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Old 07-16-2012, 12:11 PM   #856
NancyIL
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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.
The Dolphin has more "WOW" appeal in the lobby than the Swan - although I don't sleep in the lobby!

It's very easy to walk or take the boat to any of the other Epcot resorts. I don't know anything about gluten-free dining options.

You can walk or take the boat to the International Gateway entrance of Epcot for EMH, and you will walk through World Showcase to get to Future World. There are no buses from any of the Epcot resorts to the front of Epcot.

After Illuminations - the boats to the Epcot resorts will be crowded, and there may be a wait. I almost always walk to/from Epcot from the Swan/Dolphin (10-15 minutes max).

Not all Swan/Dolphin rooms have balconies. Those with an Epcot view cost more than standard rooms.

You can easily compare the rates of the Epcot resorts at www.disneyworld.com to the rates of the Swan/Dolphin (including AAA and government rates) at www.swandolphin.com. Unless the Disney Epcot resorts have an exceptionally good discount, they are almost always more expensive than the Swan/Dolphin.

For a family - I would suggest either a towncar service or two one-way car rentals (Alamo/National/Enterprise) between the airport and the Swan/Dolphin. Car rental drop-off is at the Dolphin. The cost for two rental cars vs. a towncar service will be similar at about $100-$125.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #857
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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!
I just ordered YES tickets yesterday (Sun). Several of the classes are closed for the week we are going in Oct. My dd loves how things move so I signed her and her physics major father for the Physics class at the MK. We got the 8 day premium tickets and it was $640 (half of what we would have paid). However they are non refundable. Even with the town car or Mears shuttle, we will still save money. Although I will miss the "movie" on the ME .
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:04 PM   #858
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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.
I just called also and the CM had no idea about Preferred plus or linking AAA and Starwood. She told me to call Starwood directly.

There is some info here though.
http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/travel/..._programs.aspx
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:16 PM   #859
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I just called also and the CM had no idea about Preferred plus or linking AAA and Starwood. She told me to call Starwood directly.

There is some info here though.
http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/travel/..._programs.aspx
Did you call the Swan/Dolphin or SPG to link your AAA number? Regardless, I would think a Starwood agent would be the only one that could do it.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:24 PM   #860
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Did you call the Swan/Dolphin or SPG to link your AAA number? Regardless, I would think a Starwood agent would be the only one that could do it.
That was the problem. I called the Dolphin local number. SPG just did it though chat on their website. easy peasy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:26 PM   #861
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I just got our YES tickets yesterday (Sun). Several of the classes are closed for the week we are going in Oct. My dd loves how things move so I signed her and her physics major father for the Physics class at the MK. We got the 8 day premium tickets and it was $640 (half of what we would have paid). However they are non refundable. Even with the town car or Mears shuttle, we will still save money. Although I will miss the "movie" on the ME .
Can anyone purchase YES tickets? I thought I read on the website that groups of 10 or more were required. Sounds like a wonderful experience! I would love to sign my kids up.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM   #862
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Can anyone purchase YES tickets? I thought I read on the website that groups of 10 or more were required. Sounds like a wonderful experience! I would love to sign my kids up.
They now have individual enrollment. The classes are 3 hours and the fee is $28. A parent has to attend as well. Go here for more info: http://www.disneyyouth.com/individual-enrollment/. On the budget board there's a thread about it as well. I'm so excited for my dd - she will love it (as will her dad).
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #863
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Thanks for the responses. Another question: has anybody used the Spa at Swan/Dolphin? We were thinking of a couples day there, for something different.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:03 PM   #864
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in-room amenities

I just ordered cookies and milk to be in our room at the Dolphin.

We start our holiday weekend right after spending the day at All Childrens Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. and wanted a little something to make my son smile and get the fun started. Any idea how many cookies I'm getting for the $20 ++ I'm paying? I didn't see other kid/teen options on the in-room selections.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #865
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I just ordered cookies and milk to be in our room at the Dolphin.

We start our holiday weekend right after spending the day at All Childrens Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. and wanted a little something to make my son smile and get the fun started. Any idea how many cookies I'm getting for the $20 ++ I'm paying? I didn't see other kid/teen options on the in-room selections.
Have you seen the menu? I'm not sure which milk & cookies option you ordered since neither are $20+, but this gives some details about what's included.

http://www.swandolphin.com/pantry/pantry_menu.pdf
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:47 PM   #866
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Thanks for the responses. Another question: has anybody used the Spa at Swan/Dolphin? We were thinking of a couples day there, for something different.
DH & I went in 2010, and really enjoyed it. For on property, it's a good spa. (Though I just got an awesome one off property too!)
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #867
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I ordered from the concierge on the S&D site. It was $20 for cookies with chocolate milk and regular milk.
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Last edited by ElliBelle; 07-18-2012 at 10:23 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:56 PM   #868
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I just found out that Garden Grocer no longer delivers to the Swan and Dolphin. Does anyone know of any other grocery delivery services to the Dolphin, or does the resort no longer allow any?
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #869
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I just found out that Garden Grocer no longer delivers to the Swan and Dolphin. Does anyone know of any other grocery delivery services to the Dolphin, or does the resort no longer allow any?
You have to pay for anything that is delivered to you at the Swan or Dolphin. My husband mailed my birthday card to me at the Swan in April - and I had to pay $3 (the minimum price) to have it delivered.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #870
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You have to pay for anything that is delivered to you at the Swan or Dolphin. My husband mailed my birthday card to me at the Swan in April - and I had to pay $3 (the minimum price) to have it delivered.
I've always had to pay for delivery with Garden Grocer anyway. I'm just not sure if there are local companies that deliver groceries there or if the resort even allows it.
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