10 Facts About Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

Credit: Swan & Dolphin

Welcome to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin—two stately sister hotels standing side by side one another in the heart of Walt Disney World action. While separate identities and individualized motifs establish each one independently, both share in a multitude of resort-wide benefits and amenities to earn them equated excellence. So it really doesn’t matter which one you choose, if it’s quality you seek. From delightful décor, perfecting perks, and a wide range of other epitomized endeavors, there’s just so much to know and love about this dual resort property. Here are 10 fun facts we think you will thoroughly enjoy!


10. An epicenter of convenience

If you’re looking for convenience and accessibility in navigating back and forth between Disney Parks and your room, then you can’t go wrong booking your stay at either of these delightful hotels. This is especially true for those who frequent EPCOT and/or Hollywood Studios the most. The Walt Disney World Swan and the Walt Disney World Dolphin stand situated across from each other at a unique vantage point between both Parks. Therefore, folks staying at either hotel can easily come out via an adjoining canopied pathway leading to the reliable Friendship Boat launch. These complimentary boat services run around the clock in order to deliver guests to whichever destination they so choose. But for those who are up for a bit of a walk, take note that there are footpaths you may opt for to get you to either of these destinations as well as other surrounding attractions in the immediate area. And always remember that the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s two water parks, and various area destinations are just a short bus/car ride away.

Swan Resort

9. Not really Disney designations

It may come as a surprise for some to learn that these deluxe sister hotels aren’t true Disney-owned resorts by way of official designation. Nevertheless, they both sport an honorary Disney status through affiliation and obvious branding. Even the “Walt Disney World” in their titles is telling of their undeniable link to Disney. All the same, these hotels are actually managed by Marriot International, which acquired Starwood Resorts and Hotels as a subsidiary back in 2016. Still, you can’t get any more Disney at a non-Disney resort than the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

8. Reaping the benefits

Despite not being true Disney designated resorts, both the Walt Disney World Swan as well as the Walt Disney World Dolphin boast unique advantages in the fact that they get to share in several Disney Resort-exclusive perks. These include complimentary transportation services from your hotel to the parks/water parks and Disney Springs, experiencing Extra Magic Hours (at times when such is offered to Disney Resort guests), and having the same 60-day window to book FastPass+ selections even before your vacation is set to begin. So where it counts most, you are initially still getting the most meaningful perks Disney Resorts have to offer. What’s more, since the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are both owned by Marriott, you may also score benefits (and redeem points) via the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program. Such redemptions can go a long way with initial booking costs as well, allowing you the same affordability and comfort you know from past bookings with Marriott but without sacrificing all the possibilities Disney magic can make on this trip.  


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7. Design and décor

World-renowned designer and architect Michael Graves is the man behind both hotels’ intricate and elaborate theming. Graves succeeded in maintaining a vision and style proposed by former Disney CEO Mike Eisner, which resulted in whimsical delight and high-end quality charm to the overall resort motifs while omitting the use of any actual licensed Disney characters. Nevertheless, both the Swan and the Dolphin display a Disney magic sort of appeal through the carefully chosen color patterns, decisions in décor, and each one’s unique resort theming. The Swan stands at a regal 12 stories high at its zenith (the main building) with two seven-story wings in which guest rooms are located. Hued in coral-like colors and shading with a turquois wave pattern, the hotel’s most impressive external display is of course two massive swan sculptures standing 46 feet high, perched atop the roof. The Dolphin stands at a stately 27 stories at its highest point (also the main building) with four nine-story wings to accommodate guests. Comprised of coral and turquois color schemes, it goes without saying that the crowning glory on display here is the incorporation of two 56-foot dolphin fountains on top of the hotel.

Swan and Dolphin Resort

6. Deluxe Resort ranking

Between the two hotels, there are 2,270 guest rooms total, comprising of a wide range of room variations. These include those categorized as traditional/guest rooms, designated resort view rooms, deluxe family rooms, and varying suite accommodations. And in keeping up to par with Disney quality standards, each room ranks supreme by way of offering stellar in-house amenities that go above and beyond the usual home-away-from-home essentials. From fresh up-to-date furnishings to flat-screen televisions, luxury bathrooms to the ovation-worthy Heavenly Beds that many argue are each rooms’ most defining premium, these accommodations are all about modern luxury and sophistication without sacrificing comfort or the creatively integrated fun theming each hotel proudly showcases.

5. Onsite amenities and recreations

While proximity to nearby Disney Parks and other venues is a bragging right for sure, recreational onsite pursuits are high on the list of any vacationer. As a guest staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin you will enjoy an abundance of perks and amenities, including myriad recreational endeavors. Swimming is one of the most popular pastimes, and these sister hotels share in a grand total of five pools to boot! Two competitive lap pools, a friendly kiddie pool, and relaxing spring pool are all wonderful waterworks to take in, but the ultimate experience comes with the three-acre Grotto Pool. Following a lush tropical oasis theme, the Grotto Pool boasts stunning waterfalls and caves along with a thrilling, twisting waterslide. Other waterfront follies include white sandy beaches, kiddie play areas and nearby playgrounds, four whirlpool spas, sports courts, and so much more. You may also opt for adventures on the sea by way of watercraft rentals. As for other on-land highlights, the co-resorts share an arcade/game room, two health clubs/fitness centers, special kids-only activity program offerings (when available), organized family-friendly events, and plenty of other on-premises fun. And as mentioned earlier, you are in close proximity to many local venues where you may enjoy extra excitement as well, including Disney’s BoardWalk district or Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf. For true golf enthusiasts, take note that as a guest staying in either hotel, you also have access to three Walt Disney World championship courses as well as nine-hole walking courses.

4. Mandara Spa

While theme park thrills and unending action are undeniable hallmarks to a Disney vacation, some guests also look forward to having a little downtime to relax and unwind by way of a little self-pampering. And many would agree that there’s no better place to do so than at Mandara Spa. Known internationally for providing the most elite and upscale spa services to luxury hotels the world over, Mandara Spa proudly caters to patrons within the greater Orlando area at its location right onsite at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Housed within a 10,500 square-foot Balinese-themed sanctuary, only the most high-end treatments are administered here. You may choose from a host of services offered, from massages to facials, treatments for hair, nails, or other full rejuvenations. The options and possibilities are almost unlimited. And you will be met with the very best quality care, delivered with the most refined and exacting standards of any spa service. While access to Mandara Spa isn’t limited to guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin alone, it goes without saying that if you’re already a guest, a visit to Mandara Spa is even more convenient!

Credit: Swan & Dolphin

3. Conferences and gatherings

We’ve already established that the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is a great place to stay with friends and family, but did you know it also makes an excellent venue to host a conference or larger gathering? They have proudly received ongoing recognition with the prestigious Meetings & Conventions Hall of Fame Award and continue to be a leading choice for catering to both personal and mainstream professional events within the surrounding Walt Disney World area. With available meeting spaces that exceed more than 333,000 square feet, other attributes to take note of include 87 meeting rooms (which include two executive boardrooms), two business centers, four ballrooms, various outdoor functioning areas, and an available 110,500 square feet of space to be used for exhibitions or additional convention space. Holding many other notable awards in achievement in addition to the ones previously highlighted, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin has earned a reputation for outstanding catering services, menus, and successfully delivering on phenomenal tastes. So you know you can trust them to cater any larger special event happenings you may have in the works for the future.


Bonus Tip!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >


2. Stellar dining possibilities

Getting to experience the phenomenal food here isn’t just about outstanding onsite catering services. You can indulge in a wide range of exceptional epicurean delights via the many versatile dining venues that span both the Swan and the Dolphin. In all, there are 17 restaurants and lounges ranging from pub grub small plate offerings, quick service selections, casual table service options, and more refined signature dining possibilities as well. Among the latter, notable upscale venues to consider include the famed Shula’s Steakhouse, Todd English’s bluezoo, Il Mulino, and Kimonos. The casual pick Garden Grove, which follows a Central Park garden theme, is also renowned for having offered Disney Character dining at select times with guests for many years now. And they hope to continue such engagements once it is safe to do so. Guests should take note, however, that none of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin restaurants participate in Disney Dining. But this doesn’t make a difference to faithful fans and foodies alike who can’t deny the mouthwatering decadence from the vast menu selections to indulge in. From traditional favorites in popular well-known cuisine to house specialties and culinary exclusives you can only find at a specific on-location dining establishment, you won’t want to pass on a chance to eat here. In addition to a delightful array of dining venues to choose from, room service is also available to guests 24 hours a day.

The Fountain

1. Annual tastes and something new!

For the past decade, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has been hosting a notable food and wine tasting event every autumn, much to the delight of faithful fans—many of whom make it a dual engagement along with the famed Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that’s held annually. However, this year’s installment of the Annual Food and Wine Classic (in its traditional format) has been cancelled due to the current global health situation. In response though, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is presenting a new, altered experience—Sip, Savor, and Stay Saturdays. Bringing together the very best of the best features from the well loved Food and Wine Classic, the new modified experience started on September 19 and will run through October 24 (with a bonus Friday night extension event happening on October 30). To participate in any of these events you will need to book a special overnight package. And as always, space and availability is limited. All the same, even in times of cancelled plans and traditions, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin has come through in making new ones to be enjoyed.

While the impacts of COVID-19 continue to impact many traditional ways of life along with regularly scheduled events and experiences, businesses around the world are continuing to find engaging new ways to carry on. This is especially true with Walt Disney World Resort and its greater good neighbor surroundings, as we have observed through many of the recently altered practices designed to maintain as much integrity as possible given the current situation. While some of the experiences and available amenities normally offered at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin do remain on pause presently, several familiar quality onsite enjoyments do remain intact, welcoming faithful fans and newbies alike to come out and make merry with.

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.

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