10 Things to Know About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

With one of the best locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is ultra convenient, in walking distance to two theme parks. The resorts also come with 17 restaurants, benefits exclusive to Disney resort guests, and more! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know for your next stay.


1. Starwood

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is part of the Starwood Hotels Group. While the resort is located (in one of the most convenient locations) on Disney property, it’s actually managed by Starwood. For guests with Starwood Preferred, this partnership can really work to your advantage as staying at the resort is the best way to earn and redeem rewards during a Disney vacation.

2. Disney resort guest benefits

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort comes with a host of benefits exclusive to Disney resort guests. During a stay at the resort, you can still take advantage of Extra Magic Hours and enjoy select late night or early morning hours in the parks, complimentary transportation between the resort and the parks, complimentary package pickup, and the ability to reserve FastPasses 60 days in advance. So what’s missing? Disney’s Magical Express and the Disney Dining Plan are not available at the resort, though for many guests staying here the added Starwood benefits plus the location and amenities make this a fair trade off.

3. Location

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has one of the best locations of any resort on Disney property. The resort is located in the Epcot Resort Area in walking distance to both Epcot via the International Gateway in World Showcase and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additionally, all of the resorts in this area are in very easy walking distance of one another. So stays at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts come with lots to do on days when you’d rather not use a park ticket, since Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Boardwalk Inn are all right in your backyard.


4. Signature dining

Some of the best signature dining experiences on property are located at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Todd English’s Blue Zoo is a favorite in the Epcot Resort Area, and Shula’s Steakhouse is routinely praised for the quality of meats and ambiance. Il Mulino at the Swan side of the resort serves impeccable Italian cuisine, andall of these options combined with more casual and the quick service restaurants means that this resort really does have something for everyone.  

5. Casual dining

A host of casual dining selections await guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort including character dining at the Garden Grove and classic soda shop treats at Fountain. The resorts also come with pool bars, grab and go offerings, and 24 hour room service.

6. Amenities

These resorts offer some of the best values for the Epcot Resort Area in terms of amenities. The Mandara Spa is a favorite among guests, and you’re always sure to get a good night’s sleep with the resort’s “Heavenly Beds.” The Resort Package ($28/day) includes added amenities like two water bottles in your room daily, complimentary fitness classes, discounts on the Mandara spa, complimentary high speed internet, and more.

7. Recreation

Planning a day in Disney without a park ticket? The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort have so much to offer in terms of recreation right at the resort. With six pools, swan boat rentals (that are unlimited with the Resort Package), a kids club, karaoke at Kimonos, and more there is so much to do without ever leaving the resort. And if you do want to leave the resort without a park ticket, there is even more to explore throughout the rest of the Epcot Resort Area.

8. Details

While entirely unique to the other area resorts in their architecture, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is comprised of details that make stays there truly memorable. Michael Graves’ architectural work gives the resorts one of the most interesting designs at the Walt Disney World Resort and the theme is carried throughout the resort from the lobbies to the guest rooms.

9. Events

Each year, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort hosts an annual Food and Wine Classic! The event takes place during a weekend in October so it coincides with the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in Epcot. During the holidays, the resort welcomes Santa, chocolate sculptures, and specialty entertainment for the whole family. Check the resort’s website before your trip to see what events may be scheduled during your visit!

10. Redesigns

The lobby at the Dolphin recently underwent an extensive renovation that refreshed the design and added the new Phins lobby bar. The Swan is also in the midst of a renovation that will update the lobby’s design while keeping in mind classic design elements and giving a new look to Java, the adjacent coffee bar. So far Disney fans have praised the updates in both lobbies, and many are particularly interested in the new bar at the Dolphin (try the Bloody Mary brunch!), so if it’s been a few years since your last stay it might be just the time to check out all that the resorts currently have to offer.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."