Reviews of Walt Disney World Dolphin (Deluxe Resort)
A Starwood property operated by the Sheraton located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
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Reviewer: Rachael C Review Date: 09/27/2018
Rating: (10) Would Recommend:
We stayed at the Walt Disney world dolphin resort in May, and had a fantastic experience! The rooms are very clean and comfortable, and the hotel staff were very accommodating. The best perk of staying at this hotel is its proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Both are literally just a short walk away. We have always stayed at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts on SPG rewards points, however, we have heard from friends that they also have reasonable rates as compared to other Walt Disney World deluxe resorts. I highly recommend this hotel, and look forward to staying again!
Pros:1. Proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 2. Clean and comfortable accommodations. 3. Friendly and helpful staff.
Cons:The only con would be that I found the bus service somewhat slow.
Reviewer: auntiekeiki Review Date: 09/27/2018
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
My family of 5 recently stayed at the Dolphin for a week. This was our first experience at this hotel. Staff was very helpful and friendly. We were given an upgrade to our room, so we had a resort view. It was really nice to overlook the Boardwalk resort and see Illuminations from our room. The biggest difference that I noticed from staying at the Disney hotels is that this was a very quiet resort. Not once did we hear screaming kids or parents in the hallway outside our room. There were so many options as far as restaurants! I wish that this resort has Disney Magical Express service. Also, the bus wait times were considerably longer than in the past at other resorts.
Pros:Close to MGM & EPCOT
Cons:No Magical Express
Reviewer: LI family Review Date: 09/26/2018
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
We have stayed at most onsite Disney hotels and we love the Dolphin. The staff is great. The location is great. We like the food choices including the Picabo restaurant. The hotel, pool, and facilities are beautiful. The rooms are 360 sq ft which is large enough to accommodate a rollaway bed for our family of 5. We have stayed there 4 times and have always found the cleanliness of the room and hotel to be as good as any Disney hotel. Costwise we feel we get more for our money than at a Disney hotel. The downsides are no Magical Express and no baggage check-in.
Pros:Reasonable rates, beautiful facilities within walking (or launch) distance to Epcot and HS.
Cons:No Magical Express, baggage check-in.
Reviewer: hsmamato2 Review Date: 09/26/2018
Rating: (10) Would Recommend:
I LOVE this resort. So much so, that I hesitate to write this review...I want to keep it to myself! Over the years I've stayed at a variety of Disney resorts,from value up to Deluxes. They're all a lot of fun. The Dolphin(and sister Swan) are WONDERFUL. The location beats everything else by a mile! The boardwalk view is right out the window,as are potential views of Epcot and the Studios. Beautiful! A fantastic pool complex, so many excellent restaurant choices onsite,and great service make this my favorite resort to stay at,I'd choose the Dolphin over any of my previous onsite stays! Yes, it's not 'Disney' themed, but it's gorgeous! the lobby, the rooms, the views,I love it all. Walking to the Studios and Epcot is GREAT,or you can take a boat ride which is fun. I also enjoy just walking over to the Boardwalk area just to see the sights,and exercise. It's technically 'offsite' but it's as 'onsite' as it can be with the location. We usually Uber to and from the airport, so that's not a problem at all. Disney run buses to the parks work just fine here also.
Pros:Right in the middle of the action!
Cons:Lots of walking,if you don't like to walk.
Reviewer: sarahaas Review Date: 02/03/2016
Rating: (1) Would Recommend:
We weren't expecting Mickey Mouse to be plastered everywhere. Honestly, we weren't. The Dolphin is not a Disney hotel. However, we were expecting it to be CLEAN. Especially for the the price. Our first exposure to how things seem to be done at the Dolphin was in the parking lot. Garbage. A big ol' bag of garbage was sitting in the spot next to ours. Once we got our key cards, we headed up to the room. What did we find in the elevator? Giant, dirty handprints on the inside of the door. PS, the #5 elevator button doesn't work. Luckily, we're on 10. As we walk down the hall toward our room, we see lots of dishes and half-eaten food outside guests' doors. Most of those dishes sat there for DAYS. Ah, finally to our room. Hey look, the number plate on the room across the hall is on the floor. And we all have a big laugh. That number plate stayed on the floor the entire length of our stay.
On the afternoon of December 24, 2015, we put the key card in the door of room #10172. The door opensâ€¦smells weird. Not bad, just weird. Okay, sometimes that happens. As we check out the room, we notice the following "luxurious" things: the room is WORN. Like, 1990-called-and-they-want-their-room-back worn, the hair dryer is sticky and dusty and hairy, the bathroom is DIM, I can't barely see in there, the toilet whistles loudly when flushed, the shower drained slowly, the floor and some drawer handles were sticky, two lights in the room didn't even work, random hairs, LOTS of dust on EVERYTHINGâ€¦oh, did I mention the splintered wood on the drawer handles? Um, I'm paying how much to stay in this place dirtier than my own house?
On the night before check-out, I called Guest Services to make sure we could get out of the parking lot the next morning. I was assured TWICE all I needed was my room key to exit the parking lot. At around 3:30am on December 28, our room key failed to allow us to exit the parking lot. We spent more than 20 minutes calling around trying to find SOMEONE to help us. There was no security in the parking lot. We were on hold multiple times with multiple people. The "help" button didn't seem to work properly, either. We were stuck. WE COULD NOT LEAVE THE PARKING LOT FOR 20 MINUTES. I could never advise anyone to stay here.
Pros:Close to Epcot/Hollywood Studios
Cons:Dirty, dirty, dirty
Reviewer: DianeinNM Review Date: 12/26/2015
Rating: (2) Would Recommend:
We booked a year in advance, requesting as high a floor as possible. We were put on the second floor, under the lobby. There was a baby screaming every night, and no evidence of sound insulation at all. We heard fireworks from two parks every night, making it difficult to be up for park opening. There were no midrange dining options--either the bargain basement grocery/cafe in the basement or the top dollar dining options (which were very good!). There is no group for whom I'd recommend this hotel.
Pros:walking distance to Epcot, Hollywood
Cons:price, service, dining, transportation, noise
Reviewer: mare54 Review Date: 04/09/2015
Rating: (3) Would Recommend:
Very disappointing...no transportation from or to airport. Taxi was $60 each way. The bus to Magic Kingdom came about every 45 minutes and was packed...when returning, we had a 30 minute wait for bus to return to hotel. Many ducks in pool and pooping, pool opens early but life jackets and towel shack not open till 10:30 and closed at 6. One meal in their casual restaurant for 4 adults ( choice of 4 meals, and each one was $40) toddlers charged $25 each. One meal came to $ 240 with tip. At checkout I was charged over $200 for " service fees " and parking...$25 a night for use of gym, ( never used), 2 bottles of water, and little coffee maker, $18 per day for parking..all of this plus tax...soooooooo, with $120 cab fare, $200 for service fees, and $240 for a casual dinner, and the horrible bus service to Magic Kingdom, we could have stayed at the Floridian with less stress and a truly deluxe hotel. It is not considered a Disney Hotel, so the bus service goes to the Swan and Dolphin less and with fewer busses. Never again...
Pros:Closeness to Epcot
Cons:Bus to magic kingdom every 45 minutes
Reviewer: rhjohnston Review Date: 09/13/2014
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
The Dolphin and Swan offer many of the Disney Property advantages on a deluxe level for less money. My husband and I stayed 9/7-9/12 to celebrate his 50th birthday. I recommend this time frame because the parks were not crowded. Kids had just gone back to school so you mainly encountered families with young children or adults celebrating special occasions. The Dolphin is a conference hotel so it is huge but it is well planned and the elevators were great. The dÃ©cor is not Disney and much of the clientele is business but you do get the complimentary transportation to the parks, the extra magic hours and an excellent location. You can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios or take a boat- the Boardwalk is adjacent to the hotel. The pool facility is awesome and you have more food options than the less expensive Disney resorts. The room size was fine for 2 people although the bathroom might be a little tight if several people were in the room. I suspect these rooms will be refurbished soon as they are looking a tad worn. We stayed in room 8023. This room had a great view, no balcony but you did have to walk a bit to get to it. I would return to this hotel even with the $23 resort fee. The benefits outweigh the cons.
Pros:location, pool, food options, cost
Cons:large hotel, resort fee, no airport transportation
Reviewer: alfy Review Date: 12/09/2013
Rating: (8) Would Recommend:
The room was clean and well equipped. We found the decor dated with a faux '50s look and unchanged from when we stayed many years ago, many layers of paint on the walls. The restaurants here and at the Swan are uniformly great and folks staying anywhere in the Epcot area should take advantage of them. We also note that S and D are offering a fastpass plus service, where you make your choices at stations inside the parks. We didn't use the service this trip. Dolphin and Swan are our choices when the Disney Epcot resorts are fully booked or not offering advantageous rates.
Pros:Lots of elevators, friendly staff, great restaurants
Reviewer: amybosshard Review Date: 10/22/2013
Rating: (8) Would Recommend:
My husband and I just arrived home from a 5 night stay at the Dolphin (sans kids!) for the Food and Wine Festival. Overall we thought the hotel was great. Within walking distance to EPCOT, HS and the Boardwalk. It was so nice to be able to quickly walk over to the Boardwalk area for shopping, something to eat, or just the ambiance.
Check-in was a breeze, quick and efficient. We stayed using our Starwood points, so the total bill was $95, for the extra fees they charge. Our room was a king bed with a partial view of the boardwalk and Swan. If you craned your neck, you could watch the EPCOT fireworks.
The beds at the Dolphin are extremely heavenly! I have never slept so well at a hotel. And, am hoping to talk my husband into buying one!
We sat at the pool one afternoon and really enjoyed it. Although not themed (like other Disney resorts) it had exactly what you would want, and a slide for kids too. And, although we didn't order anything, there was sufficient staff walking around taking drink and food orders.
We ate at BlueZoo one evening. Delicious!! We also ordered ice cream from the Dolphin Fountain...so good...
The room is a little dated looking, but I felt the comfort of the bed far out-wayed the dated feel. On our first night, the toilet didn't flush, and someone came up within 2 minutes of a call to the front desk and fixed it quickly.
Now, for my only complaint. The hotel rooms have Starbucks coffee pods. I was sooo excited to see this, as I am a serious coffee drinker and need a strong cup of coffee in the morning. The only problem? The pods did not fit into the coffee maker they had (different make of machine), they were way too big. So, on my first morning, after making a complete mess (water and coffee everywhere) I stopped using it. Total bummer.
Overall, I would stay here again and can't wait to go back. Yes, it definitely feels a little convention/business like at times (especially at night when you have to walk through the bar to get to the hotels). But, I think the pros far out-way the cons!