Walt Disney World SWAN, DOLPHIN & SWAN RESERVE RESORTS Information & Questions

ezma

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 14, 2004
Sitting at the airport with a delayed flight, so thought I'd share our thoughts on our first stay at Swan.

First, just for some background; we've been going to Disney annually with a larger extended family with smaller ones in between for 15+ years, however this is the first time we've stayed at Swan. We've stayed at all levels of Disney resorts and Shades of Green once.

On this trip we had 3 rooms, with ages 7-68. We ended up getting the Swan for about the same as we could've gotten a Disney moderate. We are Marriot Elite members.

First off I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Swan. From the moment we checked in, until we retrieved our luggage to go home a few hrs. everyone we encountered (checkin, bell services, housekeeping, employees of Java) were awesome. It was how we feel "Disney" employees reputation is. Honestly I would say for the most part the employees at the Swan were better than most of the actual Disney employees we encountered. There was nothing wrong with the DIS employees, but the Swan staff was just awesome. I had put in a request about our rooms (asking ours to be connected to my moms) and my sisters to be close by. I also put in a request for a box fan. We arrived a day earlier than the rest of our group and when I checked in I inquired about the requests. They were great and told me everything was set and it was...box fan even already in the room. Daily housekeeping was wonderful. Unlike our experience at Disney ever...Swan seems to keep checking back and will automatically service your room without an additional requests even if you don't take the do not disturb sign doen until early evening. That was wonderful. Some days they lefy water, other days they did not, so I'm not sure what the actual policy is. Because we're members we got a voucher each day for breakfast, which was nice. Another example of their awesome employees... they were quick and efficient and would wrap our fruit cups in a separate bag to insert into our main bag in case it spilled etc. Such a small thing, but really helpful and even better that they just automatically did it every day without me having to ask. Beds were also very comfortable. We had a balcony, but I don't think we'd pay for it again. It's not covered and while I knew that, it just didn't register until we got there that we much prefer a covered balcony (Disney's are covered).

Cons: Food options were a bit limited, redundant and just not that great. We are usually only at our resort for quick meals, so we didn't try any of the sit downs (Garden Grove one morning, but we didn't really like the food there either.)

Biggest con though was the pool. The set up for us wasn't great and I don't feel there's enough seating for all 3 resorts t the main pool. - Not as much of an issue at the quiet one, but still not enough in our opinion. There are NO lifeguards which caught me by surprise. I think I just missed the "rules" lol and comfort of knowing there were ppl. actively looking for struggling ppl. Our first night I watched a dad jump in the pool fully clothed because one of his kids had drifted towards the middle which was deeper. I know there will be tons of ppl. saying it's their own fault etc and I get it and am myself not one to let my kids just go off on their own, but regardless I as a bystander don't want that added stress and anxiety. It's just something I never feel at a Disney resort because they have such conscientious lifeguards on duty.

The towels...omg for goodness sake grotto pool, no one wants to "sneak" into your crappy pool and if you're that concerned about it, build a gate with key card entry needed. This was the only place we ran into rude employees. The first couple times we used the main pool towels were just out (yes there are signs indicating you needed to show your room key - still ridiculous in our opinion,however our first 3 times at the pool there was no ome to show your room key to.) First time we went in the morning I go to grab towels after trying to secure somewhat decent seats fory kids and I and the lady says we have to show a room key. I told her I had it over with my stroller, but that the last few times I had been there towels were just out. She explained that if they happen to be "open" they require gueststo show their key. So I went back to the stroller to get my key in order to obtain towels.

Next day I make sure to have my key and ask the guy for 6 towels...he stops me and says, "so you have 6 ppl. in your party?" I said no, I have 3 with me today, but we'd like 2 towels each. He gave them to me, but my gosh why does it matter, just give me the stinking towels. All the while at the quiet pools they have larger unmanned towels for the taking. It's just a pet peeve of mine when ppl or a business is difficult only for the sake of being difficult. It was such an opposite experience from the staff inside the Swan building. I will say being able to order drinks/food from your seat was great though, although it wasn't working our last day.

Yesterday they had a DJ and wow was the music loud. We could not have a conversation. I'm not that old and generally appreciate some background music, but this was just sooo loud.

I know I sound like a grumpy old lady about the pool situation, but the rest of our stay was such great service and this was just not.

Transportation...being the last stop to and first stop off from DHS was great. Buses were ok...we mainly walked over and used Yacht Clubs. which for a large group was a parade/circus lol at times, but we knew this going in. We did miss the movies at night that Disney does (wr actually walked over to YC one night to watch part of theirs).

We also missed the pool activities.

Swan has smart tvs so if you're Disney bubble obsessed like me, you can easily stream the live youtube Disney resort tv in your room.

We were a little concerned about elevators as they've at times been slow and an issue at some of the Disney resorts we've stayed at, but we had no issues and they seemed to have the right amount for the number of rooms.

If I think of anything else I'll ome back, but it looks like we may finally be boarding :)
Thank you for the wonderful review!
 

Scalemaster34

°O° + °Õ° = °õ° & °õ° & °õ° & °o°
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Is self-parking now $35/day? I see self/valet at $35/$39 on the WDW but $32 on S&D site and Marriott.
Yeah it just recently got bumped up.... at least the self parking did, the valet hasn't changed.

My first onsite stay was a FL Resident Rate an an All-Star (were only two of them at the time), and it was $59. Less than I pay for parking and resort fees now. Joys of being old an remembering the good old days... ;)
 

Dan Murphy

We are family.
Joined
Apr 20, 2000
Sitting at the airport with a delayed flight, so thought I'd share our thoughts on our first stay at Swan.

First, just for some background; we've been going to Disney annually with a larger extended family with smaller ones in between for 15+ years, however this is the first time we've stayed at Swan. We've stayed at all levels of Disney resorts and Shades of Green once.

On this trip we had 3 rooms, with ages 7-68. We ended up getting the Swan for about the same as we could've gotten a Disney moderate. We are Marriot Elite members.

First off I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Swan. From the moment we checked in, until we retrieved our luggage to go home a few hrs. everyone we encountered (checkin, bell services, housekeeping, employees of Java) were awesome. It was how we feel "Disney" employees reputation is. Honestly I would say for the most part the employees at the Swan were better than most of the actual Disney employees we encountered. There was nothing wrong with the DIS employees, but the Swan staff was just awesome. I had put in a request about our rooms (asking ours to be connected to my moms) and my sisters to be close by. I also put in a request for a box fan. We arrived a day earlier than the rest of our group and when I checked in I inquired about the requests. They were great and told me everything was set and it was...box fan even already in the room. Daily housekeeping was wonderful. Unlike our experience at Disney ever...Swan seems to keep checking back and will automatically service your room without an additional requests even if you don't take the do not disturb sign doen until early evening. That was wonderful. Some days they lefy water, other days they did not, so I'm not sure what the actual policy is. Because we're members we got a voucher each day for breakfast, which was nice. Another example of their awesome employees... they were quick and efficient and would wrap our fruit cups in a separate bag to insert into our main bag in case it spilled etc. Such a small thing, but really helpful and even better that they just automatically did it every day without me having to ask. Beds were also very comfortable. We had a balcony, but I don't think we'd pay for it again. It's not covered and while I knew that, it just didn't register until we got there that we much prefer a covered balcony (Disney's are covered).

Cons: Food options were a bit limited, redundant and just not that great. We are usually only at our resort for quick meals, so we didn't try any of the sit downs (Garden Grove one morning, but we didn't really like the food there either.)

Biggest con though was the pool. The set up for us wasn't great and I don't feel there's enough seating for all 3 resorts t the main pool. - Not as much of an issue at the quiet one, but still not enough in our opinion. There are NO lifeguards which caught me by surprise. I think I just missed the "rules" lol and comfort of knowing there were ppl. actively looking for struggling ppl. Our first night I watched a dad jump in the pool fully clothed because one of his kids had drifted towards the middle which was deeper. I know there will be tons of ppl. saying it's their own fault etc and I get it and am myself not one to let my kids just go off on their own, but regardless I as a bystander don't want that added stress and anxiety. It's just something I never feel at a Disney resort because they have such conscientious lifeguards on duty.

The towels...omg for goodness sake grotto pool, no one wants to "sneak" into your crappy pool and if you're that concerned about it, build a gate with key card entry needed. This was the only place we ran into rude employees. The first couple times we used the main pool towels were just out (yes there are signs indicating you needed to show your room key - still ridiculous in our opinion,however our first 3 times at the pool there was no ome to show your room key to.) First time we went in the morning I go to grab towels after trying to secure somewhat decent seats fory kids and I and the lady says we have to show a room key. I told her I had it over with my stroller, but that the last few times I had been there towels were just out. She explained that if they happen to be "open" they require gueststo show their key. So I went back to the stroller to get my key in order to obtain towels.

Next day I make sure to have my key and ask the guy for 6 towels...he stops me and says, "so you have 6 ppl. in your party?" I said no, I have 3 with me today, but we'd like 2 towels each. He gave them to me, but my gosh why does it matter, just give me the stinking towels. All the while at the quiet pools they have larger unmanned towels for the taking. It's just a pet peeve of mine when ppl or a business is difficult only for the sake of being difficult. It was such an opposite experience from the staff inside the Swan building. I will say being able to order drinks/food from your seat was great though, although it wasn't working our last day.

Yesterday they had a DJ and wow was the music loud. We could not have a conversation. I'm not that old and generally appreciate some background music, but this was just sooo loud.

I know I sound like a grumpy old lady about the pool situation, but the rest of our stay was such great service and this was just not.

Transportation...being the last stop to and first stop off from DHS was great. Buses were ok...we mainly walked over and used Yacht Clubs. which for a large group was a parade/circus lol at times, but we knew this going in. We did miss the movies at night that Disney does (wr actually walked over to YC one night to watch part of theirs).

We also missed the pool activities.

Swan has smart tvs so if you're Disney bubble obsessed like me, you can easily stream the live youtube Disney resort tv in your room.

We were a little concerned about elevators as they've at times been slow and an issue at some of the Disney resorts we've stayed at, but we had no issues and they seemed to have the right amount for the number of rooms.

If I think of anything else I'll ome back, but it looks like we may finally be boarding :)
Thanks much for the very good, complete review, brockash. Sorry to hear about the issues at the pool, a bummer. Otherwise, sounds great!! Hope you had a good flight home.
Is self-parking now $35/day? I see self/valet at $35/$39 on the WDW but $32 on S&D site and Marriott.
#32/$42 plus tax

https://swandolphin.com/feedback/transportation/

7. Is there a fee for parking at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin?
Yes. The nightly fees for parking are listed below and subject to change.

Self Parking FeesValet Parking
Non-Registered Guest*$32.00 for each exit$42.00 for each exit
Registered Guest **$32.00 + tax per day$42.00 + tax per day
*A non-registered guest is a guest who is visiting the hotel to use the facilities and services, but is not staying over night.

**A registered guest has a room reservation to spend one or more nights at the hotel.
 

Dave006

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
If I think of anything else I'll ome back, but it looks like we may finally be boarding :)
@brockash thanks for the initial review of your stay. And hope your flight delays are resolved.

The Grotto pool can get busy during the day with many guests taking a break from the parks during the 11-3 PM window. Usually not an issue if the resorts are hosting busy business groups.

We had a balcony, but I don't think we'd pay for it again. It's not covered and while I knew that, it just didn't register until we got there that we much prefer a covered balcony (Disney's are covered).
Hmm in the Epcot area the Boardwalk and YC/BC don't have a covered balcony for every room. Which Disney resort(s) are you thinking about?

I am not sure why anyone would want a balcony in August at WDW with the high temps and high humidity. Everyone needs to hydrate :drinking:

Dave
 

brockash

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
@brockash thanks for the initial review of your stay. And hope your flight delays are resolved.

The Grotto pool can get busy during the day with many guests taking a break from the parks during the 11-3 PM window. Usually not an issue if the resorts are hosting busy business groups.


Hmm in the Epcot area the Boardwalk and YC/BC don't have a covered balcony for every room. Which Disney resort(s) are you thinking about?

I am not sure why anyone would want a balcony in August at WDW with the high temps and high humidity. Everyone needs to hydrate :drinking:

Dave
Our YC room was covered, Contemporary, and Poly also had covered balconies. We just like sitting out early ams, evenings and during the rain, but not without coverage lol.

This has a good pic of the balconies I'm talking about, where they're one on top of the other and covered.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Locatio...sney_s_Yacht_Club_Resort-Orlando_Florida.html

1660587919450.png
 

Disneyhanna

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Checked today and the rate for my booking at the Dolphin in December had dropped 20% for any others traveling then.
Thank you! I check almost every day but I just checked now with the AP rate and was able to drop my two nights at Dolphin in early January from 468 incl fees to 442, and my three nights over Princess from 993 to 959. Slowly chipping away at the rates over the past few months haha!
 

mickey916

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Thank you! I check almost every day but I just checked now with the AP rate and was able to drop my two nights at Dolphin in early January from 468 incl fees to 442, and my three nights over Princess from 993 to 959. Slowly chipping away at the rates over the past few months haha!
My dates have been sold out but now show available. However the rate is higher than what I booked it originally. Guess I'm grateful I got what I did when I did.
 

oceanmarina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Hi just checked in to Swan today. Room was not ready at check in, had to wait about 2 hours. Room seemed clean but I did smell something “off” / dank in the hallways like other reviews mentioned on Trio Advisor. Staff seems nice.

I’m not loving it though. Tons of water football / not so soft ball throwing in all pools I went to , couldn’t get away from it. (As someone who has gotten hit in the past by kids throwing balls when I’m just trying to swim , it’s just a really big pet peeve of mine). We had just stayed at Lowes universal portifino where they only let kids throw inflatable beach balls so I felt spoiled there - a woman had got a broken nose from a kid throwing a ball in the pool and they changed the policy after that incident. I wish all hotels would have that rule! So I didn’t enjoy the pool and the “waterfall” pool has no working waterfall.

It’s also soooo inconvenient to hade to walk to the Boardwalk buses to go to MK, Disney Springs or AK. Adds 15 minutes to an already hot walk.

Here’s the kicker - doing laundry in the Dolphin laundry room - yep had to walk 15 minutes (front desk said it was a @2 minute walk” - not. with 39 pounds of clothes because they can’t even have the brains to have a laundry room in the swan. Not a happy camper. Can’t even go back to my room while it’s in the drier because it’s so far. Not loving this place. Here’s the “lovely” couch in the Dolphin laundry room that you couldn’t pay me a cool million to sit on.room was also extremely hard to find
 

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oceanmarina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
And lots of noisy construction by the swan lap pool. They were working on a metal archway. Lots of noise if you were swimming by that pool.

Towels were out by 12 but then replaced
 

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Best Aunt

"That's the best-est present ever!"
Joined
May 1, 2009
It’s also soooo inconvenient to hade to walk to the Boardwalk buses to go to MK, Disney Springs or AK. Adds 15 minutes to an already hot walk.

Here’s the kicker - doing laundry in the Dolphin laundry room - yep had to walk 15 minutes (front desk said it was a @2 minute walk” - not.

I understand why people walk over to the BoardWalk to catch a bus to MK (you get dropped off right at MK rather than at Transportation & Ticket Center).

But are you sure the BoardWalk bus to AK is better than the Swan bus? I haven't tried it, so I can't compare. I'm sure someone who has taken it will pop in to comment.

When front desk said it was a 2 minute walk to get over to the Dolphin to do your laundry: I assume they meant the time from exiting the door at Swan to entering the door at Dolphin. That makes sense to me. When you said it was 15 minutes, did you mean the time from exiting your room at Swan to entering the laundry room at Dolphin?
 

klemsaba

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
I understand why people walk over to the BoardWalk to catch a bus to MK (you get dropped off right at MK rather than at Transportation & Ticket Center).

But are you sure the BoardWalk bus to AK is better than the Swan bus? I haven't tried it, so I can't compare. I'm sure someone who has taken it will pop in to comment.

We took the Swan bus to AK. We were not dropped off at the bus station, but the parking lot near a covered area. It was fine and dropped off fairly close to the entrance. Probably about the same distance as the bus station drop off area or even closer depending on where the Boardwalk bus ends up. It didn't take 15 minutes to walk from the bus to the AK entrance.
 

SteveH

Where's my Mai Tai?
Joined
Sep 8, 1999
@Linleedo no, since Swan/Dolphin are not Disney owned they don't accept Disney Gift cards anywhere except at the Disney Gift shop at the Dolphin and the Disney Cabanas at Swan
 












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