Exciting updates and everything you need to know!
It’s an exciting time at the Swan & Dolphin resort! There are new additions being added, amazing activities on their calendar, and continued convenience for Walt Disney World theme park access which is sure to enhance your next stay! This beautiful property currently offers 18 restaurants, lounges and dining outlets just steps away from your room. In addition, most of their guest rooms with balconies overlook the BoardWalk!
The Swan & Dolphin is located moments away from all four Walt Disney Resort theme parks: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. When traveling to Orlando, Florida, this resort is at the top of our list if you are truly looking for that “Disney” experience. We decided to visit during Labor Day weekend 2021 to see the new updates and enhancements for both the resort and theme parks. In this article, we’ll be highlighting our recommendations for delicious dining picks throughout The Swan and Dolphin and Disneyworld, Dolphin’s stunning room accommodations, and convenient travel options to the Disney World theme parks from the resort. Furthermore, we’ll be covering the exciting Swan Reserve addition and entertaining events for Swan & Dolphin 2021. In addition, we will be showcasing the exciting news of the VelociCoaster which just opened at Universal Islands of Adventure here in Orlando! Let the magic begin!
Our trip began on a Friday evening at the Denver International Airport (DIA), and we were scheduled to leave on a quick United flight. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances had caused our flight to be delayed seven times. Yes, you heard that right, however, the adventure did not stop there. Originally we were scheduled to arrive at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) at 11:35 pm, but landed on the tarmac at 2:40 am. We collected our carry-on backpacks, thanked the crew for our safe flight, and sleeplessly caught the tram on property to the luggage carousel and rental car locations. At this point, finding comfort in the thought of our plush king sized bed allowed for us to be somewhat optimistic about our travel troubles but we were still so excited to arrive to Orlando, Florida!
Upon arrival at the Budget Rent-a-Car counter, we immediately noticed the dream crushing line of other guests who had also been delayed. Four long hours, three defective rental cars, and two hangry people later we FINALLY arrived at our destination. It was all worth the wait!
Welcome to the wonderful world of Walt Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resort! Chances are you might have seen this beautiful property on your last visit to Walt Disney World. If not, this is definitely a place you may want to seriously think about booking on your next stay.
The Swan and Dolphin resort is unlike any other we have visited here in Orlando, Florida. It’s grand appearance, readily available amenities, and convenient location is exactly why we choose to stay here every time.
The property grounds hold two large hotels, the Swan and the Dolphin, and everything in between. There is a single covered walkway that is shared between the resort, along with a giant lake, four pools, eighteen restaurants, lounges and dining outlets.
There are also exciting additions that will be opening this year including the resort’s newest hotel, the Swan Reserve. This add on will feature 349 rooms, a new dining outlet and spectacular views from the rooftop event space. We happened to catch a glimpse of this gorgeous hotel and can honestly say we are looking forward to experiencing it first hand in the future.
Did we mention they offer multiple transportation options available to all guests where they can come and go at their own convenience? Every 20-25 minutes guests can catch a ride on a bus to the Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Animal Kingdom from the Swan and Dolphin wings.
They also offer water taxis departing every 20-25 minutes from the boat dock located by the covered walkway in between the Swan & Dolphin wings to Disney’s BoardWalk, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot! As you can see, the choices are limitless with how you choose to spend your vacation.
Let’s discuss the options we chose and the routes we opted to take. As I mentioned prior, we decided to rent a car instead of taking a ride share to our hotel. The Swan and Dolphin is located about 25 minutes away from the Orlando Airport. Once on property, each Disney World theme park is within a short distance, and accessible by multiple modes of transportation.
As much as we love the resort ferry, we opted to utilize our rental car. The reason we decided this was because all guests staying on property are offered free theme park parking.
This allowed for convenience to have extra clothes stored in our car depending on the weather, flexibility on time due to the “every half hour” scheduled bus and ferry rides, and the overall comfort to stay until close.
Another choice we made was to book dining reservations on and off property. This may be a different case depending on what time of year you visit, however, we did not want to take any chances on Labor Day weekend. Let’s discuss the dining options we chose.
Dining reservations should be scheduled months in advance, but sometimes one can be lucky enough to snag a cancellation.
In our case, we got lucky! A few weeks prior to our trip we made sure to reserve our favorite restaurant at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for a Sunday evening dinner at “Be Our Guest.”
This was the extent of our cuisine planning, and we left the other days up to fate. Luckily for us, the Swan & Dolphin had a variety of amazing options available we could not wait to try! The first night we had arrived we were looking forward to visiting the Epcot Food & Wine Festival which takes place every year in the Fall.
We ate delicious entrees and drank our way around the world, literally, with international cuisine ranging from Europe to Canada, to Asia insprired, to Mexico, to Africa. Some of our favorites included a New England Lobster Roll accompanied by a glass of 81Bay Brewing Co Strawberry and Lime beer, and a “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon from Canada.
We tried countless exciting food entrees which filled us up when arriving back to our hotel that evening. The next day we were excited to eat at the renowned Todd English’s “Bluezoo” which is located on resort property grounds at the Dolphin.
We started off the evening with a new fashioned (their version of an Old Fashioned) and the burnt orange specialty cocktail. The waitress brought the aesthetic drink to our table and proceeded to light the orange on fire! Talk about dinner and a show!
After an exciting display we placed our order for dinner. We opted to try their roasted brussel sprouts, sweet corn, mighty meat flatbread, and Mahi Mahi with white wine sauce.
The polite waitress added that these choices were among their best sellers and crowd favorites. This could not have been a more perfect statement for our dining experience. Another great option is the Il Mulino Trattoria located across the way at the Swan hotel. The last time we visited we had decided to order the Caprese and Original Pepperoni Pizza from this restaurant, and would recommend it to anyone trying to cure their Italian cuisine craving. Now let’s discuss our accommodations.
The Swan and Dolphin have always been very accommodating to us when visiting, and have provided some of the best rooms with corner views. This particular time we had been assigned a corner view balcony room on the 9th floor facing the covered walkway by the lake and the legendary Epcot ball.
Guests request rooms such as these for a number of different reasons, however, here are the top reasons we recommend this type of room. The first reason is for the perfect viewing of the Epcot firework display that takes place at 10 pm every night.
There is nothing more magical than experiencing the Walt Disney World effect right from the comfort of your very own balcony. The next reason is the convenient location of being placed near an elevator. This may not be suitable for some, but for us it’s always a plus when you can conveniently access your room at any time. The final reason we recommend booking a mid to high floor corner view balcony room is privacy with only having one neighbor across the hall and to the left or right of you.
Upon arrival to our room we immediately notice the welcome cards, a Cabernet Sauvignon wine bottle, and a delectable charcuterie board waiting for us. The Swan and Dolphin always go out of their way to make each and every guest feel special and welcomed.
As October 1st, 2021 approaches there are a lot of exciting updates and events taking place here at the Swan & Dolphin.
The return of the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be returning this fall, taking place on October 29th and 30th. The event will offer unlimited tastings at more than 20 food stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and more than 100 beverages amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. You can find out more information about this joyous event at SwanDolphinFoodAndWineClassic.com. Walt Disney World will also be celebrating their 50th Anniversary for a total of 18-months, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios being located within walking distance from the Swan & Dolphin.
Another adventure while in Orlando we had been invited to experience was The opening of the new Velocicoaster at Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
Once again, the Swan and Dolphin resort is conveniently located about 15-20 minutes away to Universal Orlando! Our top recommendations when visiting these parks would be to ride the brand new Velocicoaster located in Jurassic Park and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures, motorbike adventure located in the Harry Potter area. These rides were INCREDIBLE! They were very exciting and full of surprises! We were impressed with the VelociCoaster!! Not only does it feature speeds up to seventy miles per hour, 12 seconds of weightlessness, and an 80 degree drop, but it has many triceratops encounters along the way! The ride was overall fast, smooth, and a wonderful experience! Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure blew us away as well! It was one of our favorite rides we have ever ridden! Imagine taking a ride through the Forbidden Forest on a freewheeling coaster filled with surprising twists and magical creatures! It was fast, fun, very exciting, and has an awesome twist that we won’t spoil!
Overall, our visit to the Swan and Dolphin was amazing as always, and we truly enjoyed our stay. We felt completely comfortable with all the COVID restrictions put in place including all guests and employees recommended to wear a face covering when in doors. The cleanliness around the resort grounds and available amenities were definitely favorable conditions. We recommend the Swan and Dolphin for all ages. Thanks for reading our article and always stay tuned into our website and social channels for the latest tips, tricks and travel pics for your next vacation recommendation! Adventure Awaits