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BC vs Swan/Dolphin Help Me Decide

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by GOOFY4DONALD, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. GOOFY4DONALD

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

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    I am the kind of person that wants to be immersed in the whole Disney experience from Magical Express to the dining plan. I shy away from off property hotels in WDW. We have always stayed in the MK area but after our last trip we think we are ready to try an Epcot area hotel (we seem to visit Epcot & HS the most). We fell head over heels in love with the BC while dining and touring there. That being said we were impressed with the swan while going through the hotel on the way to the ferry boats. Both were very nice. The BC obviously has the benefits of staying on property. The Swan/Dolphin has some Disney benefits but the price is very nice (esp considering we could get the educator discount). I work very hard to pay for vacations so (although saving money is wonderful) money is not the only deciding factor in my decision. Is the money saved from staying at the swan as beneficial as losing all the benefits of a Disney resort?
     
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  3. deakam

    deakam DIS Veteran

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    I think the only benefits you lose is the Magical Express and the dining plan. Have you done the cost comparison for the dining plan as opposed to paying oop? We have found that it is about the same because 9 times out of 10 the only reason we order dessert is because it is included.
     
  4. Robbi

    Robbi DIS Veteran

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    Yes, save your money. While the BC has SAB, it tends to get crowded and honestly, the rooms are nothing special.
    You can't use ME, get the DDP, or charge to your room in the parks or restaurants.
    You can use Disney transportation, you can get EMH, you can have packages sent to the Swan where you pick them up in the gift shop, and you get free parking too at the parks.
    People will say there's a resort charge-yes and you get free wifi, local calls and water included in that fee.
    There is a parking fee but when you compare the room cost + parking + the resort fee, it still comes out way cheaper than the BC or other WDW Epcot resorts.
     
  5. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    You don't lose all the benefits, and you are on property. You still get EMH priviledges and bus service. There is a WDW ticket and info booth in the Dolphin lobby for maps and such, as well as an Alamo car rental counter. No ME, dining plan or package delivery. (Oops, I see Robbi corrected me above; mixed up with no charging to your room.) But you get a lot there in terms of amenities: 24 hr dining (in room and cafe w/ AAA 20% discount on food) and food staples purchase, Heavenly Beds, outdoor Cabana bar and dining, outdoor sports, jogging trail, multiple pools, great restaurants on property including an ice cream shop, swan boats, a sandy beach, Disney gift shop, Mandarin Spa, etc. And you can still watch Stacy on TV! I'd say give it a try!
     
  6. patty57

    patty57 DIS Veteran

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    Since you say you want the total immersion of WDW, and even mention ME, I don't know if you would think it's worth it or not. It's definitely a personal preference. I have stayed at BC & BCV multiple times and love it. It's my favorite resort. Last June, we stayed at the Swan for financial reasons. We ended up really liking it, and I'm staying at the Dolphin in May, again for financial reasons. If they were the same price, I would stay at BC, but they aren't. I probably do like the S&D as much as BW though, where I've also stayed multiple times. I'm saving over $600 staying at the Dolphin in May instead of BC and that is after all resort fees and transportation to/from the airport. I will happily use that money during my trip.
     
  7. MissionMouse

    MissionMouse DIS Veteran

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    Your nightly rate does not include the mandatory daily resort fee, plus if you are going to park your car they charge a daily fee too. I am not sure if this matters, but I will note the Dolphin is a convention hotel, so you would most likely encounter large business functions in the lobby area, bars and other main floor activity areas. For me, when I am on vacation I do not want to think of work so see others working and gossiping. I just didn't get the Disney feeling until I left the resort. Overall, we have stayed at most of the deluxe resorts and based upon our experiences would stay at a Disney Deluxe prior to the Swan or Dolphin and a non-convention resort before a convention resort. If financials are a driving factor the savings is something to consider.
     
  8. amberpi

    amberpi DIS Veteran

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    I've stayed at all the wdw deluxe resorts in the epcot area and on the monorail loop. The swan is my favorite. It's much quieter and the rooms are larger, and to my opinion better appointed. The bars are fun and the pools with the great wait staff are a huge plus. We dont enjoy the dining plan (just not how we eat nor does it include our favorite restaurants) and my dh rode the me express once and that was quite enough for him - a cab is much quicker:) the food choices are great and I can't tell you how often we've come in very late at night and enjoyed their room service which is really tasty!
     
  9. cjsm&d

    cjsm&d DIS Veteran

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    The cost is still alot less to stay at S&D than any of the other EPCOT resort including any charges.

    Yacht Club is also a convention resort.
     
  10. Robbi

    Robbi DIS Veteran

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    So is the BW.
    It cracks me up when the convention topic comes up on threads about S/D or CSR. BW, YC, CR,GF,CSR are all convention resorts and have all had conventions when we've stayed there. It really is not a big deal.
     
  11. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

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    IMHO, having stayed at Swan, BW, and BC - I would choose the Swan hands down. While it is less expensive, I think the rooms are more updated and the beds are much more comfortable. We always rent a car so ME does not matter to us. YMMV.
     
  12. Timandalicia

    Timandalicia Mouseketeer

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    Tttttttttt
     
  13. Timandalicia

    Timandalicia Mouseketeer

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    Value is relative to someone's income and wants don't you think? So you are going to get a variety of answers. I personally would take the BC over the Swan. But I love being immersed. I mean I get excited about the lobby music. However, having stayed at both, that is the only solid amenity difference, besides magical express. Even then, they do a good job of incorporating the magic, and you are still physically right there. It's just barely enough of a difference for me.
     
  14. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I forgot to mention the views from the rooms, speaking of immersion.

    Love the views! This was our room last time (apologize for poor pic quality, taken with an old iPhone a couple of years ago). Different views from different area of the hotels. See ToT in middle pic in the background. Beautiful at night, too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. diskids2

    diskids2 <font color=CC66CC>Not above grovelling for a tag

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    I am going to voice another vote for the S/D. We've stayed at the S/D several times and last summer was our first time at the BC. While I loved the BC, I did NOT love the price. IMHO the difference in $$$$ was worth the benefits lost from a Disney resort (ME, charging back).

    The Grotto pool is wonderful as well. In addition, during our summer visit, we noticed that for Bus trips (MK, AK, DTD) the S/D was the first drop off and we avoided spending the extra minutes getting to the BC.
     
  16. SA mom

    SA mom DIS Veteran

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    Another bonus of the Swan (and Dolphin) is that you can stay on points with the Starwood American Express card. We stayed on points for our last two Disney trips.

    The beds are truly heavenly.

    You can see the fireworks from Illuminations from some of the rooms. That is some heavy duty Disney magic.
     
  17. GOOFY4DONALD

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

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    Thank you all for such great replies. I wanted to add to my post our tentative plans. We are planning on arriving in Orlando on a Thurs, renting a car, and spending 3 days at Universal (never been to USO). Then returning the car and spending 6 nights at WDW. I really wanted to stay at BC but touring the Swan found it was pretty impressive. We would also get a teacher's discount so we would end up saving over 200.00 per night (over BC). That being said we have always used ME and the dining plan. I'm not saying that it would be a bad thing not to have them, just different.
     
  18. patty57

    patty57 DIS Veteran

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    We always used DME, but never the dining plan. For the S/D we use a town car. Only you can decide which you would rather do...stay at BC or save some money. Best of luck making your decision. You will have a great trip either way.
     
  19. Minckemom

    Minckemom Earning My Ears

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    Which type of room did you have?
     
  20. chasgoose

    chasgoose Mouseketeer

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    Unless there is some crazy sale at the YC/BC, the S&D are almost always going to be cheaper, even after you factor in the extra costs. It's certainly more immersive and easier to stay on Disney property, but you pay for that convenience and experience. Personally, I find it worth it to pay for the Disney hotel, but if I couldn't afford a Deluxe, I would probably stay at the S&D before I dropped down to a moderate.
     
  21. msmileyface

    msmileyface Mouseketeer

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    I've stayed at the Swan before and I'm headed back in June. You really cannot beat the location, and the rooms are fantastic. The bed alone is a major selling point. I don't think you'll be disappointed at ALL! It feels like a luxury place!
     

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