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Resort Review: Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

Situated beautifully in the Epcot Resort area, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is easy to spot with the incredibly unique architecture featuring majestic swans, enormous fish, and triangle shaped building. So, are these sister resorts worth the stay and what do they have to offer? Check out these 6 points below!





 

1 – The Story Behind Swan & Dolphin

While known as the “Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort”, the Swan and Dolphin hotels are not fully owned by Walt Disney World. The land is owned by Disney while the hotels themselves are leased by Disney from the owners, Tishman and MetLife. In the 80’s, Disney realized they needed a convention center resort that would provide great space for business men and women to gather for large conventions. There was an agreement with Tishman (who built Epcot) that any resort building to feature a convention center was to be in agreement and ownership of Tishman. Hence the birth of Swan and Dolphin!

2 – The Swan Vs. The Dolphin 

So, what’s the difference between the Swan and Dolphin? These sister hotels are in easy walking distance to one another and guests are welcome to walk in and out of either hotel and enjoy the amenities both have to offer.

  • The Swan hotel is most known for the two huge swans seated on top of the building. A greater room variety is available at the Swan, including Traditional Rooms, Resort Rooms, Grand Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Family Rooms, Suites, Governors Suites, and Presidential Suites. We personally think the Swan has better room views of the Disney World surroundings.
  • The Dolphin hotel is well known for its triangle shape and large fish structures. While the Dolphin has more rooms than the Swan, there is less room variety. Room variety for the Dolphin includes Guest Rooms, Deluxe Family Rooms, Suites Governor Suites, and Presidential Suites. Most convention center and meeting room space is available at the Dolphin, but the Swan does offer some meeting space as well.

Photo Credit: Disney

3 – The Perfect Location

We LOVE the Swan and Dolphin location! The Epcot Resort area is filled with daily activities, nightlife, and provides super easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Whether you want to resort hop to check out favorites such as the Yacht Club Resort, be entertained by live performers on the Boardwalk, or take a leisurely stroll or boat ride to Epcot or Hollywood Studios… it’s all within reach at Swan and Dolphin.

4 – Incredible Dining Available

Our favorite part of staying at the Swan or Dolphin is the dining available! We love that there is a dining spot for any occasion and any group dynamic. Whether you have a high spending budget or prefer to save your pennies – Swan or Dolphin have what you are looking for. Our favorite from the list below would have to be the Garden Grove because each night at dinner characters (typically Pluto and Goofy) appear for a great character dining experience. Garden Grove also has a Good Morning Character Breakfast on Saturday and Sundays where you might just spot Goofy, Pluto, and maybe even Chip and Dale. We also must give a shout out to the Fountain’s tasty milkshakes!

  • Signature Dining: Shula’s Steak House (Dolphin), Il Mulino (Swan), Kimono (Swan), Todd English’s BlueZoo (Dolphin)
  • Casual Dining: Garden Grove (Swan), Fresh Mediterranean Market (Dolphin), Fountain (Dolphin), Cabana Bar and Beach Club (Dolphin), Splash Terrace (Swan)
  • Quick Service: Picabu (Dolphin), Java Bar (Swan)
  • Lounge: Shula’s Lounge (Dolphin), Il Mulino Lounge (Swan), Kimono Lounge (Swan), Todd English’s BlueZoo Lounge (Dolphin), and Lobby Lounge (Dolphin)




 

5 – Top of The Line Amenities

The amenities at Swan and Dolphin are excellent! There are 5 pools between the two hotels, beach activities, tennis, basketball and volleyball, jogging trails health clubs, a game room, shopping, and an art gallery. Plus, chances are you may have heard of the Mandara Spa?! Offering “world class pampering and beauty services” – this spa is known by many as the very best spa on Disney World property. The list of spa treatments that are available at Mandara is shockingly impressive. So, be sure to make time – and budget for – some relaxing treatments at Mandara!

6 – Receive MOST Disney Guest Privileges… But NOT All!

Swan and Dolphins hotels might not be fully owned by Disney, but guests staying on sight do receive some of the same guest privileges that Disney Resort guests receive at the surrounding resorts. Complimentary Disney Bus transportation is available to and from all theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Swan and Dolphin also has great boat transportation to and from Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Plus, theme park parking is free for Swan and Dolphin guests. Guests can also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, 60-day advance FastPass+ selections, and complimentary delivery of purchased items in a theme park and Disney Springs sent back to the hotel. There is also a Disney ticket/planning location within the hotel for easy purchasing of tickets and customer support before reaching the parks. Guests do NOT however receive a complimentary MagicBand. There is no charging to your MagicBand nor does a MagicBand work as a room key at Swan and Dolphin. Disney Dining Plans are not available at the Swan and Dolphin either.

Have you had the opportunity to stay at either the Swan or Dolphin hotels? We’d love to hear about your experience!



For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.






 

About Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.