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Old 01-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
bltman
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PORS or Swan

I know this question has been asked before but after looking at past threads, I am still undecided. Six nights, vacation for 4 - my wife and I and two young kids (7 and almost 4).

Essentially, I am cashing in all my frequent flyer points for a family trip to Disney. I have enough miles to cover the majority of the trip as long as I stay at either PORS (standard room) or the Dolphin and Swan. (I think our kids would love AoA but we want queen size beds so that eliminates it (and the value resorts) from contention). To make the most of my ff points, I need to book each aspect of the trip separately (flight, hotel and tickets) so we can't get a dining plan.

I am having trouble deciding between PORS or the Swan. Since the dining plan is out of the question, the decision is even more difficult to make.

Half the previous threads I read on this subject advise the Swan (for better location, better beds, slightly roomier, less walking within the resort, etc) and half advise PORS (more disney theme, nice grounds, DDP (not applicable for me) and DME). Really unsure and wavering on this one. Thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
Boardwalk529
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While I've never stayed at the POR, I did stay at the Dolphin a few years ago and absolutely loved it. The grounds there are gorgeous, the pool is amazing, and I loved the location. I really liked being able to walk to the Yacht/Beach Club and the Boardwalk and also taking a boat to Epcot and HS. Paying for a taxi to/from the airport was a bummer, though. And as much as I LOVED it, I did miss that "Disney feel." I'm a bit of a disney junkie though, so it probably wouldn't phase most people.

All in all, if the prices are similar, I'd probably go with the Swan.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
FloridaDreamin
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My husband and I have been to Disney World 15+ times and have stayed at Port Orleans Riverside every time. (Ok, once we tried Caribbean Beach & Port Orleans FQ but Riverside wins) To us Dolohin & Swan just lack The Disney magic. We walked around both hotels and there was basically nothing Disney except the gift shop. I think your little ones would enjoy Riverside. The grounds are gorgeous, rooms are pretty (and all updated recently), main pool is big with slide & waterfall. We love the food court for breakfast and the table service Boatwright's for dinner, one of our favorite places to eat. (A must try. Don't go by other's reviews...see for yourself!) Bus service is good...we drive most of the time. I might be biased but Riverside is awesome!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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My wife is a RN so we have stayed at the Swan with that RN discount....but frankly....I like POR better....never stayed at POR but toured the resort many times.
Now i just wished WDW gave Firefighters discounts....;') But, at least we seem to get good pin codes.!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
crusoe2
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Another vote for POR. I qualify for the teacher's discount at the Swan and Dolphin but our onsite stays are always at the Disney-owned resorts. The extras just seem worth it to us. With kids the ages of yours, I would think all the extras at Riverside would be a big plus - the campfire, movies on the lawn in the mansions section, family-friendly entertainment in the lounge, and the boat to Downtown Disney with all there is to do there.

By the way, you mentioned that you would be buying tickets separately. Just in case you aren't already aware, you can register on mousesavers.com and get a monthly email that includes a link to a discounted price on tickets from Undercover Tourist. It isn't a huge savings but every little bit helps. We've ordered our tickets that way and found UT to be very reliable with great customer service.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusoe2 View Post

By the way, you mentioned that you would be buying tickets separately. Just in case you aren't already aware, you can register on mousesavers.com and get a monthly email that includes a link to a discounted price on tickets from Undercover Tourist. It isn't a huge savings but every little bit helps. We've ordered our tickets that way and found UT to be very reliable with great customer service.
I will be using my frequent flyer miles to cover as much of the tickets as possible. If I stay at the Swan, the miles will cover the airfare (though i still need to pay taxes and surcharges on them), the hotel, and the 2 adult tickets. So, I will look to Undercover Tourist for the kids tickets. If I stay at POR, the miles will cover the airfare (excluding the taxes), all 4 disney tickets but just part of the hotel. The total cost of trip will be the same regardless of which hotel I stay at - I just need to structure the use of my miles differently for each option.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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This is how I see it:
Disney decorations vs Boardwalk area
buses to every park vs walking or boating to 2 parks buses to 2 parks
1 food court & 1 TS + POR restaurants vs 17 restaurants at the Swan/Dolphin +BC/ YC+ BW+DHS +Epcot
mod vs deluxe
No contest, the Swan would win.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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Having kids in the party, I would definitely say POR! Having stayed at the dolphin, there is just nothing 'Disney' there!
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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I also vote for Swan/Dolphin. Never stayed at the Swan but IMO the Dolphin's location, transportation options and room size and beds "win-out" over the moderates and values. We are fine with less hotel Disney since we spend our days there.
I have also changed our past 2 trips from a Disney Boardwalk hotel to the Dolphin because the rate was $100 per night difference (even with the fees). If you have AAA check their rate. FYI there is NO magical express to the Dolphin/Swan.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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I vote Swan, although I have never stayed at POR. I've stayed at WL, BLT, BC & BW (BC & BW multiple times), and always hesitated to try Swan/Dolphin. Lack of Disney "magic" etc. We stayed at the Swan last June and loved it!! Less Disney "magic"...yeah, probably, but the Epcot resorts area is where we want to stay. The Swolphin has the location at Mod. prices. The Grotto pool is awesome...your kids would love it. I liked it so much, I'm staying at the Dolphin in May and bypassing the spring WDW discounts.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
nkereina
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I love POR but would probably go Swan in your case. The kids might enjoy POR better due to the themeing, but neither one is over the top Disney themeing so you aren't losing much in terms of "Disney magic" IMO. The Swan will save you lots on travel time due to its location, and will give you more room with 4 people.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:09 PM   #12
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Are you going to rent a car if you stay at the Swan? If you are interested in using Magical Express then you need to go with POR.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
bltman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkereina View Post
I love POR but would probably go Swan in your case. The kids might enjoy POR better due to the themeing, but neither one is over the top Disney themeing so you aren't losing much in terms of "Disney magic" IMO. The Swan will save you lots on travel time due to its location, and will give you more room with 4 people.
I do love the location of the Swan, like that the grounds are manageable (not too long to walk from Swan to Dolphin) and am leaning in that direction. My last concern is really around recent reviews that indicate the hotel is showing its age.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bltman View Post
I do love the location of the Swan, like that the grounds are manageable (not too long to walk from Swan to Dolphin) and am leaning in that direction. My last concern is really around recent reviews that indicate the hotel is showing its age.
We stayed at the Swan in August and it was lovely. My daughter, niece, and I had an absolutely wonderful stay.
I will say that I've noticed at times that some people tend to be overly observant and look for flaws all over the place. For me to notice something it has to be glaring and there was not one thing I could mention.
POR is a beautiful resort however, for me location will win out every time.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
nkereina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bltman View Post
My last concern is really around recent reviews that indicate the hotel is showing its age.
I think that's probably fair to say about most Disney resorts. It's a valid concern, but based on the location, I would chance it. There are still plenty of good reviews out there and we know Swan isn't in disrepair.
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