Swan and Dolphin Resort
Credit: Swan & Dolphin

Top Reason’s You’ll Love Your Stay at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts come with many of the conveniences of staying at a Disney resort, all with the ability to walk to EPCOT and use Marriott rewards points. They’re located right on Crescent Lake, and have so much to love from their dining scene to architectural style. Learn more of what there is to love about the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin in this post: 


1. Deluxe style resort

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is comparable to a deluxe Disney resort, but with a slightly lower price tag AND lots of other amazing benefits (that we’ll get to!) The architectural stylings of Michael Graves are on full display at the resorts offering a level of “theming” that offers much more than your average non-Disney owned hotel would typically bring. Every part of the resort, from the lobbies, to the Guest rooms, and even outdoor walkways and fountains comes with a special brand of character unique to the resort.  

2. Close proximity to two theme parks

Both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are located within a short walk or boat ride from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. You can easily take a Friendship Boat to the entrance of Disney’s Hollywood Studios or to the “back door” of EPCOT by arriving at International Gateway (between England and France in World Showcase.) Walking back from either destination might not be ideal after a long day in the parks, but if you’re up for it, it’s certainly doable and often faster than waiting for and taking the boat!

Credit: Swan & Dolphin

3. Lots of restaurants

Between the Swan and Dolphin, Guests will find 18 restaurants on site, with options ranging from quick service grab and go’s, to coffee and ice cream shops, multiple lounges and even signature dining. While some of the most well-known restaurants at the resorts are signature status, including Shula’s Steakhouse named for Coach Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins, and Il Mulino serving up authentic Italian specialities, we recommend browsing all of the restaurants and seeing what interests you. Some Guests keep coming back because of the sushi at Kimonos and Bloody Mary menu at Phins. 


4. Swan boats

Remember the swan boats that used to be in the Magic Kingdom? Maybe not…In any case, the only place that currently has swan boats at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. They’re a staple activity for days when regular Guests break from the theme parks and something that the families who give them a go really remember from their visits.

5. Complimentary transportation

Disney resort Guest benefits like complimentary transportation extend to Guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, too, even though the resort is not operated by Disney. In addition to the Friendship Boats for Guests heading to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, the resorts offer complimentary bus transportation to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs. Plus, other resorts are in walking (or boat) distance, including the BoardWalk, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club. 

6. Architecture and theming 

As far as a non-Disney resort goes, the theming at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is pretty well done. Renowned architect Michael Graves designed the resorts with lots of attention to detail, meaning you can easily stroll around the resorts and find lots of land and sea themed designs, and beautiful decorative motifs throughout the resorts. They’ve gone through a number of expansions recently as well, and both lobbies underwent extensive renovations in the past couple of years, so they’re especially worth seeing if it’s been some time since your last visit.

7. Special events

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hosts a number of special events throughout the year to entice Guests to stay on property. One of the most popular is their Food & Wine Classic, which takes place annually for a weekend each fall and features renowned chefs at kiosks around the property with light bites and wine tastings. It lines up with the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival so you could plan your stay during the event and enjoy a foodie themed weekend. 

Credit: Swan & Dolphin

8. Bars/lounges 

There are lots of fun bars and lounges around Crescent Lake, but the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin have some of the best. The Bloody Mary selection at Phins can easily be a brunch in itself, and Guests love the specialty cocktails served alongside sushi, and sometimes karaoke, at Kimonos. Todd English’s is the perfect stop for small bites, and if you’re on the go even Fuel, the coffee stop and grab-and-go location offers cans of beer brewed especially for the resort. 

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."