Walt Disney World SWAN & DOLPHIN RESORTS Information & Questions

djmeredith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
The Swan & Dolphin app states the buses will pick up from the Swan & Dolphin every 20-30 minutes from the front of the resorts.

Dave
Staying at the Swan right now. We checked in on the 10th, staying through the weekend.

A big reason we switched to the Swan from our CR reservation was that we would still have access to Disney run transportation, especially to MK. We were not interested in dealing with TTC, or Mears buses, after our experience with them in 2018, staying at a DS good neighbor resort.

The staff at the Swan seem to be just as surprised about the change to bus transport as anybody. I suspected something was up when trying to return to the Swan from DS on Wednesday, and saw no buses at the normal stall for Swan or Dolphin.

We were informed that this change occurred by other guests, while waiting for a bus this morning... Not the staff or any official communication. I do plan to complain via Marriott Bonvoy, and to the management of the hotel. It is unconscionable to implement this change without notice, as it directly affects the amenities advertised when reserving the stay.
It's not a very far walk to the Boardwalk bus stop (less than half a mile). People are definitely going to be using other Epcot resort buses, especially to/from MK. I could see it potentially becoming a problem as time goes on and the resorts get busier.

I would be interested in firsthand reports of how early the Mears buses are starting in the morning. I know the official word is 45 minutes before park opening, but that's Disney's standard line too. Are people able to get to MK/AK when/before the parks actually open?
I am here at Dolphin now. Arrived Sun and leave Sun. Luckily I rented a car because the one day I planned to take the buses (to MK) yesterday, one did not show up while we waited. We arrived at the Dolphin bus stop around 7:45 with a 9:00 scheduled opening for MK. One family had been there waiting for about 10-15 minutes already. We waited until 7:55 and gave up. I figured it was easier to drive at that point. Someone said it’s not scheduled to pick up until an hour before posted open, which is dumb anyway because gates actually open an hour earlier.

We took it back from Epcot on Tuesday and the pick up was in the charter area. A far walk at the end of a long day. Like already said, there was NO notice given to current guests. Their advertised pick up schedule is not right and they are absolutely not picking up frequently.
 
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ShelbyWagon

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Just booked at the Swan for April 2021! We like to stay in at the Epcot/HS resorts and my corporate rate at Swan/Dolphin was cheaper than most Disney Moderates. So excited because we haven't done much traveling since Covid hit. Disney is one of the few places that seems to be taking it seriously. A doctor friend of my husband recently visited and felt very comfortable with how things are being handled in the parks. I desperately need some Disney magic in my life!
 
  • shoreward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2014
    There are reports on several blogs that the FriendShip boats, which normally operate between EP and DHS (with intermediate stops at Swan/Dolphin, YC/BC, and the Boardwalk), have been sited at the IG dock, Boardwalk dock, etc.; no pax onboard, but looks like they might be gearing up to start operating, again. Once they do start running, again, hopefully the Swan/Dolphin will still be a port of call.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    I wonder if the S/D had to pay Disney to use the WDW buses and friendship boats?

    And if that is true, the S/D thought it was cheaper to pay MEARS.

    Maybe it was money issues?

    I also wonder if the MEARS buses will allow the use of their bus wheelchair lifts?

    Last year, when leaving EPCOT back to PCR, there were MEARS buses with no lifts.
    Fortunately, the cast members called for a regular WDW bus that all have ramps.

    I guess that I could roll over to BWV both ways.

    I do wish they would restart the friendship boats, too.
     

    aj24

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2008
    We arrived at the Dolphin bus stop around 7:45 with a 9:00 scheduled opening for MK. One family had been there waiting for about 10-15 minutes already. We waited until 7:55 and gave up. I figured it was easier to drive at that point.
    To be fair though, even Disney busses don't operate in 10 minute increments. We've waited for Disney busses MUCH longer than 10 minutes in the past!
     

    djmeredith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2005
    To be fair though, even Disney busses don't operate in 10 minute increments. We've waited for Disney busses MUCH longer than 10 minutes in the past!
    I agree with you that waits for Disney buses pre-COVID could be long as well. However, recent reports indicate Disney is trying to compensate for decreased bus capacity by increasing the number of buses. That does not seem to have happened at Swolphin. I can’t speak to how often they were actually running since we only used them the one time back from Epcot. But if they are only running every 20-30 minutes right now, people could have VERY long waits at peak times because the buses are limiting capacity and they are shared between Swan and Dolphin. I personally would not recommend relying on the resort buses at this time if you are trying to make rope drop.
     
  • summerlvr

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    Hi there, I have a short trip coming up at the end of the month, staying at the Dolphin and was wondering how most folks get to the resort from MCO. For folks who take a rideshare, where at the airport are you picked up? I'm flying on Delta, so will be arriving on side B. Thanks!
     

    aj24

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2008
    Hi there, I have a short trip coming up at the end of the month, staying at the Dolphin and was wondering how most folks get to the resort from MCO. For folks who take a rideshare, where at the airport are you picked up? I'm flying on Delta, so will be arriving on side B. Thanks!
    We use a car service, usually ~$200 round trip for a private van that includes a 30 minute grocery stop.
     

    hedberg1661

    DIS Veteran and Patreon Supporter
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2013
    There are reports on several blogs that the FriendShip boats, which normally operate between EP and DHS (with intermediate stops at Swan/Dolphin, YC/BC, and the Boardwalk), have been sited at the IG dock, Boardwalk dock, etc.; no pax onboard, but looks like they might be gearing up to start operating, again. Once they do start running, again, hopefully the Swan/Dolphin will still be a port of call.
    I can't imagine them running the boats and not stopping at Swalphin.
     

    SteveH

    Where's my Mai Tai?
    Joined
    Sep 8, 1999
    Hi there, I have a short trip coming up at the end of the month, staying at the Dolphin and was wondering how most folks get to the resort from MCO. For folks who take a rideshare, where at the airport are you picked up? I'm flying on Delta, so will be arriving on side B. Thanks!
    Our stay at Swan we used Lyft. Check the app it will tell you, but you can see the instructions on this page from RideGuru.
    I can't imagine them running the boats and not stopping at Swalphin.
    I couldn't have either but with the change in bus service I can imagine it now. If it's a pricing issue that caused the bus service change and the rates for the boat "experience" is to high. I suppose without the Swan/Dolphin stop it might be faster going between and thus cut down on how many boats Disney needs. All that is just speculation, I'm still hopeful the Boats & Buses return.
     
  • hedberg1661

    DIS Veteran and Patreon Supporter
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2013
    I couldn't have either but with the change in bus service I can imagine it now. If it's a pricing issue that caused the bus service change and the rates for the boat "experience" is to high. I suppose without the Swan/Dolphin stop it might be faster going between and thus cut down on how many boats Disney needs. All that is just speculation, I'm still hopeful the Boats & Buses return.
    My "guess" is that the busses were changed due to the lack of cast members. If they are going to put a crew on the boats, I don't see why they wouldn't stop at all stops since it doesn't require an additional crew and vehicle like the Busses would.
     

    shoreward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2014
    My "guess" is that the busses were changed due to the lack of cast members. If they are going to put a crew on the boats, I don't see why they wouldn't stop at all stops since it doesn't require an additional crew and vehicle like the Busses would.
    There is a small number of FriendShip boats available. I recall that there were two “spares” in the fleet, which were normally used to swap out with any boats needing maintenance. After DHS expanded and park demand increased, the two extra boats were added to the schedule, so that frequency changed to four per hour.

    With social distancing, boat capacity will be reduced. I wonder if there will be enough seating capacity with all available boats if the Swan/Dolphin stop is included.

    I recently read commentary that DS boat CMs were being cross trained for Crescent Lake ops.
     

    Cyndo723

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 25, 2000
    Just an FYI... I texted the Dolphin today to find out if luggage transfers would be available to the Grand Floridian. Here is their response:

    "Unfortunate, we do not. Call the Grand Floridian and see if their bell stand can assist with the transfer."
    The Grand Floridian said that it would have to originate at the Dolphin. I think this is a change in the way that luggage is handled now.
     

    Dan Murphy

    We are family.
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2000
    Just an FYI... I texted the Dolphin today to find out if luggage transfers would be available to the Grand Floridian. Here is their response:

    "Unfortunate, we do not. Call the Grand Floridian and see if their bell stand can assist with the transfer."
    The Grand Floridian said that it would have to originate at the Dolphin. I think this is a change in the way that luggage is handled now.
    Yes, seems I read here some days/weeks ago that resort transfers are 'temporarily' suspended.

    I searched, here is what I found......


     

    Leigh123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2000
    So I have been at the Dolphin since Saturday. It is not great. We usually stay at AKL or Beach Club but snagged a great AP rate here that I could not pass up. Well let me tell you, you get what you pay for. Very disappointing that the bus service was changed without notification. Trash cans overflowing by the pool , had to call twice for towel service the first was at 7:30 AM they had not brought them so I called again at 4:00. Same thing happened the day before with coffee. Normally I wouldn’t even think twice about coffee but if you’re charging me a $30 resort fee per day I expect my basic amenities to be replenished. Charter bus is terrible they drop you off in parking lots you go through the regular entrance lines the cars go through etc. If you were booked here for an upcoming trip I would actually recommend you switch to a regular Disney resort. If it wasn’t such a hassle re packing and moving I would switch in the middle of our trip.
     

    Rich M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2016
    So I have been at the Dolphin since Saturday. It is not great. We usually stay at AKL or Beach Club but snagged a great AP rate here that I could not pass up. Well let me tell you, you get what you pay for. Very disappointing that the bus service was changed without notification. Trash cans overflowing by the pool , had to call twice for towel service the first was at 7:30 AM they had not brought them so I called again at 4:00. Same thing happened the day before with coffee. Normally I wouldn’t even think twice about coffee but if you’re charging me a $30 resort fee per day I expect my basic amenities to be replenished. Charter bus is terrible they drop you off in parking lots you go through the regular entrance lines the cars go through etc. If you were booked here for an upcoming trip I would actually recommend you switch to a regular Disney resort. If it wasn’t such a hassle re packing and moving I would switch in the middle of our trip.
    I wonder if this experience is exclusive to the Dolphin or is the Swan getting the same feel. I am suppose to check in on Friday at the Swan and now this is getting me nervous. I haven't stayed at a non Disney Resort in the last 8 trips. I was hoping that being walking distance of two parks would trump everything but this makes me worry.
     

    CogsworthTN

    Disney Gal Forever
    Joined
    Nov 2, 2017
    I wonder if this experience is exclusive to the Dolphin or is the Swan getting the same feel. I am suppose to check in on Friday at the Swan and now this is getting me nervous. I haven't stayed at a non Disney Resort in the last 8 trips. I was hoping that being walking distance of two parks would trump everything but this makes me worry.
    This is us exactly. We have a stay Thanksgiving week.
     
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