? Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:50 AM   #2505
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Considering booking w points at some point. What is the cancellation policy when you book w point? I read on a different travel board if you cancel at some Starwood resorts they will charge you several thousand dollars! Has any ever booked w points and then needed to cancel? Or does anyone know the policy really well? Thanks!
I have booked with points and cancelled a few times (always well before the 3 day cutoff)-the points were always refunded to my account with no penalty. Starwood has one of the best cancellation policies imo, 3 days is pretty much the standard (although it can be different in some areas).
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