Are you thinking of staying in the Walt Disney World Swan hotel? The Swan has an excellent location within walking distance of Disney’s Epcot. Whilst it is not owned by Disney itself (the resort is a Westin hotel) it does most of the benefits of a stay at a Disney resort hotel.
The Walt Disney World Swan has a sister hotel, the Dolphin. Very similar in design but of course with the dolphin as a theme, guests of each hotel can use the facilities in either hotel.
The big draw of course is location. It is a short walk or boat ride to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Staying onsite at Disney World is a great idea and it may be more within your budget than you imagine. The Walt Disney World Swan hotel is a luxury hotel but often has prices much lower than the other Disney deluxe hotels. So it is always worth checking out the prices when considering which Disney World hotel to choose.
The hotel itself is larger than life. The design is anything but subtle on the inside, but you may be glad to know that the inside is rather more what you would expect from a good Westin hotel. The Walt Disney World Swan hotel is not difficult to locate – you can see the 46 feet tall swans on the top of the building for quite a distance! The Michael Graves design is not to everyone’s taste but it is certainly innovative and very distinctive.
Walt Disney World Swan Hotel Rooms
There are 758 rooms at the Swan with a choice of views. The Standard views are the least expensive but in general the views are not great (often of either the roof or the parking lot). If you can upgrade to one of the Lake or Resort views. The very best views are of Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios. Some of the Epcot view rooms also have balconies.
The rooms are beautifully furnished to a high standard. The decor is contemporary with crisp white lined and muted tones. Each standard room has either a King or 2 Queen beds. As the Swan is a Westin hotel it features the excellent Heavenly Bed. I often stay in Westin hotels and always find that this is one of the most comfortable hotel beds available.
The standard rooms have everything you would expect from a high quality hotel. They have a 32″ flat screen TV, mini bar,safe and high speed internet access. The bathroom is standard and fairly small. The rooms are nicely furnished, but don’t expect any Disney touches.
The daily resort package is $10 per day and includes 60 minutes of local calls, 20 minutes of domestic calls, access to the Swan and Dolphin Health Clubs, internet access and two bottles of water.
The Disney Swan has a innovative environmental initiative which offers a $5 food and beverage voucher or 500 SPG Starpoints if you decline housekeeping.
One annoying charge is the parking fee. None of the Disney owned hotels charges a parking fee but this Westin owned hotel is $9 per day for self parking, $12 for valet and $16 for overnight. I know that hotels often still charge for parking in many areas but it really does just in my opinion annoy guests right for the very start. Why not charge a realistic room rate instead of adding resort and parking charges?
Members of the Westin SPG program should always check rates and benefits through this membership program. There may be discounts available.
Walt Disney World Swan Restaurants
The Swan and Dolphin have a good choice of Signature Dining restaurants. The Swan has Il Mulino New York Trattoria This restaurant features traditional Italian cuisine. The prices are very reasonable and the standard of the food is good. The menu offers traditional favorites pizza, risotto, pasta and steak. There are also Family Style options which are served for parties of 4 or more with choices such as Tortellini Alla Panna, Gnocchi Bolognese and Pappardelle with Tomato and Basil Sauce. No Italian meal would be complete without dessert. Choose from a good selection including Tiramisu, Cheesecake Italiano and Zabaglione.
If Japanese cuisine is more to your taste then be sure to visit Kimonos which offers a good selection of sushi.
In the Dolphin you will find Shula’s Steak House and Todd English’s bluezoo.
If you dine in a Signature Restaurant in either the Swan or Dolphin you can have 2 complimentary hours for the children in Camp Dolphin.
Within very easy walking distance of the Walt Disney World Swan are the restaurants of Disney’s Boardwalk and the Epcot resort hotels. And of course you are also very close to the fabulous restaurant choices in Epcot’s World Showcase.
The Swan also has casual dining choices including Garden Grove character dining restaurant. Dine with Rafiki and Timon on Monday and Friday, or Goofy and Pluto all other evenings. You can breakfast with Goofy and Pluto on Saturday and Sunday. This is one of the quieter Disney character buffets and you may find you can get reservations here simply because it is the least known of all.
One of my favorite Disney buffet restaurants is Fresh Mediterranean Market in The Dolphin hotel. This buffet offers lots of healthy options and a particularly good juice selection for breakfast and lunch.
If you just want a quick snack then head to the Java Bar in the Swan. It offers coffee and pastries. The Splash Grill is open seasonally and features pizza, snacks, coffee and ice cream.
There are more choices in the Dolphin including the Picabu which is a quick service dining venue serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, cafeteria style. The Splash Terrace is a pool side snack bar which is also open seasonally.
Walt Disney World Swan Recreation
The Swan has one of the best pools in any of the Disney World resort hotels. The 3 acre Grotto is a beautiful pool with tropical landscape, waterfalls, a slide and hot tubs. It is a fabulous place for the family to have fun or simply to relax around the pool. Both the Swan and the Dolphin also have a lap pool.
There is a huge sandy beach at the side of the lake. You can rent watercraft or just sit on the beach on one of the sun loungers.
If you want to be a little more active there is a health club at both the Swan and the Dolphin. Or you can play tennis on one of the 4 tennis courts. Fantasia Gardens which offers two 18 hole golf challenges is just across the road from the Swan.
Camp Dolphin offers supervised activities for children aged 4-12 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. It is $10 per child per hour. Space is limited and reservations are required. If you need to cancel then do so at least 2 hours prior or you will be charged in full.
Walt Disney World Swan Transportation
It is easy to walk to both Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios. The walk to Epcot is around 10 minutes and to Hollywood Studios around 20 minutes. If you want to save your energy for the theme parks (and you probably will) then the easiest way is to take one of the boats for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Access to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney are by bus service.
If you are staying at the Swan then think carefully whether you really do need a car. Remember that parking charge and also keep in mind which parks you will be visiting. It really is a breeze to get to Epcot and Holllywood Studios.
Overall the Walt Disney World Swan offers a great choice for those on a Disney vacation. The location is excellent, the rooms are of a good standard, although nothing particularly special, but the price is often very tempting. So always have a look at the rates and of course if you want us to help you then just Contact Us for completely free advice and help.
Disney World Character Dining
Sunday 27th of November 2011
[...] known character breakfasts and there are character appearances only on Saturday and Sundays in the Walt Disney World Swan hotel. The price is $20.99 for adults and $12.99 for children. There is a good selection of [...]