Special Info for these Crazy Times:
News for 2021:
- Walt Disney World – One Step Closer to Normal
- Disneyland Resort Reopening Details
- 2022 Disney Armed Forces Salute Timeline
- Using Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets in 2021
Everything is Different at WDW since it Reopened. See Our Trip Reports:
- Planning and Executing Your Walt Disney World Vacation During These Trying Times
- Using the Walt Disney World Theme Park Reservation System
- Our Return to Walt Disney World (Aug/Sep 2020)
- Our Second Trip Back to Walt Disney World (Nov 2020)
- Our Third Trip Back to Walt Disney World (Jan 2021)
Here is my review fo my stay at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort on Disney World property.
The Swan and its sister hotel the Dolphin are Walt Disney World Epcot Area Deluxe Resorts. These hotels are not owned and operated by Disney! They are owned by Tishman Hotel Corporation and MetLife; and operated by Starwood Hotels, the Swan under the Westin Brand. They were the first non-Disney owned hotels allowed on property during the Michael Eisner era.
The Swan and Dolphin are categorized as Deluxe Disney Resorts and they offer military discounts on their rooms. It’s important to note that because they are not operated by Disney the Swan and Dolphin just like Shades of Green are not decorated with Disney Theming.
Swan Disney Amenities
While the Swan is not Disney Hotels they do offer some of the same benefits.
Disney World Amenities extended to Swan and Dolphin Guests
- Complimentary Disney World Transportation
- Extra Magic Hours
- Free Theme Park Parking
- Guaranteed Park Admission
- Package Delivery
One amenity not extended to Swan and Dolphin guests is charging privileges. By this I mean you can’t charge items from Disney locations (theme parks, merchandise, restaurants) to your room. This is a convenience that those staying at Disney resorts have. You can charge at internal Swan and Dolphin locations though.
The Swan is located in the Epcot resort area which is conveniently located between Epcot’s World Showcase and Disney Studios. You can take Disney’s free boat transportation to either theme park or choose to walk (the walk isn’t too bad). Transportation to other Disney World destinations is by the Disney bus system.
The Swan and Dolphin are large resorts. The Swan has 785 guest rooms and the Dolphin has 1509. The resorts were opened at Walt Disney World in 1989 and although the guest rooms have had a recent renovation our room felt like it was old. You could just tell the building was older.
The rooms are decorated in pastels and have very comfortable beds. The room offers a large flat screen TV, wireless internet, a mini fridge and coffee maker. The bathroom is split with a separate sink and mirror area. Unfortunately the lighting in this “vanity” area was awful, ant the bathroom wasn’t much better.
Swan and Dolphin Amenities
The Swan and Dolphin have many dining options available:
- Shula’s Steakhouse – Located on the Dolphin lobby level, reservations are accepted. Dinner only.
- Fresh Mediterranean Market – In the Dolphin – breakfast (buffet) and lunch (buffet), .
- BlueZoo – in the Dolphin is a seafood restaurant by Todd English – Late lunch and dinner.
- Dolphin Fountain – Burgers, ice cream, and shakes – Lunch and dinner.
- Picabu – In the Dolphin – Cafeteria service plus the hotels 24-hour convenience store.
- The Cabana Bar & Beach Club – Poolside dinning – Burgers and salads
- Garden Grove – In the Swan – Character breakfast buffet and standard lunch and dinner. The Garden Grove at the Swan offers a morning character breakfast buffet.
- Kimonos – In the Swan – Asian specialties and sushi.
- Il Mulino New York Trattoria, – In the Swan – Italian cuisine.
- Splash Grill – Located near the pool – hamburgers, hot dogs and snacks. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner.
- Room Service is available 24 hours a day. Breakfast, all-day dining and late night menus are available.
For more information on dining please see the Disney Food Blog
Swan and Dolphin Pool
The Swan and Dolphin share a pool and recreation area.
There are two beautiful pools plus a kiddy pool. The Grotto pool has water slides and a play area. Besides the pools there are hot tubs, volleyball (water and land) . You can even rent a swan shaped paddle boat to take a spin in. Tennis and Basketball are also available
Each resort has its own health club offering saunas, whirlpools and aerobics.
Disney’s Magical Express: No (Guests must find their own way from the airport to WDW)
Disney Transportation from the resort: Yes
Free theme park parking: Yes
Participation in Extra Magic Hours: Yes
Charging Disney purchases to your room: No (only within the Swan and Dolphin complex)
Disney Merchandise delivery to your resort: Yes
Guaranteed theme park entry: Yes
FastPass Plus reservation Window: 60 days prior to desired date
Disney Dining Plan: No
Advance Dining Reservations for entire trip: No
The Walt Disney World Dolphin is not a Disney owned Resort, while it is located on WDW property and does participate in some of the Disney Resort benefits (60 Day FastPass Plus, Extra Magic Hours, package delivery); Magic Bands are not included.
You can however use Magic Bands that you purchase as your park tickets, FastPass Plus reservations, and for your Memory Maker/PhotoPass token.
Keep in mind that your physical ticket will do the same things for you, but if you would like to use Magic Bands you can buy your own.
You can buy Magic Bands from the Disney Store online or from most Disney World gift shops once you arrive.
Note: you may use your Starwood points for rooms here
The Swan has several different room types consisting of variations of:
- 2 Queen Beds
- 1 King Bed
- Resort View
Standard, per tax prices run from $332 to $395 nightly for most room types. Marriott members save about $8 per night and fully prepaying your bill (with a 1-day prior cancellation policy) will save an additional $37 to $44 per night.
*There is a mandatory $30 plus tax per day Resort Service Package. The Resort Service Package includes extravagances like: in-room High Speed Internet Access, 2 bottles of water daily, unlimited access to the Resort’s health club facilities, unlimited local and domestic (US mainland) calls, tennis equipment and access to lighted courts, and seasonal pool and recreational activities.
Resort fees are just a way for hotels to advertise a lower rate and then surprise you with the real rate, usually at check in. See what the Disney Tourist Blog thinks about Resort Fees.
Suites – call for rates
Parking is 25 per day for self-parking your car in the Swan and Dolphin’s lot. Valet parking is $35 per day.
Rates vary based upon date
These are basic rates without tax added. There are even higher rates during all times for packages which include meal(s) and other extras.
Unfortunately, they no longer offer the TROOPS package which started in 2009 and ran through 2016, which included 50% off Food & Beverage and several other amenities.
The Swan and Dolphin do still offer discounts for the military under their government rate code GO1.
Call (888) 828-8850 and ask for the military rate code.
Overall staying at the Swan was a nice experience, but I don’t think that we’d do it again. We missed the Disney feel we’ve become used to staying at the other Disney resorts. The convenience of being close to Epcot was nice, we were there for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but there are other Disney resorts just as close which we love to stay at such as the Beach Club.
See our Dolphin Review
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? Get Our Email Newsletter
Read about the Temporary Changes to Disney World during their Post-Lockdown Re-OpeningSee Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!