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Old 10-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #1351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olive
Ooh - where is the new play structure? Does it replace the playground area near the grotto pool, or is it in addition to that?
Right where the old one was, between the Swan and the grotto pool. It's much larger, has some great slides and climbing features, and the ground is made of that soft, bouncy rubber stuff. So very safe for kids of all ages.

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Old 10-15-2012, 05:09 AM   #1352
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Hi all! I am going to book our stay for next year later today and we plan to arrive ON Thanksgiving Day staying at the Dolphin. Has anyone ever eaten at any of the S/D restaurants on Thanksgiving and did you enjoy it? No one in my party (other than myself) really cares if it's a traditional Thanksgiving meal or not and I just like that I can use my AAA for 20% off. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, also, when do the holiday decorations go up at S/D?


Thank you.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #1353
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Originally Posted by bas71873 View Post
Hi all! I am going to book our stay for next year later today and we plan to arrive ON Thanksgiving Day staying at the Dolphin. Has anyone ever eaten at any of the S/D restaurants on Thanksgiving and did you enjoy it? No one in my party (other than myself) really cares if it's a traditional Thanksgiving meal or not and I just like that I can use my AAA for 20% off. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, also, when do the holiday decorations go up at S/D?


Thank you.
I had dinner at the Grove restaurant on Mother's Day last year. I always use my AAA card for discounts there and at the other restaurants on S/D property that accept them. After my meal, the waiter said that they do not accept AAA discounts on Mother's Day (or other major holidays). I asked where it said that. I asked for the manager/hostess. After a discussion (it was not stated anywhere), she gave the 20% (with the normal 18% gratuity added). She was quite miffed to say the least. I was acting more on principle, the amount of money was not very much for a solo meal. Just pointing out as an FYI. Not sure if there would be a problem on Thanksgiving.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:24 AM   #1354
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More Transporation Questions

I have finally read through all of the posts. Great information! While I consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to Disney, I have never stayed at the S/D before. There are 6 adults coming from all over to stay for a long weekend. I will be driving but do not want to make 5 trips to the airport to pick everyone up. 3 people will be coming in within a couple of hours of each other so I suggested they team up and get the Town Car Service (looks like Tiffany Town Car has been mentioned alot). The other two should do individual taxis or convince me to go to pick at least one of them up. But, all of them are returning to the airport at different times. So does the Town Car offer one way rates? I am so confused and trying to offer advice to everyone but I don't know the cheapest way to do it.

And I have to pay the $15.day to park which I guess will still be cheaper than their transportation to/from airport. Any expert guidance/recommendations is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:03 AM   #1355
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Originally Posted by bullsmom7 View Post
I have finally read through all of the posts. Great information! While I consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to Disney, I have never stayed at the S/D before. There are 6 adults coming from all over to stay for a long weekend. I will be driving but do not want to make 5 trips to the airport to pick everyone up. 3 people will be coming in within a couple of hours of each other so I suggested they team up and get the Town Car Service (looks like Tiffany Town Car has been mentioned alot). The other two should do individual taxis or convince me to go to pick at least one of them up. But, all of them are returning to the airport at different times. So does the Town Car offer one way rates? I am so confused and trying to offer advice to everyone but I don't know the cheapest way to do it.

And I have to pay the $15.day to park which I guess will still be cheaper than their transportation to/from airport. Any expert guidance/recommendations is greatly appreciated.
I'm sure you will get several opinions on this, but here's mine: It might be easier (and more cost effective) for everyone to purchase a Mears shuttle round trip (the one-way fare is $21; I believe it's $36 for a round trip). That way everyone can come and go as needed. The van usually makes more than 1 stop, but it is a nice ride and the least expensive.

We are at WDW now and my DH came in on the shuttle (I have used it many times myself) - it took him about 45 minutes as opposed to my 1-1/2 hours on Disney's (not so)Magical Express!! (I arrived 4 days earlier and stayed at BCV.)

I know town car services do offer both 1-way and round trip rates, but have no knowledge of the costs.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #1356
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Originally Posted by Dan Murphy View Post
I had dinner at the Grove restaurant on Mother's Day last year. I always use my AAA card for discounts there and at the other restaurants on S/D property that accept them. After my meal, the waiter said that they do not accept AAA discounts on Mother's Day (or other major holidays). I asked where it said that. I asked for the manager/hostess. After a discussion (it was not stated anywhere), she gave the 20% (with the normal 18% gratuity added). She was quite miffed to say the least. I was acting more on principle, the amount of money was not very much for a solo meal. Just pointing out as an FYI. Not sure if there would be a problem on Thanksgiving.
I know that the restaurants that accept the Tables in Wonderland discount don't do so on holidays. Perhaps that's what the manager at the Garden Grove thought about the AAA discount, too. I'm glad you stood your ground, but I imagine it wasn't a pleasant ending to your meal.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:21 AM   #1357
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We returned recently from our first trip to the Swan & Dolphin. I wanted to thank everyone on this thread for all of the wonderful information, it was all very helpful! We had a mostly wonderful time in Disney, we are fairly regular travelers, but this was our first time at this resort. We were able to plan this trip because of my DH’s Starwood points. Unfortunately this was one of our less than magical trips, for two reasons. One was our room at the Swan. Don’t get me wrong, the staff was phenomenal and we enjoyed the Java bar, Shulas and Pecobu restaurants while there. The room was spacious. The “storage” was deceiving, the large dresser had top drawers that were not deep enough and the cabinets below them, although spacious, didn’t pull out, so it was not very useful for putting clothes in there [I like to unpack our clothing, and I bring tissue paper to line all of the drawers after wiping them down, just a personal preference]. The bathroom was less than desirable because the ceiling was peeling VERY badly and in poor condition. It dropped pieces randomly throughout our stay. I understand the reason though, no fan, so I’m not sure why they can’t address that either with a different ceiling product that won’t peel or by installing fans?? The other more disturbing problem we experienced was our a/c vent. It spewed out quarter sized dust balls. All day. Every day. God only knows what we were breathing in when nothing was being tossed out of the vent. If we were staying any longer than the 3 nights we were there, and weren’t on Starwood points [aka: for “free”] I would have switched hotels. The other problem we encountered, and this has nothing to do with the Swan, was the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. We were very excited to be there during this event. We enjoyed our first evening there. The second time however, we arrived after a day at Hollywood Studios, probably around 8:30pm. People were drunk. Very drunk. I felt like I was at a Frat party. Not the environment for a family with young children [although we encountered many inebriated parents pushing strollers and whooping it up, so maybe we’re in the minority on this]. I guess you could say shame on us for going there, but this is Disney. I was shocked. It was a totally inappropriate environment for my young boys and we were very disappointed! I’m sorry to be a “downer” and I hesitated to share our negative experience but felt it was only fair to pass along. The Grotto pool looked in very good condition, I can’t say the same for the Swan pool, after our 1st day, it looked like the pictures the other poster shared of the Grotto pool.
It's too bad you had room issues at the Swan. Did you mention the problems with the AC vent and the bathroom ceiling while you were there? If you didn't - then not saying anything to the hotel but reporting your dissatisfaction on a discussion forum isn't really fair to the hotel. I understand that it was a free stay, but the issues you had should've been mentioned so you could've been moved to a more acceptable room.

I was there for the opening days of the Food & Wine Festival. Weekend nights are the most crowded, and lots of people drinking = a larger number of drunks. I prefer to "graze" at the food booths on week days.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:32 AM   #1358
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Originally Posted by bullsmom7 View Post
I have finally read through all of the posts. Great information! While I consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to Disney, I have never stayed at the S/D before. There are 6 adults coming from all over to stay for a long weekend. I will be driving but do not want to make 5 trips to the airport to pick everyone up. 3 people will be coming in within a couple of hours of each other so I suggested they team up and get the Town Car Service (looks like Tiffany Town Car has been mentioned alot). The other two should do individual taxis or convince me to go to pick at least one of them up. But, all of them are returning to the airport at different times. So does the Town Car offer one way rates? I am so confused and trying to offer advice to everyone but I don't know the cheapest way to do it.

And I have to pay the $15.day to park which I guess will still be cheaper than their transportation to/from airport. Any expert guidance/recommendations is greatly appreciated.
I usually go to WDW solo, so I take Mears @ $34 roundtrip. However, in July I stayed at the Swan with 2 of my kids, so we used Tiffany Towncar for the first time (http://tiffanytowncar.com/). The price for a RT towncar ($109 minus $5 coupon) was only a few dollars more than if the 3 of us had taken Mears. The one-way price is $60 - which is still a great rate for the 3 arriving within a few hours of each other. However, I wouldn't want to be the one arriving first - who has to wait for the others!

Last edited by NancyIL; 10-15-2012 at 09:37 AM. Reason: error
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:21 AM   #1359
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Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
I know that the restaurants that accept the Tables in Wonderland discount don't do so on holidays. Perhaps that's what the manager at the Garden Grove thought about the AAA discount, too. I'm glad you stood your ground, but I imagine it wasn't a pleasant ending to your meal.
LOL, Nancy. No, not too pleasant. She was pretty miffed. And yes, she may have been confused with the TiW card, which the restaurant also accepts.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:47 AM   #1360
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Disney or Dolphin

Hi, we are a family of 4 with 2 kids 9,10 just starting to plan a stay next Summer. We went to Disney and stayed at the Dolphin 2 years ago and LOVED it. Without reading pages and pages of threads, besides dinning and airport transportation is there any other advantages to stayng at one of the Disney Resorts? I'm talking overall experience, kids love the pool (dolphin pool was awesome, is another pool better somewhere), just overall feel? can anyone affer some pointers?
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:16 AM   #1361
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Hi, we are a family of 4 with 2 kids 9,10 just starting to plan a stay next Summer. We went to Disney and stayed at the Dolphin 2 years ago and LOVED it. Without reading pages and pages of threads, besides dinning and airport transportation is there any other advantages to stayng at one of the Disney Resorts? I'm talking overall experience, kids love the pool (dolphin pool was awesome, is another pool better somewhere), just overall feel? can anyone affer some pointers?
I think the only comparable pool would be Stormalong Bay at Y&BC resorts. You can charge back purchases at the parks to your room account at a Disney resort, not at S/D. That is about all I can think of.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #1362
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I think the only comparable pool would be Stormalong Bay at Y&BC resorts. You can charge back purchases at the parks to your room account at a Disney resort, not at S/D. That is about all I can think of.
Thanks Dan......is it better to be lets say at a monorail hotel? if I got a deal with meal plan included for us, will that saving be enough to make it worth it to try Disney hotel? Im just trying to weigh all my options. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #1363
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Originally Posted by Dan Murphy View Post
I had dinner at the Grove restaurant on Mother's Day last year. I always use my AAA card for discounts there and at the other restaurants on S/D property that accept them. After my meal, the waiter said that they do not accept AAA discounts on Mother's Day (or other major holidays). I asked where it said that. I asked for the manager/hostess. After a discussion (it was not stated anywhere), she gave the 20% (with the normal 18% gratuity added). She was quite miffed to say the least. I was acting more on principle, the amount of money was not very much for a solo meal. Just pointing out as an FYI. Not sure if there would be a problem on Thanksgiving.

Thanks for the scoop. I'll do some research and be prepared for either . A 20% discount will be nice for a party of 3
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:57 AM   #1364
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Friday night SwanDolphin Food & Wine Classic photo ... a very nice night!
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #1365
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Friday night SwanDolphin Food & Wine Classic photo ... a very nice night!
Great photo. And it was a nice night!
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