We’ve said it before. The Swan and Dolphin is a truly underrated Disney resort.
Especially in the hot summer months when the true Disney magic resides in the hotel pools (and boy, do we love this resort’s pool).
Where is it?
Considered an EPCOT resort and located within walking distance of the International Gateway (i.e., World Showcase) entrance and Hollywood Studios, the Swan and Dolphin is entirely Disney, except for a minor technicality.
Technically speaking, Marriott is the one managing the hotel.
Does staying at the Swan and Dolphin mean we don’t get Disney perks?
If anything, the bonuses of staying at Swan & Dolphin outweigh many other “Disney official” resorts.
Perks of Staying at the Swan and Dolphin
Aside from the awesome Priceline deals we’ve snagged?
(BTW, we’ve been known to share details on the Priceline discount booking “hack” in our weekly Listletter. 😉)
The Disney magic prevails for Swan and Dolphin guests with perks that mirror other Disney-owned resorts, such as:
- Early Entry
- Free parking at the four theme parks, and
- Complimentary transportation to the parks
Swan and Dolphin even offers their guests access to Extended Evening Hours – an after-park-hours benefit usually reserved for those staying at the pricier Deluxe resorts.
How do Swan and Dolphin guests get to the Disney parks?
Given the proximity to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, Swan and Dolphin guests could walk or take a water taxi to either of those parks.
On the flip side, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are only accessible by bus.
While convenient in theory, the bus to Magic Kingdom will first drop you off at the Ticket and Transport Center (TTC), unlike the buses from the Disney-owned resorts (which drop you off at the front of Magic Kingdom).
If you’ve never been to the TTC, it’s a busy transportation hub where guests arriving from the parking lot, off-site resorts, or park-hopping to/from EPCOT can hop on a ferry or the monorail to get to/from Magic Kingdom.
In other words, it can be a cluster.
And it is not our favorite way to get to Magic Kingdom from the Swan and Dolphin.
So what’s the best way to get to Magic Kingdom?
We recommend skipping the TTC altogether!
While it might not necessarily be super convenient or an enormous time-saver, we prefer walking over to the BoardWalk Resort (our favorite option and enjoyable experience!) or the Yacht Club resort and bus from there.
“Convenient” is a loose term here. Buses come to Swan and Dolphin less frequently than other Disney-owned resorts.
So we consider the experience of walking to another resort – even if it is an extra few minutes – a win if it ultimately means not having to stand around waiting for a bus and being dropped off at the front of the park.
You can do the same thing in reverse when coming home for the night!
So when should we use the Ticket & Transportation Center?
Choosing whether or not to go through the TTC comes down to personal preference and your group. You know your family best!
While the TTC can be overwhelming at peak times, it has good signage and even better Cast Members who can point you in the right direction.
If you’ve never been on the monorail, we actually recommend you DO go to the TTC! You can ride the monorail to Magic Kingdom and check it off your Disney bucket list. 🙂
Need more pro tips like this in your life? The Complete Parks Strategy Playbook is bursting with our best park recommendations, tried and true vacation itineraries, plus everything else you need to put the fun back into Disney planning!