DisneyWorld's Swan and Dolphin Resort

Sunday, November 30, 2003 10:34 PM
Ever since my last trip to Walt Disneyworld, the Disney's Swan and Dolphin resorts have mesmerized me. So, when planning our return to Disneyworld this summer, I was looking for the Swan and Dolphin as one of the options (I'd much prefer an animal view @ Animal Kingdom lodge, but I was hoping the Swan and Dolphin would be cheaper.) Unfortunately, I almost never hear the association or even mention of the Swan and Dolphin resort. On the Disney website, it is listed under "other Disney Deluxe resorts". Link:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/waltdisneyworld/resorts/resortgroupingindex?id=RSOtherSelectedRsrtGrping&layout=resort

I also ordered the Disney vacation planning kit, and, very unfortunately, the Disney's Swan Dolphin is not even mentioned anywhere on the DVD. Has anybody ever stayed there or ever heard good things about it? Why has Disney somewhat disassociated (sorry, don't know if that is a word) itself with the strikingly beautiful resorts and why do I almost never hear about them? To me, the seem to be WDW's "resorts of mystery, the hotels of the unknown." I hope somebody can clear this up for me.

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Sunday, November 30, 2003 10:56 PM
Short answer from someone who doesn't admittedly know a whole lot about the resort, but...

...apparently it's *not* a Disney owned resort, therefore that might be why they don't hype it up?

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Sunday, November 30, 2003 11:04 PM
Who is it owned by then?

Edit: And how did they get rights to build it on Disney property? *** Edited 12/1/2003 4:04:36 AM UTC by SFGAMDie HARD***

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Sunday, November 30, 2003 11:58 PM
They're owned by Westin and Sheraton, I think, which are each owned by the same parent company, if I remember correctly. They're not operated by the Walt Disney Co. at all, but are eligible for most (but not all) perks associated with Disney resorts.

You can often find very cheap rates for those hotels on Hotwire, but as with all sites of that nature, there's a risk involved.

They're on Disney property because of a preexisting arrangement that was in place way back in 1984 when Eisner took the helm. He tried hard to get out of it because the hotels are just too big and completely decimated Epcot's World Showcase as far as line of sight and perceived scale was concerned. Obviously, he failed.

The book Building A Dream has a bit about these hotels.

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Monday, December 1, 2003 12:05 AM
If you're choosing betweenthe Swam/Dolphin and the AK Lodge, I'd definately go for the AK Lodge. I stayed at the Dolphin last Winter, and wasn't that impressed. It's a very nice hotel, but nothing spectacular (except for the awesome Fantasia mini-golf out front).

The AK Lodge is amazing. Relatives of ours stayed there a while back, and we were mezmorized. The pool is awesome, the rooms have showers w/ zero-entry (no door, just walk in), the animals are right there (and they even break out night-vision goggles for evening viewing), and Boma is one of the best restaurants in Central FL. Having the animal view isn't really that important, as there are viewing areas all over the property, unles you're planning on sitting in your room the entire time.

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Monday, December 1, 2003 1:30 PM
I am pretty sure that I read that Disney paid for and built the hotels and then leased them for 99 years to Westin/Sheraton. If I recall it was Eisner who commissioned the architects.

The hotels have a list of certain standards they must keep becuase of the perception that they are Disney hotels when, in fact, they are not. If they don't meet those standards it is breech of contract and Disney can force those companies out of the lease.

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Monday, December 1, 2003 2:24 PM
i can answer this question... i used to work there... in the dolphin fountain restraunt... its the restraunt where the servers dance... anyways... disney does not own these 2 hotels... they dont own any part of them... the are infact owned by starwood... the swans is considered to be a westin... and the dolphin is considered to be a sheraton. disney does not have the option to purchase these 2 propertys until 2021 due to the contract. employees do not get any of the benefits that disney employees get, no park passes, not discounts, no anything. except they can get there famiy and friends rooms for only 69 dollars a night... which is a total steel. but other that, theres nothing. however, guest of these 2 hotels do get the same benefits as guests at official disney resorts... like, early entry, e-ride nights, and anything else. i hope this helped a little, if u have any more questons, feel free to ask, they pretty mich drilled everything into our heads in our 2 days long orientation...lol.
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Monday, December 1, 2003 3:48 PM
Here is a good web site with info on all the Disney resorts (including Swan and Dolphin):

http://allearsnet.com/acc/faq_hot.htm

It gives rates as well as information on amenities, room decor, dining options, etc. It looks like the cheapest rooms at Swan and Dolphin are actually more expensive than a savannah-view room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. *** Edited 12/1/2003 8:49:07 PM UTC by Carousel Rabbit***

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Monday, December 1, 2003 11:17 PM
Don't forget the perk of WDW Bus transporation!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 7:32 PM
To be honest, I don't think a deluxe Disney resort is within a practical reach for our family. While we could handle the bill, it seems like a hefty bill to handle when we spend very little time in the room itself when at Disney. Also, the rooms from Value all the way up to Deluxe do not have any noticeable differences to them. It definately makes much more sense to stay at the new Pop century (we aren't going until June), but I think the value resorts at Disney look really tacky. Therefore, I think we might compromise the environment and prices and stay at the Port Orleans. I was very curious about the Swan Dolphin though, thanks for clearing that up.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 8:24 PM
The thing about the Swan and Dolphin is that people either love them or hate them. The outlandish architectural style can be seen as mesmerizing or totally silly, with the large dolphin and swan statues, the circus-tent like Dolphin lobby and all the detailed but unusual ornementation. Micheal Graves, the architect who designed them, certainly has his own unique style, however, they are not as sugar-coated as the other Disney hotels, in service, style or ameneties. They are a nice place to stay, but not as great as some other Disney hotels with comparable rates. *** Edited 12/3/2003 1:24:30 AM UTC by sros88***
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 9:40 PM
DieHard,
We stayed at the Allstar music two years ago. We have friends that moved down to the area, so they brought up their daughters to hang out with our daughter at the pool for a day. All the girls loved the room and general theming at the music, and we didn't spend enough time in the room to desire a much nicer room. Service was great, room always clean, and the food court was probably the best eating we had on Disney property.

And at $49 a night with full disney perks, I couldn't complain.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 10:47 AM

Matt D said:
I stayed at the Dolphin last Winter, and wasn't that impressed. It's a very nice hotel, but nothing spectacular (except for the awesome Fantasia mini-golf out front).

I thought the fantasia mini golf was in front of Disneys BoardWalk Inn.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 11:32 AM
It's actually closer to the Dolphin, though it's not too far of a walk from the Boardwalk, either.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 1:09 PM
The Disney All-Star Resorts are no more tacky that your average Super 8, TraveLodge, Holiday Inn etc.

Port Orleans (formerly Dixie Landings) is undergoing a major rehab right now and only the Riverside area is open.

Disney hotel rates are high. Moderate rooms (like Port Orleans) run $200+ a night.

If you insist on staying on Disney property, stay at an All-Star, the matresses are probably the same and the buses all go to the same locations. Spend the $120/night savings on a side trip or two to Universal, Sea World, or Busch Gardens.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 1:14 PM
Moderate-level rooms at Disney hotels are very, very rarely priced at more than $200/night. The only time that happens is when a Holiday rate structure is in effect and that occurs one week a year (Christmas to NYE).

For the time we spend in our hotel rooms, we don't typically spend extravagant amounts of money on them. But, that said, there's certainly a different feeling waking up and walking out onto Disney's Boardwalk than there is walking out into the All-Star resorts' parking lots.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 5:31 PM
I'd go to the Carribean Beach Resort if you're looking for a steal. Very cheap (for a disney) and a huge area. The rooms aren't huge, but they're good if you just want a place to stay the night.
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Thursday, December 4, 2003 10:29 AM
Rather than listen to a group of "so-called experts" on the rates simply call or go online and check for yourself.

Moderate resorts at Disney are Port Orleans, Caribbean & Coronado Springs.

As a Florida resident and a Disney passholder, I can tell you that Disney's definition of moderate is variable. During the holidays Moderate rooms are in the low $200s per night. In off season (early June) the are in the $160s.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 11:01 AM

CoasterDad64 said:
As a Florida resident and a Disney passholder, I can tell you that Disney's definition of moderate is variable. During the holidays Moderate rooms are in the low $200s per night. In off season (early June) the are in the $160s.

As a person with access to the internet, I told you the same thing. There's a single week of the entire year that the rates for those hotels are above $200.


Moderate-level rooms at Disney hotels are very, very rarely priced at more than $200/night. The only time that happens is when a Holiday rate structure is in effect and that occurs one week a year (Christmas to NYE).

But, what do I know? Anyway, if you're paying rack rate for a room (especially as a Florida resident and Disney passholder) you're paying more than you could be.

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Thursday, December 4, 2003 11:45 AM
Disney rarely discounts their rack rates, and when the do, its usually only for Florida residents or long term, off-peak package deals.

Disney plain and simple is after your money.

If you want generic accomodations at a premium price, stay on property.

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