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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Swan/Dolphin: which is better??

    Looking at booking a trip in mid-July and the prices for rooms at the Dolphin/Swan hotels are very inviting ($129/night). We usually use the dining plan, but I've figured out the individual costs of paying for meals separate and its not that much of an upcharge for us becuase we're not huge eaters and wouldn't miss some of the extras you get with the dining plan. My girls are 11 and 8 so I don't think they'd miss any Disney feel as we spend most of the time in the parks anyways. I was looking for the pros/cons of both the Dophin and Swan and which one is preferred for a family of 4.
    DizneyDoug
    Dolphin-July 2012
    Poly-June 2010
    POFQ-July 2008
    POFQ-May 2006
    ASM-Dec 2004
    Offsite-Dec 2003, Mar 2002
    New Years Eve 1999!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Connecticut
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    I've only stayed at the Dolphin, but I have been in both. Of the two, I would say the Dolphin would be my pick, especially traveling with kids. It's bright, whimsical, has a great gift shop- very Disney- and the 24 hour Picabu quick service, which is very handy. The Swan seemed a little more elegant and dimly lit, though still whimsical and fine for families. You can't go wrong for that price in that location either way. Great location! And rooms were spacious with comfortable beds. I prefer it to the Disney moderates, and would even pick the Dolphin over the Beach Club, having now stayed at both.
    Sherri
    Next: BLT
    Past Stays: Contemporary, GF, Poly, BC, POP, POR, Dolphin, AKL Kidani
    1990 August Honeymoon- GF
    Delighted Disney Return Guest since 1981, DVC (BLT) since 2014


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Mid Michigan
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    We have not stayed at the Dolphin but have stayed at the Swan many times. We love the location n the queen sized beds!

    I would stay at either without hesitation!
    Jeff

  5. #4
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    Dec 2008
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    The Swan has queen beds, the Dolphin has only double beds. The Dolphin is in dire need of some refurbishments in the rooms, IMO. The Swan is nicer. You pay $10-$20 more a night at the Swan but it's worth it IMO.

  6. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Florida
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    Where are you looking for those rates? That's awesome. We are looking to stay next November and have never stayed at either of these as well...but at those rates, I might look into it!!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Virginia
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    We've stayed at the Swan twice and loved both stays. To me though, it just seems like one big resort. The queen beds would be a deciding factor for me. I wouldn't worry about losing the Disney feel, as it's so close to Boardwalk and Epcot.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Valparaiso, IN
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    I also would like to know where you found those rates? Wasn't considering going this year but if I can find rates like this, I may reconsider

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Imaginoppolis, Imagination Island
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    Arrow

    We've stayed at both the Swan and Dolphin. With the main counter service dining location and the ice cream/soda shop located in the Dolphin, you may find it more convenient. The Dolphin also has a much larger, dramatic lobby which your children may enjoy.

    The only drawback could be the higher traffic in the Dolphin due to more convention folks staying there. We apparently stayed there during a fairly large convention and found the public areas always considerably crowded; although this was only a minor detraction to our stay, we found that the Swan did not share this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosiermickey
    I also would like to know where you found those rates?
    Quote Originally Posted by KatrinaJ91
    Where are you looking for those rates?
    As the Swan & Dolphin are one of our Sponsors, you can follow the link in the upper right corner of this forum for their rates page.

    In addition to various limited time specials and packages offered through-out the year, the Swan & Dolphin also offers special rates for:

    Figment! aka Jason o
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  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    We have stayed at the Dolphin many times and for the price and location it is worth it. We have found if you call for a reservation rather than book on-line the CM found an even cheaper price. They also suggested to call when the time gets closer because sometimes the price goes down due to occupancy.
    First trip May 1996 and many since
    DVC Owner BWV
    Next trips 2015 : March SSR, May-AKLV& Poly Oct- BWV & Dec- BCV

  11. #10
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    Feb 2003
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    The Dolphin is much bigger (1500 rooms vs. 850) and more bustling, with a larger and more impressive lobby, more interesting architecture, more shops, more restaurants (and better restaurants), while the Swan is quieter and more understated, more like an upscale hotel outside of Disney. If you are going for a balcony room, the Dolphin has more rooms with balconies, and many of them have much better views than most of the Swan's balcony rooms. (The Swan has quite a few balcony rooms that overlook an interior courtyard, rather than the exterior grounds.)

    However, in addition to the double bed vs. queen bed difference others have noted, the Swan's bathrooms are significantly bigger than the Dolphin's, and you have two sinks - one in the bathroom itself, and one in the dressing area outside the bathroom. The Dolphin's bathroom is really very small - there's only room for a toilet and bath, and it all fits very tightly. (The only sink is in a long, narrow dressing area outside the bathroom.) The rooms at the Swan seem slightly bigger, but not by much.

    I've stayed at both the Swan and Dolphin many times - the Dolphin is my favorite hotel at Disney! While I prefer the Dolphin, with 4 people the Swan's beds, bathroom and sinks may be more important to you.

  12. #11
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    Jul 2003
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    Don't forget, Swan/Dolphin are not Disney owned an operated, so if it matters, you need to arrange our own transport from the airport and then to the airport. I don't know if they have any RAC desk either, so you'll have your luggage with you both ways.

    Something to consider... The location is great, I prefer BC over most other resorts (except AKL). Swan/Dolphin are just a hop, skip and a jump away.

  13. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    You can bring your luggage over to the airport check-in at the Yacht club if you don't want to cart it to the airport on the return trip.
    First trip May 1996 and many since
    DVC Owner BWV
    Next trips 2015 : March SSR, May-AKLV& Poly Oct- BWV & Dec- BCV

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    I just stayed at the Swan over Christmas (my 4th stay there). We have always picked the Swan over the Dolphin because of the queen-sized beds and the bigger bathrooms. The convenience of having one sink outside the bathroom and one inside the bathroom is immense when more than 2 people are sharing a room. I highly recommend both hotels though as the location and the price (as compared to the nearby Disney hotels) is excellent.
    Recent Trips:
    Jan 2016 (Shades of Green & Poly Villas)
    Dec 2015 (Beach Club Villas)
    April 2015 (AKL & Swan)
    Dec 2015 (Boardwalk Villas)
    Sept 2014 (Beach Club & Wilderness Lodge Villas)

  15. #14
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    Aug 2005
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    Sounds like a great rate but isn't there a daily resort fee as well? We stayed at the Swan once and liked it and location is great.
    Paula




    Upcoming:

    3/13-3/18/16 BWVs

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Checkers View Post
    Sounds like a great rate but isn't there a daily resort fee as well? We stayed at the Swan once and liked it and location is great.
    The mandatory resort service package is $14/day + tax.
    Steve (aka brownie)
    INTERCOT Staff: Accommodations & Mousellaneous
    ASMv 4/00, 10/01, 11/03
    ASMu 8/12
    BC 9/94
    CSR 8/14
    POP 11-12/10, 3/12, 10/12 (ICOT15)
    POFQ 10/01
    POR 9/04, 1/16 (WDW Marathon Weekend)
    WL 12/03
    Disneyland 6/07, 1/15 (Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend)
    Disney Dream 8/14

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    springfield, PA, USA
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    while we love staying at Swan or Dolphin, another thing to consider is if you have a car, you will pay to park there during your stay.
    SteveL

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