Walt Disney’s Worlds Swan and Dolphin Dolphin Review

The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin are on-site hotels near Epcot.  This review features photos of a room in the Dolphin.

The price. At prices often right around $189/night not including the resort fee, these rooms are substantially cheaper than their neighbor counterparts at the BoardWalk Inn and Yacht & Beach Club.
However, being that they are not Disney-owned hotels, there’s the unfortunate side of the pricing model used by the Swan & Dolphin. First, there is the non-optional resort fee. I’ll be blunt: I really don’t like resort fees. If a fee is non-optional, just include it in the total cost of the room. Don’t draw people in with a lower rate just to nickel and dime them.

On that topic there’s the issue of parking. Swan & Dolphin charge guests for parking, which Disney-owned hotels do not. You may think, no big deal, I take Disney’s Magical Express anyway, so it won’t effect me  Remember Swan & Dolphin don’t participate in Disney’s Magical Express, so you’re either paying for a shuttle, Uber or for a rental car plus parking. Judging by the parking lot during my stay, the vast majority of guests rent cars and drive over.

I found the layout of the resort slightly confusing. This place is enormous so you can easily get lost just wandering around the hallways that go off of the center lobby. There are also a few different banks of elevators which can get confusing if you don’t remember which one you’re suppose to go up. I got lost going to the pool twice.

The location of the Swan and Dolphin is fantastic, set within walking distance of Epcot. Friendship Boats take you to and from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, but when the weather is nice, its a  10-minute walk along the lake. Swan and Dolphin are also just across a bridge to Disney’s BoardWalk; with shopping, restaurants, bike rentals and an arcade games. Just across the street from Swan in the other direction is Disney’s Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course, which is another fun activity.

Swan and Dolphin have three pools, a lap pool and the Grotto pool with a waterfall and a water slide. There’s also a kids’ playground and activities scheduled and s’mores on the beach.

The Camp Dolphin kids’ club is free for two kids for two hours when parents are dining at one of Swan or Dolphin’s signature restaurants, or getting pampered at the Mandara Spa.

You’ll have access to the following Disney on-property benefits while staying at Swan/Dolphin:

  • Transportation to the theme parks, including the Friendship Boat water taxi to Epcot and Hollywood Studios;
  • Extended access to the parks for on-property guests during Extra Magic Hours;
  • Extra 30-day window to book Fast Passes for rides at the parks (vital for the most popular attractions, such as the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train ride or the character meet-and-greet with Ana and Elsa from Frozen);
  • Free parking at all theme parks.

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