PORS or Swan

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by bltman, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. bltman

    bltman Earning My Ears

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    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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  3. Boardwalk529

    Boardwalk529 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  4. FloridaDreamin

    FloridaDreamin Mouseketeer

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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!
     
  5. alecshawn

    alecshawn WDW Fanatic

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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.!!!
     
  6. crusoe2

    crusoe2 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  7. bltman

    bltman Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  8. Robbi

    Robbi DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  9. MrsT2013

    MrsT2013 Earning My Ears

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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!
     
  10. Alabama Minnie

    Alabama Minnie DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  11. patty57

    patty57 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  12. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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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.
     
  13. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  14. bltman

    bltman Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  15. Robbi

    Robbi DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  16. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    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.
     
  17. degansha

    degansha Earning My Ears

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    Great question and nice timing. I came to the forums this morning looking for feedback to the same question. We are heading to Disney for Christmas 2013 and will have 3 adults and 2 kids (ages 9 and 3) and were weighing our options between these exact two resorts. Past trips we have stayed at the Swan, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and the Contemporary and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

    During our Swan trip (family Christmas of 13 people), a few people mentioned early in the trip the hotel not having that Disney feel to it. But by the end of the trip, that thought was long gone from their heads as they couldn't stop raving about what a fantastic trip it was, and how easy it was to get to everything so quickly. It was all about location as we are park-hopper fiends.

    Anyway, this thread helped me remember why we enjoyed the Swan so much. Location, location, location!

    So, I booked the Dolphin today (would have done the Swan but they only accommodate 4 people). Good luck with your decision! I don't think you'll be disappointed with either. If you want that Disney feel 24/7 while being ok with slightly longer travel to the parks, do PORS. If you want to jump in and out of the parks at will, walk to Epcot, or need a quicky at Beaches and Cream, do Swan.

    Oh, and if you happen to be a AAA member and decide to book the Swan, definitely check on it. I was able to get an incredible deal at $125 a night cheaper than Swan's standard rate and $100 a night cheaper than PORS. Saves me $800 that I can now blow in the parks :)
     
  18. Megsie1000

    Megsie1000 Mouseketeer

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    The Swan/Dolphin usually goes out of contention for us because of the lack of Magical Express. With small kids you really can't beat the convenience of that (for us). It is such a huge perk to be able to leave your bags when you arrive and go directly to the bus and not have to worry about dragging the bags around. And on the flip side it is so convenient to check your bags at the hotel and not need to worry about them again until you get to your home airport. A huge part of the stress of traveling for us is the airports and standing in line with luggage and kids and the Magical Express just eliminates a lot of that stress.
     
  19. Magic3forme

    Magic3forme Grand Slam club members

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    We have stayed at POR twice, the Dolphin once.. Never again will we stay at the Dolphin. The location is great, but the hotel/ pool are in need of major upgrades. (thread bare carpet, musty smelling rooms.. and the list goes on.)

    The food court at the POR is 10x better too.

    We loved the pool at the POR and walking around the grounds.
     

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