Swan and Dolphin?


#1

Anybody have any experience here? We’re scouting out resorts for the Disney Princess Half Marathon and those came up.


#2

We stayed at the Dolphin (business trip with my DH) some time ago. It was ok—nothing special—no Disney feeling to it–although there were characters there in the lobby one day. It was nice to walk into the back of Epcot. Swan is right next door so you can walk to either restaurant. Bus service was slower than we were used to.

I am just so partial to onsite Disney hotels that I am too prejudiced to judge I think. :laugh::laugh:

But all in all—they aren’t bad hotels at all—just not the true Disney experience.


#3

I stayed at the Dolphin in February for a work conference. It was beautiful and the service exceptional. The rooms are HUGE and nicely decorated.


#4

We have stayed at both over the years. They do not have “the magic” of other resorts, but they are very nice and have to say it, the beds are the best. You get most of the perks of staying at a Disney resort.


#5

The Swan and Dolphin resorts are very convenient. They share the boat transportation to Hollywood Studios and Epcot and are just a short walk away from the Boardwalk. No, there isn’t a hidden Mickey everywhere you look, but they are very nice resorts. The rooms are very clean and have plush beds (on par with Disney deluxe resorts). They provide great theme park views, and there are several nice grotto pools to swim in.

When staying there, you get Extra Magic Hours and use of Disney Transportation, but not Magical Express or room charging privileges. It’s a good bargain for a nice resort in a great location.


#6

I’ve stayed at both and while I would rather stay at a Disney moderate then either, I do prefer them to an economy or off site resort. They used to do a special teacher / nurse discount, not sure if they still do.

They are somewhat whimsical in their own way, the lobbies are very cool with great fountains and decorating, the resturants are top rate, and the pools are very nice as well. Rooms are large, and if I remember correctly room service goes pretty late and best of all you are right in the middle of the EPCOT resorts area.

The downside, even more then most EPCOT resorts these are convention resorts. They get the vast majority of their business from various functions and it can be a bit disconcerting to walk in from the pool in your swim wear while everyone around you is in a suit or worse yet, funky matching t-shirts. ( Been there, done that, really do have the t-shirts to prove it. )

In addition there is a fair amount of over consumption at some of the conventions and nothing spoils the Disney magic like a bunch of drunks at the pool yelling obscenities at each other. Twice it was bad enough that I had to say something to a group. Luckily both times they respected my request and toned it down, but there you have it.

Bottom line for us, Disney Deluxe, Disney Moderate, Swan/Dolphin, Disney Economy, off site.

-Harry


#7

[QUOTE=smallworld;1115372] Bus service was slower than we were used to.

[/QUOTE]

If bus service was slower than you’re used to, stop and think.
It isn’t because these are non Disney hotels. All 5 Epcot resorts share the same bus. Even when they aren’t sharing with all 5, the Swan and Dolphin share with Boardwalk, while Beach and Yacht share one between themselves. This compares with single resort buses with 4 and 5 stop interior routes at the mods and All Stars as well as shared buses for Contemporary/Poly and WL/FW/GF.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that the Epcot bus seems to always be the one that doesn’t run as often, at every resort. Also, bus service seems to be bad if every time you go for a bus, you’ve just missed the last one by a few minutes and then have to wait. But, if you’re better at timing, you arrive a couple minutes before your bus every time, service will seem to be extraordinary to you.


#8

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1115488]If bus service was slower than you’re used to, stop and think.
It isn’t because these are non Disney hotels. All 5 Epcot resorts share the same bus. Even when they aren’t sharing with all 5, the Swan and Dolphin share with Boardwalk, while Beach and Yacht share one between themselves. This compares with single resort buses with 4 and 5 stop interior routes at the mods and All Stars as well as shared buses for Contemporary/Poly and WL/FW/GF.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that the Epcot bus seems to always be the one that doesn’t run as often, at every resort. Also, bus service seems to be bad if every time you go for a bus, you’ve just missed the last one by a few minutes and then have to wait. But, if you’re better at timing, you arrive a couple minutes before your bus every time, service will seem to be extraordinary to you.[/QUOTE]

Well…like I said…what we are used to…we have been lucky because I read complaints from people about POFQ bus service and it’s never been a problem…I can only think of one day that FQ shared a bus with RS—but from what others say that’s not always the case so…my point is …what we are used to…that’s all I have to go by…what we are used to…Im not analyzing it at all…just stating how our bus service there went…and that was some time ago that we stayed at Dolphin so…all reviews are subject to personal experience and mine are not analytical…:smile:


#9

It’s so true, though - your timing is really important when it comes to Disney transportation which runs continuously. However, the only transportation you can really take the initiative to do something about it is the Epcot friendship boats. If you watch the boat you needed pull away, just start walking. The boats are only efficient if you don’t have to wait for them. That being said, we had “awesome boat service” ( awesome timing) on our last trip.

If you want to experience truly terrible bus service, stay at one of the Downtown Disney
hotels. The buses service 3 or 4 ( depending on your side of the street) and run every 30 min. However, if you’re at the last resort on the route, they’ve probably already filled the busthat morning, so be prepared to wait for the next bus… and the next bus. That isn’t timing… it’s lacking infrastructure.


#10

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1115497]It’s so true, though - your timing is really important when it comes to Disney transportation which runs continuously. However, the only transportation you can really take the initiative to do something about it is the Epcot friendship boats. If you watch the boat you needed pull away, just start walking. The boats are only efficient if you don’t have to wait for them. That being said, we had “awesome boat service” ( awesome timing) on our last trip.
[/QUOTE]

I give my full throated agreement to this.
I know from personal experience that I can beat the boat every time between Boardwalk and DHS, and certainly can beat the boat to Epcot on foot when we both leave the Swolphin dock at the same time.
At times, it’s even probable that you’re able to walk faster than the boat because of all the no wake zones between DHS and Crescent Lake proper.
That’s one of the reasons I prefer boating Bay Lake, less speed restriction and less confined waters.


#11

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1115488]If bus service was slower than you’re used to, stop and think.
It isn’t because these are non Disney hotels. All 5 Epcot resorts share the same bus. Even when they aren’t sharing with all 5, the Swan and Dolphin share with Boardwalk, while Beach and Yacht share one between themselves. This compares with single resort buses with 4 and 5 stop interior routes at the mods and All Stars as well as shared buses for Contemporary/Poly and WL/FW/GF.
What I’ve noticed over the years is that the Epcot bus seems to always be the one that doesn’t run as often, at every resort. Also, bus service seems to be bad if every time you go for a bus, you’ve just missed the last one by a few minutes and then have to wait. But, if you’re better at timing, you arrive a couple minutes before your bus every time, service will seem to be extraordinary to you.[/QUOTE]

I know i’ve asked this before but can’t remember the answer, but why on earth does the Poly share a bus with the Contempory and GF with WL instead of the other way around. Seems like it would be more logical since Poly/GF are right next door, same for CR and WL being closer.


#12

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1115504]I give my full throated agreement to this.
I know from personal experience that I can beat the boat every time between Boardwalk and DHS, and certainly can beat the boat to Epcot on foot when we both leave the Swolphin dock at the same time.
At times, it’s even probable that you’re able to walk faster than the boat because of all the no wake zones between DHS and Crescent Lake proper.
That’s one of the reasons I prefer boating Bay Lake, less speed restriction and less confined waters.[/QUOTE]

:laugh:…Love the term Swolphin—have to remember that one----


#13

I think it varies, but when we went from DtD back to the Poly this past March, we stopped at the Contemporary first. I remember thinking it seemed odd for the Poly to share with the Contemp since they aren’t that close.

I Also remember stopping at Fort Wilderness to pick people up in the morning (to DHS, I believe) when staying at the GF last year in July.


#14

It’s a routing thing.
Every bus from the Contemporary has to pass the Poly, possibly excepting the DTD bus, and even that works if it does Poly first and then Contemporary.
Meanwhile, it’s more of a straight shot to share the GF bus with WL because Seven Seas Drive and Timberline Dr are essentially the same street. This means the bus goes to WL and then straight over to the GF (yes, I know it goes right by the Poly) only to reverse and head back down SS Dr/Timberline Dr, makes the quick right so it can pick up Vista and head on to DTD or FW first depending on the actual route being run.

I do remember times that Contempo, Poly, and GF shared all buses, but Disney Transport is always trying to refine and tweak service and this is many years ago now.


#15

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1115573]
I Also remember stopping at Fort Wilderness to pick people up in the morning (to DHS, I believe) when staying at the GF last year in July.[/QUOTE]

I don’t dispute this, but it does seem a trifle goofy, if you will.
DHS that is. Service to DHS from the MK area is always down World Dr to Buena Vista Dr and DHS is pretty much right there, across the street from the Hess station.
It makes every bit of sense to serve DTD this way because they can take Vista to Bonnett Creek and then turn in at Vacation Club Way and hit DTD at the Marketplace stop before continuing to the Pleasure Island stop and totally avoid making any left turns in and out of the DTD lots and also avoid the heavier traffic on the main arteries.

And every bus I’ve ever taken to or from the Contempo stops there first and then heads on to the Poly.
I think they wisely want to limit the number of left turns bus drivers have to make. Doing so keeps buses out of oncoming traffic for safety’s sake and also speeds up the whole system because the wait times for left turns is always greater than for right turns.


#16

You just hit on the goal of many professional delivery systems. Talking with a local UPS driver I was told the computer tries to have them make as many right hand turns as possible. I’m sure WDW tries to use the same trasportation practices for speed and efficiency if nothing else.


#17

—never would have ever thought of this—I just get on the bus at the resort and get off at the park!!!..


#18

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1115577]I don’t dispute this, but it does seem a trifle goofy, if you will.
DHS that is. Service to DHS from the MK area is always down World Dr to Buena Vista Dr and DHS is pretty much right there, across the street from the Hess station.[/QUOTE]

It was a long time ago… could have very well been Animal Kingdom, but I’m pretty positive it wasn’t DtD because we didn’t go there on that trip.


#19

AK’s another route that goes straight down World Dr.
It is possible that there was a temporary reason to alter the DHS route and they have played around with routes plenty over the years too. Always trying to find the path of least resistance between point a and point b.

Truth is, I can’t say anything with real certainty because of all the little tweaks over the last 12 years.

Meanwhile, I’m inside 24 hours now and hope I get a sixth floor room in the north wing at WL with not too many trees blocking the view.:wub:


#20

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1115619]AK’s another route that goes straight down World Dr.
It is possible that there was a temporary reason to alter the DHS route and they have played around with routes plenty over the years too. Always trying to find the path of least resistance between point a and point b.[/QUOTE]

Well, looking back over the TR, it looks like it was DHS. Might’ve been different than normal… but what’s weird is that we were there over July 4th.