Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hotel Review: Walt Disney World Dolphin

A fountain at the hotel
The Walt Disney World Swan is a Deluxe resort located in the Epcot Resort area of Walt Disney World.  The Walt Disney World Swan is not fully owned nor operated by Walt Disney World.  But don't let that scare you because this is a great hotel and there are many reasons you should stay here!

Aside from being a great hotel with many amenities, one major reason you should consider staying here is its location.  It is conveniently placed in close proximity to two parks.  Staying here will allow you to forgo Disney transportation and walk to both Disney Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  (For those needing transportation to these parks, it is available via Friendship Boats).

Another major reason you should stay here: the Walt Disney World Swan is one of the most cost efficient hotels in the Deluxe resort category.

View of Walt Disney World Dolphin as you pull up to the front of the hotel (on a cloudy day).

The Walt Disney World Dolphin has the following The Walt Disney World Resort perks:
  1. Ability to book Disney FastPass plus 60 days in advance.
  2. Ability to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours (with valid theme park admission).
  3. Complimentary transportation within Walt Disney World. 
  4. On-site Disney ticket desk.
  5. Character dining.
  6. Advance tee-times at the 3 championship golf courses.
  7. Complimentary delivery of in park purchases to the hotel.

View of Disney's Boardwalk area upon exiting the Walt Disney World Dolphin.

My stay at the Walt Disney World Dolphin was September 18-20, 2015 and I really enjoyed my visit at this hotel.  Driving to the hotel was very easy, the directional signs to get to the hotel was very clear and easy to understand.  Once we got there, we were able to pull right in front of the hotel in their spacious car port area without having to wait.

Main entrance on a cloudy day
The area was very busy with valet and bellhop assisting cars.  Even thought it was busy, as soon as I opened the door a valet was there to assist us.  I told him we were checking in and planned to take advantage of the self-parking option.  He was very helpful by telling us how to get to the self-parking lot and immediately calling over a bellhop.  The bellhop then assisted us with loading our bags onto a luggage cart and showed us the way to the checkin desk.

The gorgeous lobby of the Walt Disney World Dolphin

My checkin experience was also fast and pleasant.  I was asked how they could help me I approached the counter.  Jennifer, the staff member who helped me checkin, was very friendly and helpful.  We received an upgraded room (to a balcony room), two free drinks at the bar and a free ice cream! These perks aren't guaranteed but they are nice when you do get them!

Goodies and hotel map I received at checkin
The bellhop, who patiently waited with out luggage during checkin, then showed us to our room.  Our room had 2 double beds with nightstand, a large dresser with many drawers and a built in desk with chair.  There was also a sitting char and lamp.  We had plenty of extra space in the room to set up a baby pack-n-play, room for a stroller and room for one suitcase to sit out without loosing walking area. Our patio that had two chairs and a small table and a great view of the fountains and Bay Lake.

Room layout.

The only part of the room I wish was different, was the bathroom layout. There is a separate tub/shower and toilet for privacy.  However, the sink area is in an awkward corner and I kept elbowing the door to the shower/toilet when it was closed.
Sink area of the bathroom.

To make up for the loss of counter space in the bathroom, there is extra counter space with a mirror above it next to the closet in the entry way.  This extra space allows for more than one person to get ready at the same time.  On the counter you will find the coffee maker, an ice bucket and two bottles of water.  Below the counter is where the mini-fridge is along with extra storage.  There was a ton of storage space in this room.  The closet was spacious and was equipped with an iron and ironing board.

The Walt Disney World Dolphin, along with its sister resort, the Walt Disney World Swan, have many dining options.  The signature dining restaurants offer something for everyone, they include Todd English's bluezoo, Il Mulino and Shula's.  If you're interested in an adults only meal at one of these signature restaurants, there is complimentary access to Camp Dolphin for one child per adult entree purchased for 2 hours.  There are also many casual and quick service options to please every eater in every price range.  If a drink is what you are looking for, there are many to choose from as well from casual lounges to karaoke bars.  The Walt Disney World Dolphin has a bar in the main part of the lobby making it easy to grab a drink on your way to your room.

Some of the other amenities offered at the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan are:
  • 5 Pools; 
  • Tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, jogging trails and health clubs;
  • Kids Club (Camp Dolphin)
  • Many gift stores (Disney and non-Disney stores);
  • Laundry room facilities;
  • Game room;
  • Spa with full service hair salon and nail salon;
  • Car rental;
  • Conference centers;
  • Self Parking and Valet Parking;
  • Concierge services;
  • 24 hour bell stand;
  • 24 eatery options and more!

If this review has peaked your interest into staying at the Walt Disney World Dolphin (or the sister resort the Walt Disney World Swan) email me at lauren@magicaltravel.com and I'll be glad to help you book them for your next Walt Disney World vacation!

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