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Walt Disney World Swan
 
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Description:
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 7 ( Displaying Reviews: 1 - 7 )
4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 9-17, 2010
Reviewer: whbtdw4t Rapid City, South Dakota     June 20, 2010
When we first pulled up to the Swan, 3 valets came out to help us (there were 3 families in our shuttle van). They separated our luggage/groceries and waited for us to check in. Once we checked in they brought our luggage to our rooms~very convenient. Check-in was easy and quick. We had a standard room using a government employee discount and they upgraded us to a room with a balcony at no extra charge. The nightly charge was 169.00 with room tax being 10.99, resort tax of 10.14, resort service package of 10.00 and tax on the resort service package of 65 cents. The total for a night stay coming to $200.78. The $10 resort package includes using the health club, internet access and two bottles of water daily. We used the health club and enjoyed the waters so the $10 wasn't an issue for us. The room was clean and we liked having two sinks in our room. The balcony view was of the water and ferry services between the Dolphin and Swan which was a nice view especially at night. The coffee was Starbucks pods. I wish there would have been more brew options. We received bold flavor which was too strong for us in flavor. The other families staying on a different side of the hotel said they received a variety of flavors. When we inquired about different brews to housekeeping she said she only had one. The hotel was clean with quick elevators. The bus system to Disney was good with the exception of going to Magic Kingdom. Buses for Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney and Water Parks were short wait times. However, there were times where we waited 35 minutes between Magic Kingdom buses. On the positive side, none of the buses were crowded. The ferry was a relaxing way to travel and we used it to go to and from EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. The quietness of the hotel was nice. I've read reviews were others are concerned with the Swan being a "business persons" hotel. My kids (9 and 15 years old) were comfortable and liked the hotel. Both preferred it to some of the other hotels that we have stayed at while at Disney where there are kids everywhere and the noise level was high. The pool/beach area was nice. The room service was a bit spendy but worth getting a good meal. The meal is served hot with everything you could possibly need (condiments, cloth napkins, covered drinks, and a cart that is left in the hallway when you are finished). The beds were truly wonderful. My children even commented on the feel of the beds. After a long, hot day it was wonderful to come back to a queen-sized bed that was comfortable to sleep in and had luxurious linens. The bed alone makes this hotel worth the stay! The only downfall to the hotel is laundry services. We needed to go over to the Dolphin to use their laundry services. We would definitely stay at this hotel again.
 
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 23-30, 2008
Reviewer: dmwang9 San Francisco, CA     July 05, 2008
I stayed at the Swan for 7 nights at the end of June 2008 on a teacher's rate of $179/night. Adding in taxes and the resort fee upped this to a total of $200/night. I didn't have a car, which would have added an additional $9/night parking fee.

I was in a standard room on the third floor. I had a view of the roof over the main entrance, which many people would not have liked, but I've learned from experience that the view doesn't matter to me, so I didn't try to get moved.

The Swan is a high-quality convention hotel that just happens to be on Walt Disney World property. It lacks the "all Disney, all the time" theming that you find at Disney-owned resorts, but that isn't a negative to me (but I completely understand that some people want this).

The Heavenly Beds are AMAZING to dive into after a long day at the parks. I also liked the fact that there's an empty "dorm-cube" sized refrigerator in the room rather than a minibar. Toiletries were from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and really nice -- coconut verbena shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion.

There's a single-cup coffee maker in the room with Starbucks coffee pods, which I found very convenient.

There were two conventions taking place at the Swan during my stay, so there were a decent number of conventioners floating around the place, but this didn't really affect the quality of my stay at all. They did their thing, and I did mine, and our paths seldom intersected.

Getting to the parks was simple and convenient. Boats run from the dock between the Swan and Dolphin to Epcot and the Studios every 15-20 minutes, but I often opted to walk instead on the footpaths than run beside the canals. It was maybe a 10 minute walk to Epcot and a 15 minute walk to the Studios. To get everywhere else, buses stopped in front of the hotel, and the longest I ever had to wait was 10 minutes.

I've read some complaints about the mandatory resort fee, but I found it useful. For $10/day, you get two 750-mL bottles of water each day, unlimited Internet access in your room, and access to the health club. Since I used all three of those things each day, I found the resort fee a great deal, since paying a la carte for these things would have cost more than twice as much.
 
21 out of 21 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 18-22, 2008
Reviewer: mouseketeer70 Northport, Alabama     June 22, 2008
We go to Disney as a family at least once a year. We took the kids in the spring but this time was our anniversary trip without the kids. We wanted a hotel that wasn't going to be swarming with children and would be relaxing and romantic. We decided on the Swan for the amazing teacher rate & it was an excellent choice! It is a beautiful hotel and the lobby and main hallways smell absolutely lovely! The hotel was peaceful & the staff friendly and helpful. When they learned it was our anniversary they upgraded us to the theme park view. I would not pay extra for the view though, I would just go to the boardwalk to watch the fireworks. They also had chilled champagne waiting for us our first day. The pool could stand a refurbishing but it was fine for our needs, and very large. It wasn't "themed" like at the Disney owned properties but if our kids had been with us we could have walked to the Boardwalk or Yacht/Beach pools if they wanted frills. The pool staff came by constantly to offer towels, drinks, and such. The proximity to the boardwalk and Epcot can't be beat. The hotel restaurants were very expensive so we chose to eat on the Boardwalk or Epcot. We walked to Epcot in under 10 minutes at a comfortable pace. We would definitely return! Wonderful, wonderful hotel! Everything you need is at your fingertips. Even though you are not immersed in Disney 100% of the day, which was a nice change for us, you are still treated with the "Disney Difference". We were worried about the Swan being too business like as it is used for conventions and business travelers but we never felt that way. There were mostly regular folks there and the hotel just never felt like a convention hotel. It was relaxing, pleasant, and overall a wonderful stay! Final note----the bed truly is "HEAVENLY"!!!! We hated to leave it behind! Would definitely return and highly recommend.
 
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   February 2006
Reviewer: kansaskix KS     July 28, 2006
We stayed at this resort in February 2006. Although it was definitely nice, I wouldn't stay here again and between the Dolphin and the Swan, at least from the exposure that we had, I would choose the Dolphin in the future.

We were dropped off at the front and immediately a valet came to get our bags, without giving us an option and then handed our bags to a different valet who transported them inside. This ended up that they both stood there waiting to be tipped. It was an irritation, considering we were forced into this situation and ended up tipping two valets for basically bringing our bags inside the front door!! Who then abandoned the bags and we brought them to our room. Pretty ridiculous.

We then checked in at the front desk and the process was pretty quick and easy. The employees at the front desk weren't very friendly at all.

The lobby is beautiful! My children enjoyed the fountain, which is so pretty, decorated with large swans. The grounds are gorgeous and are enjoyable to walk around. We regret we didn't have more time just to spend enjoying the beauty of the resort. If you do go, make sure to have a leisurely pace.

The Swan and Dolphin are connected together by a covered walkway. It takes just a few minutes to get from one to the other. The Swan is a smaller hotel and as such, it does not have quite as many amenities. If you want to eat in a quick-bite type of establishment, you must go to the Dolphin. Or if you want an arcade or other choices in eating, all those things are at the Dolphin. The Swan is quieter with less traffic. The Dolphin also has a larger, impressive lobby. I saw much more business type people at the Swan, and more families with children at the Dolphin. So it would depend on which atmosphere you are looking for.

The main difference to us (and why we would choose the Dolphin in the future) is the service rendered. We weren't even staying at the Dolphin, but the service there was MUCH MUCH better than at the Swan! One night we wanted to get milk for our baby, and we went down to the lobby of the Swan. We asked where we could get some milk and they said all the kitchens were closed at the Swan and they couldn't help us. Then they told us to go try over at the Dolphin. But their cafeteria style restaurant was closed for refurbishment. We went up and asked where we could get some milk, and the lady at the Dolphin's counter said since the cafeteria was closed, to try this other restaurant/bar. No lluck. She checked on us to see if we had obtained milk and when I told her no, she said, let me call the kitchens (which were also closed at the Dolphin) and see what I can do. About 15 min. later, someone from the Dolphin came to us at the Swan with a pitcher of milk on a platter covered with cookies! Now that's service! At the Swan, they really didn't care. And we found that true for most everything during our stay. Not that they were rude, but they just didn't care--whereas the people at the Dolphin bent over backwards to make sure we were taken care of.

Our room was nice. The room was very clean and looked new. Our bed was fantastic! Especially the pillows were the best!! You don't realize how crummy other hotel beds are until you sleep in the Heavenly Bed! Very relaxing. The bathroom was small, but nice--the little amenities include aloe shampoo and conditioner, vanity kit, shoe mitt and shower cap--and fabulous oatmeal soap.

The room is nicely and simply decorated. There is No "Disney-esque-ness" about this hotel. We liked it a lot and thought it was very nice--But--If you are looking for the total, immersive Disney experience, this probably wouldn't be the place for you. Therefore it's not as kid friendly. I would recommend this place for couples without children, or families with older children (12+).

The Swan was quiet and serene and housekeeping was good. The reason we choose the Swan over the Dolphin is the size of the beds. The rooms at the Swan have two queen beds--the Dolphins have two double beds. Also, the Swan bathroom has two sinks, and the Dolphin has just one. However, we were told that technically the maximum occupany in one standard room at the Swan is 4 and at the Dolphin it is 5. But we stayed at the Swan as a family of 5, though one was a baby. We had a nice view from our room and could even see some of the fireworks. If you can--before you go--sign up for a free Starwoods Card, try to get a Gold membership, and when you check in, present the card to get a free upgrade and 4pm late checkout.
-The location to Epcot is spectacular! We LOVED riding the boat launch and being driven directly to the back door of Epcot! How cool is that! It can take a while if you miss the boat (ha), but once on, the ride is fun to go around the lake but don't expect to shoot over there in five minutes. It takes a bit, but it's enjoyable. It's also nice and handy that if you have a stroller, you can roll it directly on to the boat. You are dropped off by the England pavilion of Epcot.
-The bus transportation to the other parks was good. It didn't take long for a bus and the bus wasn't crowded.
-Overall, we enjoyed our stay, we were glad we went and experienced it once, but I don't think we'll be staying again. There's a lot of other choices in Disney World.
 
41 out of 41 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   Feb 21-26
Reviewer: cocoabeach Portland, Oregon     April 23, 2004
We really liked the Swan. It had some things to consider but overall this is my second favorite place to stay.

Biggest Pro
This should be obviously but the proximity to MGM and Epcot is spectacular. I loved getting on the boat out front and going to the parks. I will warn though that although the map makes the walk seem short, it isn't a quickie to either park so you really should just take the boat unless you are interested in walking and seeing the other hotels and boardwalk and the water. I honestly do like the walk but with kids it might be too much.

Lobby
Incredible. Beautiful and climactic just as one would hope from a Disney hotel. I've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge suites too this lobby is more interesting to look at though the one complaint I have is that it is loud at times. The fountain and all the people can make it too much.

Rooms
Great room I had. It was on the club level itself and was adequate. I think that it is in need of some cleaning and repair though at this point.

Food
The restaurants were great; quality food. Their layout with the bars and the food makes things very social and I liked that a lot too. If you are with your kids, this won't mean much but as a couple or single, this is definitely an appeal.
Cafeteria area is great too. Good food and not too expensive for the family on the go to have fun at the parks. The only minor grips is that getting around to the cafeteria wasn't always easy to do. It is kind of tucked away.

Biggest Con
My biggest complaint was that this is a high traffic hotel for business use. That's obviously where the big money and priority for this hotel is because the couple times I stayed there, several business conferences were going on at the same time. For a vacationing family, this may be a disctraction from the Disney escape but altogether this was fairly minor and you can ignore it easily. Again, if you are a couple or single, this is actually a plus since it adds to the social scene.

Recommended
This is my second favorite place to stay truthfully so it is highly recommended. As a family, we surprisingly really love Coronado Springs due to the pool and water slide and the great "Market" style eating. The lower price sure helps too. But Swan has all of the magic you could want from Disney and location can't be beat.
 
58 out of 59 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   6/27/03-7/3/03
Reviewer: dcreinken Trenton, NJ     November 02, 2003
This was our first visit to WDW in over 15 years, and first on property in over 25. We chose the Swan because of the unbeatable rate ($169 initially, then $139, then $129 by constantly checking their own website). We had a standard room that overlooked the parking lot, Boardwalk , and canal to Disney/MGM. Given the angle of the hotel, the so-called parking lot views really don't reveal much of the parking lot but look more onto the Boardwalk. We could see Tower of Terror quite well. The room were newly refurbished and the Heavenly Beds are awesome. The resort fee now includes free DSL, so it's worth it to me if you have a laptop with an ethernet port. We stayed our first night at the All Stars Music before transferring, so I was disappointed in the lack of Disney theming (minor things) and the the lack of Disney updates on the cable. However, those are minor, and the hotel is excellently themed in its own right, and do I need a 24/7 promo for the Disney Cruise Line or Disney Vacaiton Club on the tube? The AC responds to body movement, so it will be warm when you come back but quickly cools down. However, the AC also kicks off while you sleep unless you get up in the middle of the night. We just turned it down low and tended to do OK.

Summer is the slow season for the Swan/Dolphin, so they didn't seem as hecticd as the other resorts we visited. The staff were very responsive and friendly. Check-in was efficient, but I felt like I was checking into any business class hotel. The bell-hop was very helpful and had a good Disney attitude. Ice machines are on each floor and easily accessible. The Swan is a closer walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk than the Dolphin, and its over-all smaller size makes it feel less overwheliming while not sacrificing ammenities. It is going to be a hike to the parking lot wherever you park or wherever your room is.

Transporation was good to MK, but the first bus to Animal Kingdom got us there after the opening ceremonies. Buses may or may not stop at Yach/Beach Club and Boardwalk, but Swan is first stop in the route going and coming. We never had a wait for a Swan bus on the way back, even at the MK at closing. It's quicker to walk to Epcot than taking the boat, but the Disney/MGM is probably faster by boat (unless the weather is cool, encouraging a brisker walk).

I'm underwhelmed by the restaurants (too pricey for casual meals) though they might be in keeping with other deluxes. Tubbis, the 24/7 self-serve is rediculously overpriced and the food isn't good. But, it's just as easy to stroll to the Boardwalk and eat there for better food/less $$. The laundy room at the Dolphin worked well, even on Sunday morning when several people were in there.

The gift shops were fine with good Disney stock, and pacakge delivery worked very well. If you want a Pal Mickey, you have to go to the Boardwalk.

All in all, I don't think the Swan/Dolphin - particularly the Swan - can be beat if you get a price that competes with the moderates, or even with Wilderness/Animal Kingdom lodges. The location alone is tops, the service impeccable, and the pool is probably 2nd or 3rd best. What greater joy can their be than strolling back along the Boardwalk after Illuminations or taking a boat back after Fantasmic from MGM?
 
63 out of 63 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   March 23-28 2001
Reviewer: cpayne1997 (cpayne1997@aol.com) Radcliff, KY     January 22, 2003
My husband and I stayed at The Swan and we loved it! We only paid $109 per night through Shades of Green. When we checked in around 3pm we walked right up to the counter NO WAIT! Check in was a breeze!!! The standard room was beautiful, clean and roomy we had a great view of Boardwalk and the waterway from our balcony. We were even able to see the Epcot fireworks! The bus system was good, having to wait 30 minutes in the cool mornings in not fun, but i guess you could expect that from anywhere. The bus to Marketplace takes about 45 minutes to get there(it makes LOTS of stops) so leave early if you have PS in PI. We also used the package delivery system and it worked well NO problems. The pools are nice but I little cool (remember we went in March). We did have a little problem paying the resort fee b/c we did not care to recieve the newspaper or coffee each morning, but the front desk took care of that as soon as we mentioned it. The staff at the front desk was great but we did get some rude service at the ticket/info center at the hotel. My husband and I stood there waiting to be helped (about 5 minutes) while two employees had a conversation about a guy! That was really the only bad experiance we had, so I highly recommend this hotel especially if you can get a good deal through the government/teacher/nurse rate.
 
58 out of 67 people found this review helpful
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