Why You Should Book a Room at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort

Dolphin Resort Hotel Exterior
Credit: Dolphin Hotel

If you are a EPCOT or Hollywood Studios fan, you likely know about the beautiful Lake Buena Vista EPCOT area Resorts. Staying at a Disney Resort means you are located in the center of the magic and can easily harness the convenience of Walt Disney World transportation to travel to Parks. If you are looking to spend extended amounts of Park time exploring the world of Toy Story or blasting into outer space at STAR WARS: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios Park. Or if you can’t wait to taste the world’s flavors in EPCOT World Showcase or groove to the music on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, this article is for you.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney Tips

Let’s chat about Dolphin Resort! This central Florida Disney Resort is conveniently located and caters to Guests seeking a deluxe Disney Resort experience. It’s located near the Yacht Club Resort, Beach Club Resort, and BoardWalk Inn. You can spend a leisurely morning or afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful Disney BoardWalk. The Swan and Dolphin Resorts are staple hotels on the Disney BoardWalk loop that you should consider for your next vacation.

Evening BoardWalk Scene

Credit: Disney

Loyalty Points

You may be surprised to learn that Walt Disney World does not own these “Walt Disney World Hotels.” The Swan Resort opened in 1990 as a joint venture, and both the Swan and Dolphin Resorts later merged into the Marriott International brand. Today, The Swan and Dolphin Resorts are contracted with Marriott International under the Westin Hotels and Resorts brand.

Dolphin Resort Hotel Exterior

Credit: Dolphin Hotel

If you were anything like me, you will love racking up cash to use on your next theme Park vacation. The great news is Marriott Bonvoy members can earn and use points during a Walt Disney World Resort vacation if they stay at the Swan Resort or the Dolphin Resort. This incredible perk is one that might not come to mind but it will go a long way to save your vacation budget and ensure you still enjoy a luxurious hotel experience.

Resort Theming

Michael Graves designed the fun theming of these hotels in the 1990s. You’ll enjoy a unique art deco Florida vibe in the Swan and Dolphin Resorts without the Disney theming, a hallmark of most Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. Not to worry, you enjoy all the perks of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, even though the Swan and Dolphin aren’t technically Disney Properties.

Food & Wine Classic - Causeway Day (2)

Credit: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

The Dolphin Resort Hotel is just a short walk from the back gate of EPCOT, known as International Gateway, and is a short boat right away from Hollywood Studios. The Parks are fun, but there is plenty to do back at the Resort. Relax in a 3-acre swimming pool at your Resort with a water slide, DJ, and nearby pool bar to keep you hydrated and happy. The ample number of sun loungers on the deck of this Resort makes it so easy and enjoyable to spend an afternoon reading poolside.

Related: Replacement Announced for Beloved Disney Resort Accommodations


If you want some time away from the little ones, you can send them to Camp Dolphin, the supervised children’s activity center. This kid’s club serves kids 4-12 years old and keeps them entertained by Cast Member counselors while parents enjoy time to indulge in a romantic dinner or have some adult time in the Disney Parks.

Spa Access

Woman Receiving Spa Treatments at Aulani

Credit: Disney Aulani

If you’re really looking to unwind and indulge during your Disney vacation, consider visiting one of the only spas on the Disney Property, Mandara Spa, at the Dolphin Resort. The spa is open from from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offers a full Balinese-inspired luxury salon and spa experience. This is the place to visit if you’re looking for deluxe massages, body wraps, aromatherapy, facials, or services like pedicures and hair styling. Reservations fill quickly, so be sure to book yours as soon as possible if relaxing in the spa is part of your Disney vacation plan.


When it comes to dining, you will be excited about your options. Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel offers so many more dining options than other deluxe resorts. If you are craving Mediterranean cuisine, visit Amara for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This table service restaurant serves mouthwatering entrées you will not want to miss. If you crave seafood, Todd English’s BlueZoo is an incredible full-service dining experience where you can enjoy dishes like crab nachos, lobster bucatini, and butler steak.

Credit: Disney

Speaking of steak, one of the best Disney Steakhouses is in this Resort. Shula’s Steakhouse is a must-visit for steak and wine lovers visiting Walt Disney World Resort. The flavorful 24-ounce Black Angus Porterhouse Steak is out of this world. Even the soups and salads are to die for! I loved the tomato, burrata, and wedge salad on this menu.

Shula's Steakhouse FiletMignon

Credit: Dolphin Hotel

In addition to these two staple eateries, you can enjoy frozen drinks at Chill, Shula’s Steakhouse Lounge or Todd English’s BlueZoo Lounge. You can relax with fun, tropical libations at the Cabana Bar and Beach Club. Enjoy small plates and mouthwatering signature cocktails at Phins, share a slice of pizza at Picabu, or channel a New York City Central Park dining experience for breakfast at Garden Grove Restaurant.

Chow down on Italian food at Il Mulino New York Trattoria or satisfy a serious sushi craving at Kimonos. Not to mention there are food and drink options at Splash Pool bar, a grab-and-go option called Fuel, and a throwback soda fountain diner, The Fountain, where you can get handcrafted milkshakes and sundaes. Even if you aren’t staying at Dolphin Hotel, you should consider coming over to explore this property and enjoy a meal. The options are numerous!

Fountain Dolphin Resort

Credit: Dolphin Hotel

When you aren’t chowing down, you can enjoy working out at the Dolphin Health Club, playing in the arcade, or exploring the volleyball court. Meander the jogging that runs alongside Crescent Lake. There’s a playground for the little ones and, of course, those fabulous pools. Speaking of pools! Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Guests also get full access to the pools at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, so you can have double the fun in the sun.

Related: Refurbishment Scheduled for Another Popular Disney Dining Experience

Resort Rooms

Resort rooms are minimalistic, sleek, and comfortable with pastel and neutral color palettes and beautiful views of Crescent Lake. Standard rooms sleep 2-4 adults. Rates vary based on the time of year you visit Walt Disney World Resort. The great news is you will get bang for your Resort buck because early theme Park entry is included with your stay, just like any other Walt Disney World Resort.


One of My Favorite Perks at The Swan & Dolphin Resort #swandolphin #disneyworld #disneyresorts #disneytips

♬ Moonlight Serenade – Glenn Miller

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path, Disney Resort for your next vacation and want a comfortable, beautiful, and fun place to crash after a day in Disney theme Parks, you should consider a stay at this Disney Resort.

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.