• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Swan and Dolphin: Your thoughts and opinions

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#21
Some counterpoints.

They're pretty clear they charge a resort fee (which includes WiFi and two bottles of water every day).
As for parking, just about all hotels charge a fee (though the Swalphin did come before the resorts on this front, yes).
An $11 breakfast sandwich with a $2 resort fee? Can you clarify that? I don't recall that. They have a coffee bar also.
The beds are amaaaaazing - best on property - and we've always had queens (so it depends on your room).
The bathrooms are equally amaaaazing (at least in the Swan; can't speak for the Dolphin).
They're not so much sterile as they are modern. Like I said; no Disney theming. But luxurious either way.
We've always had good luck with the busses. Sure, sometimes one ran late. Not unique to the Swalphin.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#22
Advertisement
I get it. I'd rather they not charge the mandatory fee either. But we had more water than we knew what to do with. And there's more...

Resort Service Package is $30 + tax per day and includes:

  • Unlimited access to the resort’s health club facilities including 24 hour access to Dolphin Health Club
  • Unlimited domestic, long distance, and local calls
  • 2 bottles of water refreshed daily
  • In-room enhanced high speed wireless internet access
  • Complimentary daily scheduled fitness classes
  • Complimentary daily scheduled recreational resort and pool activities
  • $25 off spa services of $100 or more during each day of your visit at Mandara Spa
  • Complimentary Swan Paddle Boat rentals
  • Complimentary S'mores Fun Kit each day of your stay to be used at our evening Campfire & S'mores event
 

yaksplat

Well-Known Member
#23
Some counterpoints.

They're pretty clear they charge a resort fee (which includes WiFi and two bottles of water every day).
As for parking, just about all hotels charge a fee (though the Swalphin did come before the resorts on this front, yes).
An $11 breakfast sandwich with a $2 resort fee? Can you clarify that? I don't recall that. They have a coffee bar also.
The beds are amaaaaazing - best on property - and we've always had queens (so it depends on your room).
The bathrooms are equally amaaaazing (at least in the Swan; can't speak for the Dolphin).
They're not so much sterile as they are modern. Like I said; no Disney theming. But luxurious either way.
We've always had good luck with the busses. Sure, sometimes one ran late. Not unique to the Swalphin.
I bought a breakfast sandwich, which was $11. Total came out to 13 something. I looked at the receipt and there was a line added, "Swan/Dolphin fee....$2". That just blew my mind.

The bathroom was a sink that was open to the room. 3' wide max. To the right was a door to the toilet/shower. The dimensions of that room were the standard toilet width + standard tub width x standard tub length. The door hit the tub. My son ran into the room to use the toilet and he left the door open. I told him to close the door, but he couldn't. Once sitting, there's no clearance for the door to close.

The Wifi was horrendous. I was unable to use the Disney app unless i disconnected from the wifi and used cellular. The speed was so slow that it wasn't worth using. There's also a limit on the number of devices that you can hook to wifi. With a family of 5, the ceiling was hit the number of devices that use wifi; phones, tablets, etc..

Hallway noise was quite bad as well. You could hear everything going on at all hours. A towel against the bottom of the door helped a bit.

I just was not ready for 33% of my hotel bill to be fees.

The issue with bussing was not a single bus. It was pretty bad every time we went to the bus stop. Our average wait was close to 30 minutes.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#25
I can't explain the resort fee on the sandwich. Yeesh. Was it room service, or from the coffee shop downstairs (Swan)? Maybe they have some arrangement to allow them to operate in the hotel, so I wouldn't call it a "resort fee" per se; rather a "take of the cut" in that case. Still...

The bathrooms are two parts, yes. A sink/counter and closet on one side with plenty of room, with a door'ed off bathroom; also with a sink and even more counter space. Yes, the door hits the tub, and yes, if someone is sitting it could impede closing the door. But small overall? Not at all. I've had Moderate rooms with smaller, lesser accommodations that were REALLY open to the room - and I'm sorry, a curtain doesn't make a wall (maybe for Trump it will, LOL). We loooove the bathrooms in the Swan! Best we've had.

Wifi? No issues for me. Hallway noise? I found AKL to be just as bad if not far worse (more traffic).

The busses... Dunno. We had 10-15m waits, which is pretty typical for WDW generally. And this was in July, the month prior.
 

KBLovesDisney

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#26
I should have prefaced this thread by saying that we normally stay at All-Stars. Buses are a hit or miss with 30 minutes to an hour plus, but I never have any issues with that because I am in the Disney bubble when I am there. I have also stayed in the Polynesian years ago and it was great too with its accommodations.

With all that being said, to anyone who has stayed in the All-Stars, how does the Swolphin compare aside from being a few steps up from Value?
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#27
I should have prefaced this thread by saying that we normally stay at All-Stars... ...With all that being said, to anyone who has stayed in the All-Stars, how does the Swolphin compare aside from being a few steps up from Value?
I've never stayed in a Value resort, but I can safely say that the Swalphin is leagues better in every aspect (much more than "a few steps") - aside from theming and some Disney perks that you don't get (as mentioned earlier). If anything, I'd compare to to a Moderate or even Deluxe in that light.
 

yaksplat

Well-Known Member
#28
I can't explain the resort fee on the sandwich. Yeesh. Was it room service, or from the coffee shop downstairs (Swan)? Maybe they have some arrangement to allow them to operate in the hotel, so I wouldn't call it a "resort fee" per se; rather a "take of the cut" in that case. Still...
It was the Picabu. The receipt literally said Swan and Dolphin Fee.

The bathrooms are two parts, yes. A sink/counter and closet on one side with plenty of room, with a door'ed off bathroom; also with a sink and even more counter space. Yes, the door hits the tub, and yes, if someone is sitting it could impede closing the door. But small overall? Not at all. I've had Moderate rooms with smaller, lesser accommodations that were REALLY open to the room - and I'm sorry, a curtain doesn't make a wall (maybe for Trump it will, LOL). We loooove the bathrooms in the Swan! Best we've had.
This? This is the entire bathroom. There was no other sink or area, everything that you see here is it. How can you love this? To close the door you have to go on either side of the toilet or into the tub. To open the door up again after drying off you have to go back into the tub. This is a complete design failure. At least the curtained bathroom at Riverside has room...
 

yaksplat

Well-Known Member
#29
With all that being said, to anyone who has stayed in the All-Stars, how does the Swolphin compare aside from being a few steps up from Value?
It may be a step up, but not much. Certainly not for $300/ night. The location is nice though. I did just see that the Swan does have queen beds whereas the Dolphin has doubles to allow room for a roll away. For slightly more, you can rent DVC points and stay at the boardwalk if the location is important.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#30
It was the Picabu. The receipt literally said Swan and Dolphin Fee.

This? This is the entire bathroom. There was no other sink or area, everything that you see here is it. How can you love this? To close the door you have to go on either side of the toilet or into the tub. To open the door up again after drying off you have to go back into the tub. This is a complete design failure. At least the curtained bathroom at Riverside has room...
Ahh, okay. So maybe it is some sort of operating cut that the resort takes. Honestly, I get a cup of coffee there and that's about it.

Your bathroom was definitely WAY different than the one we had (two queen bed room). Ours was much larger... Two sinks. The one outside with a smaller vanity like yours, the one inside larger (along with the rest of the room). I wish I had taken pictures. To be fair, the Moderates I've stayed in had a bathroom just that like that picture.
 
#31
I just want to say that even though I'm not the OP, this thread has been super helpful in deciding on the Swan and Dolphin. I have enough SPG points to cover a four-night stay in September, and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on that instead of staying at CBR or POR (the latter of which I've already stayed at.) It seems as if, if anything, the location and the pricing can't be beat.

Question - what's the best means of transportation from MCO? Taxi/Uber?
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
#32
The Swan room setup differs from Dolphin. I've been doing some research and debating whether to stay there or POFQ (which is what we have currently booked) for the first nights of our split stay in the spring.
1547161157714.png
1547161175104.png
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
#33
I just want to say that even though I'm not the OP, this thread has been super helpful in deciding on the Swan and Dolphin. I have enough SPG points to cover a four-night stay in September, and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on that instead of staying at CBR or POR (the latter of which I've already stayed at.) It seems as if, if anything, the location and the pricing can't be beat.

Question - what's the best means of transportation from MCO? Taxi/Uber?
That's just it, the Swalphin's location is awesome (we're Epcot fans) and with the right discount, impossible to ignore. But like I said, finding a room, under discount, for when you want to go is the hard part. But I digress...

We go with a Mears shuttle (passenger van) more often than not, though we've also taken a town car.
 
#34
I just want to say that even though I'm not the OP, this thread has been super helpful in deciding on the Swan and Dolphin. I have enough SPG points to cover a four-night stay in September, and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on that instead of staying at CBR or POR (the latter of which I've already stayed at.) It seems as if, if anything, the location and the pricing can't be beat.

Question - what's the best means of transportation from MCO? Taxi/Uber?
Maybe I'm too "American" in saying this, but why not drive? Car rentals are not very expensive in Orlando (I suggest using Costco if you are a member) and the road system is easy to navigate w/an iphone. Tolls are automatically added onto your bill nowdays so you don't even need to worry about them....

We REALLY like have the freedom that a car offers at WDW. There have been lots of street improvements in recent years and traffic isn't that bad. Lots of parking everywhere you need it, etc. You'll find driving to Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom, in particular to be faster than waiting for the busses (especially if you are traveling during park opening/closing times...)
 
#35
I should have prefaced this thread by saying that we normally stay at All-Stars. Buses are a hit or miss with 30 minutes to an hour plus, but I never have any issues with that because I am in the Disney bubble when I am there. I have also stayed in the Polynesian years ago and it was great too with its accommodations.

With all that being said, to anyone who has stayed in the All-Stars, how does the Swolphin compare aside from being a few steps up from Value?
Light years, IMO. Besides the convenience of being on the Boardwalk and proximity to Epcot/DHS, I find the Swan/Dolphin much quieter than the values. It has less of the Disney bubble, but it feels more upscale. It's just a different atmosphere. I've always found the values an extension of the parks . . . crowded, loud, busy. That's less the case in Swan/Dolphin.
 
#36
Light years, IMO. Besides the convenience of being on the Boardwalk and proximity to Epcot/DHS, I find the Swan/Dolphin much quieter than the values. It has less of the Disney bubble, but it feels more upscale. It's just a different atmosphere. I've always found the values an extension of the parks . . . crowded, loud, busy. That's less the case in Swan/Dolphin.
If it really is all about being in the "Disney bubble" then you might actually prefer the All Stars. The Swalphin does have a much more corporate/convention/Sheraton type feel, especially in the rooms. Not to be rude, but I truly don't get the bubble thing.... who wants to wait for an hour for a bus (in sweltering heat), then stand on said bus, while spending thousands for a vacation? At least with Swalphin you get to avoid it for two parks and if you have a car you can avoid the busses all together.
 
#38
If it really is all about being in the "Disney bubble" then you might actually prefer the All Stars. The Swalphin does have a much more corporate/convention/Sheraton type feel, especially in the rooms. Not to be rude, but I truly don't get the bubble thing.... who wants to wait for an hour for a bus (in sweltering heat), then stand on said bus, while spending thousands for a vacation? At least with Swalphin you get to avoid it for two parks and if you have a car you can avoid the busses all together.
I would much rather wait for a bus, or a boat, or a monorail, than get a rental car. I'm on vacation. Leisurely waiting for transportation is not something that bothers me. But I generally don't go in the sweltering heat, and I have no problem getting an Uber if I'm pressed for time, and I'm generally not on a go-go-go schedule. Plus, by the time you park, remember where you parked, tromp through the giant parking lots, etc., I just don't see that as any easier than Disney transportation. But that's why there are different preferences for different people. It'd be boring if we were all the same.

The bubble, for me, is really about the escape from reality. Transportation is a very small portion of that.
 

Mark P.

Well-Known Member
#39
If we're looking to stay on the Boardwalk, it'll be the Swan or Dolphin without exception for us. Deluxe-quality accommodations, usually at least 20% cheaper than the Disney-owned/operated Boardwalk area resorts, where I can also earn Marriott points. Fantastic restaurants (Garden Grove is one of the best non-Boma breakfasts we've had on property). No airport transportation, but I'll pay extra for an Uber/Lyft from MCO and still come out ahead.
 
#40
...The bubble, for me, is really about the escape from reality. Transportation is a very small portion of that.
A very good point. In our case, not having to worry (or pay!) for a car, parking, gas, etc. is a wonderful thing, for a change. So being on property sans vehicle and using Disney Transportation is all part of The Bubble™ for us.
 
Top Bottom