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Walt Disney World Swan vs Dolphin: Which Hotel is Best in 2024

Walt Disney World Swan Vs Dolphin: Which Hotel Is Best In 2024

For most Walt Disney World travellers, choosing a place to stay is as important as the theme parks themselves. Two hotels that often go head-to-head are the Swan and the Dolphin, both situated in the heart of Walt Disney World.

So, what’s the deal with these two? Let’s dive into the magic of these Walt Disney World resorts so you can find out which one is best for you.

Walt Disney World Swan vs Dolphin

The Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin

The Walt Disney World Swan and the Walt Disney World Dolphin are like two iconic landmarks on the Disney landscape.

With its soaring pyramid and giant fish, the Dolphin can’t be missed. Likewise, the Swan, crowned with its majestic bird statues, stands out in its own right.

These two hotels are a part of the world-renowned Walt Disney World Resort, creating a synergy between Marriott’s hospitality and Disney’s enchantment.

Now, let’s make this clear: while the Swan and Dolphin are on Disney property and provide many benefits associated with Walt Disney World Resort hotels, they’re actually owned and operated by Marriott.

This detail can lead to slight differences in services and amenities compared to other Disney hotels, like accepting only credit cards for payments, not Disney gift cards, or using traditional room keys instead of MagicBands.

walt disney world dolphin

Perks of Staying at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin

With the label of being part of the Walt Disney World, the Swan and Dolphin don’t skimp on Disney perks.

Whether it’s the convenience of being within walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, or the thrill of having access to early theme park entry and extended evening hours, these hotels have it all.

Not to mention, you can make advance golf tee times on Disney’s three championship golf courses, including the serene nine-hole walking course.

Guests at the Swan and Dolphin also enjoy complimentary transportation to and from the Disney parks and Disney Springs via the famous Disney shuttle bus service.

Plus, you can also access the Skyliner nearby for a fun, airborne ride to several locations around the resort.

As for Disney tickets, Disney theme park tickets can be purchased at the hotels’ concierge desks, ensuring a seamless start to your magical journey.

All of this makes your Disney dreams a reality, especially when you know you’re returning to the comfort of the Swan or Dolphin after a fun-filled day.

walt disney world dolphin

Swan or Dolphin: Which Hotel is Right for You?

There’s no denying that the Swan and Dolphin share a lot in common, given they’re both nestled in the heart of Walt Disney World.

However, there are certain differences that might influence your decision when choosing between the Swan and Dolphin.

The Feel:

In terms of architecture, the Swan has an airy aesthetic with a muted color palette, making it feel soothing and serene. The Dolphin, with its bold, vibrant colors, gives off a lively, energetic vibe.

You might prefer the tranquil feel of the Swan or the lively energy of the Dolphin, depending on your taste.

The Room Choices:

When it comes to accommodation, both hotels offer modern contemporary guest rooms. The Dolphin offers double-bed rooms and rooms with a king bed and sofa bed setup, comfortably accommodating up to five guests.

On the other hand, the Swan offers rooms with two queen beds or a king bed setup, accommodating up to four guests. So, if you need that extra bed, the Dolphin might be your best bet.

The Foodie Favorites:

With a wide variety of restaurants and lounges, both hotels offer dining options for every palate. The Swan houses the Garden Grove, where you can dine under a whimsical, 25-foot oak tree, and the Italian restaurant, Il Mulino.

The Dolphin hosts the famed Shula’s Steak House and the seafood-centric Todd English’s Bluezoo. If you’re a foodie, explore the menus before you book – your taste buds might just help make your decision!

The Magical Extras:

Another notable difference lies in the recreational amenities. Both resorts share a stunning grotto-style pool, a white sand beach, and a camp dolphin for the little ones, among other facilities.

However, the Swan has its own health club, while the Dolphin houses the Mandara Spa, for those looking for an extra bit of pampering. If you’re planning a lot of downtime at the hotel, these amenities might sway your decision.

walt disney world dolphin

Final Thoughts

In the end, both the Swan and Dolphin have their own unique offerings, making either an excellent choice for your stay at Walt Disney World. The decision really depends on your personal preferences, whether it’s the tranquillity of the Swan or the lively vibes of the Dolphin. No matter what you choose, rest assured that both these hotels offer the magic of Disney right at your doorstep, making your Disney trip truly unforgettable.

walt disney world dolphin


Is there any difference between the Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin?

Yes, while both Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are a part of the same resort, there are several differences. The Swan, managed by Westin, features two queen beds in its standard room while the Dolphin, managed by Sheraton, offers two double beds. The Swan has fewer rooms, providing a more intimate experience, while the Dolphin has more amenities due to its larger size. Both hotels offer various dining options.

Does the Walt Disney World Resort offer complimentary transportation to theme parks?

Yes, one of the key advantages of staying at the Walt Disney World Resort, including the Swan and Dolphin hotels, is the complimentary transportation provided to the theme parks. Both Epcot and Hollywood Studios are accessible by boat and are also within walking distance. The Skyliner is accessible as well. A bus transportation service is also available to the Magic Kingdom.

Can guests enjoy early theme park entry while staying at the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

Yes, guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels can enjoy Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours – features that fall into the Deluxe category benefits.

What type of beds are available in the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

The Walt Disney World Swan offers two queen beds, while the Walt Disney World Dolphin features two double beds. For those who prefer a sofa bed or a king bed, these are also available in specific room types across both hotels.

Do the Swan and Dolphin hotels offer free parking?

While the Swan and Dolphin hotels do charge a parking fee, guests often find that even with the parking fee and the resort fee, staying here is still much more affordable than at other Disney resorts.

Can I schedule Disney activities while staying at the Swan or Dolphin hotel?

Absolutely, guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels can schedule Disney activities, dining reservations, and tee times for golf, among other recreational activities.

Can I use my Disney Gift Card at the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

Unfortunately, you cannot use a Disney Gift Card to pay for your stay or any meals or merchandise at the Swan and Dolphin hotels.

Can I make dining reservations at the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

Yes, one of the benefits of staying at either the Swan or Dolphin hotel is the ability to make advance dining reservations, ensuring you have a table at your preferred restaurants and lounges.

Are there any recreational activities available at the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

Yes, both Swan and Dolphin hotels offer a plethora of recreational activities, such as three championship golf courses, a nine-hole walking course, swimming pools, and even a grotto-style pool. Guests can also enjoy Disney’s Boardwalk and the white sand beach.

What are the check-in and check-out times for the Swan and Dolphin hotels?

The standard check-in time is after 4pm, and check-out time is before 11am at the Swan and Dolphin hotels. However, these times may vary, so it’s best to confirm with the hotel directly.

Holly Smith

I'm Holly a Mum of 4 with a love for everything Disney & Orlando!

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