view of the swan and dolphin resort at disney world

I love staying at the Swan and Dolphin.Megan duBois

  • My family of 3 stayed at Marriott’s Swan and Dolphin Resort for $300 a night.

  • It’s one of my favorite resorts at Disney World, and it’s close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

  • There are multiple pools, theme-park perks, transportation options, and other amenities

Although it’s on Disney World property, the resort is owned by Marriott.

view of the swan and dolphin resort from under and outdoor water sculpture

You can use and bank Marriott rewards points during your visits.Megan duBois

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin — comprised of the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve hotels — is actually operated by Marriott.

That means you can accrue and use Marriott points when you stay here.

The pricing for all three hotels is the same in terms of Marriott points — they’re all category-six properties, which range from 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott points a night.

Checking in was a breeze.

exterior shot of the swan and dolphin hotel at disney world

I like that there isn’t a ton of Disney decor.Megan duBois

After driving down the always-backed-up I-4 from Jacksonville, check-in at the resort went smoothly.

Each of the hotel’s lobbies is beautiful, with plenty of space to hang out if you arrive early before your room is ready.

There’s a notable lack of Disney decor around the resort complex, but I appreciate that. After spending a full day at Magic Kingdom, the last thing I want to see is Mickey Mouse emblazoned on photographs in my room.

Most of the rooms offer stunning views.

view out the window at a room at the swan and dolphin at disney world

There are nice views all around the complex.Megan duBois

No matter which hotel I stay at of the three, most rooms offer stunning views of Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Disney BoardWalk, or the resort pools.

I always select the traditional room with a resort view. These rooms come with two double/queen beds or one king bed and a sofa bed.

During my most recent trip, I stayed at Disney’s Swan Reserve and had a king bed, a large flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, and a single-cup Keurig coffee maker. There was also a beautiful bathroom with a stand-up shower, a single vanity, and plenty of complimentary toiletries.

Balconies are hard to get at these three hotels. Only a few rooms have them at both the Swan and the Dolphin, and the Swan Reserve doesn’t have any rooms with balconies.

This is one downside to staying at this resort complex versus a Disney-owned hotel, like Yacht Club, where every room has a balcony.

The pools are a major plus at the Swan and Dolphin.

one of the pool areas at the swan and dolphin resort disney world

There are five different pools in the resort complex.Megan duBois

There are five heated pools between the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve that anyone staying on the resort property can use.

There’s no pool-hopping allowed at other Disney resorts, but I love that I can bounce between pools at these hotels if one gets too busy or the vibe dies.

My favorite pool is actually at the Swan Reserve because it’s secluded and offers a more adult atmosphere compared to the party-like grotto pool that’s central to the Swan and Dolphin.

I also love that the pool at the Swan Reserve comes with complimentary treats, like orange ice pops, which are passed out throughout the day.

The location is ideal for theme-park fans.

view out the window from one of the rooms at swan and dolphin resort at disney world

You can see Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios from some of the rooms.Megan duBois

The real perk of staying at the Swan and Dolphin hotels is the location. They’re about a 15-minute walk from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

The Swan Reserve is set just across the street from the Swan and Dolphin, so it doesn’t have as direct of a path to the theme parks, but the walk is still only about 20 minutes.

When I don’t feel like walking because it’s hot or I’m tired at the end of the night, there are complimentary boat rides to and from both parks via the Disney Friendship Boats. These boats also stop at the BoardWalk and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts.

The boats take a little bit longer, but they’re a nice service. If you want to get to the other parks, you can hop on a Disney bus.

Guests still get to experience the special Disney services offered at other resorts.

Disney World Magic Kingdom entrance

If you don’t want to take Disney transportation, you get free parking at the theme parks.Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

One of the many reasons I continue to stay at the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve is that my family and I get a lot of the same benefits of staying at a Disney-owned hotel — without the hefty price.

The benefits include transportation to the parks via bus or boat, 30 minutes of early theme-park entry, two hours of extended park time in the evenings, and free parking at Disney theme parks.

There are a whopping 22 restaurants and lounges.

pizza from amare at disney swan and dolphin resort

Flatbread from Amare at Swan and Dolphin.Megan duBois

One of my favorite parts about going to Disney World is being able to try so many different foods, and at the Swan and Dolphin Resort, there are 22 different restaurants and lounges.

When I want a more casual dinner, I always go to the Il Mulino Lounge at the Swan, where I sit at the bar to get one of the restaurant’s signature pizzas.

My favorite is the bianca, which comes loaded with ricotta cream, roasted garlic, feta and provolone cheeses, rosemary-infused olive oil, and fresh oregano.

For a special occasion, I make my way to the newest restaurant in the hotel complex, Amare at the Swan Reserve. The Mediterranean-style restaurant boasts fresh seafood and hand-tossed flatbreads.

I love the grilled mahi, which comes with Tuscan kale and cauliflower. The Amare flatbread is also a big hit with my family since it’s topped with potatoes, bacon, and Gruyère cheese.

I love staying at the Swan and Dolphin.

megan holding an ice pop at the pool at swan and dolphin

There are free treats at the pool.Megan duBois

As a theme-park journalist, I’ve stayed at my fair share of hotels around the country, but I always come back to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

My recent stay with my family of three ended up costing about $300 a night, but it was well worth the money.

Overall, the location, amenities, and Marriott benefits make the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve hotels some of my favorites at Disney World.

Read the original article on Insider

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