I could name this blog staying at the Swan and Dolphin or so many other titles, but I felt linger was the best name. Because you should linger and enjoy this beautiful area.
The Swan and Dolphin is a whimsical resort that I have stayed at many times and it has changed a bit over the years. In my opinion, the biggest change has been price and bus transportation.
This hotel used to be very reasonable in comparison to its neighboring resorts. And as they say in real estate, its “Location, location, location” cannot be beaten. You have walking access to two parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. And if you don’t want to do this reasonable walk you can take a boat. Either way, it is a lovely way to reach the parks.
We love to walk to the Boardwalk resort and have a delicious breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery. If you think ahead, I recommend doing mobile ordering, to have your order waiting for you. After picking up your order, take a seat at one of the tables on the boardwalk and watch the boats passing through while you eat your savory breakfast. Then once you are done, continue on the walkway to Epcot, and enter the park near the France Pavilion. You can also get the skyline there as well. So convenient!
But back to the Swan and Dolphin… I remember paying $180 a night many moons ago which is what attracted me to the resort. It has gone up quite a bit sadly, but is still more reasonable than the other resorts in the area, making it still a deal.
The two hotels are separate, as their name implies. As the statues on the top confirm which hotel is which, there are other features that separate them as well. The Dolphin itself has a larger whimsical lobby that in the center has crystals floating above a fish fountain. Tropical seating surrounds the water feature, giving an area for your family to wait while checking in, or wait in the morning for your party to head to the parks. There is also a bar in the lobby and a food market opposite the bar. The food market is quite pricey, but delicious, and the staff friendly.
The Swan hotel has a smaller lobby, with a seating area, and they also have a small coffee shop as well. I have to add that there are some lovely fountains to enjoy outside where you should linger if you have the chance. Life is about enjoying the moment and I will always remind and hope you take a moment to enjoy a beautiful spot.
The beds at the Dolphin are full size which I am not a fan of after having a king sized bed at my home. So you may want to book the Swan for their queen sized beds if this concerns you.
There is also a yummy ice cream shop at the bottom of the escalators that I recommend you try! As for recreation besides the parks, they have a beautiful pool with a large waterfall on one side, swan boats to peddle in the water surrounding the resorts, or a quiet pool and hot tub towards the Boardwalk resorts. If you are lucky to get a resort view sometimes you will even see fireworks from your room which is a lovely surprise!
Now for the downside of these resorts. Besides the price increase, the only other downside is the transportation to Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom. I cannot say anything about the water parks as I have not tried to visit them from the Dolphin. But the others are not as easy to visit without Disney Buses. I have heard a few rumors so I do not know the reason for the switch, but these resorts now use Mears or their own buses.
Last visit they had new buses with lovely graphics for the Swan and Dolphin however it is still a bummer where they drop you off. You now go to the Transportation center and then either take the ferry or the monorail to Magic Kingdom. You are no longer dropped off in front of the park in the bus area. I will say I highly recommend you take the ferry back one evening from the park, as the view is amazing!!! This is one of those times that an inconvenience ends up being a treat.
As for Animal Kingdom, it was not that bad being dropped off on the side, but what I truly did not care for was waiting in line with everyone else arriving at the park, as they are not allowed in the Disney bus lane. Does not sound like a big deal, but you can wait a while in line if it is busy, rather than flying by in the Disney bus lane.
There is also a third hotel in this group now, called the “Swan Reserve.” I took a walk over one morning to see it for myself and it is a very pretty hotel, with modern stylings, but I still prefer the original hotels.
Overall we love our stays at the Swan and Dolphin, and will probably stay there again. We average walking 10-14 miles a day, so we do not want to walk the long distance back to our room. This is why getting dropped off at a hotel, walking through the lobby then taking an elevator to our room was wonderful to us.
So if you are looking for a whimsical hotel that is in the heart of Disney, I recommend this lovely resort. Rarely everything is totally perfect in life, we must sometimes overlook small inconveniences and enjoy what is good.
If you have any questions or your own opinions, I would love to hear them!
Euphoric… my painting of the Swan. Euphoric is how I feel when home. To see more of my art please visit my website: https://www.artistmarnie.com/landscapepaintings-494207.html