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Old 05-03-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
disneymore2
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Help!! Dolphin or AKL?!

Ok can't decide on my June trip. We have 5 days booked at the contemporary. Want to do add 2 days to the front end of our trip and can't do the CR. we can either do AKL or Dolphin.. We would check in Sunday and have already planned Epcot on Monday and DHS on Tuesday (the day we transfer).. I am thinking dolphin because of location.. I always assumed dolphin was really nice, but started reading reviews and a little worried...Stayed at AKL once and loved it.. My little girl would love the animals!! However the AKL room reservation would be a convention ressie, so no guarantee on room location... What do u all think??
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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We have never stayed at AKL but it never interested us due to its location. We love the EPCOT location the best. We actually had a great experience at the Dolphin. We stayed there twice and the only reason we don't anymore is we became DVC owners. We stayed at the Dolphin with 2 small boys and I can't say anything bad about it. The "heavenly" beds are even more comfortable than Disney beds IMO. The only thing you'd miss is you won't be able to use Magical Express for that leg of the trip. But if you have AAA or a teacher's discount, the price of the room goes down considerably.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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If you are planning Epcot and DHS those two days, then definitely Dolphin! We'd walk to the parks. So nice not having to wait for buses and come and go as you want.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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Given that you want to do Epcot and DHS on those days, then the Dolphin is much more convenient. Just walk or boat to the parks. However, I love AKL and it's a great resort. It has amazing attention to detail and lots of animals to see (even if you can't watch them from your room you can always go to the viewing area). However, as the PP mentioned, you can't use ME when you arrive (because the Swan and Dolphin aren't included). So you might want to factor that into your planning.

For me, I think I would ultimately deal with the bus rides to DHS and Epcot and stay at AKL (better theme and so much to do, plus ME). Now, if you could swing either BW, YC, or BC, then I would choose one of those because of proximity to Epcot and DHS.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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I would absolutely choose AKL over convenience to walking to Epcot! Your daughter will LOVE the over the top themeing of AKL!! The dolphin is just a hotel....not impressed at all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:23 AM   #6
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I haven't stayed at AKL but I loved the Dolphin The location is great and you'll probably get a cheaper rate than AKL. Plus you've already stayed at AKL.

I'm not sure if transferring to/from Dolphin/Contemporary is as easy as AKL/Contemporary though?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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I haven't stayed at AKL but I loved the Dolphin The location is great and you'll probably get a cheaper rate than AKL. Plus you've already stayed at AKL.

I'm not sure if transferring to/from Dolphin/Contemporary is as easy as AKL/Contemporary though?
This was my worry. I mean certainly you can hop in a cab and transfer yourself, but it is nice to be able to leave your bags with bell services at hotel 1, go to a park, and return to hotel 2 and check in. Also you will lose out on Magical Express for the part of your stay at the Dolphin.

That said the Dolphin is FAR better located for Epcot/DHS days than the AKL, but if they were priced similarly I would take the AKL since there are going to probably be more extra costs at the Dolphin.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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try quikbook.com for a swan-dolphin great rate! I just scored a nightly rate for Oct for $159. They do charge tax, as well as a $20 a night resort fee. Even with all this, it is still cheaper than a Disney deluxe. The Dolphin & Swan are 1 of my families favorite places to stay!

If you sign up for SPG, which is free, you can accumulate points on each night you stay at any spg hotel therefore earning you free nights in the future! We are going to the Dolphin over Memorial weekend for a looong weekend all on points! Of coarse, I do have the spg am-ex so points rack up for me outside of staying at a spg hotel

Good luck on your decision!
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice! We r driving so me is not an issue.. Leaning toward dolphin right now.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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We've stayed at AKL and loved it too, but given that you will be in the Epcot resort area, you will save so much time by staying at the Dolphin. And, since you haven't stayed there before, you'll experience something new. On our last trip, my kids and I tried a few of the restaurants there and found the get away rather peaceful.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckerkeys View Post
try quikbook.com for a swan-dolphin great rate! I just scored a nightly rate for Oct for $159. They do charge tax, as well as a $20 a night resort fee. Even with all this, it is still cheaper than a Disney deluxe. The Dolphin & Swan are 1 of my families favorite places to stay!

If you sign up for SPG, which is free, you can accumulate points on each night you stay at any spg hotel therefore earning you free nights in the future! We are going to the Dolphin over Memorial weekend for a looong weekend all on points! Of coarse, I do have the spg am-ex so points rack up for me outside of staying at a spg hotel

Good luck on your decision!
THANK YOU for the referral! that is a great site if youy can find city/dates you want!
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chasgoose View Post
This was my worry. I mean certainly you can hop in a cab and transfer yourself, but it is nice to be able to leave your bags with bell services at hotel 1, go to a park, and return to hotel 2 and check in. Also you will lose out on Magical Express for the part of your stay at the Dolphin.

That said the Dolphin is FAR better located for Epcot/DHS days than the AKL, but if they were priced similarly I would take the AKL since there are going to probably be more extra costs at the Dolphin.
Just to clarify - the Swan and Dolphin will transfer luggage to a WDW Resort - and this works in the reverse as well !! So you can indeed leave your bags with bell services in the am, hit the parks and return to the Contemporary to check in later in the day

OP has a car so DME isn't an issue - however OP factor in that the Dolphin charges $15 per day parking fee but you can still park for free at the parks.

Dolphin is one of our favorite resorts and we have stayed at almost all of them !! Love the Heavenly beds and the range of dining options as well as the pool area - one of the 3 best on property IMHO Walking to DHS and Epcot is a huge plus of course.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:20 PM   #13
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I'd stay at AKL for the actual resort's sake but at the Dolphin for it's awesome location! I'd choose which of those matters most to you and then make your decision.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
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we were at the Dolphin last year --the location is great, but its on our list of been there, NEVER going back. ( there were 2 other families there and we all had the same opinion) rooms smell musty, pool was filthy, and the list goes on.

as for AK --- we have been there numerous times.. I recommend staying there. both resorts have great pools!! yes it is a little further away, but the atomsphere etc makes up for it!!
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
disneymore2
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we were at the Dolphin last year --the location is great, but its on our list of been there, NEVER going back. ( there were 2 other families there and we all had the same opinion) rooms smell musty, pool was filthy, and the list goes on.

as for AK --- we have been there numerous times.. I recommend staying there. both resorts have great pools!! yes it is a little further away, but the atomsphere etc makes up for it!!
I know that is what has got me worried!! The reviews are not great...I would actually save about $5 at AKL- but love the idea of being so close- especially since those are the parks we were already planning on hitting.

We have never stayed in boardwalk or monorail hotels- so excited about trying both on one trip.

I think we are sticking with dolphin and hoping for the best!
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