I have been to Walt Disney World® more times than I can count. I am embarrassed to say that in all those visits I have never stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Not only have I never stayed, I had never even been inside. When I was given an opportunity recently to tour the property, I was thrilled and eager to get inside and see for myself what so many rave about. The unique structures, created by renowned architect Michael Graves, have been looming in the background of my trips to Epcot for years so I couldn’t wait to see for myself what the inside of the buildings were like.
I arrived early for my tour, wanting an opportunity to explore a little on my own, take some pictures, and peak into a few nooks and crannies without my escort. I was very pleased and impressed every which what way I turned. I stopped in the Swan at a small coffee bar in the lobby courtyard for a cup of coffee and pastry. I was pleased with the quality, the service, the intimate feel and quiet area for seating and the price.
The location of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin couldn’t be better. Sitting nicely between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a short walk to the Boardwalk entertainment area make the resort a prime spot for Disney lovers. Complimentary transportation to all Walt Disney World® parks is offered; guests can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours offered by the Disney Theme Parks with their resort identification; on-site Disney ticket and information centers; complimentary package delivery to the Disney shop at either the Swan or the Dolphin from select Disney park shops; and, a Disney Character dining location, are just a few of the amenities offered.
Although located on Walt Disney World® property, the Swan and Dolphin are not owned or operated by the Walt Disney Company. The Swan is a premiere Westin property and the Dolphin a Sheraton property; both falling under the Starwood Hotel group. Guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin can become members of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program which entitles them to earn points that can be used for any number of redeemable options including free room upgrades and free nights.
Between the Swan and Dolphin there are a total of 2,265 rooms (1,509 at the Dolphin and 756 at the Swan). The guest rooms feature Heavenly Beds®, 32″ flat screen televisions, in-room safes, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, and coffee maker.
The grounds are immaculately maintained, easy to navigate and walking between the two structures and around the pool areas offer an incredibly relaxing stroll.
There are 17 restaurants and lounges on property (each will be discussed in later posts) – 4 fine dining, signature restaurants, 5 casual restaurants, 5 lounges, and 3 quick services spots. 24 hour room service is offered – for me, this is one of the best amenities offered since I am a late night snacker and eater and being able to have something delivered to my room is something I am truly a fan of! Guests of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are also just a short distance from the restaurants, lounges and entertainment located at Disney’s Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club, as well as all of the great eateries of Epcot. I was surprised to learn a guest of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin dining in any of the 4 signature restaurants will be given 2 FREE (yes, free!) hours of babysitting services for their children (age 4 through 12) at Camp Dolphin.
The choices of recreation offered are almost endless with five swimming pools, two health clubs, watercraft rental, tennis courts, jogging trails, game room, beachside playground, white sand beach and a spa that is so beautiful it will have to be an entire post in itself!
There are two car rental desks available – National and Alamo, ATM machines and currency exchange, airline check-in kiosks, business centers, laundry facilities, and some of the finest upscale resort shops for clothing, jewelry and art, along with shops for sundries, candy and Disney goodies.
During my tour I was able to visit a few guest rooms and look into most of the restaurants. I will be discussing the rooms, each of the restaurants, lounges and other amenities over the next few weeks. Based on my tour, I can’t wait to spend a vacation at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin!
There are two points that guests making reservations should be aware of: There is a $15 per day parking fee and a $17 (+ tx) per day resort fee. The resort fee covers high-speed internet access, unlimited local telephone calls, unlimited use of the resorts health club and 2 bottles of WDW Swan and Dolphin bottled water delivered daily to your room. When looking at packages or room only prices, be sure to add these costs to the prices to the nightly rate you are looking at.