The **New** Swan and Dolphin Resort thread ~ April 2012 ~ Please read post #1

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by MOM POPPINS, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. magsmum

    magsmum Mouseketeer

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    We bring an air mattress (we fly SW so just throw it in a suitcase but know others just bring as a carryon) and my teenage son happily sleeps on that.
     
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  3. weatherboy80

    weatherboy80 Earning My Ears

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    Good to hear as we will be there tonight :) Did they have enough tables or seating set up this year? We have a party of 6 going and was hoping to find a place to sit or at least stand together.
     
  4. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob <font color=green>Oil Can aficionado<br><font colo

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    It was great last night!

    Yes, I noticed a lot more seating this year and saw groups together at tables. The overall set up is larger this year and never felt "crowded" last night even though increased attendance.
     
  5. SleepingBeauty69

    SleepingBeauty69 Earning My Ears

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    We returned recently from our first trip to the Swan & Dolphin. I wanted to thank everyone on this thread for all of the wonderful information, it was all very helpful! We had a mostly wonderful time in Disney, we are fairly regular travelers, but this was our first time at this resort. We were able to plan this trip because of my DH’s Starwood points. Unfortunately this was one of our less than magical trips, for two reasons. One was our room at the Swan. Don’t get me wrong, the staff was phenomenal and we enjoyed the Java bar, Shulas and Pecobu restaurants while there. The room was spacious. The “storage” was deceiving, the large dresser had top drawers that were not deep enough and the cabinets below them, although spacious, didn’t pull out, so it was not very useful for putting clothes in there [I like to unpack our clothing, and I bring tissue paper to line all of the drawers after wiping them down, just a personal preference]. The bathroom was less than desirable because the ceiling was peeling VERY badly and in poor condition. It dropped pieces randomly throughout our stay. I understand the reason though, no fan, so I’m not sure why they can’t address that either with a different ceiling product that won’t peel or by installing fans?? The other more disturbing problem we experienced was our a/c vent. It spewed out quarter sized dust balls. All day. Every day. God only knows what we were breathing in when nothing was being tossed out of the vent. If we were staying any longer than the 3 nights we were there, and weren’t on Starwood points [aka: for “free”] I would have switched hotels. The other problem we encountered, and this has nothing to do with the Swan, was the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. We were very excited to be there during this event. We enjoyed our first evening there. The second time however, we arrived after a day at Hollywood Studios, probably around 8:30pm. People were drunk. Very drunk. I felt like I was at a Frat party. Not the environment for a family with young children [although we encountered many inebriated parents pushing strollers and whooping it up, so maybe we’re in the minority on this]. I guess you could say shame on us for going there, but this is Disney. I was shocked. It was a totally inappropriate environment for my young boys and we were very disappointed! I’m sorry to be a “downer” and I hesitated to share our negative experience but felt it was only fair to pass along. The Grotto pool looked in very good condition, I can’t say the same for the Swan pool, after our 1st day, it looked like the pictures the other poster shared of the Grotto pool.
     
  6. SRUAlmn

    SRUAlmn DIS Veteran

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    Replies in red :) It seems like the S&D have some major functional issues going on that need to be addressed. However, I think fixing ventilation and AC/duct work type issues would be pretty extensive and VERY pricey!
     
  7. nessz79

    nessz79 DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry to hear this as we are headed up that way Friday for F&W and are bringing our children and my elderly in-laws. We have been to F&W on a Friday last year and although we did see a few drunk people here and there that were a little loud or obnoxious, it wasn't like a frat party and I never felt insecure or that I couldn't have my kids there (although they weren't there that time). We'll have to play things by ear and if we notice things getting out of hand, we'll just head back to the hotel a bit early.

    I'm hoping it was just a fluke.

    We've only stayed at the Dolphin once before this. Although our room was not great, it seemed like it was because it was tucked away in the corner of the hotel. We felt isolate and it was very dark in our room (little natural light and not such good lighting inside). We're hoping for a better experience this time as we love the location and the actual resort is very nice.
     
  8. albryant1

    albryant1 Earning My Ears

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    I also want to thank everyone on this thread for all the valuable information you gave us before our first trip to the Dolphin this week.

    Our family of two adults, three kids (ages 8, 6, 3)stayed at the Dolphin from Sunday 10/7 to Friday 10/12. In March, I booked a standard room at the teacher rate of $159, but was pleasantly surprised to be put in room 11033 which was almost at the end of the floor on the East side overlooking the water and Boardwalk entrance. The roof of the wing was right below our window, but the view past that was great and we enjoyed watching Illuminations from our room each night :)

    Overall, the room was fine, though I was disappointed with the dated and TINY bath facilities which were less than ideal for a larger family. The three kids slept in one bed together and even though it was a full size and not a queen, it was fine! We had plenty of space to keep our suitcases without feeling cramped. The mini fridge kept water and juice/milk boxes cold, but we also kept a cooler stocked with ice for our half and half for coffee and other snacks like string cheese. The coffee was terrific!

    The location was fantastic. We had only been to Disney one other time and stayed at the Contemporary (which we LOVED). We missed not being able to walk to Magic Kingdom for our two days at that park, but being able to walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk and Beach/Yacht club areas more than made up for it. We really enjoyed being able to leave our car behind and just walk everywhere those days. We did not use Disney transportation at all, so I cannot comment on the buses or boats.

    The only restaurant we ate at was The Fountain, and it was very good (both for food and ice cream ;) ). We also had a great meal at Beaches and Cream at Beach Club and reasonable pizza at the Boardwalk Pizza window.

    I wanted to share our experience with credit card charges for the room and the hold for incidentals since I had lots of questions about that before going and had difficulty finding a straight answer. When we checked in, our credit card was pre-authorized for the total room/tax/service/parking charges AND was pre-authorized for $100 for incidentals. We were NOT charged $100 per day as I had previously read, though we never charged to our room, so I imagine if you do room charges, they may hold more each day to cover that.

    I think this is our last trip to Disney, but if we were to go back for a short trip, I would not hesitate to book the Dolphin again. A much longer trip than five nights and I would probably be looking to book a 2-bedroom villa instead - hotel rooms are just a bit small for five people!
     
  9. SRUAlmn

    SRUAlmn DIS Veteran

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    Speaking of CC charges, I never mentioned another issue we had during our stay in June. After we checked out, my mom's CC was charged and credited back and forth about 5 times over the 4 days following our check out. It was charged for about $200 less than our full amount. Then it was all credited back. Then charged again. Then credited back. Over and over daily :confused3 It was finally charged accurately, but it was a little concerning while it was happening.
     
  10. Flews

    Flews Earning My Ears

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    We're at the Swan now. Everything is absolutely great!

    Regarding some previous posts, the pool is just fine. Absolutely no issues whatsoever.

    As for the F&W Festival at Epcot, we too were very uncomfortable with all the drinking. Granted, it was Saturday night, and Epcot was very crowded anyway. Still, it wasn't even 8 pm. We were not impressed with the hordes of (mostly) young people, drinks in hands, roaming through the streets, with all the related boisterous behaviour and noise associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    Here we were with our 4-years, dodging lurching adults and their foul language, as we made our way back to the entrance. As my wife said, 'isn't this supposed to be Disney?

    We will try again tonight. Hopefully it will be much more peaceful and relaxing, as we remember it from previous years.

    Again, no issues with the Swan (including the brand new, fantastic kids play structure that we hadn't heard about!).

    Cheers,
     
  11. olive

    olive Mouseketeer

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    Ooh - where is the new play structure? Does it replace the playground area near the grotto pool, or is it in addition to that?
     
  12. Flews

    Flews Earning My Ears

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    Right where the old one was, between the Swan and the grotto pool. It's much larger, has some great slides and climbing features, and the ground is made of that soft, bouncy rubber stuff. So very safe for kids of all ages.

    Cheers,
     
  13. bas71873

    bas71873 DIS Veteran

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    Hi all! I am going to book our stay for next year later today and we plan to arrive ON Thanksgiving Day staying at the Dolphin. Has anyone ever eaten at any of the S/D restaurants on Thanksgiving and did you enjoy it? No one in my party (other than myself) really cares if it's a traditional Thanksgiving meal or not and I just like that I can use my AAA for 20% off. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, also, when do the holiday decorations go up at S/D?


    Thank you.
     
  14. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

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    I had dinner at the Grove restaurant on Mother's Day last year. I always use my AAA card for discounts there and at the other restaurants on S/D property that accept them. After my meal, the waiter said that they do not accept AAA discounts on Mother's Day (or other major holidays). I asked where it said that. I asked for the manager/hostess. After a discussion (it was not stated anywhere), she gave the 20% (with the normal 18% gratuity added). She was quite miffed to say the least. I was acting more on principle, the amount of money was not very much for a solo meal. Just pointing out as an FYI. Not sure if there would be a problem on Thanksgiving.
     
  15. bullsmom7

    bullsmom7 Mouseketeer

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    I have finally read through all of the posts. Great information! While I consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to Disney, I have never stayed at the S/D before. There are 6 adults coming from all over to stay for a long weekend. I will be driving but do not want to make 5 trips to the airport to pick everyone up. 3 people will be coming in within a couple of hours of each other so I suggested they team up and get the Town Car Service (looks like Tiffany Town Car has been mentioned alot). The other two should do individual taxis or convince me to go to pick at least one of them up. But, all of them are returning to the airport at different times. So does the Town Car offer one way rates? I am so confused and trying to offer advice to everyone but I don't know the cheapest way to do it. :confused3

    And I have to pay the $15.day to park which I guess will still be cheaper than their transportation to/from airport. Any expert guidance/recommendations is greatly appreciated.
     
  16. RachelTori

    RachelTori <font color=red>AKL Jambo Wildbunch<br><img src=ht

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    I'm sure you will get several opinions on this, but here's mine: It might be easier (and more cost effective) for everyone to purchase a Mears shuttle round trip (the one-way fare is $21; I believe it's $36 for a round trip). That way everyone can come and go as needed. The van usually makes more than 1 stop, but it is a nice ride and the least expensive.

    We are at WDW now and my DH came in on the shuttle (I have used it many times myself) - it took him about 45 minutes as opposed to my 1-1/2 hours on Disney's (not so)Magical Express!! (I arrived 4 days earlier and stayed at BCV.)

    I know town car services do offer both 1-way and round trip rates, but have no knowledge of the costs. :confused3
     
  17. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    I know that the restaurants that accept the Tables in Wonderland discount don't do so on holidays. Perhaps that's what the manager at the Garden Grove thought about the AAA discount, too. I'm glad you stood your ground, but I imagine it wasn't a pleasant ending to your meal.
     
  18. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    It's too bad you had room issues at the Swan. Did you mention the problems with the AC vent and the bathroom ceiling while you were there? If you didn't - then not saying anything to the hotel but reporting your dissatisfaction on a discussion forum isn't really fair to the hotel. I understand that it was a free stay, but the issues you had should've been mentioned so you could've been moved to a more acceptable room.

    I was there for the opening days of the Food & Wine Festival. Weekend nights are the most crowded, and lots of people drinking = a larger number of drunks. I prefer to "graze" at the food booths on week days.
     
  19. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    I usually go to WDW solo, so I take Mears @ $34 roundtrip. However, in July I stayed at the Swan with 2 of my kids, so we used Tiffany Towncar for the first time (http://tiffanytowncar.com/). The price for a RT towncar ($109 minus $5 coupon) was only a few dollars more than if the 3 of us had taken Mears. The one-way price is $60 - which is still a great rate for the 3 arriving within a few hours of each other. However, I wouldn't want to be the one arriving first - who has to wait for the others!
     
  20. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

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    LOL, Nancy. No, not too pleasant. She was pretty miffed. And yes, she may have been confused with the TiW card, which the restaurant also accepts.
     
  21. Rich_NY

    Rich_NY Earning My Ears

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    Hi, we are a family of 4 with 2 kids 9,10 just starting to plan a stay next Summer. We went to Disney and stayed at the Dolphin 2 years ago and LOVED it. Without reading pages and pages of threads, besides dinning and airport transportation is there any other advantages to stayng at one of the Disney Resorts? I'm talking overall experience, kids love the pool (dolphin pool was awesome, is another pool better somewhere), just overall feel? can anyone affer some pointers?
     
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