The award winning Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resort (designed by Michael Graves) has a touch of Dr. Seuss whimsy. While it isn’t theoretically a Disney-Owned Resort because it is owned by Sheraton, it is located on Disney property and is within walking distance to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot. It is because of its wonderful location that I do think Disney’s Swan & Dolphin resort is a gem.
Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resort is not only a Disney Deluxe Resort, it is a conference center. What that means for you as a guest is that it has a totally different feel than many other Disney resorts which cater more to vacationing families than business people. At the Swan and Dolphin resort, you will find high-end restaurants, boutiques, and a ultra modern spa.
The interior lobby of both the Swan & Dolphin buildings are chic and modern. While not filled with tradition Disney themed decor, families will appreciate the Dr. Seuss touches, on fountains and a top the buildings. If you are looking for the full Disney experience, with Disney themed rooms and decor, this is not the resort for you.
Probably the best thing about Disney’s Swan & Dolphin resort is the location. It is within walking distance to the Boardwalk area and a quick boat ride to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot (you could walk to these as well, but why bother?). Although this isn’t a “true” Disney property, you do get complimentary Disney Bus line transportation and extra magic hours at the parks. Tickets can be purchased in advance in the lobby and if you choose to drive into the parks, you do not have to pay to park.
We stayed in a Deluxe Room in the Dolphin building that was very roomy (by Disney standards) and easily fit our family of four. Each room comes with a mini fridge and in room safe and rooms are cleaned daily (although the times seemed to vary). Your package will also include 2 complimentary bottles of water per day and FREE internet & workout room access.
If you don’t already have a room that faces Epcot, I would recommend requesting a room upgrade when you arrive (can’t hurt to ask) because you will be able to view the night show from your balcony! We stayed in a room that was nearest to Hollywood Studios and while we could see some of the fireworks, we did not have a perfect view of their laser light show.
If pools are your thing, the Swan and Dolphin resort does not disappoint. We spent the majority of our time at the Grotto area of the Dolphin pools. Spanning nearly 3 acres, the Grotto area is divided into three sections with no area more than 5 feet deep.
Kids will love the water slide feature & poolside kid activities, and parents will appreciate the hot tubs located just behind the pool. FREE Pool towels are located outside and rafts & beach balls can be rented for a small fee so no need to bring your own!
Dolphin also has a beach area located right beside the grotto for lounging. There are also sand volleyball courts and plenty of space for creating sandcastles. You can rent Swan boats nearby for a fee of around $15 per 1/2 hour.
Both Swan and Dolphin have lovely gift shops and plenty of places to eat, including world renowned chef Todd English’s Blue Zoo! Don’t limit yourself to just the resort! Disney’s Boardwalk is a short walk away. Want a treat after your meal? Stop by and get ice cream at The Fountain or get sugared up at Sugar3, Dolphin’s own in-house candy store!
Tip: If it rains during your stay at Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resort, there is a “Rainy Day Room” at the Dolphin full of fun for kids 3-13. You’ll find arts & crafts, board games, puzzles and video games.
Have you had a chance to stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resort?