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  • Author
    • sarahaas

      Registered: May 2006
      Location: PA
      Posts: 16
      Review Date: Wed February 3, 2016 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 1 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Close to Epcot/Hollywood Studios
      Cons: Dirty, dirty, dirty

      We weren't expecting Mickey Mouse to be plastered everywhere. Honestly, we weren't. The Dolphin is not a Disney hotel. However, we were expecting it to be CLEAN. Especially for the the price. Our first exposure to how things seem to be done at the Dolphin was in the parking lot. Garbage. A big ol' bag of garbage was sitting in the spot next to ours. Once we got our key cards, we headed up to the room. What did we find in the elevator? Giant, dirty handprints on the inside of the door. PS, the #5 elevator button doesn't work. Luckily, we're on 10. As we walk down the hall toward our room, we see lots of dishes and half-eaten food outside guests' doors. Most of those dishes sat there for DAYS. Ah, finally to our room. Hey look, the number plate on the room across the hall is on the floor. And we all have a big laugh. That number plate stayed on the floor the entire length of our stay.

      On the afternoon of December 24, 2015, we put the key card in the door of room #10172. The door opens…smells weird. Not bad, just weird. Okay, sometimes that happens. As we check out the room, we notice the following "luxurious" things: the room is WORN. Like, 1990-called-and-they-want-their-room-back worn, the hair dryer is sticky and dusty and hairy, the bathroom is DIM, I can't barely see in there, the toilet whistles loudly when flushed, the shower drained slowly, the floor and some drawer handles were sticky, two lights in the room didn't even work, random hairs, LOTS of dust on EVERYTHING…oh, did I mention the splintered wood on the drawer handles? Um, I'm paying how much to stay in this place dirtier than my own house?

      On the night before check-out, I called Guest Services to make sure we could get out of the parking lot the next morning. I was assured TWICE all I needed was my room key to exit the parking lot. At around 3:30am on December 28, our room key failed to allow us to exit the parking lot. We spent more than 20 minutes calling around trying to find SOMEONE to help us. There was no security in the parking lot. We were on hold multiple times with multiple people. The "help" button didn't seem to work properly, either. We were stuck. WE COULD NOT LEAVE THE PARKING LOT FOR 20 MINUTES. I could never advise anyone to stay here.
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      Registered: December 2015
      Posts: 5
      Review Date: Sat December 26, 2015 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 2 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): walking distance to Epcot, Hollywood
      Cons: price, service, dining, transportation, noise

      We booked a year in advance, requesting as high a floor as possible. We were put on the second floor, under the lobby. There was a baby screaming every night, and no evidence of sound insulation at all. We heard fireworks from two parks every night, making it difficult to be up for park opening. There were no midrange dining options--either the bargain basement grocery/cafe in the basement or the top dollar dining options (which were very good!). There is no group for whom I'd recommend this hotel.
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      Registered: January 2011
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Thu April 9, 2015 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Closeness to Epcot
      Cons: Bus to magic kingdom every 45 minutes

      Very disappointing...no transportation from or to airport. Taxi was $60 each way. The bus to Magic Kingdom came about every 45 minutes and was packed...when returning, we had a 30 minute wait for bus to return to hotel. Many ducks in pool and pooping, pool opens early but life jackets and towel shack not open till 10:30 and closed at 6. One meal in their casual restaurant for 4 adults ( choice of 4 meals, and each one was $40) toddlers charged $25 each. One meal came to $ 240 with tip. At checkout I was charged over $200 for " service fees " and parking...$25 a night for use of gym, ( never used), 2 bottles of water, and little coffee maker, $18 per day for parking..all of this plus tax...soooooooo, with $120 cab fare, $200 for service fees, and $240 for a casual dinner, and the horrible bus service to Magic Kingdom, we could have stayed at the Floridian with less stress and a truly deluxe hotel. It is not considered a Disney Hotel, so the bus service goes to the Swan and Dolphin less and with fewer busses. Never again...
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      Registered: September 2014
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Sat September 13, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location, pool, food options, cost
      Cons: large hotel, resort fee, no airport transportation

      The Dolphin and Swan offer many of the Disney Property advantages on a deluxe level for less money. My husband and I stayed 9/7-9/12 to celebrate his 50th birthday. I recommend this time frame because the parks were not crowded. Kids had just gone back to school so you mainly encountered families with young children or adults celebrating special occasions. The Dolphin is a conference hotel so it is huge but it is well planned and the elevators were great. The décor is not Disney and much of the clientele is business but you do get the complimentary transportation to the parks, the extra magic hours and an excellent location. You can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios or take a boat- the Boardwalk is adjacent to the hotel. The pool facility is awesome and you have more food options than the less expensive Disney resorts. The room size was fine for 2 people although the bathroom might be a little tight if several people were in the room. I suspect these rooms will be refurbished soon as they are looking a tad worn. We stayed in room 8023. This room had a great view, no balcony but you did have to walk a bit to get to it. I would return to this hotel even with the $23 resort fee. The benefits outweigh the cons.
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      Registered: July 2010
      Posts: 26
      Review Date: Sun December 8, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Lots of elevators, friendly staff, great restaurants
      Cons: Dated

      The room was clean and well equipped. We found the decor dated with a faux '50s look and unchanged from when we stayed many years ago, many layers of paint on the walls. The restaurants here and at the Swan are uniformly great and folks staying anywhere in the Epcot area should take advantage of them. We also note that S and D are offering a fastpass plus service, where you make your choices at stations inside the parks. We didn't use the service this trip. Dolphin and Swan are our choices when the Disney Epcot resorts are fully booked or not offering advantageous rates.
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      Registered: January 2009
      Location: Sound Beach, NY
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Tue October 22, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): close to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Boardwalk
      Cons: bus to DTD

      My husband and I just arrived home from a 5 night stay at the Dolphin (sans kids!) for the Food and Wine Festival. Overall we thought the hotel was great. Within walking distance to EPCOT, HS and the Boardwalk. It was so nice to be able to quickly walk over to the Boardwalk area for shopping, something to eat, or just the ambiance.
      Check-in was a breeze, quick and efficient. We stayed using our Starwood points, so the total bill was $95, for the extra fees they charge. Our room was a king bed with a partial view of the boardwalk and Swan. If you craned your neck, you could watch the EPCOT fireworks.
      The beds at the Dolphin are extremely heavenly! I have never slept so well at a hotel. And, am hoping to talk my husband into buying one!
      We sat at the pool one afternoon and really enjoyed it. Although not themed (like other Disney resorts) it had exactly what you would want, and a slide for kids too. And, although we didn't order anything, there was sufficient staff walking around taking drink and food orders.
      We ate at BlueZoo one evening. Delicious!! We also ordered ice cream from the Dolphin Fountain...so good...
      The room is a little dated looking, but I felt the comfort of the bed far out-wayed the dated feel. On our first night, the toilet didn't flush, and someone came up within 2 minutes of a call to the front desk and fixed it quickly.
      Now, for my only complaint. The hotel rooms have Starbucks coffee pods. I was sooo excited to see this, as I am a serious coffee drinker and need a strong cup of coffee in the morning. The only problem? The pods did not fit into the coffee maker they had (different make of machine), they were way too big. So, on my first morning, after making a complete mess (water and coffee everywhere) I stopped using it. Total bummer.
      Overall, I would stay here again and can't wait to go back. Yes, it definitely feels a little convention/business like at times (especially at night when you have to walk through the bar to get to the hotels). But, I think the pros far out-way the cons!
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      Registered: November 2009
      Posts: 35
      Review Date: Tue August 20, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location
      Cons: Everything else

      It was cheap, and close to Epcot. But ultimately you get what you pay for. Dated is a kind word for this property. And ZERO Disney theming/magic. Will never stay here again. Spend a little more money and stay at the Port Orleans Riverside. Best deal going on sight IMHO.
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      Registered: May 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Thu May 16, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 4 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great location close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
      Cons: Rude staff, Dirty rooms

      We have been to Disney World several times and always look forward to our yearly vacation there. Two years ago we stayed at the Dolphin and it was fantastic! Enough so that we stayed again this year....

      Unfortunately it was the opposite experience this time around. We are members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program and had a resort view room on reserve. When we got there they told us that they had given our room away! We were stuck with a view of the service area/roof top. In addition,there was old garbage in the drawers of the dresser, the coffee maker was broken (as was the refrigerator), there were stains and holes in the bed sheets, the shower curtain was torn. The list was EXTENSIVE! To make matters worse, we were given poor attitudes from members of the wait staff at the ice cream shop downstairs.

      We tried contacting the manager, but she did not get back to us until after we had returned home! We were there for a whole week and were very disappointed. They tried to "bribe" us with a free taxi ride, but we do not feel that this was fair compensation for ruining our hotel experience. This is unfortunate because we will not be staying at the Dolphin in the future due to this experience. We also let Disney know as their name is attached to the property. They were much more helpful!
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      Registered: April 2006
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Tue May 7, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Walk to Epcot and Boardwalk
      Cons: Not Disney Property

      Hotel was nice and close to great locations at Disney (walking distance to Epcot/Boardwalk).

      The hotel had more of a business feel to it due to conferences going on – didn’t get the “Disney” feeling of being at other hotels on property.

      Main complaint about hotel - we were on the 6th floor for a week and complained about bad odor in hallway (smelled horrible – complained three times). Our complaint didn't seem to matter to front desk. They did nothing to move us to different room and no other adjustments were made.

      Also can’t partake in Disney Magical Express.
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      Registered: July 2008
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Sat December 15, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, cost
      Cons: front desk confusion

      I stayed here for 2 nights to attend a medical conference. My room was ok but could use some updating. The beds were very comfy. I paid $199 a night with my conference rate.

      I had my sister who lives locally spend the night for a girls' night out. I asked the front desk to add her to the reservation but when she got there they didn't have her on the reservation. They had to call me and verify the information while I was on a special tour at the Magic Kingdom. Annoying!

      We ate at the poolside restaurant and it was great! Good service. The pool (too cool to swim for old people like me) looked nice and there is a cute little beach.

      Christmas decorations were pretty but there was a weird piped in scent in the lobby. The lobby could also use some updating as well.

      I would have given a 9 if not for the front desk issue.
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      Registered: October 2008
      Location: North Reston VA
      Posts: 33
      Review Date: Fri December 7, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location/Price/Exterior Decor
      Cons: Not enough Disney/Big Conventions

      The location would earn an "11" - but there are a lot of business people around - usually sales "types- "not that there is anything wrong with that", but it does diminish the Disney magic experience. The bar area was noisy and crowded but you cannot hear it in your room and I believe the business people had rooms in the upper floors. We had the Government rate which is very reasonable for a deluxe resort. The pool is great and the entire Swan and Dolphin resort area is as beautiful as any Disney Deluxe resort - some would say more - the pastel colors of the exterior are perfect. They did put us next to the elevators and our view was the roof of the convention hall but I don't go to WDW to stay in my room. There were thousands of 12-13 year olds around Monday night (12/3) - not sure what was going on but they were "magically" gone Tuesday morning. We were allowed to check out at 12:30 without charge - you ask the day of check-out. We stayed in the Swan in 2008 and do prefer it more (see review Oct 2011). The convenience of the boat transportation is wonderful.
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      Registered: November 2007
      Location: Naples, FL
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Sun October 21, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, price, service, beautiful grounds
      Cons: none for us!

      We just returned from a weekend stay at the Dolphin Resort at Disney. We have stayed here once before as a couple, but this trip included our two children (ages 9 and 8) and my husband’s parents (in their 70s and 80s). I was able to get a teacher’s rate for both rooms as they were both under my name. Being a Starwood Preferred Plus member, I was upgraded to a resort view upon check-in. I mentioned it specifically at check-in, but they may very well have upgraded us anyway.

      Our room was comfortable, although a bit worn. The beds were “heavenly”, the particular room we had was spacious (although my in-laws’ room was a bit smaller), and the view was very pleasant of the adjacent Swan as well as the lake. The bathroom is a bit small for such a nice resort, but the showerhead and water pressure is lovely. The included coffee for the room is Starbucks. There was more than enough storage for clothes and such. Wi-Fi was rather weak in our room, but it was easy to log in and use (included in the resort fee). It was quiet and though we occasionally heard a boisterous child or two in the hallways, it was seldom and expected (being at Disney). We were never woken up in the middle of the night with loud neighbors or the like. We couldn’t even hear the rooms next to us. The Friendship boat can be heard during park hours, but it’s a pleasant muffled sound. Fireworks can be heard at the nearby Epcot, but they are relatively few and brief.

      Service was very friendly. In fact, we ran into one of the maintenance workers when we were checking out and he asked us about our stay, talked to our kids about what they enjoyed, and wished us safe travels. Being that his position isn’t directly service-related, this shows that the entire staff is customer-service oriented and friendly.

      We did not use the pools or recreation areas this trip, but the pool was beautiful and clear (though a bit cold when we touched the water) and there is plenty to do, from basketball to volleyball to ping-pong. The fitness center is well-equipped. Restaurants abound, though they are pricey.

      We only went to Epcot for this trip, but we know the Swan and Dolphin to be convenient to the parks. You can walk or ride a boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney can be accessed by bus, though I recommend driving to Downtown Disney if you have a car. The Epcot resorts sometimes share a bus which can make it a long and crowded ride.

      Overall, this is a very pleasant resort and it is significantly less expensive than staying at a Disney deluxe resort, which often costs in the neighborhood of $300-400 per night. If you can get a teacher or nurse rate, you can pay as little as $159 per night at the Dolphin. AAA rate is a bit more expensive, but still more reasonable than the Disney deluxe resorts.
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      Registered: April 2008
      Location: iowa
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Tue October 2, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Beautiful, close to everything, friendly staff
      Cons: None

      We stayed at the Dolphin for the first time in September2012. This resort is wonderful. Since it was low season, we got a great rate. I have stayed at other moderate & deluxe resorts at WDW & this is my new favorite. It is so close to dozens of restaurants & is a close walk or boat ride to Epcot & the Studios. The room was nice, spacious compared to others, nice balcony & great view. The pool complex is outstanding. Staff was very helpful. The layout is a bit confusing, but not more so than other resorts. Amenities are great, especially for the low price in off season. We will return to this resort on our next visit.
      I recommend watching Illuminations inside Epcot at night near the International Gateway, as it is easy to leave the park, take the boat back to the resort & be in your room within 30 minutes.
      Also, walk to Beaches & Cream restaurant at Boardwalk resort. Great food & desserts for the low price!
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      Registered: April 2006
      Location: Maryland
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Wed April 18, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Everything!
      Cons: Nothing!

      We loved everything about the Dolphin!! We were there from 3/30 to 4/6. My family and I are HUGE Disney fans and I honestly was slightly worried that we may not see as much Disney magic here. I soon found out that I had nothing to worry about! We really felt like we were staying in the very heart of Disney World and you can't get more magical than that! We have previously stayed at ASM, Pop, CBR and Poly but have never had this kind of access to multiple parks before. Being able to either walk or take a boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios was something we were really able to take advantage of. The walk to both parks was a very easy distance and we never had to wait long for a boat. When we did need to take a bus, it was nice to have a covered place to wait complete with benches and a TV. From the second we checked in we really felt like we were being taken care of. They even had a Wii set up for anyone wanting to play while they waited to check in! Every staff member that we encountered was very friendly and helpful.

      The lobby is beautiful!! That beauty carried on throughout the rest of the resort too. Also there is never a lack of things to do there. Just within the Dolphin alone, there are 6 different place to eat and multiple places to get a nice drink. While we were there we saw live musical entertainment in the lobby as well as in Bluezoo. Although no one in our party has kids, the Camp Dolphin kid's club looked like fun. They had a table set up near the front desk with a staff member from the camp there to inform parents and interact with the kids.

      I loved that even though the Dolphin is not Disney owned, they have a Disney Store called Daisy's Garden! It has everything any other Disney resort store would have, including the Disney music! We also loved that we didn't miss out on the Disney resort benefits like the Extra Magic Hours and having our park purchases delivered to the resort.

      We loved the pool area!! The Grotto pool was our favorite because of it's winding shape, waterfall and slide. The pools are shared with the Swan Resort but because the pool area is so large it never felt like it was too crowded. Even though we were there during spring break, we actually were able to get chairs every time we went. Along with the huge Grotto pool there are also 2 lap pools. The pool area also has jacuzzis, a beach with hammocks, beach volleyball, a basketball court, ping pong, a dj that plays games with the kids as well as music and a pool bar and lounge area. You could stay there all day!!

      Our room was beautiful and very clean! We even had an amazing view of The Tower of Terror, the Sorcerer Mickey Hat, and the water tower of Hollywood Studios! We had 4 adults in our standard size room and never felt cramped. We all felt that the beds were really comfortable too!

      I know the Dolphin is labeled as a convention resort but the majority of people that we saw there were families and regular resort guests. We did see people that were clearly there for conventions but they pretty much just kept to themselves. The rooms holding the conventions are separated from the common areas of the resort. I personally would never foresee the fact that conventions take place there as an issue at all. It didn't take away from our family vacation in any way!

      We go to Disney World every year and staying at the Dolphin made our trip extra special. Being steps away from The Boardwalk and short walks/boat rides away from 2 parks really enhanced our vacation. One night we walked to Epcot to see Illuminations and on our walk back to the Dolphin by way of The Boardwalk we saw the fireworks from Wishes at the Magic Kingdom! Then from our room we saw the fireworks from Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios! That was definitely something new and so exciting for us! We really felt like we were in the heart of all the action! We loved everything about the Dolphin resort and are already thinking about when we can go back!
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      Registered: January 2010
      Location: Richmond Virginia
      Posts: 91
      Review Date: Mon April 16, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great location, beautiful hotel
      Cons: None

      We stayed here one night while visiting Disney World – waiting for our reservations at the Wilderness Lodge the next day. We stayed on Starwood Preferred Guest Points. The hotel is beautiful!! This is my third time staying at the Dolphin and its lobby has recently been remodeled. Our room was on the 15th floor and had a king bed with a roll-a-way bed for my 12yo daughter. The roll-a-way was the nicest roll-a-way I’ve ever seen in a hotel. My daughter said it was very comfortable and very sturdy. The bed was delivered to our room with-in 10 minutes of our arrival in our room. The room faced the Magic Kingdom and we could see the fireworks at the MK at 10PM. Our king bed was very comfortable with top quality sheets and bedding. The bathroom was clean and very spacious with nice thick towels.

      My only complaint is the check-in process. It took nearly 30 minutes for me to just get to the counter for check-in, and there were only about 10 people in front of me when I arrived. They had about a dozen staff members working the counter so I thought check-in would have been a lot quicker. The other two times I stayed here, I got dropped off by a bus with about 30 other people at the same time and check-in only took about 10 minutes.

      Would stay here again.
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