9 Reasons to Stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

You’ve probably seen the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, which sits on Crescent Lake offering easy, walkable access to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Many Disney World guests recognize and remember this pair of hotels for their distinctive buildings. Both resorts were designed by world-renowned architect Michael Graves. Plus, they are topped off with statues of swans and dolphins that grace the Disney skyline.

In addition to their distinct design and fun statues, we’ve come up with nine reasons why you might want to consider the Swan or Dolphin for your next Disney World vacation.

1. Location, Location, Location — and Transportation

The golden rule in real estate is location, and the Swan and Dolphin are home to an ideal location in Disney World. You can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios easily.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Located on Epcot’s Crescent Lake

When you walk to Epcot from the Swan or Dolphin you’ll enter the park through International Gateway, which is a little less congested than the main front entrance to the park, so it saves you time as well. When entering through International Gateway you’ll find yourself between the France and United Kingdom pavilions, so if you are going to Epcot for any of their festivals (Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden, etc.), this is a great point of entry and puts you in the heart of the action.

As a Swan and Dolphin guest you can also take advantage of the Disney FriendShip boat service that transports guests to and from Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk Entertainment and Dining District, the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and of course, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.

And that’s not all! Swan and Dolphin Guests can use the Disney bus transportation system that connects you to all four theme parks and Disney Springs!

2. An Amazing Variety of Dining Options

Between the two hotels you can choose from 12 dining locations ranging from Signature Dining to Quick-Service locations. Plus, there are five lounges where you can kick back, enjoy a drink or light bite and relax after a day in the parks.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Shula’s Steakhouse

Signature Dining includes Shula’s Steakhouse, Il Mulino, Kimonos, and celebrity chef Todd English’s bluezoo. The casual location Garden Grove offers a Character Meal every night at dinner and at breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. The 24-hour Picabu buffeteria in the Dolphin also has a grab-and-go area, while quick service locations include the Java Bar, where you can get your cup of coffee, espresso or latte along with a freshly baked pastry.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Garden Grove Character Dining

Plus, if you’re a AAA member or belong to Disney’s Tables in Wonderland, be sure to ask for a member discount as several of the locations at each resort offer discounts.

3. Discounts You Can’t Always Get at Disney

The Swan and Dolphin offer AAA discounts and packages that you can not get at a Disney resort. In addition, the Swan and Dolphin offer discount programs for Teachers, School Support Staff, and Nurses.

Florida Residents can also enjoy special rates and packages at the Swan and Dolphin.

4. Go Ahead — Pamper Yourself at Mandara Spa

Vacation is a time to unwind and relax. What better way to do that than by  treating yourself to spa services at the Swan and Dolphin‘s world-class Mandara Spa?

Mandara Spa lounging area

Whether you’re looking for a manicure, pedicure, or massage Mandara Spa is ready to help you enjoy your time off and away from home. Services include:

  • A variety of massages
  • Facials for men and women
  • Wraps and Body Polishes
  • Asian Bathing Rituals
  • Salt Glows
  • Manicures and Pedicures

5. Camp Dolphin Child Care Center

If you’re looking for a quiet night, a special dinner, or time in the spa, you can take that time thanks to Camp Dolphin.

Camp Dolphin, which is open nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight., provides hours of nonstop fun for children ages 4 through 12. Camp Dolphin programs are fully supervised and include arts, crafts, movies, board games, video games, and nightly themed activities. The cost is $12 per hour, per child. A kids’ meal from Picabu can be included for an additional $10.

If you enjoy your night off at at Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo or Il Mulino New York Trattoria or treat yourself to a pampering service at Mandara Spa you can receive up to two hours of complimentary time at Camp Dolphin. Simply present your receipt as proof of purchase at time of child pickup. (NOTE: One child admitted for each adult entrée purchased. One child admitted for each purchase of a spa treatment of 75 minutes or more.)

6. Special Events Year-Round Hosted at the Swan and Dolphin

It feels like there is always something special going on at the Swan and Dolphin! You can…

2018 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Christmas Display — made out of Chocolate!

7. Pools, Mini Golf, Grottos, Paddle Boats, Tennis Courts… and so many more ways to relax and have fun!

The Swan and Dolphin feature five heated pools plus whirlpools, fountains, waterfalls, and a white sand beach.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Pools and Beach

The recreation and activity offerings at the Swan and Dolphin include:

  • Grotto Pool with Waterfalls and Water Slide
  • Two Lap Pools (one was was recently named #1 of 10 hotel lap pools in the country by AthleticMindedTraveler.com)
  • Spring Pool
  • Kiddie Pool
  • Four Whirlpools
  • Water Volleyball
  • Watercraft Rentals
  • White Sand Beach
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Beachside Playground
  • Basketball Hoops
  • Tennis Courts
  • and more

Plus, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf is located across the street from the resorts.

8. Special Disney Benefits 

As a guest of the Swan and Dolphin you will get to enjoy many benefits reserved for guests of Disney resorts. Benefits include:

  • Booking FastPass+ Selections 60 days in advance of your trip
  • Extra Magic Hours in the parks
  • Free Transportation (remember the FriendShips and Disney Buses in #1 above)
  • On-Site Disney Cast Members in the Disney Planning Center can help you get the most out of your vacation
  • Character Dining (see the Garden Grove in #2 above)
  • Advance Tee Times at Disney Golf Courses
  • Free package delivery to the resort for purchases made in the parks
  • Free parking at Disney Parks

9. Enjoy a Newly Renovated Lobby and Resort Rooms

The Dolphin hotel just completed a renovation of its lobby, with the Swan lobby renovation underway. In addition, the rooms at both hotels were refurbished over the last few years.

The Cove — A New Tower Hotel Coming to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts


And they aren’t done yet. They just broke ground on a brand new addition to the resorts, The Cove. This will  just add to the list here — more dining, more recreation, more, more, and so much more!

Have you stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin? Let us know about your stay in the comments below, and remember to leave your review in our Rate and Review section!

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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3 Replies to “9 Reasons to Stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort”

  1. We stayed at The Dolphin several years ago & loved it. The only negative was no Magical Express service. Just something to keep in mind as an extra expense when staying at Swan or Dolphin.

  2. We stayed at both last year for a long weekend, one night at Dolphin and 3 at Swan. Service was amazing. I took my son (13) and his friend and they loved being able to walk to Boardwalk, Epcot & even Hollywood Studios. The breakfast buffet at the Dolphin rivaled any other character buffet and his friend received a First Visit pin. Definitely a vacation we’ll never forget

  3. Stayed at the swan two weeks ago and it was great. Other than not receiving a magic band,all other amenities was great. Short walk to the boardwalk and Epcot was also sweet. Highly recommend the swan hotel for your stay at Disney.