Roberta W (2 Posts)

Roberta W. grew up watching Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on TV in the 60's. She first experienced Walt Disney World when she went there for a business conference in 2002 and has been going every year since. After staying at several of the Disney Resorts, she found that she prefers the Swan and Dolphin Resort because of it's location, ambiance and restaurants. “I'll admit that in this mid-point of my life, I enjoy the good things in life and this includes a quiet room to relax and a comfy bed.” She and Marc had their Disney Fairytale Wedding at the Poly in October 2011, with their honeymoon at the Swan. She is often asked for advice from others on trip planning by friends and co-workers. A finance professional, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Marc, and is Mom to 2 dogs (Jac & Zero).

Do you know what I love most about a Walt Disney World vacation? Everything! I just love being there. Unfortunately, it can be costly venture, especially nowadays. I have been going to Walt Disney World every year since 2002, but this year is different.

My first trip there was for a business conference. I remember actually being upset that the conference was going to be held at The Contemporary Resort rather than at the usual hotel in Fort Lauderdale! Once I checked in and started exploring the resort, I started to feel better about the place and that night as I sat in my hotel room watching TV, I heard this music coming from Bay Lake – the Electrical Water Pageant was performing for just for me as I stepped out onto my balcony (yes, I had an excellent view). On that first full day there I went to EPCOT with a co-worker who was there with me for the conference. I just knew then that my boyfriend (now husband) would absolutely love it at the World! He chose to stay home rather than join me for the trip as he said,

“What is there for an adult to do at Walt Disney World?”

Now it’s one of his biggest regrets – that he didn’t come with me and stay for a week at the Contemporary for the cost of airfare & a park ticket!

Yours truly on Luau Beach at the Poly overlooking the Contemporary

Yours truly on Luau Beach at the Poly overlooking the Contemporary. Photo credit: Roberta Woodard

The following year we both came to spend an entire week at the World, this time staying at the Yacht Club. The few days I attended the conference Marc was out and about exploring all of the parks. I had arranged for him to take the Keys To The Kingdom Tour and he was now totally hooked on the magic. Two more conference trips in the following two years had us staying at the Gaylord Palms and the Orlando World Center Marriott. The year we stayed at the Orlando World Center Marriott was different, as we had arranged to spend a few days after the conference at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. I don’t usually like to switch hotels mid-stay, but this time I didn’t mind. From then on we were both hooked on the Swan, which was a good thing, as then the conferences ended.

The Swan's pool is much smaller than that of the Dolphin, but it's usually less crowded and mostly attracts adults.

The Swan’s pool is much smaller than that of the Dolphin, but it’s usually less crowded and mostly attracts adults. Photo credit: Roberta Woodard

I know the Swan and Dolphin is not for everyone. As much as they try, you are not as immersed in the Disney atmosphere. It is missing the Mickey clad wallpaper, bedding & carpeting, there are no towel characters provided by the cleaning staff and the ever present Disney music in the lobby is replaced by generic hotel muzak, but I don’t mind at all. Maybe it’s that I discovered WDW as a convention attendee that it works for me as it is a convention hotel? Or maybe it’s because the location, price, plus the ambiance is just right for us on a Florida vacation smack dab in the World? We’ve subsequently stayed in Disney Resorts from the Pop Century to the Grand Floridan and the Swan is home away from home to us while we are there. Plus the staff has always done a great job in making us feel welcome. That goes a long way!

Back to the why of this year being different for us:

This is the first year that we won’t be going to WDW. [insert gasp here!]

No one feels worse about this that the two of us, but since we drove out to visit my family in New York earlier this year, the costs associated with a trip to WDW are up substantially this year and, to top it off, the Swan is totally booked for several days the week like we go – the week of our anniversary. So we have decided to hold off and plan for a trip in 2014. I hate to break a tradition, but sometimes a girl’s got no choice! It does give me plenty of time to plan and save up a little bit of cash to pay for it!

Yours truly at the Swan - photo credit: Randy Chapman

Yours truly at the Swan – photo credit: Randy Chapman

One thought on “Found Our Home Away from Home at the Swan and Dolphin

  1. You are right: Swan and Dolphin are not the “usual” Disney resorts, but the architecture is really original and it is close to Epcot. It is also one of the architectural landmark of the Eisner era at WDW.

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