Book at the Swan/Dolphin Resort. The benefits include extra magic hours (extra hours in the parks for hotel guests exclusively), free transportation to the parks and total immersion in the Disney experience.
On my upcoming trip at the end of Sept 09., I will be staying at the Dolphin Resort. This will be my third stay there. I prefer The Dolphin as it seems better suited for adults without children. The focus is on quality restaurants, a great spa, Mandara, and state of the art health club. The gym includes cardio equipment, free weights, shower, hot tub and comp bottles of water.
The theming, though less Disney than Disney-owned resorts, is whimsical. The Dolphin is family friendly however. Character dining is available at select restaurants in the beginning or end of each day. The Swan and Dolphin are Starwood owned. The Swan is owned and operated by Westin, the Dolphin is owned and operated by Sheraton. You can always find a great price at The Dolphin with a little research. At times the Swan has a lower rate than the Dolphin. Generally it is more expensive. You just have to be consistent in your online search. I have not yet stayed at the Swan Resort but I look foward to giving it a try.
Why do I like the Dolphin?
- Because I can always find good rates.
- I happen to like the design by architect Michael Graves, even though the dolphins look like odd sea creatures.
- There is really good food. For breakfast I look foward to eating at Fresh Mediterranean Market. In addition to excellent omelettes made to order, they have combinations of fresh squeezed juices. Although expensive, there is Todd English’ Blue Zoo for great seafood and Shula’s Steakhouse for the obvious. For 24 hour quick service there is the tacky, noisy Picabu. Its good for a late night bottle of wine or protein drink, however your day went. You may need a drink after the loud piped in bird calls rattles your brain.
- There is a huge heated grotto pool (perfect place to have a mojito by late at night), a lap pool and a couple of saunas, as well as a beach.
- The lobby offers time saving perks. There are two on site Disney ticket desks. Also, two airline boading pass kiosks to save time when heading home.
Free transportation to the parks either by shuttle bus or water taxi. The hotel is also within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It’s also within walking distance of a miniature golf course.
Most of all, the beds are incredibly comfortable. The best part was being in bed with view of Tower of Terror!
If you’re going to WDW single, with a group of friends or with your significant other, I recommend the Swan or Dolphin. After the kid in you plays in the parks, enjoy rest and comfort in an adult-friendly resort.
The Swan/Dolphin also has an informative free app that you can download from iTunes.