This is a hotel review from our stay back in May 2016. The hotel has over 2,000 rooms and could be compared to a Westin Hotel.
We paid for our 5 night stay at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel with SPG points. We spent a total of 10k SPG/night with the 5th night being free for a total of 40k SPG points. This was back when this hotel was a category 4. It’s now a category 5 hotel, which means it cost 12k per night and would be 48k total for 5 nights. This hotel usually books for around $250/night.
The WDW Swan is located just south of WDW Dolphin in the Epcot resort area. These two hotels are both owned by the hotel chain: Starwood Preferred Guest. This makes them the only hotels on Disney property that are bookable on points.
Being in the Epcot resort area we were able to walk to and from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. There was also the option of taking a water taxi to these locations, which we only used a couple times. For Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, we had to take a shuttle bus. Waiting for these buses as well as all the stops they had to make was kind of a pain. Sometimes the whole process took about an hour to get from our hotel to one of the two kingdoms. However, I assume this is probably no different from any other on-property resort.
Upgraded to Resort Room
The SPG Preferred Card provides Preferred Plus status and when we arrived we were upgraded from a Traditional Room to a Resort Room. The main difference is the balcony as well as the view. The room we were staying in faced out onto the north courtyard. The room was a good sized and even had a sleeper couch. We used the balcony a couple of times as well.
Extra Magic Hours and More
We utilized the extra magic hours (EMH) a couple times, which allowed us to wait in relatively short lines. However, since we didn’t have magic bands we had to show our hotel key whenever we entered for EMH. Having a booking at this hotel also allows you to book your FastPass+ selections earlier, which was nice to get our first choices for each day.
One of the other benefits is the resort package delivery. This basically means you could buy souvenirs in the park and have them delivered to your hotel. We only used this service once. For other on-property Disney hotels items are delivered directly to your room. However, with the WDW Swan you have to pick up your purchases in the Disney Store located in the hotel.
Less Disney “Magic”
One other thing to mention would be that the WDW Dolphin and Swan don’t have quite as much “Disney magic” as the other on-property hotels. Probably due to the fact that they aren’t owned by Disney. I personally didn’t mind this, but after our 5 night stay my wife mentioned that if we came back to WDW she’d like to stay at one of the other Epcot resorts. We definitely loved being close to everything and I’m not sure we would have been able to stay on-property otherwise.
The service at the Walt Disney World Swan was average nothing super special. We did get upgraded to a balcony room, which was nice and received drink vouchers. We did have a couple bad service experiences at the cafe inside the hotel. However, after tweeting about it to SPG, they refunded us our purchase and even provided us with some complimentary beverages.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Walt Disney World Swan, but I wouldn’t say it was magical or extraordinary. If you have enough SPG points though, it’s definitely good value.