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Advantages and Disadvantages of Swan & Dolphin?

Daily Magic

Active Member
Original Poster
Coming up in February my wife and I are planning on heading to Disney and we were stuck on which resort to stay at. Recently we stayed at Yacht and Beach Club and absolutely loved the ability to walk to Epcot and HWS. What we also loved about YBC is the pool. We were there every day for a few hours and it was well worth the price of the resort.

Since it’s going to be February when we go next we still want the convenience of the easy walls to two parks but we don’t plan on swimming so much. As a result Swan and Dolphin came up as a perfect way to get the same convenience but save on the price. The only thing we are stuck on are the possible disadvantages I haven’t discovered yet.

Through my job I get a decent corporate discount on rates at Swan and Dolphin which cuts the cost in half from the costs at YBC rack rates. That’s really enticing but I would have to book the room and tickets separately. This makes me ask, will I miss out on anything by not booking a package? Since I’ll be booking the resort outside of the Disney booking system I’m afraid I’ll miss out on things like:

- Advanced Dinning Reservations
- Park Pass Reservations (is there a cap when not booking through Disney?)
- If I’ll still enjoy whatever the newest iteration of extra magic hours if that comes back?
- Fast Pass advanced booking window(if that returns)

If I can buy the tickets and hotel stay separately to get the discount but still get the advantages I would expect through Disney or staying at Disney properties this is a no brainer. If I miss out on some of the items above it may be worth it to me to wait for a room discount from Disney and stay at another boardwalk resort to stay more firmly in the “bubble”.

thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions about staying at Swan and Dolphin!
 

lewisc

Active Member
Delivery of packages to your resort isnt available to S/D. Currently not available to anyone.
Magic Band won't open your hotel room. You can't charge back to your hotel room, obviously excluding purchases made at the hotel.
Bus transportation to the MK is via TTC.
 

jpinkc

Well-Known Member
We are in the similar boat. We are trying to go in Oct (thanksgiving week) for Wife's 50th birthday a short trip 3-4 days so kids wont miss school. I thought if you attached your Credit Card to your disney experience app you could charge with your Magic Bands am I wrong?
 

Epcotfan21

Well-Known Member
You can still link your S&D hotel reservation to your My Disney Experience account and take advantage of all those things you mentioned you were worried about missing out on.

We've been staying at S&D for the last 10+ years and previously were hardcore Beach/Yacht/Boardwalk advocates. So glad we discovered S&D. Haven't had a bad experience and their service is top notch.
 

jpinkc

Well-Known Member
Correct me if I am wrong, but S&D dont offer park purchases delivered to Hotel correct thats an exclusive to the Disney owned resorts.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
My understanding is that Swolphin no longer uses Disney bus service and instead uses Mears busses. I believe that means they get dropped off at the TTC rather than closer to MK. Not sure that the frequency of bus service has changed.
 

Daily Magic

Active Member
Original Poster
My understanding is that Swolphin no longer uses Disney bus service and instead uses Mears busses. I believe that means they get dropped off at the TTC rather than closer to MK. Not sure that the frequency of bus service has changed.
When I stayed at the Y&BC this year we met a lot of people from the S&D who walked over to take the bus. It made me slightly annoyed with the reduced capacity on buses but then I realized how I would do the same thing myself if I was in there shoes.
 

Daily Magic

Active Member
Original Poster
You can still link your S&D hotel reservation to your My Disney Experience account and take advantage of all those things you mentioned you were worried about missing out on.

We've been staying at S&D for the last 10+ years and previously were hardcore Beach/Yacht/Boardwalk advocates. So glad we discovered S&D. Haven't had a bad experience and their service is top notch.
That was my biggest question so thank you for answering that. At face value it has everything to make it my new favorite resort I just didn’t want to have a cap on park passes, not have advanced dinning reservations, or have issues with the my Disney experience app.

When you book do you book through the Disney website or do you do it through a third party and link it? (Marriott, Expedia, etc)
 

Daily Magic

Active Member
Original Poster
We are in the similar boat. We are trying to go in Oct (thanksgiving week) for Wife's 50th birthday a short trip 3-4 days so kids wont miss school. I thought if you attached your Credit Card to your disney experience app you could charge with your Magic Bands am I wrong?
I believe that was to charge expenses back to your room which is linked through your magic band. S&D doesn’t offer that as far as I’m aware.

This isn’t an issue for me bc all the magicband readers also accept Apple Pay which I can use with my Apple Watch and iPhone. I actually earn 2% back when I use Apple Pay compared to 1% on the magicband so I had to train myself to stop using the band on my last trip.
 

Epcotfan21

Well-Known Member
That was my biggest question so thank you for answering that. At face value it has everything to make it my new favorite resort I just didn’t want to have a cap on park passes, not have advanced dinning reservations, or have issues with the my Disney experience app.

When you book do you book through the Disney website or do you do it through a third party and link it? (Marriott, Expedia, etc)
I always book either directly through Marriott or by calling the Swan and Dolphin reservations line.

FYI whenever you get your confirmation number, wait a few days before trying to link it in MDE. For some reason it takes 48 hours or so before MDE recognizes it for Swan and Dolphin reservations.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Coming up in February my wife and I are planning on heading to Disney and we were stuck on which resort to stay at. Recently we stayed at Yacht and Beach Club and absolutely loved the ability to walk to Epcot and HWS. What we also loved about YBC is the pool. We were there every day for a few hours and it was well worth the price of the resort.

Since it’s going to be February when we go next we still want the convenience of the easy walls to two parks but we don’t plan on swimming so much. As a result Swan and Dolphin came up as a perfect way to get the same convenience but save on the price. The only thing we are stuck on are the possible disadvantages I haven’t discovered yet.

Through my job I get a decent corporate discount on rates at Swan and Dolphin which cuts the cost in half from the costs at YBC rack rates. That’s really enticing but I would have to book the room and tickets separately. This makes me ask, will I miss out on anything by not booking a package? Since I’ll be booking the resort outside of the Disney booking system I’m afraid I’ll miss out on things like:

- Advanced Dinning Reservations
- Park Pass Reservations (is there a cap when not booking through Disney?)
- If I’ll still enjoy whatever the newest iteration of extra magic hours if that comes back?
- Fast Pass advanced booking window(if that returns)

If I can buy the tickets and hotel stay separately to get the discount but still get the advantages I would expect through Disney or staying at Disney properties this is a no brainer. If I miss out on some of the items above it may be worth it to me to wait for a room discount from Disney and stay at another boardwalk resort to stay more firmly in the “bubble”.

thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions about staying at Swan and Dolphin!

S&D had the same 60 day Fastpass window as Disney hotels.

Some of the things that used to differentiate Disney hotels from the S&D are slowly disappearing like free magic bands and magical express.
 

TJ Vazquez

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
My personal thoughts having stayed here 30 plus times:

Cons:

  • Resort Fee added on top of Room Rate ($35)
  • Parking is $29 and is a far walk to lobby for both S&D
  • No Disney Theming in Rooms or public areas
  • Magic Kingdom bus takes you to TTC now instead of being in front of the park
  • Can't use MagicBands to charge to room
Pros
  • Walkable to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
  • 60 day window for Restaurant reservations like other Disney properties have
  • Boat transportation to these 2 parks as well
  • Boardwalk is a 5 minute walk away
  • Lots of dining options between the 2 hotels
  • Beds are very comfortable
  • Rooms recently updated (within the last 3 years)
  • Great views from some of the resort view rooms
  • Can earn Marriott points for your stay
  • 2 nice lap pools/grotto and kid pools
  • Fantasia Mini Golf is a 5 minute walk

All in all I love staying here when the the price is right. We are staying at the Swan in August and got an all in rate of $221 a night, where the Yacht Club and Beach Club are in the $500's.

Tip: If you click the button on the Marriott app or website that includes all fees and taxes, you'll get the exact amount you'll pay versus having to see a lower price, only to have the fees and taxes added later. Hope this helps!
 
Last edited:

Daily Magic

Active Member
Original Poster
My personal thoughts having stayed here 30 plus times:

Cons:

  • Resort Fee added on top of Room Rate ($35)
  • Parking is $29 and is a far walk to lobby for both S&D
  • No Disney Theming in Rooms or public areas
  • Magic Kingdom bus takes you to TTC now instead of being in front of the park
  • Can't use MagicBands to charge to room
Pros
  • Walkable to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
  • 60 day window for Restaurant reservations like other Disney properties have
  • Boat transportation to these 2 parks as well
  • Boardwalk is a 5 minute away
  • Lots of dining options between the 2 hotels
  • Beds are very comfortable
  • Rooms recently updated (within the last 3 years)
  • Great views from some of the resort view rooms
  • Can earn Marriott points for your stay
  • 2 nice lap pools/grotto and kid pools
  • Fantasia Mini Golf is a 5 minute walk

All in all I love staying here when the the price is right. We are staying at the Swan in August and got an all in rate of $221 a night, where the Yacht Club and Beach Club are in the $500's.

Tip: If you click the button on the Marriott app or website that includes all fees and taxes, you'll get the exact amount you'll pay versus having to see a lower price, only to have the fees and taxes added later. Hope this helps!
This is an incredible list and alleviates all the concerns I had about booking here. Honestly the lack of Disney theming doesn’t concern me since the resorts I’ve enjoyed the most personally are Coronado and Yacht Club which both have minimal Disney/Mickey theming.

The only thing now is to find the best rate. Any ideas on where you’ve found the best rates in the past? I get a discount through my job but feel I could still find something better if I keep looking.
 

TJ Vazquez

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
This is an incredible list and alleviates all the concerns I had about booking here. Honestly the lack of Disney theming doesn’t concern me since the resorts I’ve enjoyed the most personally are Coronado and Yacht Club which both have minimal Disney/Mickey theming.

The only thing now is to find the best rate. Any ideas on where you’ve found the best rates in the past? I get a discount through my job but feel I could still find something better if I keep looking.
So right now, prices are inflated for 2022, as almost every destination type location is jacking prices up assuming business will booming as people return to traveling and they don't want to miss out on that. I have a trip played in January to stay at the new Swan Reserve, that I am fortunate enough to do on points, but the regular rates are around $450 a night. Those will most certainly come down in time, so my advice would be to wait it out until after the summer to see if those rates start going down. The other "what if" situation that could occur is if the conference business picks up, if it does, January and February are prime months, and could impact the rates as well.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
This is an incredible list and alleviates all the concerns I had about booking here. Honestly the lack of Disney theming doesn’t concern me since the resorts I’ve enjoyed the most personally are Coronado and Yacht Club which both have minimal Disney/Mickey theming.

The only thing now is to find the best rate. Any ideas on where you’ve found the best rates in the past? I get a discount through my job but feel I could still find something better if I keep looking.
If you're a AAA member, check the AAA rates as well, and if you're not a Starwood/Marriott Bonvoy rewards member, join so you can have access to perks like free high-speed wifi and the ability to collect points.

We saved 25% with a AAA "Hot Deals" rate when we booked a suite at the Dolphin last week -- the suite didn't even show up in search results for regular/best rates. It only showed up when I selected AAA under the "Special Rates" menu. Other special rates are offered for teachers and school staff, government/military, etc.
 

DISR

Well-Known Member
We stayed over Christmas after years of Deluxe stays. The biggest pro was adjoining rooms (four beds/2 baths) for the price of a Deluxe room at Yacht Club. Splitting hairs a bit, but overall the rooms reminded me more of a Disney Moderate than a Deluxe...limited storage, poor placement/availability of outlets, only a small closet in the bathroom. etc. Not a dealbreaker, but after staying in some of the re-designed Disney rooms where they made storage and outlets an art form, it was a significant contrast. Transportation, as previously noted, was very poor, but you have lots of other options. It was also nice to eat in a restaurant without planning the type of food and time of day six months out. Maybe that has changed, but we were able to walk in to a couple of sit-down meals over the holidays.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Another pro: When you press the "Front Desk" button on your phone, you actually get to speak to someone in the hotel, instead of a central call center like at the "true" Disney resorts. You can also use the Marriott app to request things like toiletries, towels, coffee, etc., and the service tends to be very fast. Disclaimer: I haven't been back since pre-covid so it may not be as fast if the hotels are understaffed.
 

JAB

New Member
Correct me if I am wrong, but S&D dont offer park purchases delivered to Hotel correct thats an exclusive to the Disney owned resorts.
Post-COVID, I don't believe purchase deliveries are currently being offered for any resorts, so it's hard to say what the policy will be for Swalphin once deliveries resume, but pre-COVID they did get the park purchase delivery benefit. My wife and I stayed at the Swan on our last trip, and we were able to have our purchases sent to the resort, and we picked them up at the Disney gift shop in the Swan lobby.
 

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