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Old 07-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #841
Brenner965
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Originally Posted by Alabama Minnie View Post
Someone on here also suggested linking your AAA and Starwoods # (which I did by phone) and we even saved a little more on our upcoming trip.
Perhaps that is a another reason for the results of my search.

I was logged into my Starwood Preferred Guest account when I include AAA in the search.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:39 AM   #842
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We are staying here for the first time due to a conference for my work. I got a rate of $149. Is this better than teacher rate or AAA? We check in Monday...stay for 7 nights...do I get any nights free? Do I need to ask for anything special? I asked for room w a view... Also, is there a laundromat?
Since I am coming in a couple of days behind you, I have been watching rates pretty closely. For at least some of your dates, the AAA rate is as low as $125. The issue is that Thursday and Friday, for both the Swan and the Dolphin, have been sold out to the general public since before the new year, which is probably due to your conference. Because of that, you wouldn't be able to switch over to the AAA rate for your entire stay.

Even if you wanted to switch over to the AAA rate for part of your stay, the issue with that is that we are in the five-day cancellation window these resorts typically have (although your conference rate might be different). If you tried to make changes even for the last couple of days, the Dolphin might charge a penalty. You could certainly call the hotel and ask. But even if you were successful, you would then have a second separate reservation with the lower AAA rate. Since it would be a separate reservation you would have to check-in/check-out on that date, which could even result into having to change rooms. Might not be likely, but you're now dealing with a lot of hassle to get a slightly cheaper room for just a couple of nights.

Personally, I would be happy with the $149 rate in your situation. Most of the time, it's difficult to find it much lower.

I was sort of lucky, I was paying the same for the Dolphin on a AAA rate I booked last year. For one day last week, the Swan released a AAA rate of $153 which included the $50 resort credit for a stay of longer than five days. Since DW much prefers the Swan anyways, we made the switch. The rate was pulled by the next day.

Have a great stay!
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:50 AM   #843
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Originally Posted by Brenner965 View Post
Perhaps that is a another reason for the results of my search.

I was logged into my Starwood Preferred Guest account when I include AAA in the search.
No, this has nothing to do with finding cheap AAA rates. You can find and use AAA rates without having your number linked to your SPG account.

The advantage of linking your AAA number to your SPG account is that you are given Preferred Plus status, which used to give you all the benefits of Gold except an extra point per dollar. However, SPG enhanced their program earlier this year, so there might be even more differences now. Golds now also get to choose a welcome gift upon arrival; I don't know if Preferred Plus gets that as well.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #844
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The advantage of linking your AAA number to your SPG account is that you are given Preferred Plus status, which used to give you all the benefits of Gold except an extra point per dollar. However, SPG enhanced their program earlier this year, so there might be even more differences now. Golds now also get to choose a welcome gift upon arrival; I don't know if Preferred Plus gets that as well.
Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #845
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How do we link spg and aaa?
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #846
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How do we link spg and aaa?
Good question.

I just called SPG and the agent said she had no idea what I was talking about and that she had never heard of "Preferred Guest PLUS'. She even put me on hold to check with her supervisor and came back with the same answer.

Like I sometimes have to do with WDW CRO, I'll call back later and see if I have better luck with a different agent.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #847
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I just called SPG and the agent said she had no idea what I was talking about and that she had never heard of "Preferred Guest PLUS'. She even put me on hold to check with her supervisor and came back with the same answer.

Like I sometimes have to do with WDW CRO, I'll call back later and see if I have better luck with a different agent.
You definitely got an agent, and potentially a supervisor, who needs retraining on this issue. Hopefully on your next call you'll get an agent that's a little more knowledgeable.

And I just did some quick research and the new welcome amenity for SPG Gold is not applicable to Preferred Plus. So the main benefits of Preferred Plus is an upgrade if available at check-in plus 4 pm late check-out, which is not guaranteed at resorts.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:22 PM   #848
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DW and I are considering Swan/Dolphin for a potential fall getaway. 4 or 5 nights. Never stayed at either, but our interest in them has grown, especially due to threads like this one. It is just the two of us (no kids). Is there any noticeable difference between the Swan and Dolphin? I think we're leaning Swan right now, after reading the Unofficial Guide section on them.

Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #849
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DW and I are considering Swan/Dolphin for a potential fall getaway. 4 or 5 nights. Never stayed at either, but our interest in them has grown, especially due to threads like this one. It is just the two of us (no kids). Is there any noticeable difference between the Swan and Dolphin? I think we're leaning Swan right now, after reading the Unofficial Guide section on them.

Thanks.
Our reason for choosing Swan over Dolphin were the fact that Swan has Queen beds instead of double size beds.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:55 PM   #850
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Well I did it. Just booked a standard room at the Swan for 10-10-12 to 10-17-12. First time in a non Disney hotel. Room view isn't incredibly important since we aren't in the room much. We got tickets through the YES program so this vacation will be less expensive than usual. First time not doing the ME or Dining plan and a little nervous about both. But we needed to shake it up since it was getting too predictable after 19 trips!
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:01 PM   #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaDisneyCouple View Post
DW and I are considering Swan/Dolphin for a potential fall getaway. 4 or 5 nights. Never stayed at either, but our interest in them has grown, especially due to threads like this one. It is just the two of us (no kids). Is there any noticeable difference between the Swan and Dolphin? I think we're leaning Swan right now, after reading the Unofficial Guide section on them.

Thanks.
I prefer the Swan because the hotel is smaller, the buses to the MK and AK stop at the Swan before the Dolphin, the Swan is a bit closer to the Boardwalk (and that's how I walk to Epcot), and I like having a bathroom sink both inside and outside the bathroom.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #852
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Originally Posted by GC&S View Post
Well I did it. Just booked a standard room at the Swan for 10-10-12 to 10-17-12. First time in a non Disney hotel. Room view isn't incredibly important since we aren't in the room much. We got tickets through the YES program so this vacation will be less expensive than usual. First time not doing the ME or Dining plan and a little nervous about both. But we needed to shake it up since it was getting too predictable after 19 trips!
You'll be there during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. I spend most of my park time at Epcot, and I always "graze" at the food booths in World Showcase during F&W!
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:25 AM   #853
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You'll be there during Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. I spend most of my park time at Epcot, and I always "graze" at the food booths in World Showcase during F&W!
So true. We've usually been so stuffed from the DP that we rarely ate at the booths. Now we can make that our lunch and dinner!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:40 AM   #854
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Newbie questions

never stayed here-thinking about it for next trip. Which is better for a 7year old child-Swan or Dolphin?

Can you walk over to Yacht Club and Pay out of pocket at their quick service? (child has gluten allergy but Disney makes gluten free Mickey waffles!)

Any options at /D for gluten free kid friendly foods (chicken nuggets, fries)

How do you get to main gate at Epcot for early morning hours? Can you walk through world showcase before 11? Can you walk over to another Epcot Disney resort and take their bus to front gate of Epcot?

How crowded to get back to resort after illuminations?

S/D have balconies to watch illuminations?

with government rate-rates are reasonable? more so than Disney?

We'd only miss ME-is that an issue? We fly and need airport transportation. Does this add a lot on?

We have only ever stayed at WL but need a more affordable place-not sure we want to go from WL to Value.

thanks in advance....lots of questions I know! SD looks great and like it might just be what we are looking for especially with the option for discounts to make it more affordable.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:42 AM   #855
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Originally Posted by GC&S View Post
Well I did it. Just booked a standard room at the Swan for 10-10-12 to 10-17-12. First time in a non Disney hotel. Room view isn't incredibly important since we aren't in the room much. We got tickets through the YES program so this vacation will be less expensive than usual. First time not doing the ME or Dining plan and a little nervous about both. But we needed to shake it up since it was getting too predictable after 19 trips!
How far in advance did you have to get YES tickets? Do you need to do it the day registration opens? We need to do a budget trip and are considering S/D and YES tickets too! Not sure about no ME though!
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