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Old 01-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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POR vs. Dolphin

Planning an October trip for my family of five. We usually stay at POR, and we love it. However, after I stayed at the Swan last summer for a work conference, I am thinking the Dolphin might be a welcome change. Love the bigger rooms, fantastic pool area, and being able to walk to Boardwalk and 2 parks. The only hangup is free dining. If it's offered, we may have to go back to POR for the $$ savings.

So is it worth it to give up free dining to stay at the Dolphin? Would love thoughts and opinions from people who have stayed both places. Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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I'd make the reservation at the Dolphin for now. Then IF Free Dining comes out and it works better for you, cancel the first reservation and reserve at POR. I'm not sure with a family of five it would be worth giving up free dining at a resort you already like. But there is no guarantee it will be available to you, so you make other plans that work first.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 2manydaves View Post
So is it worth it to give up free dining to stay at the Dolphin? Would love thoughts and opinions from people who have stayed both places. Thanks!
For us it is always worth it. I have done the math seven ways to sunday and can not make free dining a benifit for us under any circumstances. We would rather have a room only discount then free dining. We love staying in the EPCOT resorts and can not image staying anywhere else.

We usually stay at BWV but have stayed at the dolphin and enjoyed it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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I've stayed at both and I think I would stick with POR to get free dining. I like the Dolphin more, but for us it would come down to $$. When we stayed at the Dolphin, it was because it was slightly cheaper for us than POR (we were getting a rental car no matter what). We stayed at POR last month with free dining and that's hard to beat with five people
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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I would run the numbers comparing the rate you get at the Dolphin + estimated food costs for your stay versus the rate you get a POR w/free dining. The difference really will depend on the time of year you go and how much your family actually eats on a daily basis, which is purely a personal thing. For our family, it's always been cheaper to either take the discounts on the room, or the discounts at the Swan / Dolphin (allears, teacher or AAA) than to go for the free dining.

Also as others have said, I always book the Swan / Dolphin and then continue my search of the Disney Resorts as more deals become available. You can always cancel that Swan / Dolphin reservations up to 5 days before your trip. Our last trip we did this. Had the Swan booked, then got a 40% or Free Dining pin and jumped on the 40% and stayed at Wilderness Lodge. I'm doing that now. We are booked at the Dolphin for next December while I continue to search.
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