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Old 09-01-2013, 09:22 PM   #16
Princess Jes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogwoodflwr View Post
Staying on-site at our Disney resort allows you to enjoy many special Disney benefits (available exclusively for guests staying at Walt Disney World hotels) including:

Extra Magic Hours Benefit at the Theme Parks

Complimentary Scheduled Transportation Throughout Disney
On-Site Disney Ticket Desks
Character Dining

Advance Tee Times on Championship Disney Golf Courses

Complimentary Delivery of Purchases Made in Disney Theme Parks

Complimentary Parking at Disney Theme Parks
These Disney benefits are just a few of the reasons you will enjoy staying at our Disney hotel.
I this this is incorrect for a few points...
The complimentary transportation I thought was available for the Swan/Dolphin.
Character dining... Also, I'd have thought anyone with a valid ticket or the ability to get to another resort could book character dining?

I don't plan on buying TOO much, so hopefully that's not too much of a drama. And also hoping to have tickets sorted before we get there so I'm sure this won't bother us too much.

Do the swan/dolphin guests miss out on EMH? That could be a deal breaker. I was under the impression that the swan/dolphin resorts were pretty much the same as on-site bar a few minor differences? I'm still confused as to why they're on the Disney website even though they're not owned and operated by Disney? Aren't there other on-site but not owned by Disney hotels/resorts? Why are they excluded from the Disney website?
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:43 PM   #17
Mewissy
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Originally Posted by Princess Jes View Post

I this this is incorrect for a few points...
The complimentary transportation I thought was available for the Swan/Dolphin.
Character dining... Also, I'd have thought anyone with a valid ticket or the ability to get to another resort could book character dining?

I don't plan on buying TOO much, so hopefully that's not too much of a drama. And also hoping to have tickets sorted before we get there so I'm sure this won't bother us too much.

Do the swan/dolphin guests miss out on EMH? That could be a deal breaker. I was under the impression that the swan/dolphin resorts were pretty much the same as on-site bar a few minor differences? I'm still confused as to why they're on the Disney website even though they're not owned and operated by Disney? Aren't there other on-site but not owned by Disney hotels/resorts? Why are they excluded from the Disney website?
If you saw the title of the PP's post, these are things you get at S/D, not don't get
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #18
Princess Jes
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Originally Posted by Mewissy View Post

If you saw the title of the PP's post, these are things you get at S/D, not don't get
Oh my apologies!!! That's awesome then!! Haha! Thanks
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #19
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The Swan/Dolphin are wonderful hotels with amazing prices for the location and a luxury hotel. They are located between Epcot and DHS in the exact same area as the Disney Epcot resorts. Incredible value!

You are right, they have most of the perks of staying in a WDW owned hotel. The biggest lack is not having Magical express from the airport, but are you going to Disney from Orlando airport or from another area? In any event, fyi, we are going to Disney and NOT using DME because we want to go to our resort directly without having to change terminals (we arrive from international and are at another terminal from the one with DME) with our luggage (only taken to WDW for you if you are domestic flight) to wait for a bus and then have to go to an unspecified number of resorts before arriving at ours. Also, if you are departing Orlando for an international destination, DME will pick you up 4 hours before your flight time. That has meant some lengthy waits at the airport for us. So, DME is not a deal breaker for us, at least.

You do get to use all the other Disney transportation throughout WDW. You do get EMH. You do get package delivery.

You don't get to charge purchases in WDW to your room. UM, so? Just use your credit card that the room would charge the purchases to anyway.

You DO get to book the type of room that you want. With WDW almost anything that you want is a request only and not guaranteed. At the Swan and Dolphin you can book Epcot fireworks view with a balcony. This isn't possible at a Disney resort. You can book connecting rooms, guaranteed, which at a Disney resort is just a request. There are many advantages to staying in the Swan and Dolphin. We love these hotels.

I actually like the over the top whimsical decor. It sure beats the theming of the value resorts for an adult holiday, IMO. The values are great, but much better for families with young children. PLUS It is sort of fun that almost anywhere you go in WDW you can see the pyramid of the Dolphin and say "Hey, there's our hotel!"

My son and DIL went to WDW as part of their honeymoon and they chose to stay at the Dolphin. They had a wonderful time there.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #20
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Sorry, forgot, no dining plan.

However, the dining plan costs about the same as what you would pay to eat in WDW anyway, in my experience. Some say that they do it for convenience, but we find it more convenient to just eat where and when we like and not have to worry about which places accept the DP, how many credits the restaurant takes, if we have used all our snacks or not, etc. I have added up my dining costs and they always average the same or less than the cost of the dining plan. We eat in Table service restaurants every day for at least one meal. Perhaps we eat less than most people, but I doubt it. I am a very hearty eater and so is DH.

Expensive venues like Cinderella's Royal table use 2 TS credits, so if you eat at one of these you will be out of pocket for a meal on another day.


I really don't understand the fascination with the dining plans. Unless you have a family of 4 or 5 or more and are staying in one bedroom in a value or moderate, you save much more with RO discounts and paying out of pocket for food over getting a package with Free Dining.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #21
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Swolphin gets a lot of perks and has a really good location along with great prices for rooms.

That said, I don't like it. When I'm at Disney, I want to feel immersed in Disney and Swolphin feels like a Marriott/Hilton plunked down next to the World (IMO). It's just not 'Disney' to me. I spent time in rooms at both hotels when relatives stayed there, and just was not impressed and found the rooms smallish too (though that could be because four people were staying in each room with accompanying luggage, etc.). I'd rather stay moderate than stay there personally, unless I was going during a really busy time where the convenience to Epcot and DHS outweighed my preference for theme. It's all a matter of personal preference.

If you are interested in DDP, look at the menus and prices and think about what you'd order if you were paying OOP. There are numerous restaurants where I'd save money with the plan simply because I would not choose the more expensive entrees (as much as I'd like them). If I were going on a more leisurely trip, I'd choose the plan simply because it would be nice for once to not look at the menu and worry about what I can eat.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babsy View Post
Sorry, forgot, no dining plan..
You can get dining plan. If you book S/D from the Disney website you can attach a dining plan to it. Not sure if you can do it if you book directly. And I'm not sure if the S/D restaurants are even on the dining plan but I know it is possible to get it. Not that I've ever used the dining plan; it just doesn't work for the way we eat.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #23
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Go with the S/D over anything other than a Disney Deluxe. You will love the convenience of being right outside two disney parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We spend a lot of our time at Epcot as we eat many of our meals there. We really enjoy the boat ride or walk back to the room when we are done. The location can't be beat. Also, we have never had an issue with transportation to the other parks, AK and MK.

The S/D do charge a daily resort fee that includes your internet access and 2 bottles of water daily. I think the fee is around $20 a day. However, for the price we paid for the room and the advantage of staying deluxe we gladly pay the fee. Booking directly with S/D there are many discounts that are available and we have never paid rack rate for a room.

Incidentally, we prefer the Swan over the Dolphin. The Swan is smaller and more intimate and love the Westin bath products. The beds are also very comfortable, "Heavenly Beds," though I believe that Dolphin has those as well. One other thing that is a big plus for us is the AC units...you can set the temp to your desired tempurature and it does not shut off in the middle of the night. Disney resorts are notorious for having AC units that shut off in the middle of the night if no movement is detected. While there are work arounds we find this to be a real pain.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Jes View Post
So far I've gathered that the only differences are:
No MDE
No access to DxDP
No theming

Am I missing something?
Yes,

Swan and Dolphin have interior corridors which CBR doesn't.
Swan and Dolphin have better beds then anything at Disney



And they do have a theme, it's just not "all Disney all the time" Heck one of them has a character meal LOL!

The "magic" of Disney themes disappeared for me when I realized how dramatically overcharged I was for the quality of the motel.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #25
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I find the Dining Plan over rated anyhow. Most of the signature restaurants require two table service meals deducted -- I've found I do better taking the room discount and eating wherever I want as opposed to trying to figure it all out. BTW, Shula's Steakhouse is AWESOME and expensive! And located right in the Dolphin! Yachtsman Steakhouse is great too at the Yacht Club, but the room at the Dolphin is 200 per night less!

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Old 09-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #26
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We stayed at the Dolphin the beginning of August and had these perks:
Extra Magic Hours
Was able to send purchases back to the resort
Free parking at the parks if you drive
Disney bus and boat transportation
Character dining onsite
Was able to buy tickets onsite

The only two things that were not available to us were the dining plans and magical express.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:42 AM   #27
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OP, we love CSR and we love the Dolphin too. Given the choice, I'd go with the Dolphin or Swan. They're very nice with a fantastic location.
Walk out of the door to get to the boats and the Beach Club, Boardwalk and Yacht Club are right there!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:56 AM   #28
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When at Universal, stay at one of the Universal Hotels (Royal Pacific, Portofino, Hard Rock). You will get to go to the front of the line and they are so close to the parks.

I think the Swan/Dolphin is nicer than the moderate Disney hotels like Coronado Springs. I would be more excited about staying at Dolphin than at Coronado (and I've stayed at both).

I don't know if you can buy a dining plan while staying at the Swan/Dolphin though. I would not recommend getting the deluxe dining plan, I would go with the regular dining plan. The deluxe dining plan is simply too much. You'll spend your entire trip racing around WDW trying to get from one restaurant to another. I actually wouldn't get *any* dining plan, but if you do get one, get the regular one.

Between Swan/Dolphin, the Dolphin has a 24/7 quick-service restaurant (Picabu) and is larger. The bed sizes are different (I think queen beds at Swan and doubles at Dolphin). They are right next to each other though.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #29
Princess Jes
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Thanks for all of your responses, keep them coming!

I've got so much to plan, and now I'm thinking that his might be the way to go!

What are the grounds like in comparison to the Disney resorts?
What are the pools like?
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:11 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Darkside
Skip the Swan and Dolphin, it is on Disney property, but is NOT a Disney property. All the NON Disney resorts will tell you they have the same amenities, but they really don't. I have stayed at the Swan and I can tell you once you are inside, it is just another luxury hotel. Disney resorts have a certain feel to them, hard to describe, but you are immersed in the Disney experience, which is hard to duplicate.
Lol, what feel? Sorry I love the WL and the Yacht Club. They have no more "DISNEY" feel that the Swan. I ask this Queston because i hear about the so called "immersion" all the time. Now if I'm at one of the values, I definitely agree but sorry, I've stayed at just about every deluxe except the poly. The Grand Floridian is not oozing "disney".

The grounds on both properties are gorgeous. I'll see if I can find some of pictures. expertly landscaped a very pretty. check allears.net they may have some good pictures.
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Last edited by eliza61; 09-04-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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