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“Thanksgiving Celebration” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1500 Epcot Resort Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
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Ranked #160 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Santa Monica, California, United States
2 reviews
“Thanksgiving Celebration”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I was visiting my family in Orlando. They have 3 children below the age of 9, so Disney is a big attraction for them. Despite the fact that they live 10 miles away from the park!! I went in with the expectation that this Disney World Resort would be full of kids, totally commercial and annoying all round. Luck for me, I WAS DEAD WRONG. First of all this hotel and resort is beautiful and inspires you to walk around and explore. The rooms are nice and neat, nothing too special but everything you can ask for paying the fair price you do. But more importantly were the restaurants at the hotel. Talk about some of the best food I have ever eaten!!! Great buffets, Coffee & Pastries, and some fancy restaurants. IF you can afford it (which I recommend you do) I would try Shulas!!! Best steaks in Florida they say. So after you have seen your sights and eaten your delicious food it is time to move on to the PARKS. They have buses, shuttles, and even boats to every part of Disney World. This made it really easy for my family to navigate the parks. We had a great trip. I am already saving my money for next year!!! I recommend you do as well.

Room Tip: The Suites are worth the extra price
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I usually stay at a Disney Resort hotel. I found out the hard way these hotels are NOT owned by Disney . Many Amenities are not availbile to these guests. Room,location great. Ask questions and beware

Room Tip: Ask for view of the water ( facing EPCOT ) you can see fireworks. Or facing swim area which gives yo...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I'm targeting this review to those coming to WDW for the first time, as I've lived here 10 years and have been dozens of times.
Walt Disney World (WDW) is the size of a small town. It can take about 20 minutes to drive across it. So the key is to maximize your time doing the things you want to do.
The key to WDW for most visitors is time at the attractions. This is determined, for the most part, by the type of transportation that is available from your hotel.
Cars are expensive (due to high local taxes) but are well worth it. If you stay at a resort on Disney property, you save the $ 17.00 parking fee at the resorts (free parking). It will still take some time, by the time to walk to the car from your resort, drive and park, it can be a good 45 minutes. But for some resorts, the buses too and fro - especially during busy season, can take over an hour each way. That means you have to choose between your all-important afternoon nap and your afternoon at a park!
The advantage of these particular hotels - both the Swan and Dolphin- is that it generally runs about $ 100 per night cheaper than it's Disney-owned neighbors, and has the advantage of being within walking distance (45 minutes) or boat trip distance (about the same 45 minutes) to 2 of the parks - Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It is situated on a large lake in-between both parks and also near the Boardwalk, which also houses EPSN. I also like the fact that there are so many restaurants to chose from - all incredibly delicious, including an inexpensive Pizza place you can go to on the Boardwalk for eating outside on a nice day. The best of the best is Shula's steakhouse - a truly luxurious, memorable meal.
While you don't get the particular experience of the Disney hotel at the Swan or Dolphin, for the savings, it is well worth it, IMHO. If you are going to focus on those two parks only, and not go to the Animal Kingdom or the Magic Kingdom, you can definitely get away with not having a car. If not, expect 1 hour plus bus rides back and forth (by the time you wait for the bus, then are on the bus).
For those who can afford it, the best form of transportation is the monorail. Only the higher end hotels tend to be directly on the monorail. My personal favorite is the Grand Floridian, which is very expensive, but just incredibly beautiful. You can be at the Magic Kingdom in 15-20 minutes. If you don't want to spend money on a car and want to see all of the parks in your first visit, I'd recommend splurging on a Disney hotel on the monorail. The Polynesian is probably the least expensive of those, but I'm sure varies with the season.
Finally, note that it can get pretty cold here in Florida. Every January I see some poor family dressed in their pajamas trying to keep warm. It can be 60% F during the day and in and around 30% F at night. Definitely not shorts weather. Bring a hat, coat and gloves just in case if you are traveling November - February. Most of the time these cold spells only last for a few days, but they do happen almost every year - don't let them ruin your vacation or force you to buy a bunch of redundant clothing. All Disney pools are temperature regulated so you will have a great time swimming no matter what!
Enjoy - Disney - is generally wonderful, although it does have it's rough spots (see my other reviews!)

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Gladewater, Texas
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

You can not go wrong staying at the Dolphin as a family. If you can swing the corner balcony rooms facing World Showcase the fireworks are spectacular! When we visit as a couple we usually stay at the Swan which is quieter, less bustle more adults. The restaurants in the Dolphin are varied and good. From affordable choices at the 24-hr. Picabo to breakfast buffet at Fresh to the Fountain and Blue Zoo you can have convenience, affordability or elegance and romance.
The Dolphin is due for updating decor, but for the value that is certainly no deterrent.
ALSO, if you are a teacher, firefighter, a member of law enforcement or the military there are special room discounts. You have to love a company that takes care of the servants among us.
I have yet to encounter an employee who was not more than welcoming and helpful. From housekeeping to the Business Center these folks at the Dolphin are VERY well trained.
The location is within walking distance or a short boat ride to World Showcase/EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. Be patient if on the boat at peak times, it stops at all the Boardwalk hotels.
My husband and I have stayed at the Grand Floridian 3 times, Wilderness Lodge 3 or 4 times, Caribbean Beach once, Port Orleans once, and one of the value Disney hotels. We have stayed at the Dolphin twice and the Swan countless times. Just remember if you choose the Swan you probably want to eat and shop at the Dolphin.

Room Tip: Corner balcony rooms facing either World Showcase or the Studios so you can see the fireworks.
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Green Features: Our son and daughter-in-law participated in the Green program the entire time they were there. Then received 1500 Starwood points for participating.
  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We've stayed at both the Swan and Dolphin previously and have always enjoyed the location and amenities. Our most recent trip was a pre-Christmas visit, and we were reminded of how good it is.
Booked a King room, but found out after one night that we really needed a double to accommodate our family; given the time of year, I wasn't terribly optimistic about our chances, but the Front Desk staff could not have been more helpful when we asked about the possibility of moving. Bellman was there exactly on schedule to help us relocate and still spend a day at the parks.
A minor maintenance issue was handled in the same manner, and they were even able to extend our checkout by an hour on Sunday when one of our children became ill and needed a little extra time to get ready to travel home.
It may not be a Disney property per se, but you would never guess that based on my experience with the staff ... they were courteous, helpful, and professional at every encounter. Everyone that we encountered seemed to truly enjoy being a part of that team. Having stayed at many high quality hotels over the years, I was very impressed with the entire Dolphin staff --- they made this a very special trip for us
The room(s) were comfortable and well-appointed ... the in-room refrigerator came in very handy; a microwave would be a nice addition. The rooms, hallways, and common areas were always in first-rate condition.
The location is very convenient, with a short walk to the Boardwalk and EPCOT ... we took the boat to the Movie Studio, but walked back afterwards ... the bus ride to and from the Magic Kingdom was smooth.
Don't know how the rates stack up against similar Disney properties, but I would guess that they are somewhat less expensive.
The restaurants & ice cream fountain were pretty pricey, which you generally come to expect anywhere near WDW.

Room Tip: King room with a pull-out couch was pretty tight; the staff was able to move us into a very comforta...
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Green Features: We took advantage of the green option, although we did ask for (and received) a change of towels
  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The place was clean, comfortable and well maintained. Service was good but impersonal. The downside was that it was hard to get around, I never knew where I was in the building and it was just weird. Agree with the previous reviewer who likened it to a Vegas style conference hotel.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Onancock, Virginia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

On the inside this is more like a Chicago conference style hotel. On the outside, more like new Las Vegas (but definitely Florida). It is large, and I did not think too terribly well laid out. Very difficult to get from one place to another without breadcrumbs. Service is excellent, and they kept the rooms very clean. Lots to do right around the hotel without even going to Disney parks if you don't want. Still, very convenient to parks and shuttle bus will take you to Downtown Disney if you want to do something different from the Boardwalk right next door. Not certain if families with little kids would like this as much as one of the more traditional Disney properties, but it was good for the conference I attended.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the side where you can see the fireworks over Epcot at night.
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Address: 1500 Epcot Resort Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#38 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#100 Business Hotel in Orlando
#101 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#143 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin 4*
Number of rooms: 2267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is located in the center of Walt Disney World. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are just a boat ride or short walk away, with Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park nearby. Our hotel has free area transportation. We offer a unique blend of Disney benefits and Starwood amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Walt Disney World Swan And Dolphin Hotel Orlando
Walt Disney Orlando
Walt Disney Hotel Orlando
Swan Resort Disney
Disney World Swan Resort
Walt Disney World Swan Resort

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