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“Perfect Location for a Disney Vacation”

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Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
Ranked #180 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Reviewed 17 November 2013

The joy of staying at the Swan lies in its being located within the Walt Disney World resort, literally within a short walk of Disney's Boardwalk, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The Swan and the Dolphin are two separate hotels connected by a causeway over a pretty lake between them. They are operated as a single resort. The rooms in the Swan are nice, but are largely average Westin hotel rooms. This makes them nicer than the average hotel, but not the nicest Westin rooms I have seen -- could use some updating, particularly in the bathroom. Because the hotel is owned by Westin rather than Disney, you aren't overpowered by thematic elements in the hotel itself, so can take a break from some of the Disney themes after a day in the parks. The Swan (along with the Dolphin) has a number of restaurants at various price levels. Fancy restaurants include both an Italian restaurant in the Swan, the Bluezoo by Todd English in the Dolphin, and others. There also are less expensive options, but that is a relative term here, and nothing is really inexpensive. There are nice swimming pools, a white sand beach, and beautiful grounds. By far the best part to me, though, is the proximity to the Disney parks. The Swan and Dolphin have a private dock from which you can take a motor boat to either Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a very short walk away, and Epcot is just on the other side of the Boardwalk. One night I watched the fireworks show while in Epcot, and then took a nice leisurely walk back to my hotel. No traffic, no crowds. I loved it. I took a walk along the Boardwalk every morning and again every evening. Great restaurants, bakeries, shops, etc., as well as benches to just watch the boats on the lake. I didn't visit Hollywood Studios this trip and so don't know how long the walk from the Swan would be, but the boats take you directly there as well as to Epcot. The Disney shuttle bus system has a stop at the Swan and can take you to other parts of Disney World, but I did not use them (if you have a car, that's usually faster than the busses). Downtown Disney is only about three miles away. All in all, you are paying a premium for a nice room and a spectacular location, but for me, the premium was well worth it. I would stay here again without a second thought.

Room Tip: Some rooms have a direct view of the fireworks at Epcot.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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3  Thank Wedgewood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

What a fantastic review of your visit! We are delighted that you had a terrific stay with us. As what you have mentioned, we take extreme pride in our unbeatable location to the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. It looks like you had experienced one of the more popular conveniences is by walking around the Boardwalk Resort area. By doing this, you enjoyed our lush landscapes that we offer while going out for your walks and going to and from EPCOT. Thank you very much for your kind words and we would love to welcome you back at any time.

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4,690 - 4,696 of 5,410 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2013

wonderful location, (of course!) unexpected chilly weather, so enjoyed my room all day! housekeepers should have more recognition... they do a great job!!! beautiful grounds....the shower....ooohhhhhhh!!! the bed....aaahhhhhhh!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank teddythompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

What a truly spectacular review! We are delighted that you had a memorable stay with us. We do appreciate the kind words that you have expressed about our Housekeeping Cast Members. We love the words that you have described about our Heavenly Showers and Heavenly Beds! Thank you again for your recent stay and look forward to your next visit.

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Reviewed 17 November 2013

We were set up at the The Dolphin for business meetings and had a great experience. The staff was extremely friendly and prompt to accommodate all of us. One night we brought a large group into Shula's Steakhouse for dinner. Though the food wasn't too impressive, the staff was excellent. Nick and Carlos made it the best dinner of the week. They were friendly, entertaining and informative with a great knowledge of the menu and added some great laughs!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Thank busitravels13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

What a great title for a review! Those are the words that we portray to our guests who stay here with us. Thank you so much for your kind words in your review. We take great pride in our talented and gifted Cast Members. We are delighted that Nick and Carlos from Shula’s Steak House provided you and your clients a memorable dinner. Your gracious words have been shared with our Food & Beverage leadership. We hope that you had a successful convention trip and look forward to having you back in the future.

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Reviewed 16 November 2013 via mobile

I would give the hotel 4.5 dots if I could. The location and the surroundings of the hotel are beautiful. You can walk to the Boardwalk, Epcot, and much more.

The only reason I didn't give it a full 5 dots is because the rooms were a bit dated and could have used some better upgrades (like more places to charge devices).

The wifi worked flawlessly and the staff was very friendly.

To be honest, as a family vacation hotel, I think it is easily 5 stars. As a business hotel, 4.5 stars.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
2  Thank Split2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Thank you for your recent stay with us. We are pleased that you found our location and surroundings beautiful. We look forward to future advancements to our resort to make our resort even more beautiful as well as convenient not only on our property, but as well as in our rooms. Thank you for your feedback and do hope that you will visit us again.

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Reviewed 16 November 2013

The Dolphin and Swan are great properties for a family vacation. Central location to all parks with complimentary transportation. We especially enjoyed our breakfast at Fresh restaurant with scrumptiuos omelettes by Glenn and Louis the wonderful chefs. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank lynngacy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Hi Lynngacy and sincere thanks for this amazing review! We are delighted that your stay was restful and that Glenn and Louis from Fresh Mediterranean Market made your trip even more memorable. Your gracious words have been shared with our Food & Beverage leadership. We hope to have the opportunity to create more magical moments with you and your family.

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Reviewed 15 November 2013

We've been returning every year to the Swan since 2005. We've stayed at Walt Disney World Resorts both value and deluxe as well as off property hotels and we prefer the Swan and Dolphin. Three reasons keep us coming back: the resort staff, the resort location (it's within walking distance of both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios), and the savings that can be had at certain times over Disney Resort room rates. The staff are very nice and we have experienced them going out of their way to make our day! We have always found the rooms to be very clean and any issues we have had such as excessive noise from adjoining rooms is addressed by the staff once you let them know about it. Just like any hotel, but especially at WDW, rooms need updating on a regular basis and over the years we have seen this process take place at the Swan. Regarding the restaurants: the staff at Fresh Mediterranean Restaurant get us off to the parks with a great buffet breakfast - "eggs made how you like them" are our favorite along with the pecan sticky buns. We often eat lunch at the Fountain when we come back to our room for a brief rest before heading out to the parks again for the evening. That's why my husband and I call it our home away from home.

Room Tip: If you need more room to relax, the Alcove Family Rooms are your best bet. The pool view is one of o...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank RobertaW3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

WOW, what a stunning review! We are overjoyed that you consider us your “home away from home”. We take extreme pride in our Cast Members who go above and beyond for you and all of our guests to ensure that you have everything you need in order to make your stay memorable for you and your family. As you mentioned, we are proud to be in the heart of the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. We continue to make future advancements to our resort that every time you come back, it will make your stay even more magical and restful. Thank you for your kind words and we look forward to having you back in the future!

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Reviewed 15 November 2013

There were seven of us staying at the Dolphin for my grandson’s sixth birthday. When we made the reservations, we didn’t realize that the Dolphin is a popular convention site. There was a very large MLB convention during our stay and the lobby was extremely loud in the evenings. However, the rooms and the grounds were fine. There is a refrigerator in every room, which is convenient. Also, we had a rental car prior to our arrival and we were able to give the keys to the valet to return it on site. Again, that was convenient. Be aware that this hotel is on Disney property but it is not a Disney hotel. The only complaint that we had was the transportation to the parks. The boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios was prompt and efficient. However, the bus transportation was very erratic. On our last morning, we planned to be at Magic Kingdom for the opening ceremony. However, no bus came for almost an hour. There were at least 4 Animal Kingdom buses and several Downtown Disney buses. I asked 2 of the drivers to call and request that a Magic Kingdom bus be sent. I also called the Dolphin hotel manager who said that the buses were full before getting to the Dolphin and therefore the drivers didn’t bother coming to our stop. I’m not sure if the Disney owned hotels get better transportation or if this is a property-wide concern. We (and about 40 other hotel guests who were also waiting) missed the opening ceremony because of this. You can walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk from this hotel, but not to the Magic Kingdom. I would assume that Disney transportation would be aware that more buses are needed to go to the park at 8:15 AM than to go to Downtown Disney.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank pat60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WDWSDExecutiveOffice, Manager at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Thank you for your recent stay here with us. We are delighted that you chose us to celebrate your son’s sixth birthday. We are pleased to hear that you found the car rental return services convenient for you. In regards to the Disney Transportation, we sincere apologize for the timing of the Magic Kingdom buses. We are in constant communication with Walt Disney World Transportation Services to make sure that there are enough buses to get around to our property to ensure that you experience the convenience of the transportation system to and from the parks. We apologize that on this particular day, the Magic Kingdom bus did not come on time and by missing the opening ceremony. Your words have been shared with our Hotel Management Leadership and as well as Disney Transportation Services. We hope that you will visit us again.

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Additional Information about Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort

Address: 1500 Epcot Resort Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830-8428 (Formerly Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Lake Buena Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#40 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#49 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#117 Business Hotel in Orlando
#118 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#142 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: £147 - £343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 2267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort is located in the center of Walt Disney World. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are just a boat ride or short walk away, with Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park nearby. Our hotel has free area transportation. We offer a unique blend of Disney benefits and Starwood amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Walt Disney World Swan And Dolphin Hotel Orlando
Walt Disney Orlando
Walt Disney Hotel Orlando
Swan Resort Disney
Disney World Swan Resort
Walt Disney World Swan Resort
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Orlando, Florida

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