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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin 4.0

Disney World, Orlando, Central Florida

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Near Orlando’s top attractions, within walking distance of Epcot
  • Some rooms have been renovated, and have mini-fridges and coffeemakers
  • Expansive outdoor recreation area with five pools, beach, and tennis
  • Guests receive Disney benefits such as extended park hours
  • Free shuttle service to many area attractions
  • 17 restaurants and lounges including 24-hour cafeteria
  • Large full-service spa and salon
  • More than 329,000 square feet of meeting space in 84 rooms
  • Staffed business centers with equipment rentals and computer stations
  • On-site car rental desks and guest laundry services
  • Several shopping options, including an art gallery and 24-hour convenience store
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Daily resort fee
  • Unrenovated rooms are dated
  • Some rooms have limited or no views
  • Long waits at times for check in, valet parking, shuttles
  • Parking can be far from the lobby

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is a lovely destination resort near Orlando’s most popular attractions. It’s within walking distance of Epcot and a short drive or free shuttle ride to most other top parks. The massive complex has 17 restaurants, five pools, a beach, and a large convention center. It’s in the midst of a $125 million renovation that's making over all of the 2,267 rooms. The renovated rooms have a bright, sleek decor, but those awaiting an upgrade, while clean and well-maintained, are dated and tired-looking. While rates are competitive for a resort of this caliber, a daily resort fee and pricey parking add hefty surcharges. Travelers might want to also check out Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which has lower rates and similar amenities.

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Scene

A destination resort for both tourists and convention-goers

A range of guests are drawn to the lush grounds of this massive destination resort located near near Epcot

It requires some time to take in this 87-acre resort, with its lushly landscaped grounds and huge swans, dolphins, and seashells perched atop salmon- and blue-green-toned buildings. Explosions of tropical pastel colors predominate the interiors too, with multi-colored carpeting or polished tile, and clusters of large, modern chandeliers suspended from the high ceilings. Textures and patterns seem to change around every corner, from lattice-wood paneling and columns to scalloped walls that resemble gingerbread houses. Cozy sitting areas are scattered throughout, which include leather sofas and armchairs in rich colors. Quaint outdoor courtyards nestle next to lovely fountains graced by white swans. This enormous resort’s huge convention complex and sheer number of rooms create a constant buzz of tourist and business activity, yet there are many quiet places to escape to find tranquility.

Location

Near Orlando’s most popular attractions, a 15-minute walk to Epcot

Map of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

The resort faces Epcot Resorts Boulevard, a relatively quiet access road, with a large lagoon behind it that separates the complex from Epcot. It's located close to Orlando’s most popular attractions, and is a 15-minute walk, or a 10-minute drive to Epcot, which can also be reached by the resort's free shuttle or lagoon ferry. Restaurants and shops outside the resort complex are about a 10-minute walk away. Disney World Resort is a five-minute drive away, and other nearby attractions include Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), which are 12 or so minutes away by car or shuttle. Universal Studios and SeaWorld are about a 20-minute drive, and Orlando International Airport is 30 minutes away by car. 

Rooms

Renovated rooms are bright and stylish, with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and rainfall showerheads

The recently renovated Junior Suite (Walt Disney World Swan) uses a gray and blue color palette, making the room bright and cheerful

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort began a $125 million renovation of all rooms in 2014, and it's scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. The Swan’s 758 rooms received the makeover first, with renovation of the Dolphin’s 1,509 rooms now underway. Decor in the renovated rooms is bright and sleek, with a pleasing combination of blues, grays, and whites. Traditional Double Rooms are 340 square feet (360 in the Dolphin) and feature light-blue carpeting, gray drapes, and white walls with greenish-blue accent walls. Matching light-wood furniture includes nightstands, dressers, and padded tan headboards framed by wood. Dressers and nightstands have white ceramic tops. Glass-top, chrome tables on rollers serve as desks, accompanied by wood-frame chairs with upholstered blue seats. King Rooms also include upholstered sleeper sofas. The Westin Heavenly Bedding package includes pillow-top mattresses and white down comforters. Decor in the unrenovated rooms relies on earth tones in shades of blue, beige, and orange. The renovated bathrooms have distinctive white ceramic vanity tops facing large, backlit mirrors and glass backsplashes of green and white. Some rooms have second vanities outside the bathrooms. Some rooms have walk-in showers with clear glass doors, while others have shower/tub combos framed by white-tile; but all have rainfall showerheads. Several room categories are offered, such as the Swan’s Deluxe Family Room (500 square feet) and Grande Suite (680 square feet). Standard amenities include 42-inch flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, magnifying mirrors, robes, slippers, and safes. Room service and free bottled water and Wi-Fi are standard as well. Some rooms have balconies with great views of Epcot and the grounds, but other rooms have very limited or no views. 

Features

Free shuttle service, full-service spa, large convention complex, five pools, daily resort fee

The massive resort complex features five pools, including the Dolphin Lap Pool, and a beach area

The Swan and Dolphin share their amenities, including 17 restaurants and lounges and a 24-hour cafeteria. Valet and self-parking are offered at rather hefty rates, and the self-parking lot can mean a lengthy walk to the lobbies. A free shuttle service to area attractions is available to guests, as is a ferry ride across the lagoon to Epcot. Guests also receive special Disney benefits such as extended park hours, and ticket counters at both hotels. Guests get access to three nearby golf courses operated by Disney as well. The 87-acre complex includes five outdoor pools, whirlpools, and a beach area with sand volleyball, paddleboats, basketball and tennis courts, and mini-golf. Each hotel has a video arcade and staffed business centers with computer stations, Internet access, printers, and equipment rentals. The 10,500-square-foot Mandara Spa offers salon services, a boutique, and various massage and body treatments. On-site shopping options include an art gallery, clothing store, candy shop, gift shops with an array of Disney souvenirs, and a 24-hour convenience store. Both hotels have large fitness centers with LifeFitness cardio and weight-training equipment and free weights. The concierge staff can arrange babysitting, and supervised children’s activities are offered in a camp-like environment. Valet laundry and dry-cleaning services are available, and self-serve laundry facilities are available on-site. The daily resort fee includes Wi-Fi access throughout the complex, which features more than 329,000 square feet of meeting space in 84 separate rooms. Car rental desks are also on-site, as are ATMs. Wi-Fi is free throughout.

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Address

1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Orlando, Central Florida 32830, United States

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