Staying on property at Disney World Resort is a magical experience, however it’s an expensive experience that is geared more towards family trips. However a slightly more upscale experience, with a bit less Disney theming but all of the perks is easily available via the Marriott Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve properties!
Firstly all three of these properties are bookable with points, with the Swan and Dolphin ranging anywhere from 36,000 to 60,000 Marriott points per night — depending on the current promotions. Also don’t forget with Marriott you get the 5th night free whenever you book 4. Otherwise these typically go from around $300/night.
Now I will say upfront that these aren’t the usual Disney properties. These aren’t Disney themed at all really – but there are plenty of other benefits that I think far outweigh the room not being decorated with Disney theming. You get access to some great upscale restaurants right downstairs – Il Mulino, Kimonos, Todd English’s Bluezoo.
Staying here nets you a few things. Firstly, you get all the benefits of staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort, such as Early Theme Park Entry, and Extended Evening Hours. While the early theme park entry is a great perk for those looking to rope-drop their favorite ride, extended evening hours is a great way to spend some quality time in the parks with your loved one, without the usual daytime crowds.
Staying here also puts you walking distance to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. You can also choose to take the free shuttle to any of the parks, or the boats directly to Hollywood Studios & Epcot.
And if you forgot to pick up some last minute gifts, there’s a Disney store right in both the Swan & the Dolphin lobbies. There’s also a pinboard, usually at Swan, but also sometimes at the Dolphin Disney stores. Both pinboards remain rather active, and are worthwhile to check once a day!