Nestled between the hustle and bustle of two amazing Disney theme parks, you’ll find the Swan Hotel at Disney World. It’s a divisive resort, between on-property loyalists who claim it doesn’t count and those of us with a budget to consider – who worship at the altar of the Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
The Rooms at the Swan and Dolphin
I recently stayed in a standard room with two Queen-sized beds which offered a generous amount of space.
In addition to the beds were a desk, two chairs, and a dresser with four drawers and a mini fridge.
The bathroom is split with a vanity, a small closet, and a safe outside the water closet. This area is directly next to the door of the room.
The sink area does not have a door but is tucked around the corner from the main part of the room. In this area, you’ll also find a small closet and a few shelves.
Continuing through this area you’ll walk into the main bathroom.
Problems We Encountered at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel
The room was comfortable but could have afforded additional closet space. Even with the dresser drawers, the two of us had to unpack with a bit of strategy.
The walls between rooms are also really thin and we could hear screaming and crying children at all hours of the night. The shared wall had a lockout door that could connect the two rooms. This may have been part of the soundproofing problem. We did not hear anything from our neighbors on the other side.
There were lots of outlets around the room, both standard US and USB plugs. Each lamp, on the dresser and shared nightstand, contained (1) USB and (1) standard outlet. There was (1) standard US plug outlet near each bed, and one between the dresser and desk.
Unfortunately, only three outlets worked in the room; one was on the vanity near the room door for the hairdryer, one on the wall near the glass desk, and one (thankfully) for the coffee maker. We did not contact the front desk as I always pack a surge protector anyway, and we were on the clock to go meet Mickey.
Lastly, the complimentary amenities were nearly empty and the bottle for the body wash completely disappeared after housekeeping came on the second day. It never returned. Again, we’d packed our own so did not contact the front desk about the issue.
One unexpected surprise was the view of nighttime fireworks from Hollywood Studios. Our room was at the front of the hotel, so the view was obstructed. Even so, I was able to lay back and watch the show from bed. A real treat after a long day! If you request a room on the west side of the resort, you’d likely have a clear view.
Location and Proximity
One of Swan Hotel’s biggest perks is its unbeatable location. The resort sits in close proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, making it a dream stay for park enthusiasts.
There are also plenty of ways to get around from the Friendship Boats to the nearby Skyliner, and even (gasp!) walking. I hadn’t planned on walking being the primary means of transportation when I booked The Swan, but nearly every other vehicle shuts down when there is rain. There’s lots of rain in Florida, easily once a day.
The close proximity to the Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club means you can take a short walk to utilize their buses to locations beyond the Epcot area and vice versa. We quickly found that the buses used by the Swan and Dolphin ran less frequently, stopped at more intermediary resorts, and ended up parking pretty far from the park entrances.
Speaking of the Boardwalk, this prime area is an extra bonus to staying at the Swan and Dolphin. Located right next door, this Disney resort houses several restaurants, shops, and even a dancing hall. I absolutely love the Epcot resort area, it’s my favorite location to stay at Disney World – hands down. All of the hotels in this area are fantastic, but the Swan (and Dolphin) are quickly taking the lead.
Java – The Cafe
The Java cafe became my go-to spot for morning coffee and light snacks. From fresh pastries to hearty sandwiches, this charming cafe provides a quick and convenient option to fuel your Disney adventures. The staff were so friendly and accommodating. They made custom drinks, provided recommendations, and were happy to chat and joke around. Java does close before the nearby parks, which was disappointing to find after a long night, but otherwise a solid selection for a quick bite.
Benefits of Staying at the Swan Hotel
Aside from location and amenities, Swan Hotel guests also enjoy the same exclusive benefits of the Deluxe resorts and Deluxe Villas. This includes free transportation, early morning admission, and extended evening hours. All guests to Disney resorts receive free transportation and admission up to 1 hour before the parks opens. But extended evening hours are available only to Deluxe guests, and guests of the Swan and Dolphin. This means up to 3 extra hours in the parks.
The best part? Rooms at the Swan and Dolphin start around $200 per room per day, compared to the $400+ cost of a Deluxe resort room – this is a steal.
Despite some minor challenges, the Swan Hotel offers a cost-effective solution for those seeking a taste of deluxe resort living at Disney World. The combination of comfort, convenience, and perks make it a great choice for Disney enthusiasts. I truly cannot say enough good things about the Swan and Dolphin Resort, and recommend it to everyone as a budget alternative to Disney Deluxe Resorts.