Happy Saturday friends! Mom and I are finally home from our runcation for WDW Marathon Weekend, and we had the best time, but I am excited to be back home and in my own bed again. Also, sleeping in is pretty nice too! Everyone on my Instagram story poll answered that they were interested in a review of our stay at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, so here it is for ya!
I’ll start this review off by saying we normally do not stay on property. My parents are Marriot Vacation Club owners which is similar to the Disney Vacation Club, so we usually stay at the Marriott vacations clubs in Orlando. They are always super nice, spacious and conveniently located to the park, but there is something extra about staying on property. Recently, Marriott purchased the company who owns the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, so we were able to redeem our Marriot points while staying on property. Best of both worlds!
Truthfully, this trip was booked super last minute. We could not make any definite plans until I knew what I was going to be doing for graduate school, so we booked towards the end of November, and to our surprise we had no issue getting a room for Marathon Weekend. We chose to stay on the Swan side because it was cheaper, and in the end, I am glad we did but more on that later. Unfortunately, I got 0 pictures of our room since I decided to write this review after we destroyed the room with all our stuff, so I apologize about that, but you can enjoy these selfies we took in the mirror of our room!
The Swan Hotel is almost right in the center of the Walt Disney World Resort. It is towards the back side of Epcot, across the street from Hollywood Studios, right down the road from Animal Kingdom, and an easy 10-minute ride to Magic Kingdom! It has great and easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios through the Boardwalk and sidewalks! Going to and from Hollywood Studios we either walked or took the boat. It was maybe a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute boat ride. We loved the fact that we had the option to walk because one night the line for the boat leaving Studios was super long because the park had just closed, so we decided to walk back to our room and actually managed to beat the boat back! Overall, I would definitely say this is one of the more accessible Disney resorts I have stayed at in relation to access to the parks which is a great plus when booking your resort.
The purpose of this trip was so that we could run in the races for the WDW Marathon Weekend. Both mom and I participated in the 5k but only I participated in the 10k on Thursday. This resort was perfectly located because of its access to the Boardwalk. From our hotel, you only had to walk over one bridge to be on the Boardwalk. This worked out perfect for the 10k since the course ran a loop around the Boardwalk. Mom was able to sleep in and wake up just in time to catch me running past the hotel, and she was able to go back to the room and get ready for the day while I finished the race. We did not book this hotel because of its location in reference to the race, but it ended up being a HUGE bonus. It is definitely something we are going to keep in mind when we travel back for race weekends. Although, it needs to be mentioned that runDisney does not always keep the same courses, so the race you’re running is not guaranteed to pass by the Boardwalk! A plus was also how close we were in relation to Epcot which was the starting line for both the 5K and 10k. It was about a 5-minute bus ride each way, and I would guesstimate that it would be about a 10-minute bus ride to a Magic Kingdom start line!
The one thing we noticed throughout our stay was the people roaming our hotel in business suits. It was kind of funny to see mom and I walking in from our 5K decked out in our Minnie Mouse costumes while all the men were in nice suits to spend a day at a convention. Two completely opposite ends of the spectrum. We noticed them roaming, but they weren’t everywhere. We ran over to the Dolphin side during our stay to grab a drink from the supermarket type store, and we walked straight into a cocktail hour full of businesspeople galore. The Dolphin hotel had a larger selection of fine dining which is more acclimated to businesspeople attending a conference where as the Swan had a character dining location. From that, I would assume that the Swan is more geared towards families visiting Disney World and the Dolphin was more for conference and convention attendees. Granted, we did not stay at the Dolphin, so I don’t have a comprehensive review to give of that side or a full opinion, but like I said this is what I saw during our stay.
The resort itself was beautiful! If I were to place it based on a Disney quality scale, I would say it would probably fall under the Moderate category. Our room has a resort view, so we faced the Dolphin side but from our window, you could get a glimpse of the Boardwalk and the fireworks. Down at the end of our hallway, there was a large circular window which had a beautiful view of Epcot and Illuminations every night! Next time, mom and I agreed we would try to request a park view. There were rooms directly to the left of our rooms which had balconies which probably had perfect views of Epcot, the Boardwalk, and Illuminations! Our room was a standard room with one King bed and a large pull out couch. The one thing I really liked was the bathroom had two separate areas. The first area was a sink with a mirror and the closet directly behind it. The second area was where the bath, toilet, and second mirror/sink area was located. Having the two mirrors and sinks was extremely helpful every morning when mom and I were doing our makeup and hair for the day! Overall, it was a pretty standard room!
The part I was most excited for about staying at the Swan was all of the great benefits you receive as a guest. It is not classified as a Disney World Hotel but because it’s on property, you receive all the same benefits as a guest in a Disney World Hotel. We were able to book our fast passes 90 days in advance to get all the best rides, we could use extra magic hours, and utilize Disney Transportation. We had the option to take buses to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the water parks. The boat was the offered mode of transportation to get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You could also walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios if you wanted to, and it wasn’t a bad walk by any means! In regards to RunDisney, we also had all the transportation options available to us too. So they had buses available to and from the Expo throughout the days and times it was open, and race day transportation starting at 3:30 A.M.
Overall, Mom and I really enjoyed our stay at the Walt Disney World Swan hotel. It had great perks in regards to playing in the parks and participating in the races. The rooms and hotel were great quality, and the staff was all so helpful and kind. And you can’t beat being able to watch Illuminations from your hotel every night!