Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Deluxe Resort
The name of the resort tells all. Think tropical, aquatic, and colorful. From the moment that you see the Dolphin for the first time, you’ll be in awe. The hotel consists of a 27-story main building and tower and four nine-story wings that house the 1,509 guest rooms. Coral and turquoise adorn the exterior of the hotel, as do giant banana leaves. Two 56-foot Dolphin fountains rest atop the hotel. You can actually see the pyramid shaped tower from many places in WDW!
The surrounding grounds of the Dolphin are lush with vegetation and plant life. There is a small body of water with a white sand beach between the Dolphin and Swan that adds to the tropical theming. Crescent Lake is located to the left of the Dolphin and provides easy access by boat to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fountain between the hotel and the boat landing is absolutely breathtaking, especially at night. The fountain is several stories high and water flows from giant seashells into the fountain, which is supported by giant dolphins. The pyramid shaped tower provides an outstanding backdrop.
You’ve never seen a lobby like the one at the Dolphin! When you look up, the lobby seems to reach the sky. Since the 2017 major renovation, the focal point is now a full-fledged lobby bar called “Phins” with a gorgeous chandelier.
Since the Dolphin isn’t a Disney Resort, do I still get the Disney resort amenities?
Guests at the Dolphin enjoy many of the same amenities as Disney–operated resort guests. A stay at the Dolphin includes WDW transportation to all Disney attractions, theme park free parking, guaranteed park admission, package delivery to your hotel from the parks, preferred tee times, access to theme park Extra Magic Hours, and access to guest services. If you’re staying at the Dolphin you can also purchase your Disney tickets right there at their guest services desk.
However, unlike other Disney resorts, charging privileges don’t extend beyond the Swan and Dolphin. All purchases and dining expenses at both the Swan and the Dolphin, can be charged to your pre-arranged account.
Starwood Preferred Guests can earn miles, inquire at check-in.
What are the advantages of staying at the Dolphin?
Location, Location, Location! The Dolphin’s proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios make it an outstanding choice for a stay in WDW. In addition, the dining options are nearly endless! Not only do you have the Swan and Dolphin’s restaurants & lounges, but also those at the BoardWalk and the Yacht and Beach Clubs nearby. Epcot’s fabulous restaurants are just a stroll away, too.
The BoardWalk’s entertainment complex is practically in your backyard if the urge to dance or listen to dueling pianos suddenly hits you.
Fantasia Gardens, a miniature golf complex, is just a hop across the parking lot.
What are the rooms like?
All guest rooms at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort offer a fresh, contemporary look that reflects a luxurious sophistication designed by world-renowned architect, Michael Graves.
The centerpiece of these rooms is The Westin Heavenly Bed® – featuring a pillow-top mattress, a white goose-down comforter, and four overstuffed pillows. You don’t just sleep in it, you lose yourself in it! In addition, custom designed carpeting and draperies, accented by a Graves-designed insignia, compliment the designer wall coverings and make the Swan and Dolphin a richly appointed Disney resort.
The bathroom is spacious with a separate vanity area. The drawer and closet space is ample enough for even those of us that always take too much! There is a small sitting area with a table and two chairs. Rooms also have in-room safes, two phones, voice mail, hair dryers, ironing board and iron, and small fridge. For an additional fee, in-room movies and Nintendo are available.
Is there a resort fee?
Yes, there is a mandatory resort services package. As of April 2018 the cost is $28 per day plus tax and includes the following:
- In room High-Speed Internet Access
- Unlimited local calls and domestic (US mainland) long distance calls are now included.
- Unlimited access to the Resort’s health club facilities; including 24 hour access to Dolphin Health Club
- Two bottles of WDW Swan and Dolphin Resort water daily (provided in the room)
- Complimentary daily scheduled fitness classes
- Complimentary daily scheduled recreational resort and pool activities
- $25 off spa services of $100 or more during each day of your visit at Mandara Spa
- Complimentary Swan Paddle Boat rentals
- Complimentary S’mores Fun Kit each day of your stay to be used at the evening Campfire & S’mores event
I heard there’s a charge to park at the resort — is this true?
Yes, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts charge for self-parking as well as valet parking. Self parking rate is $23 per day (plus tax) and Valet is $33 per day (plus tax). Additional charges may apply for resort guests who are not staying at the Swan and Dolphin. Some sit-down restaurants will validate parking so be sure to inquire.
When can I check in?
Check in time at the Dolphin is 3 p.m. Early check in is available if your room is ready; if not, luggage storage is available for later check in. Check out time is 11 a.m. Guests can usually check out no later than 12:30 pm without penalty. Late check-outs are until 4 p.m. and are $30 extra… any later than that you’ll be charged for a half-day (unless you stay for an additional night, then it is a full day’s charge).
Starwood Preferred Guests can earn miles, inquire at check-in.
I want to be pampered during my stay!
In addition to deluxe accommodations, the Dolphin also offers special extras that make your stay a real pleasure. Each room has a 32″ flat panel TV with 30 channels of your favorite HD programming including Showtime® and ESPN®. Also available are: valet parking, valet and laundry service, concierge desk, bell service, hair salon, 24-hour room service, laundry facilities on the 1st floor, and an in-room video game system. The Dolphin also is home to the luxurious Mandara Spa.
Are discounts available at the Dolphin?
Yes, for a complete listing of Discounts at the WDW Swan and Dolphin Resort Click Here!
Your Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership card will net you a 20% discount on food purchased at the Swan and Dolphin table down restaurants, however Shula’s and bluezoo are excluded.
Many of the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin are eligible for the Tables in Wonderland discount. Some also take AAA and Disney Vacation Club.
Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest Club should inquire as to the benefits available to them.
Resort packages are available which include lodging, meals and Disney admission tickets. To reserve your package, call (888) 828-8850.
Are refrigerators available?
Yes. Dolphin rooms no longer have a mini-bar; they include a small refrigerator at no extra charge. In addition, the hotel offers a service called Personal Pantry, which allows you to order snacks and beverages and have them delivered to your room’s mini-refrigerator. You simply complete the menu provided and present it to the front desk agent at check-in. These menus are also available in your guest room so you can place your order at your convenience. Items will be delivered to your room at any designated time. Charges for the items are moderate, and they will be added to your room bill. There are no delivery or service charges. Personal Pantry service is available 24 hours a day.
Where can I get my morning cup of coffee?
Single-serve coffee makers and coffee are available in the rooms. Starbucks Coffee is served at Fresh, the Fountain and Picabu. Fuel is a quick-service cafe and market offering coffee, sandwiches and snacks, open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. If you’re more partial to gourmet coffees and lattes, there is a coffee bar called the Lobby Court at the Swan; however it is expensive and has limited hours.
How does the Telephone System work at the Dolphin?
Each room is equipped with two 2-Line Speaker Phones. Instructions for accessing the voicemail system are provided in the room.
How do I get to…?
Dolphin guests enjoy full use of all of the WDW transportation services. Buses run directly from the front of the hotel to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. Some of the buses service only Swan and Dolphin resorts; others service the Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club as well.
Epcot can be reached by catching a Friendship launch (boat) from the courtyard between the Swan and Dolphin, or by taking a short stroll across the BoardWalk and to Epcot’s International Gateway and World Showcase. The walk takes about 10 minutes.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be reached one of two ways; via the Studios Friendship launch or by walking. The boat launch is found in the courtyard between the Swan and Dolphin. Note that Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios launches are shared with the Yacht & Beach Clubs and the BoardWalk. If you miss the launch to Epcot, you can easily walk over and catch it at the BoardWalk or the Yacht Club. The walking path begins directly behind the Boardwalk’s Atlantic Dance Hall and continues to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Parking lot. It’s a pleasant walk except during extremely hot or rainy weather.
Transportation to the other Disney resorts can be somewhat trickier. We found that the bus drivers knew the most about getting from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. Some trips will involve a trip to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then on to your destination, others may not. Allow yourself 45 minutes to an hour for travel time between resorts, just to be safe.
Mears town cars are also available should you want a ride directly to another Disney resort. The valet can assist you with getting a car. They are usually parked out front and will pick you up in minutes. Standard fee from the Dolphin to anywhere else on Disney property (resorts, parks, Disney Springs) is $16 plus gratuity. Four people can fit and share a ride. The town cars are useful when dressed for dinner and traveling to another Disney resort.
What type of dining options are there?
There is something for everyone at the Swan and Dolphin restaurants. If you have special dietary needs; please check with the restaurant staff upon arrival so that they can accommodate you.
- Shula’s Steakhouse – an elegant steakhouse decorated in heavy dark woods. Located on the lobby level, reservations are accepted. Shula’s serves dinner only. (Dolphin)
- Fresh Mediterranean Market serves breakfast (buffet) and lunch (open seasonally), a great option for something different. (Dolphin)
- Todd English’s bluezoo, a seafood restaurant by Todd English, opened late December 2003, open for late lunch and dinner. (Dolphin)
- Dolphin Fountain serves ice cream, shakes and burgers and other casual fare. The Dolphin Fountain is open for lunch and dinner and is located on the lower level. (Dolphin)
- Picabu is a cafeteria service and a 24-hour convenience store located downstairs at the Dolphin. (Dolphin)
- The Cabana Bar & Beach Club is located near the pool and is a casual eatery. Burgers and salads are the standard fare here. The Cabana is open daily. (Dolphin)
- Garden Grove serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily in a garden gazebo setting. The Garden Grove at the Swan offers a morning character breakfast buffet. Lunch offerings include fresh seafood and other grilled meats. Desserts are made in an open kitchen, and watching the chefs through the window is an interesting stop on the way in or out of the restaurant. (Swan)
- Kimonos offers Asian specialties and sushi. You can watch the sushi chefs prepare the food and relax and have a drink while you wait for your meal. Kimonos is only open during the dinner hours. Karaoke is also available nightly at Kimonos after 9 p.m. (Swan)
- Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring Italian cuisine, opened February 2007 (Swan).
- Splash Grill is the casual restaurant for hamburgers, hot dogs and such. Located near the pool, Splash Grill also offers a full bar, ice creams and snacks. Splash Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. (Swan)
- Fuel is a quick service cafe and market offering coffee, sandwiches and snacks, open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. (Dolphin)
- Room Service is available 24 hours a day. Breakfast, all-day dining and late night menus are available.
Everybody loves a swimming adventure!
The Dolphin and Swan share a magnificent swimming complex. You’ll have your choice of two lap pools or the tropical “Grotto” to satisfy all of the water lovers. One lap pool is located near the Dolphin and the other is located near the Swan. Both have hot tubs, away from the liveliness of the “Grotto”.
The Grotto is a 3-acre water playground complete with waterfalls, slides, water volleyball, and hot tubs. Tropical foliage surrounds the Grotto area, and the white sand beach nearby make it a perfect place to relax or have fun. DJ’s are on hand to help keep the area lively and fun by playing great music and starting group games. A kiddie pool is near the Grotto for the little guys. Pool toys are also available for rent.
The pools are open daily 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. The water slide is open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Towels are provided poolside or are available at the health clubs.
What can I do besides eat, sleep, and swim at the Dolphin?
Recreational activities at the Dolphin and Swan complex are nearly endless.
There is a beautiful white sand beach with Swan paddleboat rentals seasonally. The beach is quiet and peaceful in the hours after dark, which makes for a romantic spot. There are 4 tennis courts and a basketball court that are kept lighted throughout the night, for those that still have energy left over after a day at the parks. A large play area for children is located near the Grotto. A jogging and walking path winds around the Dolphin and Swan. Add to that the boardwalk around Crescent Lake (near the Yacht & Beach Clubs and the BoardWalk), and you’ll have quite an extensive walk or jog.
There are two health clubs servicing the complex — one at the Dolphin and one at the Swan. Massage therapy and Body Treatments are available for a fee at the health clubs.
The Mandara Spa is a 12,000 sq. foot ancient Asian-inspired retreat. There are 13 treatment rooms, two couple’s suites, a steam room, Tea Garden and Meditation Garden. Click HERE for photos of this attractively appointed spa.
For those who like their indoor activities a little less strenuous, there is a video game room on the lower level.
Fantasia Gardens is a few minutes walk away. This miniature golf adventure opened in the spring of 1996, and includes two 18-hole courses. There is something for everyone– fun and Disney magic on the Fantasia Gardens course and a more challenging game on Fantasia Fairways.
Don’t forget to explore activities offered at the nearby BoardWalk and Yacht & Beach Clubs.
Solutions for the “I want” and “I need” syndrome.
Disney Cabanas – merchandise from the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as sundries. Located at the Swan.
Disney Gift Shop – merchandise from the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as sundries. Located at the Dolphin.
Accents – Boutique offering resort wear, swimwear accessories, and unique gifts from Quicksilver, Vera Bradley, and others. Located in the Dolphin.
Cabana Beach Hut – A convenient poolside kiosk, providing all of the essentials for a day of sun-drenched fun. Located in between the Dolphin lap pool and the Grotto Pool.
Mandara Spa – professional spa products from European skin and hair care brands: Elemis, La Therapie, Ionithermie and Steiner. Located at the Dolphin.
Picabu – 24-hour convenience store stocked with food items and sundries. Located at the Dolphin.
Fuel – offers take-away, pre-packaged food items, as well as candy, coffee and more. Located in the Dolphin.
Can any of the fireworks be seen from the Dolphin?
Yes, fireworks from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the IllumiNations display at Epcot can be seen from the Dolphin. Of course, upper floors offer the best view from your room; but viewing from outside is great, also. The beach is also a good spot to watch the Epcot fireworks.
The adults would like an evening alone!
Camp Dolphin is available to children ages 4-12 from 5 pm to midnight. It includes nightly themed activities, video and arcade games, arts and crafts, and Disney movies. The cost is $15 per child per hour. A kid’s meal from Picabu can be included for an additional $10. Reservations are required and cancellation less than 2 hours prior will result in a full charge. The programs are staffed by counselors. Camp Dolphin is located in the Dolphin hotel on the first floor next to the Health Studio.
NOTE: If you dine in a signature restaurant (excluding Kimonos), or purchase a 75-minute or longer spa treatment at Mandara Spa, you can receive two complimentary hours in Camp Dolphin for your child. Ask for details when making your reservation.
Visit our Childcare FAQ for more info, as well as info on private baby-sitting services.
The Dolphin has very impressive convention facilities. Between the Dolphin and the Swan there is 254,000 square feet of meeting space, a 56,000 square foot exhibit hall, 72 meeting rooms, 3 ballrooms, and 3 boardrooms. Business services are available not only to conventioneers, but also to all of the Dolphin guests. All room have internet access. For more information on convention facilities or convention planning, call the meeting specialist at (800) 524-4939.
How do I get to the resort?
Check our Driving Directions page: http://allears.net/pl/directions.php
Directions from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts:
Follow the signs for the South Exit from the airport to pick up SR417 South (also called the Central Florida GreeneWay) toward Disney World. Once on SR417, you’ll have 2 toll plazas for $1 each. After the 2nd toll, take exit 6 (SR 536/International Drive). Go straight through two sets of traffic lights (first intersection will be International Drive; second will be SR535) which will put you on SR536. Continue straight on this road and go straight through the next set of lights. You will pass the Marriott Orlando World Center on the right and the Holiday Inn Family Suites on the left, then I-4.
Just after I-4, you’ll pass under the WDW welcome arch. After passing under the WDW welcome arch, follow the signs for Disney’s Hollywood Studios/Epcot Resort area — it will be the 2nd exit after the arch. This will put you on Buena Vista Drive. Stay in the middle lane. Follow Buena Vista Drive straight. You will pass Caribbean Beach Resort on your left and the Boardwalk Resort on your right. Get over to the right hand lane as you pass the Boardwalk. Turn right at the next set of lights (Epcot Resorts Boulevard). The Swan will be the first street on the right. The Dolphin will be down a little further on the right.
NOTE: Epcot Resorts Boulevard is a horseshoe shaped street that intersects with Buena Vista Drive in two places. The above directions send you to the second occurrence of the street. If you mistakingly turn onto the first occurrence, you can continue driving down Epcot Resorts Boulevard that way and the Dolphin will be on your left about a mile down and the Swan will be a little further than that also on your left.
How can I make reservations for the Dolphin?
The Dolphin’s vital information.
The Walt Disney World Dolphin
1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-2653
What other basic services are available?
- The ATM Machine is located on the lobby level by the East elevator.
- Airline Boarding Passes can be printed at the kiosk located near the Concierge Desk.
- Newspaper (usually USA Today) is delivered to your room weekday mornings.
- The Cashier at the front desk will cash personal and traveler’s checks up to $100.
- The Concierge Desk can assist with: airline reservations, babysitting referrals, church services, notary public, flowers, limousine service
- For Facsimile Services, visit the Business Center, open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Contact the shipping desk to assist in mailing packages or overnight letters.
- Stamps are available at the Front Desk
Tips for making the most of your stay at the Dolphin.
- Be aware that the rooms at the Dolphin feature two double beds, not queen size as most other resorts!
- For the convenience of Japanese-speaking guests, two information desks are located in the Guest Services Alcove off the main lobby.
- The Dolphin hosts many conventions and also tends to be popular with foreign tour groups. If this might affect your stay, be sure to check with the reservationist to see if this is the case during your stay.
- If you miss the Friendship launch to Epcot, you can easily walk to the Yacht Club or BoardWalk and catch it there. If you miss the Friendship launch for the Studios you’ll have to wait for the next launch, as the Swan and Dolphin stop is the last.
- The Disney Springs bus route is shared between the Dolphin, Swan, Yacht Club, Beach Club and the BoardWalk. The buses tend to become crowded from about 10 p.m. until 1 a.m.
- There is a National/Alamo Car Rental desk located in the Dolphin Lobby.
- Mears Towncars can be found outside the front door if you need a taxi. Cost to Disney Springs is about $16 plus gratuity. Four of us found this much more convenient than waiting for the Disney bus.
By fall 2011, all guest rooms were enhanced with new earth tones and warm hues, including custom draperies and upgraded technology.
In late 2006, a $60 million dollar redesign of the lobbies was completed. Both resort lobbies boast over 1,000 new custom lighting fixtures, including dramatic chandeliers artistically crafted in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Woven metal and handcrafted tropical Pao rosewood paneling complete the newly refurbished space, as well as imported Asian Golden Onyx counters on all guest service desks throughout the resort.
In 2003, the WDW Swan and Dolphin hotels completed a $75 million expansion and enhancement plan. The plan included: new meetings and exhibit space; an all-new guestroom design by renowned architect Michael Graves – the original architect of the hotel; and the introduction of a new, nationally recognized restaurant to its existing line-up of dining venues. All of the rooms at the Swan have been totally renovated and feature the new Heavenly Beds!