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. pixie2416

    pixie2416 Mouseketeer

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    We are planning a trip for 6 nights for the second week of August. We currently have reservations with a pin code for 2 rooms at POFQ (family of 6 w/ 3 grown kids), but I really prefer the Epcot Resorts location. BC & BWI are out of our price range, but I'd definitely spend a few extra bucks for Swan/Dolphin for the location. :thumbsup2

    Any advice on who to book with and when to get the best price?
     
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  3. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    I'm sure someone else may have better advice, but I would call main reservations at 888-828-8850 and book direct thru them! Don't believe there is a best time, but book a room and call / check online, every week or two and see it they have dropped. If so, they will chance it for you.

    They also offer military, teacher, nurse or AAA discounts and no forfeit amount if you cancel more than a week out, or forfeit 1night if less than a week from reservation..

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  4. vicb

    vicb DIS Veteran

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    Stayed at Dolphin for the first time April 2012, didn't think there would be another WDW trip for several years but just decided to try for a March or May 2014 trip to celebrate DD college graduation!

    We would love to stay at Dolphin again... but have a question. Have read just a little about the new Fastpass+ and wondering if that perk will be extended to S/D guests?

    I did look back several pages and didn't see anything so maybe I've missed all the discussion already, if so sorry. Appreciate any info folks have or rumors heard regarding S/D having that perk.

    :)
     
  5. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    No one knows what is up with FP+ until its in full effect, but it looks like the SD will take part in at least some if not most of the perks. It appears that the # of FPs a day and 60 day booking is likely tied into the tickets not the resort. A year from now who knows it could be a base ticket is 3 per day, 4 for a value, 5 moderate, 6 deluxe? I think disney probably doesn't even know how it will work over time.

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  6. blackacex2

    blackacex2 Mouseketeer

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    Why does the swan and dolphin get below average trip advisor reviews? Is it true that the rooms are in desperate need of refurbishment, customer service is sub-par, and cleanliness is lacking? I realize it's not a $450 per night disney deluxe or the ritz/waldorf but is it really outclassed by a standard Hilton etc.? I'm staying there on Starwood points in April, but if it was not free the reviews alone would keep me away.
     
  7. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    I have not stayed at the Swan or Dolphin so I can't answer your questions directly. However, I have learned to never trust Trip Advisor for anything WDW related. If I did, I would have never stayed anywhere on site. I don't know what it is, but you can find some really horrific reviews of every WDW resort there. I don't know why it's like that, but it is. I know that every hotel/resort can and does deserve a bad review from time to time. But on Trip Advisor it just seems disproportionate when it comes to WDW resorts.


    I have never been steered in the wrong direction here on the DIS, so I'm glad you asked here. Even when people have had a negative experience at a specific resort, most reviews seem genuine, honest and not inflamatory.
     
  8. SingingMom

    SingingMom DIS Veteran

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    I tend to find many trip advisor reviews to be someone with a gripe. We have stayed at the Dolphin six times, the most recent being a month ago. It is not in desperate need of refurbishments, service is excellent, and our rooms have always been clean. The location can't be beat and it feels like a deluxe resort at a reasonable price. We wouldn't stay anywhere else!

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  9. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    Hard to say why, when I read reviews there 2 years ago I was nervous about the SD but like most review sites I throw out the most positive and negative reviews and go from there. That said, I have nothing but good things to say about the SD they have done a lot of renovations the last few years and I believe they do so constantly! Our room was newly renovated and very clean. We also had no problems CMs.

    If you skim thru this thread the positives will greatly out way the negatives.

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  10. blackacex2

    blackacex2 Mouseketeer

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    Well that's the thing- the disney resorts get their share of people with an axe to grind on trip advisor but the swan and dolphin get something like twice as many negative comments and reviews. I really think they have some issues beyond most hotels in the area. Hilton bonnet creek, boardwalk inn, and even most DTD hotels get superior reviews. I'm afraid they simply don't need to try too hard to fill rooms because of their perfect cost/location/architecture combination so they don't compete on quality of rooms, service etc.
     
  11. RachelTori

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

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    I have stayed at Dolphin many times; Swan several times. My rooms have ranged from "fine" to "OMG this is A-MA-ZING"!!! I have never had a sub-par room.

    The staff has always been above. Some of the most magical, wonderful CMs I have ever had on Disney property have been at Swan & Dolphin. :thumbsup2

    In 2012, I traveled extensively for work. I don't even check Trip Advisor anymore. I figure if I get to a property and am not satisfied, I will deal with it then and there. My attitude and philosophy has worked, so far! ;)
     
  12. Music City Mama

    Music City Mama DIS Veteran

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    I usually don't put too much stock into Trip Advisor reviews (although, I will look at them once in a while), but I just looked up S/D on Trip Advisor and then several Disney resorts (deluxe, moderate, and value) and I didn't see where S/D was really any worse . . . maybe some of the more recent reviews were more negative, but if you look at the overall rating, they're all about the same.

    Me too!

    I know a lot of people say that S/D compares to Disney deluxes, and it does as far as the amenities, but I don't think the rooms are quite as nice (not for lack of cleanliness, though). However, they are, without a doubt, leaps and bounds above the moderate resort rooms.

    Nice room + really nice hotel + great CMs + awesome rates + amazing location = No brainer for me.
     
  13. Mainebound

    Mainebound DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure what you are talking about. Overall, the Swan and Dolphin have 4 out of 5 stars from 2900 reviews. This compares favorably to moderates like Caribbean Beach (3.5 stars from about 2600 reviews) and Port Orleans Riverside (4 stars from 2800 reviews), as well as deluxes (Grand Floridian gets 4 stars from 2600 reviews). Very few on-site WDW hotels have higher ratings than the Dolphin/Swan on Trip Advisor (Yacht Club has 4.5 stars, for example).

    If you mean "why does anybody at all rate the S/D below average" -- because of course, some do -- who knows? They got a bad room, had a bad experience, hotel did not meet their expectations, got sick on the trip, or are just complainers. But you can find just as many "meh" or even negative reviews for any Disney moderate or deluxe hotel. The nice thing about Trip Advisor is that usually people write why they reviewed a hotel the way they did, so I can evaluate if their reasons would also be my reasons.
     
  14. blackacex2

    blackacex2 Mouseketeer

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    If you look at the Swan and Dolphin on Trip Advisor, it ranks very low in "hotels in orlando." I don't think it can be disputed that in comparison to other resorts in the area that also have thousands of reviews, for whatever reason it gets a lower overall score. It's encouraging to hear so many that love the resort on this board though. I read about 10 trip advisor reviews posted in the past 2 months that all say it needs refurbished, that the rooms are dated, etc. etc. so I figured that trend meant something significant.
     
  15. lovingthemouse

    lovingthemouse magic is in the heart of the beholder...

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    Blackacex2 - we have stayed at the Dolphin for the past 12 yrs with excellent accommodations in standard rooms - often receiving upgrades with our SPG card. There were only 2 instances when we requested another room, distance from the elevator being the main issue.
    I am sorry to hear there are so many negative reviews - as others have said, some folks like pointing out their less than wonderful experience. Think of the tens of thousand others who never posted their positive or negative reviews. Please consider what you read here to be more accurate, since many of us have stayed there multiple times. Honestly, we would not all be returning if we had hadn't had such positive experiences. Our money could have been spent staying numerous other places.
    I hope you make the best choice for you, and not let Trip Advisor be your sole guide!
     
  16. butternut

    butternut Earning My Ears

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    I'll jump in here. I was one of those people who never thought would give up staying in Disney Deluxe hotels. A year ago i took the advice of people here and then a relative and booked into the Dolphin. Let me say i was soooooo surprised at the resort( the room, service, cleanliness and comfortability, not to mention the rates) that i will always have this on my list when going to Disney. It was a wonderful first experience there. Loved the location and REAL COFFEE in the rooms as well lol! I am attending a conference this March but it is at the GF and somehow i think i will wish we were at S/D instead. I am extremely picky when it comes to a week away from home and S/D met all my expectations. :yay::yay:
     
  17. SRUAlmn

    SRUAlmn DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 Agreed!

    We have stayed in almost all the Disney Deluxes and are fairly picky (depending on who's traveling with us that year ;) ) about where we stay. We were hesitant to stay at the Dolphin last year, but with a teacher rate + a stay connected rate we got a grand suite for a DEAL, so we gave it a try. We really enjoyed it....a LOT. The location was incredible, the amenities were amazing, and the staff was beyond outstanding! Oh, and real coffee...I second that :thumbsup2

    Downsides, we missed the theming a little. It was weird to get back from the parks all drenched from rain/sweat and have to walk through TONS of business people hanging out at the bar in their fancy clothes (although we ran into this similar atmosphere in the garden wings of the Contemporary as well.) Also, the resort fee and parking fee are tough to swallow. Yes, the prices are very comparable to the Disney mods, but once you add in all the extra fees, it ends up being more. So this year, we're staying in the new Royal Rooms at POR. However, if we ever have a group again where we need a large amount of space/suite, we'll definitely be back at the Dolphin!
     
  18. Flews

    Flews Earning My Ears

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    So here's all you need to know about trip advisor; THIS - http://www.expedia.ca/Orlando-Hotel...Expedia_CA-I_B11.none.A&eapid=31170-4&rm1=a2& - is TA's #1 ranked hotel in Orlando. Seriously. I rest my case.

    The bottom line is trip advisor, like any other commercially driven travel forum, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I post reviews on it myself. But at the end of the day, people can only speak for their own experiences. Some are frequent travellers, with lots of expertise. Others may have travelled once in their lives.

    As for the Swan/Dolphin, all I can tell you is have have had nothing but great experiences in my half dozen or so 7-10 night stays. I have also stayed at a number of WDW resorts, and chosoe the S/D because it is consistently better value, service and amenities for my family's needs. YMMV, but there you go.

    Cheers,
     
  19. blackacex2

    blackacex2 Mouseketeer

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    I bet that drury inn is incredible for the money. Reviews do mean something. Not everything but they do have some importance. To the person who said the dolphin was amazing because you stayed in a grand suite- basically nobody stays in a grand suite so it's kinda irrelevant. That being said I'm looking forward to our two nights at the swan in april. If it's as nice as many on this board claim it to be I have access to a TA rate of $120 per night that I will take advantage of once our free Starwood point nights are exhausted .
     
  20. SRUAlmn

    SRUAlmn DIS Veteran

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    Snarky much? ;)
    I actually didn't say it was amazing BECAUSE we stayed in a grand suite, I said we finally decided on the Dolphin because we got a great deal on a grand suite. For the space we got we would've paid 3 times what we paid to have an equal amount of space at a Disney Deluxe.
     
  21. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    That's one of the great things about the SD is the ability to get a great deal, especially on suites. I've only stayed on site once, so I don't have any experience with other resorts, but the SD executive suite may be one of the better deals offered on disney property! After booking one for our June visit, we realized what an incredible deal we got for our June 2011 vacation! It spoiled us to the point that anything else in the same price range just wouldn't cut it.

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