The Walt Disney World Swan is one of the premier hotels in the Epcot resorts area and is located adjacent to its sister resort, the Walt Disney World Dolphin. This amazing on-site resort hotel at Walt Disney World has a stunning architectural design and consists of 12-floors of 758 well-appointed rooms & suites topped by two amazing swan sculptures. The hotel is on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort and is within walking distance to the International Gateway of Disney’s EPCOT theme park.
The Swan and Dolphin were originally opened in 1990 and in 2017 completed a three-year, $140 million renovation of all guestrooms and meeting spaces as well the lobby / common areas of the Dolphin hotel. In 2018 the Swan underwent a $3 million renovation to the lobby, public spaces and coffee bar.
At the time of our stay in August 2020, the Walt Disney World Swan recently reopened after a several month closure due to the COVID pandemic. The hotel was very good in having guests observe physical distancing requirements as well as other restrictions, but was vastly understaffed to accommodate the number of guests in occupancy during our stay.
We observed lengthy check-in times and limited dining options (with extensive wait times due to lower capacity requirements) as only two restaurants plus the marketplace were available for dinner service. Dining venues at the adjacent Walt Disney World Dolphin were also not available due the resort being closed to the public as it was occupied by teams from Major League Soccer. In addition, the water taxi transportation was not available during our stay.
About the Walt Disney World Swan
The Walt Disney World Swan hotel is located in the Epcot Resort Area of the Walt Disney World Resort. This area features several individual resort hotels, five which surround Crescent Lake and area interconnected by walking paths, several restaurants and shopping venues, and immediate access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios via boat transportation as well as walking paths and gondola service known as the Disney Skyliner.
The resort hotels located in the Epcot Resort Area are as follows:
- The Walt Disney World Swan
- The Walt Disney World Dolphin
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort / Disney’s Beach Club Villas (vacation club)
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn / Disney’s BoardWalk Villas (vacation club)
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort (vacation club villas)
- Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser (scheduled to open in 2021)
Guests can get to the Epcot Resort area from Interstate 4 by using the Epcot Center Drive exit, heading west to East Buena Vista Drive. Epcot Resorts Boulevard is located approximately one mile west of Epcot Center Drive along East Buena Vista Drive. The Walt Disney World Swan is the first hotel on the western entrance of Epcot Resorts Boulevard.
The Walt Disney World Swan
1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
It is a fairly direct route from the Orlando International Airport via SR 528 (the Beachline Expressway) to Interstate 4 west or State Road 417 to World Center Drive which becomes Epcot Center Drive at Interstate 4. Barring any significant traffic issues, it will take approximately 30 minutes to get from the airport to the resort. The Orlando / Orange County Convention Center is also close the hotel, just 10 miles along Interstate 4 east towards downtown Orlando.
Since the Walt Disney World Swan is located within the boundaries of the Walt Disney World Resort, all four Disney theme parks as well as the two Disney water parks and Disney Springs are a very short distance (the hotel is within walking distance to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios).
Travel time per Google Maps (non-peak hours) to the other Orlando area theme parks and significant destinations include:
- The Universal Orlando Resort: approximately 20 minutes
- SeaWorld Orlando: approximately 15 minutes
- ICON Park: approximately 20 minutes
- Downtown Orlando: approximately 30 minutes
- Vineland Premium Outlets: approximately 15 minutes
- The Mall at Millenia: approximately 25 miles
- The Florida Mall: approximately 25 minutes
In addition to the hotel amenities indicated below, the Walt Disney World Swan features on-site car rental (Alamo Rent A Car), valet dry-cleaning, valet parking and an on-site gift shop Called Disney Cabanas.
Hotels Amenities at the Walt Disney World Swan
Amenities at the this resort are typical of other similar class hotels in the Orlando tourist area. Since the Walt Disney World Swan shares amenities with the adjacent Walt Disney World Dolphin resort, there are more extensive options than a single, stand alone hotel.
Amenities at the Walt Disney World Swan and the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Include:
- Five heated pools including a resort style grotto pool with waterfalls and a water slide; two lap pools, a spring pool, a kiddie pool, four hot tubs and two poolside restaurants. There is poolside entertainment and organized activities at various times during the year (suspend at this time due to COVID) as well as games, ping pong tables and a pool table.
- A white sandy beach facing Crescent Lake with two volleyball courts, beachside playground and children’s spraying fountain play area.
- Poolside cabanas and hammocks.
- Paddle boat and bicycle rentals.
- A fully equipped fitness center with a variety of cardiovascular equipment, strength training machines and dumbbells.
- Free water taxi transportation to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Shuttle bus service to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs.
- An on-site business center with computer and copier service.
- A 10,500 square foot full-service spa featuring a variety of treatments (which unfortunately was not open at the time of our visit). Click here for the spa menu at the Mandara Spa.
- Two mini-golf courses at Fantasia Gardens.
In addition to those amenities shown above, the hotel also has a Disney gift shop and planning center. As indicated earlier, some of these amenities are not being offered at this time due to COVID restrictions.
Dining at the Walt Disney World Swan and the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotels
There are a number of differing dining options available at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels which include quick service, casual and fine dining.
As similar with the amenities, these two hotels share dining options and not all dining venues were open during our visit.
Walt Disney World Swan Dining Options
- Il Mulinos New York Trattoria: Traditional Italian Cuisine; open for dinner service only. Click here to see the menu.
- Kimonos: Japanese sushi restaurant; open for dinner service only. Click here to see the menu.
- Garden Grove: Casual dining; open for breakfast and lunch with character dining during select times. Click here to see the menu.
- Splash Pool Bar: Open for lunch and dinner (closed during our stay at 6:00 PM).
- Java Bar: Quick service marketplace serving coffee & other beverages, sandwiches, salads and other snacks. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In addition to the dining options, there are two lounges at the Walt Disney World Swan.
- Il Mulinos New York Trattoria Lounge
- Kimonos Lounge
Walt Disney World Dolphin Dining Options
- Todd English’s bluezoo: AAA Four Diamond restaurant offering seafood and coastal cuisine; only open for dinner service. Click here to see the menu.
- Shula’s Steak House: One of the finest steakhouses in all of Florida; only open for dinner service. Click here to see the menu.
- Cabana Bar and Beach Club: Open for lunch and dinner.
- Fresh Mediterranean Market: Casual dining with American fare; open for breakfast and lunch. Click here to see the menu.
- The Fountain: Casual dining 50’s style serving burgers and sandwiches; open for lunch and dinner. Click here to see the menu.
- Fuel: Grab and go marketplace; open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In addition to the dining options, there are three lounges at the Walt Disney World Dolphin.
- Tood English’s bluezoo Lounge
- Shula’s Steak House Lounge
In addition to the above referenced dining options, there are a number of additional dining options for the Epcot Resort Area hotels along the adjacent Boardwalk as well as within the Boardwalk area hotels. These include:
- Big River Grille & Brewing Works
- Cape May Cafe’
- Ale & Compass Restaurant
- ESPN Club
- Flying Fish
- Yachtsman Steakhouse
- The Market at Ale & Compass
- Beach Club Marketplace
- Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
- Boardwalk Bakery
- Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas
- Funnel Cake Cart
- The To-Go Cart
- Hurricane Hanna’s
- Leaping Horse Libations
- Pizza Window
- Ample Hills Creamery
- Trattoria al Forno
The Boardwalk area and Boardwalk hotels also offer a number of entertainment and shopping options. These include:
- Atlantic Dance Hall
- Midway Games & More
- Seabreeze Point
- Belle Vue Lounge
- Crew’s Cup Lounge
- Martha’s Vineyard
- Disney’s Character Carnival
- Dundy’s Sundries
- Screen Door General Store
- Thimbles & Threads
- Wyland Galleries
The Rooms at the Walt Disney World Swan
Rooms and suites range in size from 340 square feet to more than 1,000 square feet and feature premium linens, high quality bathroom finishes, flat panel televisions and mini-refrigerators.
The room types at the Walt Disney World Swan are as follows:
- Traditional guest rooms with one king or two queen beds
- Resort view rooms with views of the Epcot Resort Area hotels, Crescent lake and the hotel courtyards. One king or two queen bed options are offered with the resort view rooms.
- Deluxe rooms featuring balconies with views of the hotel courtyards, resort views or landscape views. One king or two queen bed options are offered with the resort view rooms.
- Family rooms of 500 square feet featuring balconies are located in the corners of the building and have resort views. These rooms offer a king bed and a sleeper sofa.
- 169 luxury suites which include both 600 square foot Executive Suites and 680 square foot Grand Suites with reception capacities of 50 to 75 people (parlor style with conference table). Suites can attach to secondary guest rooms.
- Governors Suites featuring a 680 square foot parlor area in the Swan and a 400 square foot parlor in the Dolphin, balconies (Swan), 55 inch flat panel LCD televisions, conference tables for eight and varying room configurations (Dolphin).
- Presidential Suites featuring a 1000 square foot parlor in the Swan and 1,085 square foot parlor in the Dolphin, balconies (Swan), two oversized bedrooms (Swan), one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans (Dolphin), 55 inch flat panel LCD televisions and conference tables for up to eight.
All the rooms at this resort were renovated in 2017 and feature alarm clock, coffee maker / tea service, in-room safe, flat panel televisions featuring HBO, ESPN, CNN and pay-per-view movies, complimentary high-speed internet and room service. Select rooms at the Swan have outdoor balconies.
Conferences and Events at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin were originally built to house major corporate events, conferences and conventions at the Walt Disney World Resort. There are separate convention facilities at both resorts which feature more than 333,000 square feet of meeting and event space. These resorts draw some of the largest and most prestigious business conventions in all of Orlando due to its location and affiliation with Walt Disney World.
The two resorts feature 87 meeting rooms which comprise of four ballrooms, 110,500 square feet of contiguous convention and exhibit space, multiple outdoor event areas, two executive boardrooms and two business centers.
Hotels Rates at the Walt Disney World Swan
Rates are this resort vary for different dates throughout the year. The rates shown below are the best available rate for two adults and two-children in three different room types offered at the Walt Disney World Swan.
The following rates were obtained from the hotel web site at the time of publication.
|Rates for 2020||Sept. 1st||Oct. 15th||Dec.1st|
|Standard Guest Room – 2 Queen Beds||$195.00||$185.00||$185.00|
|Resort View – 2 Queen Beds||$224.00||$213.00||$213.00|
|Resort View with Balcony – 2 Queen Beds||$249.00||$232.00||$232.00|
There is a resort fee of $30 per day as well a 6% resort tax on top of a 6.5% sales tax on rates for this hotel. Other charges include an on-site parking fee of $30 per day and enhanced internet can be purchased for $14.95 per day.
If you are a Marriott Bonvoy member you can use points for these hotels. Category 6 hotels like the Walt Disney World Swan require 40,000 during off peak nights, 50,000 during standard nights and 60,000 during peak nights.
What We Liked about the Walt Disney World Swan
This hotel is right on-site in the Walt Disney World Resort and there are so many things to like. Following are some of the highlights:
- Location: This resort has an excellent location on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort adjacent to Disney’s Boardwalk area and within walking distance to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Rooms with Balconies: Several rooms with balconies are located where you can get partial view of the nightly fireworks at EPCOT.
- amenities: The amenities are the resort are fairly extensive (combined with the adjacent Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel) from multiple pools, a white-sandy beach, organized activities and multiple dining options (pre-COVID).
- Disney Transportation: Complimentary transportation via water taxi or shuttle bus service throughout the Walt Disney World resort. Make sure you walk over to the International Gateway to EPCOT and take a FREE ride on the Disney Skyliner gondola.
- Design: The Walt Disney World Swan has a very unique hotel design and stunning architecture. As previous indicated, there are two large Swan sculptures at the top of this hotel.
What We Didn’t Like about the Walt Disney World Swan
Most of what we did not like during our stay appears to be related to restrictions from the COVID pandemic. Our stay was in early-August 2020 and the hotel was only open since July 29th – needless to say, there are still some “kinks” that need to be worked out.
- Check-In: Wait times to check in were extensive as the hotel only had a staff of two at the front desk. Unfortunately social distancing was not possible as the relatively small check-in lobby area was completely full of guests.
- Dining / Food Service: With the adjacent Dolphin hotel closed to the public (during our stay) and a number of venues closed at the adjacent Boardwalk, hotel dining options were very limited. Along with the grab-and-go marketplace, only one restaurant was open after 6:PM on a Friday evening while just two were open on a Saturday evening after 6:PM. With restaurant capacity restrictions, dining was extraordinary difficult. The hotel should have keep the pool bar open past 6:PM for food service or offered some type of additional options in their unused conference space (temporary food vendor or food trucks outside would have been a nice touch). ** During our prior stays we found dining options to be extensive and of excellent quality / selection. It is anticipated that this will be resolved once the adjacent Dolphin hotel is opened to the public.
- Ancillary Costs: Resort fees of $30 per day and self parking of $27 per day (coupled with a total of 12.5% in taxes, this can easily increase the cost of your visit by more than 30%).
- Hotel Age: At 30 years old, the Walt Disney World Swan is started to show its age with respect to the features. Newer hotels have extensive lobbies and spectacular open public spaces whereas when you walk in the main entrance there is not much special about it.
What We Think the Walt Disney World Swan is Perfect For:
This hotel has so much to offer in just about every area and we consider it perfect for the travelers who are coming to the Orlando area for:
- Family Walt Disney World vacations
- Couples weekend getaways
- Business conferences in the Orlando area
Endless Summer Recommendation: If you are spending the full day at a Disney theme park and are fine with shuttle bus transportation, there are less expensive on-site hotel options like:
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Our Endless Summer Hotel Rating
We consider the the Walt Disney World Swan one of the more desirable hotels in the Epcot Resort Area. As a result we rate the Walt Disney World Swan 4.0 out of a possible 5 stars and would recommend it for your next trip to visit the Walt Disney World Resort.
Check back in the coming weeks for an update when we return to review all the closed dining options and amenities as well as the Dolphin hotel.