Swan Resort Gallery Pool
  • On May 16, 2022
    Hannah from MA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Wondering what the main differences are between disney hotels and the dolphins & swan? Thank you!

    Hey there, Hannah! Welcome to planDisney!

    I love having friends from Massachusetts visit us here at planDisney! As a Massachusetts native myself I know that our Walt Disney World Resort vacations are usually very well thought out and planned months in advance, unlike those lucky Park-goers who can just jump in the car and be at The Most Magical Place on Earth in a couple of hours! 

    Throughout my dozens of stays at the Resort, I've probably stayed at either the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel or Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel about half of the time! In fact, when my husband and I had our Walt Disney World wedding our entire guest list stayed at these hotels. We love them for many reasons, the number one being their fantastic location!  These hotels are within walking distance of EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's BoardWalk.  One of my favorite things to do while visiting my favorite place in the world is to stroll back to my Resort after watching Harmonious at EPCOT. These hotels, along with Disney Resorts Collection hotels like Disney's Yacht Club Resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort and Disney's BoardWalk Inn, allow me and my family to enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful surroundings as we take our time heading back to our room.  

    While the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels are considered Walt Disney World Resorts, they are not owned and operated by Disney. These hotels are owned by Tishman Realty & Construction Corporation and MetLife and are managed by Marriott International, Inc. Because they are considered Walt Disney World Resorts, Guests of these Resorts are offered many of the same benefits as Guests of Disney Deluxe Resorts such as Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours, and the ability to purchase Individual Lightning Lane selections at 7 a.m. the morning of Theme Park visits. 

    Because these hotels are not Disney-owned, buses running to and from Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are not provided by Disney. While still complimentary, these buses may drop off a little further away from the Park entrance than the Disney buses.  In fact, the Magic Kingdom bus drops Guests off at the Transportation and Ticket Center instead of near the Park entrance, meaning that you'll need to hop a ferry or Monorail to finish off your "trek" to the Park.  

    Another difference is that Guests of these hotels cannot use MagicBands to unlock their Guest room door or to charge purchases back to their credit card by using their MagicBand.  However, if you do decide to purchase a MagicBand or have one from a previous trip you can still link your Theme Park Tickets to it to enter the Parks.  

    Some avid Disney-goers voice missing the incredible theming of a Disney Resorts Collection hotel when they stay at the Swan or Dolphin. While they are both spectacular, some Guests just miss the magical feeling of staying in a Disney-owned Resort and the possible character sightings that they might get from staying in one. If you're looking for a completely pixie-dusted experience you might want to choose a Disney Resorts Collection hotel.

    Ashley M
thumbnail image for Ashley

Meet the Panelist: Ashley, Massachusetts

Hi All, I'm Ashley! From the very beginning Walt Disney World Resort has always been a part of my life. As a child I excitedly helped to plan family trips, as a young adult I planned our "happily ever after" right on Disney property, and now I'm lucky enough to plan magical vacations for my three incredible children. When we're not taking in the enchanting experiences of the parks, we're home in Massachusetts, probably planning our next trip! Learn More About Ashley

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