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Old 09-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
Clare Voince
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Swan or Dolphin?

I'm throwing together a last minute trip for 09/19-09/23, and both the Swan and Dolphin have availablity for my dates.. I've never stayed at either before. Is one better than another? Which is closer to the boat dock? I've stayed at BWI before, so I'm familiar with the Epcot resort area, just not the Swolphin. :> Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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I've stayed at the Swan twice - never stayed at Dolphin. Both are similar. The rooms are bright and spacious. At the Swan I had queen size beds once and a king last time. I think I read that Dolphn has full size rather than queen (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Either way, most comfortable bed I have ever slept in!
The bathroom had one vanity separate from the toilet and shower, and one in with them - very convenient!
The boat dock is between both hotels, so it is equal from each one.
There are several restaurants in each place. The 24 hr buffeteria is in the Dolphin, plus there are ample and different choices for all meals in both, although it seemed to me that most choices were in the Dolphin (again, I could be wrong). It didn't seem to matter much since Dolphin is just a short walk from Swan.
Have a great time!
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Having stayed in both I prefer the Dolphin with the large lobby (dont ask me why lol) but the main reason is the smell. The Swan has a very heavy vanilla musk odor and makes me so nauseated everytime I go in the lobby or halls. The Dolphin is a nice crisp clean smell.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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We've stayed at both and would just flip a coin or chose based on $$$.

The boat dock is equidistant from each.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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I go with cheaper, but like the Swan a little better. The convention center is at the Dolphin so it's more crowded IMHO...
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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I'd choose neither based on my recent experience there...

Gross smelling hallways (smelled like rotting fish), dingy room (Swan), mildew everywhere, GROSS Grotto pool condition (that they are supposedly fixing right now, but it was disgusting that they were still letting people swim in there with broken filters), exhorbitant "daily" fees of $31. Never again. And, people who rave about the "heavenly" beds must be sleeping on the floor at home, because the beds were decidedly NOT even close to being heavenly. I was sorely disappointed in my experience. I got the room for free with Starwood points and even then, it was not "worth it."
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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I'd go the Swan route. It's less crowded.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Thanks, Swan is about $20 cheaper, so I think I'll go with that. Can you get Magical Express at the Swan?
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:30 PM   #9
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I've stayed at both, and I've loved both. I would choose the Dolphin because of the availability of food at extra-late and extra-early hours without having to traipse across the outdoor walkway between the 2 hotels. My last stay, an 11th floor room at the Dolphin, had a view of Wishes every night. However it was so far away, the fireworks display looked only 1/2 inch tall.

That perfume smell at the Swan is almost exactly like a scent my mom likes to wear: Estee Lauder Sensuous. The Dolphin scent is not so overtly "flowery."

I would ask about the Lagoon pool and your trip dates. There are lots of rumors on the Resorts board about when the Lagoon pool is going to be closed for repair.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clare Voince View Post
Thanks, Swan is about $20 cheaper, so I think I'll go with that. Can you get Magical Express at the Swan?
No.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #11
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I prefer the Swan:
~queen beds
~extra vanity outside of the bathroom
~smaller property = easier to get where you're going (i.e. lobby, bus stop, boat dock) + shorter hallways (trust me...you'll appreciate this when returning to your room after a long day in the parks)
~slightly closer to the Boardwalk
~second stop on the shared buses to MK and AK (after Boardwalk and before Dolphin) means there's less of a chance that the bus will be so crowded that you'll have to stand
True, the Dolphin rooms offer closer proximity to quick service dining options (Picabu and Fountain); the laundry, gym and arcade; and the main Grotto pool area, but the walk from the Swan takes 2 minutes, tops, so that's not really a deal-breaker for us.

And yes, the lobby fragrance in the Swan can be somewhat strong at times, but we don't spend any significant time in the lobby, so that doesn't really factor into our decision-making. (Also, I've read reports that, of late, the lobby fragrance is much more subtle than it used to be.)

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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For the benefit of those considering the Dolphin or Swan, there is a mandatory $14/day "resort fee" per room. Be sure to consider this when comparing to other hotels.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:52 PM   #13
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For the benefit of those considering the Dolphin or Swan, there is a mandatory $14/day "resort fee" per room. Be sure to consider this when comparing to other hotels.
True. But even with this fee and assorted taxes, the nightly rate for the time she's going is around $170...about half of what the Boardwalk would cost for the same time period. Even throwing in airport transportation or a rental car and parking fees at the hotel, you're still coming out way ahead by staying at the Swan.

PS - Yes, I'm a little biased. Can you tell?!
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Clare Voince View Post
I'm throwing together a last minute trip for 09/19-09/23, and both the Swan and Dolphin have availablity for my dates.. I've never stayed at either before. Is one better than another? Which is closer to the boat dock? I've stayed at BWI before, so I'm familiar with the Epcot resort area, just not the Swolphin. :> Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Stayed at the dolphin last year and loved it. Next week We are going to the Swan for the first time. I thing the major difference is that the Swan has a smaller feel. They also have queen beds as apposed to the Dolphin which has doubles. We will be there 9/17-9/24. Either way you will love it!!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
Clare Voince
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Thanks for all the advice everyone! I'm getting really excitied about going. I've never done a trip on such short notice before, but I got the chance to get away, so I figured I might as well go. :>
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Sept 2014 - Boardwalk Inn / Sept 2012 - WDW Dolphin / Oct 2007 - Polynesian Resort & Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level - split stay / Oct 2005 - Grand Californian Hotel - Disneyland / June 2003 - Boardwalk Inn
1976-1988 - 13 Childhood trips spent at Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness, Treehouses, and Grand Floridian
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