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Old 07-23-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
laurba99
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Dolphin over Christmas--tips-dining-ideas

We are staying at the Dolphin this Christmas week and the last time we went we stayed off property (I know this isn't " official disney" but thrilled to be so close and get emh) and we had to take cabs everywhere and it took forever to get to where we wanted to go and was so pricey. SO we are so excited to be in walking distance to Epcot and quick transportation to DHS. Can you walk to the monorail from the Dolphin to get to MK or what is the best fastest way to get there?

Are there places to eat at the dolphin or swan that are worth booking now? We don't want to eat many sit down type of meals for price reasons but are planning to book a few special dinners.

Any other tips or recommendations or ideas to have the best time over a really busy time of year? We were so spoiled last time although we stayed off disney we had low crowds and perfect weather in sept.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by laurba99 View Post
We are staying at the Dolphin this Christmas week and the last time we went we stayed off property (I know this isn't " official disney" but thrilled to be so close and get emh) and we had to take cabs everywhere and it took forever to get to where we wanted to go and was so pricey. SO we are so excited to be in walking distance to Epcot and quick transportation to DHS. Can you walk to the monorail from the Dolphin to get to MK or what is the best fastest way to get there?

Are there places to eat at the dolphin or swan that are worth booking now? We don't want to eat many sit down type of meals for price reasons but are planning to book a few special dinners.

Any other tips or recommendations or ideas to have the best time over a really busy time of year? We were so spoiled last time although we stayed off disney we had low crowds and perfect weather in sept.
The only way to get to the monorail from the Dolphin would be to walk all the way through Epcot, which requires a park entrance on your park tickets. If you don't have park hopper tickets, you would not be able to get into MK after having gone through Epcot. The easiest way to get to MK would be to take the WDW bus from the Dolphin.

As for places to eat - we've never stayed at either the Swan or the Dolphin, but if you want a really good steak dinner, I highly recommend Shula's in the Dolphin. It is expensive, but the dinner I had there was one of the absolute best steak dinners I've ever had, anywhere.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
rteetz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurba99 View Post
We are staying at the Dolphin this Christmas week and the last time we went we stayed off property (I know this isn't " official disney" but thrilled to be so close and get emh) and we had to take cabs everywhere and it took forever to get to where we wanted to go and was so pricey. SO we are so excited to be in walking distance to Epcot and quick transportation to DHS. Can you walk to the monorail from the Dolphin to get to MK or what is the best fastest way to get there?

Are there places to eat at the dolphin or swan that are worth booking now? We don't want to eat many sit down type of meals for price reasons but are planning to book a few special dinners.

Any other tips or recommendations or ideas to have the best time over a really busy time of year? We were so spoiled last time although we stayed off disney we had low crowds and perfect weather in sept.
We stayed at the dolphin this past summer. At the dolphin you get bus transportation to DTD, AK, MK, boat transportation to Epcot and DHS. There is also a walking path to Epcot and DHS, the path to Epcot also is a path to the boardwalk area. I would suggest taking to the bus to MK not monorail as it is a long walk and it would not work if you don't have park hoppers. That is because when going to Epcot from the dolphin you are using the back entrance which takes you right into world showcase. The front entrance is where the monorail is.

We did eat at the dolphin for breakfast but I would suggest booking a reservation at the parks or at another resort. None of the restaurants there beside Shula's steak house are that great and Shula's is pretty expensive especially if you have little ones. It's more of an adult night out type dinner. With the boardwalk being so close those restaurants would be very easy to go to and most you can go without a reservation. We usually eat at espn but they're are like four restaurants there. Another option for dining is walk or boat to Epcot, Epcot is filled with restaurants especially at world showcase and we always eat at world showcase at least once. Expect it to be busy this time around being christmas time so any park or resort restaurants I would make a reservation for pretty soon.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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Except for Victoria & Alberts, the best restaurants at WDW are at the Dolphin and Swan. You have Shulas, bluezoo, Il Mulino and Kimonos. Are they expensive? Yes. Are they worth it? Yes. These are excellent adult only dinner places with food that tops Disney signature restaurants.

They also have Garden Grove and the Fountain.

At the neighboring Disney resorts, within easy walking distance, you have Yachtsman Steakhouse, Captains Grill, Cape May Cafe, Flying Fish, Kouzzina, Big River Grill, ESPN club, Beaches and Cream.

This is an excellent location for dining.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #5
laurba99
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Thanks!

Great info. We do have 6 day PH tickets because we always get antsy and want to go somewhere else in the evenings. I think this year ESP since Epcot is in walking distance and we will finally after all these years have Extra magic hours!

With a 6 yr old is it too far of a walk to world showcase at epcot-would you always take the boat? Thinking of bringing stroller because he gets tired and He is way too heavy now to carry at disney. Thinking over xmas stroller rental will be insane.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by laurba99 View Post
Great info. We do have 6 day PH tickets because we always get antsy and want to go somewhere else in the evenings. I think this year ESP since Epcot is in walking distance and we will finally after all these years have Extra magic hours!

With a 6 yr old is it too far of a walk to world showcase at epcot-would you always take the boat? Thinking of bringing stroller because he gets tired and He is way too heavy now to carry at disney. Thinking over xmas stroller rental will be insane.
Depending on how fast you walk, it's probably about a 20 - 25 minute walk to the International Gateway from the Dolphin. It takes us about 15 minutes from the YC, but I tend to walk a little slower because of a bad knee. I've never looked into stroller rental, but I have read several posts about people renting from local places in Orlando that deliver to the hotels. You may want to look into doing that.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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When we stayed at the Dolphin this summer, my DH decided to sleep in and join us late at MK. The MK bus never came because tour groups were filling the bus at the Swan. My DH did the walk through Epcot and caught the monorail to TTC and then to MK. But I thought it would've been faster to go to Hollywood Studios and catch a bus to the TTC. Also at DHS, you don't enter the park so you don't need hoppers. BTW other than this one incident, we thought the buses were great at the Dolphin. But be aware that the buses share with Boardwalk and the Swan at a minimum.

We ate at the Fountain and Picabus and thought both were fine. We also walked over to the Boardwalk and ate at Big River Grille without an ADR. We also did counter service at the American Pavilion one night in Epcot. Lots and lots of dining options around the Dolphin.

If it was just my DH and I without the young grandkids, I'd check out Flying Fish, Shulas and Bluezoo -- all look like great dining.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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Walk over to Beaches & Cream at the BC. You can get burger type meals or amazing ice cream. Go to allears.com for the menu. No ADR's, so we like to go at "off" times to minimize the wait.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
Robert P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
Except for Victoria & Alberts, the best restaurants at WDW are at the Dolphin and Swan. You have Shulas, bluezoo, Il Mulino and Kimonos. Are they expensive? Yes. Are they worth it? Yes. These are excellent adult only dinner places with food that tops Disney signature restaurants.

They also have Garden Grove and the Fountain.

At the neighboring Disney resorts, within easy walking distance, you have Yachtsman Steakhouse, Captains Grill, Cape May Cafe, Flying Fish, Kouzzina, Big River Grill, ESPN club, Beaches and Cream.

This is an excellent location for dining.
I have to agree. Also, you could eat at Picabu's (cafeteria style setting) or the Cabana (out by the Dolphin lap pool). Even the quick dining option by the Swan lap pool (Splash) makes a very good sandwich, and has decent enough pizza.
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Robert P's April 2008 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1791298
Robert P's Fall 2007 Dining Reviews: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1630586
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