The Difference Between Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotels

walt disney world resort florida the swan and dolphin hotel differences
Credit: Disney

There are dozens of Walt Disney World resorts full of cleverly designed Mickey Mouse heads and strict property-specific world theming. The Swan and Dolphin don’t quite fall into the same hotel categories. Situated near EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Yacht Club, these two hotels easily get blended together. While The Swan and Dolphin are linked, they do have their differences.

Here’s how the relative size of the Disney Swan and Disney Dolphin is responsible for most of the two hotels’ most significant differences in cost, availability, and overall atmosphere.

Swan Hotel v. Dolphin Hotel Size Difference

walt disney world resort hotel the swan and dolphin at night

Credit: Disney

The main difference you need to know about The Swan and The Dolphin Hotels is that size actually does matter. The Dolphin Resort is almost double the size of The Swan Resort, and this translates into differences in energy, availability, and the overall general cost of each. Let’s take a look at how the atmosphere, aesthetic, design, and decor reflect their size difference.


Because The Swan is a smaller resort, Guests describe the atmosphere as down-to-earth and welcoming. The boutique-style hotel offers Guests a more personal and quiet experience – a simpler, less flashy reprieve after a long day exploring Walt Disney World. While The Swan features a toned-down but still high-end experience, The Dolphin is certainly more grand and luxurious in presentation.

Guests find the extravagant lobby alone to be quite an impressive sight, only enhanced by the modern decor. Due to its size and glamour, The Dolphin is definitely a more active hotel. High energy Guests have felt at home in The Dolphin’s “party” energy, even after a big theme park day. I mean, even The Dolphin’s palm trees put on a light show!

walt disney world resort the swan and dolphin hotel decor atmosphere

Credit: Disney

Availability/ Cost

More often than not, because The Dolphin has more rooms, it has more availability than The Swan. And, because The Swan’s rooms sell out faster just due to a smaller supply, they are usually more expensive than those at The Dolphin. However, Guests have reported that beds at The Swan are queen-sized, as opposed to The Dolphin’s smaller double beds.

In proportion to its larger amount of rooms, The Dolphin also has more available Guest room types than The Swan. If you’re the REALLY luxurious type, try renting out The Dolphin’s grand two-level suite!

Disney Theming

Guests may be surprised to find a severe lack of Disney theming within The Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and that is because they are actually managed under Marriott. Despite the missing Mickey Mouse decor, the properties are still considered deluxe Walt Disney World hotels and are located on Disney property. So here’s one BIG difference only available at The Swan…

garden grove the swan walt disney world resort hotel character dining

Credit: Disney

Character dining! Usually, on weekends, Garden Grove at The Swan serves as a character breakfast spot. While it only takes place on The Swan‘s grounds, it’s important to know that these two different hotels are inherently linked. They share all amenities and dining. So, if you’re staying in one, you can access the perks at the other.

Do you have a favorite between the Disney Swan Resort and the Disney Dolphin Resort? Both are great features for any Disney World trip!

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!