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Pros/cons of staying at the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve

Pros/cons of staying at the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve

Considering a stay at the Swan/Dolphin/Swan Reserve?

Lots of people are! These non-Disney but almost-exactly-like-onsite-Disney resorts have huge appeal, but a few downsides have popped.

Pros

Location

Physically located onsite in the Boardwalk area, with easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Swan Dolphin Boardwalk path to Hollywood Studios

Most onsite benefits

Has almost every onsite benefit – can book dining for whole trip 60 days before, Early Entry, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, and can book Individual Lightning Lane Selections at 7 a.m.

Marriott Rewards

Since they’re Marriott resorts, can accrue/redeem Marriott Rewards points.

Swan Dolphin

Cons

Bell services

If doing a split stay at a Disney World resort, luggage transfer is not available here using bell services.

Transportation

Their buses no longer take guests to Magic Kingdom, but the Transportation and Ticket Center. Workaround: go to Boardwalk or Yacht Club and take their MK bus instead.

At Animal Kingdom, the buses don’t use the same entrance as Disney buses, so it could be slower. Consider Boardwalk or Yacht Club buses for Animal Kingdom as well.

Glitches with onsite benefits

The onsite benefits often aren’t being recognized when trying to book dining, access Early Entry, etc. This seems to have begun when the Swan Reserve opened. Can call guest services to make sure your res is being seen correctly.

Also, check frequently to make sure your hotel reservation is linked in your My Disney Experience account, including just before you are ready to book dining, Individual Lightning Lane Selections, and attend Early Entry.

Swan Dolphin

No room charges

Can’t charge things to your room from the parks.


Overall, a lot of great benefits for moderate prices. Just be aware of the potential issues and you’ll likely have a fantastic stay.

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Shannon Albert