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“Always delivers, our Disney Go To hotel... over and over!”

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Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
Ranked #180 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Love, love the Swan and Dolphin! This is after many, many trips to Disney trying "out of" Park hotels, as well as other moderate Disney properties. Even though when you first arrive the property is massive and came seem overwhelming you immediately feel a sense of comfort and finding a wonderful niche here. The stunning lobby has great seating areas to meet and greet your party b/f you head out for the day. Escalators lead to wonderful lower level to restaurants and spa areas as well as to the beautiful outdoor waterway areas leading to pools and boat launches to Disney's Movie Studios and EPCOT. Walkways are also found here on beautiful days, easy walks to both Parks. Our fav is to boat to EPCOT as it opens and the launch drops you off at International Gateway right next to France..the only part of the countries of EPCOT you are allowed into in the AM..and we hit the fab bakery in France for a morning cafe and croissant. Great way to start your day in EPCOT!
Restaurants: although dinner is typically a Disney Parks event for us, breakfast is always here at the Swan. Fresh Mediterranean Market: We love the outstanding buffet..yes buffet. And I am not a buffet person. But the build your own fresh ingredients eggs, healthily fruits, oatmeal, of course the fun vaca goodies/ breakfast sweets always available too! Enjoyed trying the 3 daily offered fresh juiced veggie/fruit drinks in wheat grass, carrot and blueberry based. All ingredients listed, incredible tasting tried all..enjoyed! Glad to see they are up on latest trends! Enjoyed our fab waiter asked for his area each morning..Javier! Wonderful to talk to caring, asked about our day shared about his life Sweet employee. After many hours in Parks, wonderful to come back to the resort and relax in the beautiful Jacuzzi and heated pools. Stunning resort grounds, beautiful pools, cabanas, waterfall grotto pool, quiet, huge relaxing Jacuzzis.

Now...do I think this Dolphin could use some tidying up?? yes. Our room although we were upgraded to a water view at check in.. our usual upper floor /quiet room request not being available... due to busy holiday season. We did enjoy the stunning water view complete with beautiful morning sunrise. It can be noted that the room could use some touch ups. Bathroom was older, need paint and cleaning. Easy to get too and although on a lower level one above the Lobby wonderfully quiet. Needed for this light sleeper..
Love the quick, easy access to EPCOT and Studios our 2 fav parks, bus service to Animal and Magic Kingdoms and Downtown relatively quick.
My favorite feature about the Swan & Dolphin is thier option to offer Teacher Rates on their rooms. This routinely beats the Moderate Disney Resorts, of Caribbean and Coronado Spgs. Have stayed at both and still return to Swan & Dolphin.
Newest featured enjoyed???

The fab testing of the new Digital Fastpass system for Disney resorts. Although we do not get at check in access as Disney resorts themselves, here at Disney Swan & Dolphin, we enjoyed Reps at each Park just inside the gates ready and waiting with tablets to access the Fastpass system and provide us with our daily choices. The key is to get to Park at opening time. make your selections, and go on into the Parks and ride, or..return to parks when you are ready. With a college aged young adult sleeping in..the midday choices were perfect! And an up early Hubby would cruise to park, get passes and come back we would eat breakfast and be ready to hit the Parks.
New fastpass system worked very well. Got to pick 3 items for the day from list on tablet. Combining big ticket rides and shows. Concierge type staff available all day at parks to help S & D guests. Only quirk happened in the Studios..1 show was had a low populated audience so Fast pass not needed..we were offered 1 Park wide open fastpass in exchange. Very nice! Overall. great experience..understand this Digital FastPass will roll out to public sometime in 2014,

Room Tip: Boat service to EPCOT and Studios cannot be beat!
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank travelingMomGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

All we can say is WOW! We are thrilled that you and your family had a wonderful time while staying here with us! We are pleased to hear that our Fresh Mediterranean Market was the perfect way to start your fun filled day at the parks and also glad to hear that Javier was there to assist you during your length of stay. It’s Cast Members like Javier that we take special pride in who go the “extra mile” to make sure that you and your family are well taken care of. Your generous words have been shared with our Food & Beverage leadership team. We are also glad to hear that you were able to take advantage of our teacher promotional rate. Thank you for your kind words and we hope to have the opportunity to create even more magical memories with you.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

The WDW Swan is a great Disney deluxe resort, with good dining and lobby, nice rooms, shower and bed (QUEENS) amazing, even disney character dining. Because of a pipe leaking in room, family was forced to move to dolphin at 11pm, hotel did handle this very well and couldn't have done more to help us. But everything in the rooms at the dolphin felt smaller/ cheaper (why are there Double beds at a deluxe hotel). Overall really like resort (both hotels) great pool, dining, and public areas, Swan rooms are really nice, can't say same about dolphin.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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2  Thank bg14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Thank you very much your recent stay here with us. We are pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your time at the Swan. We sincerely apologize about the incident regarding the leaking pipe in your room and transferring to another room. We do hope that you will visit us again.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I both loved the convenient location, with the very easy and pleasant walk to Epcot along the Boardwalk. The water taxi was also convenient for the times we were tired. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the rooms were clean and comfortable. We has not purchased advance park passes so appreciated the Disney desk in the hotel lobby and also the Fast Pass Plus stations dedicated to Swan and Dolphin guests. The entire property was very nicely decorated for the holiday season.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank JazzDrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

What a fantastic review of your visit. We are thrilled that you and your husband had such a memorable time while staying here with us. We agree with you, we believe that we have an unbelievable location to Disney’s EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Boardwalk Resort area. We are pleased to hear that our talented Cast Members were there to assist you whenever you needed them. Thank you very much for your kind words and would love to welcome you back at any time.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

I am so dissatisfied in everything about this Hotel I am not sure where to start....reservation/check in. Upon check in to the Hotel we were informed that our prepaid reservation (first and last time I'm doing this) for a Resort room with two queen beds with balcony was not available. Most Hotels don't necessarily guarantee room type but for the Swan you can choose two queen beds (pay a higher cost) and request a balcony (again pay more). We chose the queen beds for a purpose (traveling with teenager) and the balcony was again specific to see the Epcot fireworks. So even though we paid more money for the room type we were only provided a king room with the pullout sofa (what a joke) or a rollaway (again a joke for a teenage boy whose is 5'7" and growing) because they didn't have our room type available for our stay (I had a confirmation that stated exactly what we paid for with me... And they asked to see it). Well they had us because we prepaid and WE WERE NOT GETTING OUR MONEY BACK. I spent over an hour at the start of our vacation at the front desk trying to get them to honor my full reservation but NO! So with no refund and no queen beds off we go to try and make the best of it. Next starts #1 unsatisfactory situation...the balcony. Although our room did face Epcot side so we could see the fireworks, the balcony (tiny to say the least) was full of mold and mildew on the floor and rails that we didn't dare step onto it. Still trying to make the most of it. So we spend the first night of our four night stay in a NOT Westin Heavenly Beds (don't let them fool you). When we woke the next morning we all started to have breathing problems (felt like we were getting a cold/allergies) and off we go to enjoy the parks. We come back to the hotel at 9:30pm to find our room had not been serviced....really all day and not fresh anything! So called housekeeping and 45 minutes later we were brought fresh towels at least. So again in our NOT Westin heavenly beds, we woke up the next morning not refreshed and feel our colds/allergies were getting worse (no one in our family actually has allergies diagnosed but seasonal....this is important to the story). We use our fresh towels in our unmade room and off we go. We again come back to our room this time 5:00pm to find our room had NOT been serviced at all....I talked to the floor housekeeping supervisor at this time and he assured me it would be done immediately upon our departure from the room (within 5 minutes) and would be done when we again return later that evening....guess what, NOTHING had been done. We return at 10:30pm to an untouched room. I go to the front desk (because housekeeping didn't answer their phone) and they really didn't care but did send housekeeping to service our room. So at 10:30pm at night I have a housekeeper taking away two days of towels and a front desk clerk taking out our garbage (which was full from water bottles). This was unbelievable and I just wanted them out of my room...so out they went. Last night in our NOT Westin Heavenly Bed and my son wakes up with more allergy/cold symptoms and says, his eyes were feeling funny....that is when I saw BLACK MOLD in the room which explains our miserable feeling when we were in the room and explains when we left the room we all felt better. I contacted the resort and they said NOTHING but they would look into it. So we prepaid for four nights in two queen beds with a balcony and we got a king room, with molding/mildew balcony (that was never used), ZERO housekeeping services, and sick from black mold in the room (feel free to look up symptoms from black mold exposure and it describes how we were feeling). NOT Westin quality let alone DISNEY for their affiliation! Don't stay here!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
12  Thank Tracy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2014

Please accept our sincerest apologies, what you have described is not our standard. We wish to resolve your concerns quickly. We take the safety and well-being our of guests very seriously. Please contact us at ReviewManager@swandolphin.com with your complete reservation details and a copy of your review, so that our Hotel Leadership can address your concerns and investigate the conditions you described. Thank you for your time, we look forward to talking with you.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

I frequent Starwood Hotels (Westins and W's mostly) so I'm used to being pampered. I checked in here and found my room to have some unsatisfactory elements. What could've been a negative experience was completely transformed by instant service - the team found me a new room, moved my belongings, and even procured me a reservation at a sold-out restaurant on property. What a way to exceed my expectations.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Aaron A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Hello Aaron and thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay. We are very thankful that you continue your loyalty through Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and are pleased that you decided to stay here with us. We do apologize about your first room, but are thrilled that we were able to find the perfect room that best fitted your needs and were able to move you to your new room swiftly. Thank you very much for your generous words and we welcome you back at any time.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Swan from Dec. 26 to Jan. 9. The resort is comparable to a moderate level resort in Disney. It was clean, in relative good repair and comfortable. When first arriving, there was a bit of "dirty carpet" smell that went away once we turned down the temperature in the room (from 71 to 67). Its close proximity to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios is the best aspect of the hotel but bus service to MK, AK and Downtown Disney were okay (be prepared for crowded buses). Hotel service was okay - our t.v. remote wasn't working when we arrived and it took 3 calls and a personal visit to the front desk before it was resolved. We both would stay at the Swan again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dean H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Hello Dean and thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay. We are pleased that you and your husband had a wonderful stay. We do agree that we have an unbeatable location to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We apologize for the delay for the bus transportation. We are in constant communication with Disney Transportation System to make sure that there are enough buses to transport you and our other guests to the theme parks and Downtown Disney. We look forward to having you back in the future.

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Reviewed January 10, 2014

We stayed at the Dolphin Swan from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2. That's 11 nights!

I booked a corner room 550 SF for the 3 of us due to the long length of time for our stay. The front clerk indicated that our reservation was not for a corner room but was for a standard size room. The manager, Ada, was able to rectify the situation by Dec. 26 and was able to put us into a suite. It was much appreciated but the process was onerous, taking much discussion and stress before obtaining the room.

The complex is huge, with 7 or 8 pools, waterfall, cabana, beach, lagoon, basketball court, use of balls (volleyball, basketball, ping pong), free water taxi to Epcot, free bus to Magic and Animal Kingdoms and Downtown Disney (all resorts have free transportation). During the holidays, they also had a children's craft centre open from noon to 4 pm. The ground and pools were great! It was a great place to escape the chaos of kids and family at Disney and within the hotel itselt.

The condition of the hotel and room was fine. It needed upgrading. It is not a posh establishment and needed miscellaneous repairs for normal wear and tear. The decor is also dated. One cool thing is that their lobby smelled like roasted marshmellows and the lobby of the Swan smelled like hot coco.

During the holidays, it was crushed with family, making it very chaotic in the lobby, hallways, restaurants. For some reason, parents and kids lost their manners during this time and it was really unbearable at times. For example, the breakfast buffet was crazy with kids underfoot, no sense of line-up, rudeness, etc.

Note that Platinum members get free continental breakfast for 2 that is valid at 2 restaurants but not valid at the coffee bar. Such an inconvenience to not have the ability to pick up some food on the run and to insist on a sit-down breakfast.

Parking is $15/day but if you park more than 5 days, it is free for subsequent days.

We purchased our Disneyworld tickets at www.visitOrlando.com. For the 5 day pass (4 days + 1 day free), it was about a 5% discount from what you would pay at the park entrance.

The flexpass allows folks to book ride times for 3 rides during the day. This is an OK system. In the old days, you can get a fastpass for a ride and once that ride was complete, you can get another fastpass at another ride. The new system only allows 3 fastpasses for the day. After completing your rides, you cannot get any more fastpasses. You will need to line up for all other rides. Download myDisneyExperience app to check for wait times, etc. We had a blackberry and were not able to make use of this service.

Overall, the trip was good. However, I would never go to a theme park again during the height of holidays. It was way busy (shoulder to shoulder) everywhere! At times, I feel like there were more kids than adults! I need my own space!

The hotel was fine and was close to Disney. The staff were ok, leaning towards the grumpy side. Friendliness was not an attribute of this hotel. We have stayed in the past at the Sheraton Vistana where there is more room and less crowds but it is far from Disney and does not have free shuttle service.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Wet_Coast_Gal_YVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay here with us. We are pleased that you have chosen us to be part of your family’s holiday vacation. We do apologize about the miscommunication regarding your reservation, but are pleased to hear that one of our Front Office Managers, Ada, was there to rectify the situation and providing the suite that you had booked. It is Cast Members like Ada who we take special pride in who go the “extra mile” to help our guests whenever they need it. Your generous words have been shared with our Front Office Leadership team. We are thrilled that you found our location most convenient to the Disney Parks and Resort area for you and your family. Thank you for your recent visit and it would be our pleasure to welcome you back at any time.

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Additional Information about Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort

Address: 1500 Epcot Resort Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830-8428 (Formerly Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Lake Buena Vista
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:
#28 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#40 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#49 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#117 Business Hotel in Orlando
#118 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#142 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $199 - $464 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 2267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Walt Disney World 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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