One of the really great parts about the Walt Disney World Resort is how many amazing hotels there are to choose from when booking your stay. There are more than 25 hotels on property, and they range in price so, hopefully, every guest can find one that fits their budget. There are incredible Value Resorts like the Art of Animation all the way up to Deluxe Resorts like Animal Kingdom Lodge.
What may be interesting to some, is that not every Disney World hotel is owned by Disney. The most well-known and popular non-Disney-owned hotels are the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. The Swan and Dolphin hotels lie right in the Disney BoardWalk area. You can even take a launch boat to the hotels from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
It is important to remember that, just because the Swan and the Walt Disney World Dolphin are not owned by Disney, that does not mean they are a cheaper alternative. In fact, they can be a lot more expensive than most other Disney World hotels.
One guest recently took to Reddit to share their shock at the price tag attached to the Dolphin Resort when they recently looked at booking a stay.
Since 2021, we’ve stayed at the Dolphin 4 times and pay about $380/night (maybe up to $400) every time.
I’ve been looking for 2024, started looking back in November and prices are ASTRONOMICAL. Like $10K a night. I’ve tried all possible days, barely changes.
Some random days the Swan and Swan Reserve are down at normal prices, some are up as high as the Dolphin. Also incredibly low availability.
So, anyone have any insight?
Also****: while I appreciate all input and consideration, I know we can stay somewhere else, and we will. Just wondering why the prices are out of this world.
Many commenters said that the prices are so high because the hotel is actually sold out. However, Marriott — which runs both hotels — is willing to relocate a guest if someone else is willing to pay the high price tag.
Yes, the hotel will select any guest who booked the room either with points or the lowest price. They will contact the selected guest by email 1-2 nights before the stay, saying “Sorry we are overbooked. I’ll move you to a nearby hotel.”
This is, sadly, a deceptive practice Marriott loves to employ to maximize their profits.
Someone else said that the rooms are indeed booked, so the hotel sets the room prices unreasonably high, so people won’t want to book it.
Someone else contacted Marriott about this and I guess it’s intentional. The rooms are essentially all booked up, but instead of removing them from the site, the price jumps to an unreasonable level to help discourage having them booked. They’re non-competitive prices by design.
Now, we checked the price of The Dolphin Hotel for multiple dates throughout the year. Most of the time, the hotel did not have any availability. When it did, the standard room averaged about $3,500 per night. Which is one of the highest rates for a standard room on property.
While the Swan Resort and the Dolphin Resort are both gorgeous hotels, there are some downsides to staying at non-Disney-owned hotels. Guests staying at the Swan and the Dolphin will not be able to purchase the Disney Dining Plan. They will also not have access to theme park Extra Magic Hours or free parking at the Disney parks that other Disney Resort guests get.
Have you ever stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin Resorts? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!