Our ~Hoppin'~ Guide to Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

by Mommy Frog on January 16, 2024
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What if I told you I had a frogtastic Walt Disney World Resort location, where you can walk to EPCOT, easily access the BoardWalk, catch the fireworks from your room's balcony, enjoy top-notch pools and dining experiences (sushi with a side of karaoke, please!), and take advantage of on-site resort benefits ... all with a toadally reasonable price tag. It sounds like a dream, right? Hoppy news! It's real. With rates as low as $170 a night, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort checks all of the boxes, and saved Leap and I some green, too! There is also the new Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, adding even more room options to this convenient location. Want to know more? We've gathered everything you need to know about the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in this guide to help you get the jump on your next stay!

Guide to Walt Disney World Swan Reserve - View of Swan and Dolphin from the Vue

Frog Family Guide to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort


The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is actually comprised of three hotels: the Swan and the Dolphin (though you may hear some aficionados calling it the "Swolphin") and the new Swan Reserve. While they are different buildings, guests can use amenities interchangeably, and they are just a walkway away from one another. You can actually see all three hotels from EPCOT; their coral exterior and giant seafoam green fish and swan statues make them pretty easy to spot!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels - Walkway to hotel

Sitting next to the BoardWalk, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort offers 2,270 guest rooms on 87 acres (some of which is lakefront). With 15 restaurants between the two resorts, there's a wide variety of dining options at all price points (including character dining!). Swan Dolphin also offers on-site childcare, hoppin' recreation and a variety of free transportation options to get you where you need to go.

The newest addition to the lineup is the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. This new 14-story building offers 349 rooms, including 149 suites. There are four restaurants and lounges, as well as a pool and fitness center. Have a magical business trip? There is a business center, meeting rooms, two ballrooms, as well as a rooftop event space for wonderful views of the resort.

Swan and Dolphin Resort Rooms

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels - Swan king room

There are a few key similarities between rooms at the Swan and Dolphin. Rooms in both Swan and Dolphin include a minifridge, hair dryer, safe, television and lamps with charging stations. The beds are high enough off of the ground that you can stash your luggage beneath them, but there's also a luggage rack included in the closet (which is pretty spacious! We were able to fit the whole fam's luggage in there).

We especially love the bathrooms. One sink with a well-lit mirror is just outside of the bathroom door, with the toilet, shower and an additional sink on the other side. When you're traveling with froglets, this extra "prep space" is a huge advantage. (Who am I kidding! Even Leap and I took full advantage of one of us being able to brush our teeth while the other put on makeup.)

Swan Dolphin Resort - Balcony View

The key difference between the rooms at the Swan and Dolphin is the size of the bed(s) and the overall size of the room.

At the Dolphin (as low as $238 a night through Undercover Tourist), you'll find the following options:

  • Traditional King or two doubles
  • Family Room (King with sleeper sofa; L-shaped, larger room)

At the Swan (as low as $273 a night through Undercover Tourist), you'll find the following options:

  • Traditional Room (King with sleeper sofa or two queens)
  • Deluxe Room (King with sleeper sofa or two queens with balcony)
  • Family Room (King with sleeper sofa; L-shaped, larger room)

Both Swan and Dolphin offer suites, as well as rooms with fireworks views. The resort charges a daily resort fee, of $40 per day plus tax.

Transportation at the Swan and Dolphin Resort

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Bus

While not technically a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, Disney World buses do make stops at the Swan Dolphin. What's more, EPCOT is a quick walk down the BoardWalk, while Disney's Hollywood Studios is a bit farther, but still walkable ... or, you can hop on the Skyliner hub at EPCOT to fly into Hollywood Studios with flair (and give your legs a break)!

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Boat Launch

The Swan and Dolphin Resort also offers water taxi transportation to both EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with stops at destinations on the BoardWalk along the way (Leap's favorite mode of transportation ... can't keep him off of the water!). Truly, the quick walk or boat ride home from EPCOT after an evening at one of its amazing festivals, such as Food and Wine, cannot be beaten in terms of convenience.

Resort Amenities

Swan Dolphin Resort - Swan Lobby

Some of the biggest perks of staying at the Swan and Dolphin Resort are early theme park entry and early selection of individual Lightning Lanes through the new Disney Genie. The early entry is available to all Disney World hotel guests for 30 minutes at every park EVERY day! This allows you to hop on to those popular rides with fewer waits. Even better, the Swan and Dolphin Resort is included in the shorter list of deluxe resorts for Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, allowing even more time at select parks.

With individual Lightning Lanes for purchase, hotel guests can begin booking at 7 a.m., while general admission must wait until the park opens. This can be a crucial jump for popular rides like Tron Lightcycle Run or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Be sure to link your hotel reservation to your My Disney Experience account to take advantage of these benefits. To head into the parks early, you'll need to present your room key. (See all the benefits to staying on-site).

Note that Swan and Dolphin Resort guests do not have MagicBand hotel benefits, such as including your MagicBand acting as a room key or using it to charge to your room. If you're repeat Disney World visitors, you can link your tickets to a MagicBand from a previous trip to tap into the park and FastPass touchpoints. If it's your first trip and you'd like MagicBands, they can be purchased at many places on-site (including the Swan Dolphin gift shops) or in advance at ShopDisney.

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Dolphin Lobby

Additionally, Swan and Dolphin Resort offers:

  • Childcare
  • Gym
  • Merchandise delivery from the parks or World of Disney
  • Complimentary theme park parking
  • Health club
  • Spa
  • Game room
  • Business center
  • Concierge
  • 24-hour convenience store
  • 24-hour bell desk
  • Self and Valet parking
  • Coin-operated launderette
  • Airline boarding pass kiosks
  • National and Alamo rental car desk
  • Disney planning centers
  • ATM machines

Dining at the Swan and Dolphin Resort

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Fuel

Both Swan and Dolphin Resorts offer in-room, quick-service and table-service dining. Here are the restaurants available to fill up even the most finicky frog tummies:

  • Swan Signature Dining: Il Mulino, Kimonos
  • Dolphin Signature Dining: Shula's Steakhouse, Todd English's bluezoo
  • Swan Reserve Signature Dining: Amare
  • Swan Casual Dining: Garden Grove, Splash Pool Bar & Grill (located near the main pool area)
  • Dolphin Casual Dining: Fountain, Cabana Bar & Beach Club (located near the Dolphin lap pool), Fresh Mediterranean Market, Phins Lounge
  • Swan Reserve Casual Dining: Tangerine
  • Swan Quick Service Dining: Java Bar, Kimonos
  • Dolphin Quick Service Dining: Fuel, Picabu
  • Swan Reserve Quick Service Dining: Grounds

We were fortunate enough to try a handful of the dining options at Swan Dolphin, and we enjoyed all of them. The risotto at Il Mulino was delish, and was a nice, moderately priced date night option. Bluezoo was incredible, but the price point is a bit higher (we enjoyed a dinner there for our anniversary while Tad and Lily hung at Camp Dolphin — more on that below!).

Don't froget about that minifridge in your room to stash leftovers!

Fuel became a regular stop for us, from breakfast sandwiches to lunch salads, to soft serve ... you can find just about anything you need there for the whole fam at reasonable prices! Java Bar was an easy stop for morning, well, java. Lily's sweet tooth led us to try out ice cream at several different spots, including a good old-fashioned banana split at Fountain (for you frogs 21 and over, they also have some adult milkshakes that looked amazing!).

Recreation at the Swan and Dolphin Resort

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Pool with Waterfall

The Swan and Dolphin Resort has over three acres of pool and water areas, including a children's pool, four whirlpools and a waterslide. (There's also a little pool hut where you can find necessities such as sunscreen and swim diapers ... and fun additions such as animal pool floats!) You can also play a family game of basketball or volleyball at the on-site courts, or take a spin in a swan boat on the lake. Tadpoles looking to get the wiggles out can take their pick from a sand play area or a playground.

Camp Dolphin provides on-site childcare for children ages 5 to 12, letting parents to enjoy some child-free time from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Lily and Tad raved about the s'mores at Camp Dolphin and have asked (OK, a few times) to go back! Your kiddos do need to be potty trained to attend. There are three different timeframes and the cost to attend Camp Dolphin ranges from $65 to $100 per evening, per child, and a snack and/or dinner and take-home craft are included. Keep in mind that you must make reservations in advance.

Resort Trip Tips

Swan and Dolphin Resort - Phins and Feathers

  • If you love to hang by the pool, this isn't one to miss! The pools were each beautiful, large and not very crowded (which made for good tadpole splash time!). One of the highlights of our stay was taking the time to say "aaah."
  • Swan and Dolphin have their own celebration buttons! If you're celebrating, be sure to share at check-in.
  • We know we talked about ice cream earlier, but it bears repeating that you have lots of options for sweets, from traditional soda shop malts to DIY soft-serve ... including Dole whip at Fuel!
  • Remember that sushi and karaoke we mentioned? That hoppens at Kimonos beginning at 9 p.m., and it is lots of fun! (Leap rocked "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night.)
  • The resort has its own beer: Phins and Feathers.
  • If you're looking for some quick eats after a day at the pool (or the parks!), Fuel has several grab-and-go options. You can also get made-to-order sandwiches and salads, as well as some pre-packaged snacks. Fuel is another quick morning option!
  • With such a convenient location, don't be afraid to venture outside of on-site dining. You're a hop, skip and a jump away from the BoardWalk or even EPCOT or Disney's Hollywood Studios to grab some grub. Be sure to take advantage!
  • In the walkway between the two resorts, you can sometimes find a small light show! Colored lights illuminate the palm trees and move with the music piping through the speakers. Lily definitely stopped to jam out to "How Far I'll Go."
  • Don't froget to keep your eyes peeled for magical touches! From elevator door posters to character candy sculptures in Fuel, there's no shortage of hidden treats.

Have you stayed at the Swan and Dolphin Resort? What was your experience like? Did we miss any tips? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!

Related: Reasons to Stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments


Aug 14, 2023 at 8:01 p.m.
Kayla Says...

Can you bring your own food and drinks to the pool area (no glass of course)?

Sep 27, 2022 at 3:09 p.m.
Jennifer Says...

Staying at Dolphin in Dec and so confused about the Magicband + situation. First off, surprisingly my Disney Experience still has my 4 year old bands listed.ugh. not taking a change they will work so want to buy new. Is there a way to link a credit card for purchases for the kids to use instead of charging to room?

Sep 28, 2022 at 1 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

You can link a credit card in My Disney Experience to make in-app purchases including mobile orders and Genie+, but if you want to use the MagicBand+ to scan for purchases, it does need to be linked with a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation. At this time, MagicBands cannot be used for on-site purchases at Swan Dolphin.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 8, 2024 at 7:40 p.m.
Carol Says...

In your message to Jennifer in Sept of 2022, where she asked about magic bands and a stay at the Dolphin, you say "but if you want to use the MagicBand+ to scan for purchases, it does need to be linked with your hotel reservation."

Is it possible to do that since the Dolphin is not a Disney property? We'd like to be able to use the Magic Band for all purchases.

Apr 22, 2024 at 9:32 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol!

You are absolutely right - MagicBands cannot be used for purchase at Swan Dolphin. We'll update our response to Jennifer!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 8, 2022 at 7:23 p.m.
Garry Says...

Hi, thanks for the wonderful review! We are staying in the Dolphin hotel for our first ever trip to Disneyworld on the 16th of May (so close!). I was wondering about the spa and hoped you could answer a question. Are you allowed to use the spa even if you dont have any of the treatments done or is it a case that you have to have a treatment booked in order to use the facilities?

Any help would be great for us!

Thanks so much!

May 10, 2022 at 12:05 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Garry!

You would need to book a treatment in order to use the facilities.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog


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