News PHOTOS - Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin switch to Mears shuttles for theme park transportation

spresso81

Well-Known Member
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The Swan and Dolphin are definitely going to hurt with the loss of the convention business for the foreseeable future so this could be a cost saving strategy.

This really hurts the desirability to stay at the Swan and Dolphin. However, I am not sure how many non-regulars would even know that these hotels used to have the same bus transportation options as the Disney hotels.

Another negative 2020 development.
 

PhilharMagician

Well-Known Member
I wonder how early the busses will start and how late they will run. May have to use Uber or taxi the get to and from parks at certain times.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
I was briefly considering Swan/Dolphin as an alternative to staying at one of Epcot-area resorts next May since we are Marriott members but with this news will now be crossing this option off our list. With the additional resort fees, older rooms, no longer does this look like an attractive "deal". Sad.
 

tirian

Well-Known Member
@wdwmagic Do we know whether this is definitely long-term or just a temporary solution amid layoffs?

Years ago when summer attendance was high, Disney occasionally called in Mears buses if the WDW fleet couldn’t handle the crowds. It confused guests to see Mears mixed with the Disney buses at the resorts and parks.
 
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wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
Original Poster
@wdwmagic Do we know whether this definitely long-term or just a temporary solution amid layoffs?

Years ago when summer attendance was high, Disney occasionally called in Mears buses if the WDW fleet couldn’t handle the crowds. It confused guests to see Mears mixed with the Disney buses at the resorts and parks.
Unclear at this point, I’ll update if I find out more, although I suspect we won’t know.
 

DisneyNittany

Active Member
Wife and I are long-time Swan & Dolphin people (Marriott people from business travel). Despite not having the "luxury" of the Magical Express and integrated MagicBands, it was always our choice due to location and price, but if this is a permanent change, then that'll be the end of that.

I'm in the minority, in that I actually don't mind the bus service, so this would be a huge deal breaker. Love the Crescent Lake area more than anything, but have enjoyed our time at Bus Only Resorts (POFQ and Coronado Springs) in the past, so might be our new go-to for the foreseeable future.
 

pepperandchips

New Member
Did you confirm that the AK, MK, and Springs buses are Mears transportation? Swan and Dolphin reopened with Mears shuttles to DHS and Epcot while the friendship boats are not running. The image in your article also only specifies Mears for Epcot and DHS. Where was the bus that is pictured in the article headed?
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
Original Poster
Did you confirm that the AK, MK, and Springs buses are Mears transportation? Swan and Dolphin reopened with Mears shuttles to DHS and Epcot while the friendship boats are not running. The image in your article also only specifies Mears for Epcot and DHS. Where was the bus that is pictured in the article headed?
Yes it is now all routes. The bus in the picture was DAK
 
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mgf

Well-Known Member
This is disappointing. Also a Marriot person and actually a big fan of the Dolphin. Will miss not having this aspect of the "bubble" experience. Certainly will not appreciate losing decent bus stops.
 

TJ Vazquez

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
I was briefly considering Swan/Dolphin as an alternative to staying at one of Epcot-area resorts next May since we are Marriott members but with this news will now be crossing this option off our list. With the additional resort fees, older rooms, no longer does this look like an attractive "deal". Sad.
These rooms were just updated 2 to 3 years ago and are in great shape actually compared some of the Disney properties.
 

FerretAfros

Well-Known Member
What accommodations do they have in place for guests with disabilities? Coach buses, with their steep entry stairs and narrow aisles, are unfriendly (at best) to those with mobility issues, and fully inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Presumably this would require also running some sort of paratransit shuttle along the same routes to accommodate guests who are unable to board a coach bus. Since shuttles have notoriously low capacity (1-2 parties per vehicle), this feels more like a temporary solution while occupancy is down, rather than a permanent one. At a certain ridership level, it just becomes easier to mainstream everybody into buses with level-boarding.
 

awesomeinabox

Active Member
I stayed there this past week, the mears busses were used for an epcot/hollywood route that is typically boat based. We used Disney busses for AK and MK and we're shuttled back from DHS in a regular Disney bus.
 

wdwfan22

Well-Known Member
These rooms were just updated 2 to 3 years ago and are in great shape actually compared some of the Disney properties.
I wouldn’t go that far. The rooms have been refurbished but the resort still has an overall problem with cleanliness. i tried it right after the renovation and wasn’t impressed at all. There is a reason the rooms are cheaper than the Disney resorts. When the swan and dolphin first opened and were being well maintained On the inside the rooms were priced the same as Disney Deluxe Resorts. Now they are always discounted.
 

jque3385

New Member
What accommodations do they have in place for guests with disabilities? Coach buses, with their steep entry stairs and narrow aisles, are unfriendly (at best) to those with mobility issues, and fully inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Presumably this would require also running some sort of paratransit shuttle along the same routes to accommodate guests who are unable to board a coach bus. Since shuttles have notoriously low capacity (1-2 parties per vehicle), this feels more like a temporary solution while occupancy is down, rather than a permanent one. At a certain ridership level, it just becomes easier to mainstream everybody into buses with level-boarding.
Those buses can accommodate ECVs but MEARS has been known to provide a handicap taxi (Also MEARS).
 

TJ Vazquez

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
I wouldn’t go that far. The rooms have been refurbished but the resort still has an overall problem with cleanliness. i tried it right after the renovation and wasn’t impressed at all. There is a reason the rooms are cheaper than the Disney resorts. When the swan and dolphin first opened and were being well maintained On the inside the rooms were priced the same as Disney Deluxe Resorts. Now they are always discounted.
To each their own. I went last month and it was in great shape, got a great room upgrade and awesome service at the pool bars. They are typically much less than the Yacht and Beach Club (obviously they aren't on the level) but they have been a great option for us.
 
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