Disney Dining Plans: The Full Scoop on Swan & Dolphin Resorts at Walt Disney World Resort

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So, you’ve got your sights set on the Swan and Dolphin Resorts for your Disney vacation, but there’s one question nagging at you: can you get the Disney Dining Plan at Swan and Dolphin?

Disney Dining Plans are not available for guests staying at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Even though these resorts are on Disney property, they are not owned or operated by Disney, so they don’t offer all the same perks as Disney-owned resorts.

But don’t let that dissuade you – the dining options are abundant at both Swan and Dolphin, as well as the surrounding area which is within walking distance of the Boardwalk, Yacht Club, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

So are there any other options?

What kind of dining options can you find in the surrounding area?

Are there any special discounts available for Annual Passholders or Florida residents?

Keep reading, and we’ll help you navigate these questions like a seasoned Disney pro.

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The Swan and Dolphin Resorts and Disney Dining Plans

Picture this: you’re doing your research on Disney Park Advisor for your upcoming trip and you’ve settled on The Swan or Dolphin Resorts.

Great choices – both!

The only problem is that you don’t see the option to add the Disney Dining Plan.

What gives?

(Note: as of this writing in April of 2023 the dining plan still hasn’t made its way back.)

Well, there’s a story behind this, and it all comes down to the unique relationship between these two resorts and the mouse house. (Hint: it’s complicated.)

Back in the day, the Disney Dining Plan was a fan favorite.

The Disney Dining Plan was a prepaid meal plan exclusive to Walt Disney World resort guests. It was like a culinary passport, giving you access to an array of dining options across the parks and resorts.

Imagine having all your meals bought and paid for before you even set foot in the Magic Kingdom!

How cool is that?!?

That’s what made the Disney Dining Plan a hit. No need to worry about meal budgets mid-vacation or fumbling with bills post-meal (except for gratuities).

With the Disney Dining Plan, you got flexibility and variety. From quick service meals to fine dining experiences, the plan catered to every palate. Plus, it often represented a great value, potentially saving you up to 20% on your meals.

Convenience, savings, and a world of flavors at your fingertips – that was the magic of the Disney Dining Plan.

On just about every visit we made when we were staying for multiple days, we used the Dining Plan.

But there was a catch…

This meal ticket wasn’t available at the Swan and Dolphin. (And no, it’s not because they offended Goofy at a BBQ.)

Here’s the deal: the Swan and Dolphin Resorts aren’t technically “Disney” resorts.

So, why are the Swan and Dolphin Resorts the odd ducks out (pun totally intended)?

Well, these resorts were built on Disney property but aren’t owned or operated by Disney itself. Instead, they’re managed by Marriott.

While they’ve got prime real estate smack in the middle of Walt Disney World, they’re actually managed by a third-party and this technicality means that they’re excluded from the Disney Dining Plan.

So, even though the Disney Dining Plan isn’t currently available (cue the sad trombone), when it was, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts weren’t part of the club.

But hey, don’t let that get you down.

These resorts have plenty to offer, and who knows what the future may hold? So, keep your Mickey ears on, and let’s see what other magic we can uncover.

So what are your options?

The Quick Service Dine Card

At this point, since there are no pre-paid dining offers of any kind available, the options are limited. However, there is one perk that’s exclusive to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts – the Quick Service Dine Card.

This card has changed the game for non-Disney owned hotels, including the Swan and Dolphin. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and what it can offer you during your stay.

It changed the game for non-Disney owned hotels, including Swan and Dolphin

The Quick Service Dine Card is a great option for those who want to enjoy quick service meals at Walt Disney World Resort. It offers a convenient and cost-effective way to dine at a variety of dining locations throughout the resort, including quick-service restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin.

This card is especially beneficial for guests staying at non-Disney owned hotels, like the Swan and Dolphin, who are not eligible for the Disney Dining Plan. With the Quick Service Dine Card, you can still enjoy the convenience of pre-paid meals without having to stay at a Disney-owned hotel.

The card works by allowing you to pre-pay for a certain number of quick service meals per day.

You can choose to purchase a card for one day or multiple days, depending on the length of your stay.

Each day, you’ll receive a certain number of meal credits that can be redeemed at participating quick-service restaurants throughout the resort.

Benefits of the Quick Service Dine Card

There are several benefits to using the Quick Service Dine Card during your stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Here are just a few:

  • Convenience: The card allows you to pre-pay for your meals, so you don’t have to worry about carrying cash or credit cards with you to the parks.
  • Cost-effective: The card can save you money compared to purchasing meals individually. Plus, you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending on food each day.
  • Flexibility: You can use your meal credits at a variety of quick-service restaurants throughout the resort, including those at the Swan and Dolphin.
  • Time-saving: With the Quick Service Dine Card, you won’t have to spend time waiting in line to pay for your meals. You can simply redeem your meal credits and enjoy your food.

Other Dining Options at The Swan and Dolphin

Ok – since the pre-paid stuff is off the menu (once again – pun intended), what other options do you have?

With a wide variety of dining options, you’ll be able to satisfy your cravings no matter what you’re in the mood for. Here’s a breakdown of the dining options available to you.

Swan and Dolphin Resorts boast a total of 17 restaurants and lounges, each with its own unique atmosphere and cuisine.

From upscale signature restaurants to quick-service spots, there’s something for everyone.

Signature Restaurants

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, look no further than Todd English’s bluezoo.

This award-winning restaurant features fresh seafood and innovative presentations that will tantalize your taste buds.

Other signature restaurants at Swan and Dolphin include Il Mulino New York Trattoria, which serves fine authentic Italian cuisine, and there’s also Shula’s Steak House, which offers mouth-watering steaks and an extensive wine list.

Quick-Service Spots

If you’re on the go and looking for a quick bite, there are plenty of options available to you.

Fuel up for a day at the nearby theme parks at Picabu, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you’re in the mood for pizza, head to Fuel, which offers made-to-order pies and salads.

Chill is another quick-service spot that serves a variety of juices, cocktails, beer, and wine.

Dining at the Neighboring Theme Parks

While there are plenty of dining options at Swan and Dolphin, you may also want to explore the dining options at the neighboring theme parks.

Magic Kingdom, for example, offers a variety of character dining experiences (like Cinderella’s Royal Table and The Crystal Palace), where you can meet your favorite Disney characters while enjoying a meal.

Animal Kingdom has a range of dining options, from quick-service spots to signature restaurants, and Tusker House, which character dining buffet option that is delicious!

Of course EPCOT is known for numerous different restaurants (Le Cellier is by far my favorite).

So, whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal or a quick snack, Swan and Dolphin Resorts have got you covered.

With so many dining options available, you’ll be able to indulge in all your favorite food items and try some new ones too.

Boardwalk & Yacht Club

You’re not limited to just the food in the parks though.

Disney’s Boardwalk and Yacht Club resort area is easily within walking distance and literally just a short 5 minute walk away from the Swan and Dolphin.

Just a short walk delivers you into a food lover’s paradise, offering a smorgasbord of dining options. It’s like an international food festival right at your doorstep.

From the casual comfort of Boardwalk Bakery’s pastries to ESPN’s restaurant with standard sports bar fare, to the upscale elegance of Flying Fish’s seafood, there’s a meal for every mood here.

Looking for a quick bite? The Boardwalk’s food carts have you covered. Craving a romantic dinner? Try Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club Resort.

The dining scene here isn’t just about the food; it’s about the experience.

For instance, you can indulge yourself in outstanding Italian cuisine at Trattoria al Forno while basking in the glow of the boardwalk lights.

Or enjoying a beachside lunch at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at the Yacht Club Resort.

Keep this in mind:

You do not have to be staying at a resort to dine in one of the restaurants located there. 

Years ago, when we first started our regular trips to the mouse house it was always a weird feeling for me; could we go eat at Ohana without staying at the Polynesian? Could we go to 1900 Park Fare without staying at the Grand Floridian?

The answer is yes.

You most certainly can.

So if you feel like adventuring out of the Swan or Dolphin, you can eat literally anywhere you want and that includes restaurants in any of the resorts.

Swan versus Dolphin: A Tale of Two Resorts

Caught in the “Swan or Dolphin” dilemma at Walt Disney World? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Both resorts, comparable to Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, are under the esteemed Marriott Bonvoy umbrella, and share the same neighborhood within the park. But, like twin siblings, they’ve got their unique traits.

Room Rumble: Swan flaunts an upscale, adult-appealing vibe, while Dolphin swings towards a more family-focused atmosphere. Swan, the compact sibling, is easier to navigate with just about half the rooms Dolphin offers. But here’s the kicker: Dolphin shoots back with roomier spaces for standard rooms, some even boasting eye-popping views of the Disney fireworks.

Luxury Level Up: Fancy a step up in luxury? Cast your eyes on the new kid on the block, the Swan Reserve. A mere fifth of a mile away from Swan and Dolphin, this resort cranks up the luxury factor with some of the most spacious, swanky guest rooms around.

Location, Location, Location: Both Swan and Dolphin ace the location game, cuddled up within strolling distance of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Plus, they’re neighbors with the ever-popular BoardWalk. So, you can saunter off to your favorite spots without breaking a sweat over transportation.

Unwind in Style: After a day packed with Disney magic, their white sand beach and lap pools beckon for some serious relaxation. Then, sink into the Heavenly Bed (a Westin signature, folks!) for a dreamy sleep.

A Walk to Remember: A scenic walking path binds Swan and Dolphin to the BoardWalk, allowing you to soak in the sights and burn off those Mickey-shaped ice cream calories.

Summing it Up: Whether you lean towards the upscale or the family-friendly, Swan and Dolphin have got you covered. Prime location? Check. Easy park access? Absolutely. So whichever sibling you pick, you’re in for a treat. Remember, you’re in Disney World – it’s a win-win!

Swan and Dolphin: Unwrapping the Perks

Teetering on the edge of booking your stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts at Walt Disney World? Great news! Let’s dive into the perks these resorts lay on the table.

Perks Exposed

The Swan and Dolphin Resorts don’t just promise a comfy bed to crash.

They’re your ticket to early theme park entry and extended evening theme park hours. Imagine breezing past the crowds, savoring your favorite rides with barely any wait times. Yeah, it’s that good.

Got places to be in the resort?

No problem.

Take your pick from the transport menu: a tranquil water taxi ride to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios or a shuttle bus to other exciting areas and Disney resorts within Walt Disney World Resort.

Swan or Dolphin?

Whichever you choose, you’re in for a treat.

Both promise a variety of room options, coupled with the enchanting perks of extra magic hours and early entry.

Related & Frequently Asked Questions

Are you planning to stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts at Walt Disney World and wondering about the dining plans? Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you plan your stay.

Q: Can I take a dip in the Dolphin Pool if I’m staying at the Swan Resort?

A: Absolutely! When you’re at the Swan, the Dolphin pool isn’t off-limits. Both resorts share amenities (pool areas included) so you can lounge poolside at both places during your stay.

Q: What if I’m a guest at Swan, can I still use the Dolphin Pool?

A: You bet! Just like we mentioned earlier, guests at both resorts can soak up the sun and splash around in either pool. All the amenities, pools included, are shared.

Q: Fridge in the rooms at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts?

A: Need to stash leftovers from dinner? No problem. Both Swan and Dolphin Resorts equip their rooms with fridges. So feel free to stash your drinks, munchies, and whatever you fancy in there during your stay.

Q: Can I use Disney gift cards to cover meal costs at these resorts?

A: Yes, sirree! Just whip out your Disney gift card when it’s time to pay.

Q: Any perks for Annual Passholders?

A: You bet there are! Annual Passholders are eligible for discounts on dining at both resorts. Don’t forget to flash your Annual Pass at payment time to snag that discount.

Q: Is the Marriott Bonvoy program applicable at these resorts?

A: Yes, it sure is! The Swan and Dolphin Resorts are part of the Marriott Bonvoy brigade. You can rake in those points and redeem them during your stay.

Q: Do these resorts charge a daily resort fee?

A: Afraid so. But the daily resort fee doesn’t just disappear into thin air – it covers a spread of amenities like Wi-Fi, fitness center access, and transportation to the Disney parks.

Q: What about the Splash Pool Bar?

A: The Splash Pool Bar is cozily nestled at the Dolphin Resort. Guests from both resorts can enjoy drinks and snacks while working on their tans by the pool.

Q: Any special offers for Florida residents?

A: Yes, there are! If you’re a Florida resident, you’re in for discounts on dining and accommodations at these resorts. Just remember to present your Florida ID at the time of booking or payment.

Q: What’s the deal with the Disney Dining Promo Card?

A: The Disney Dining Promo Card is a special offer that pops up at certain times of the year. Keep your eyes peeled on the resort or Disney website for updates.

Nexts Steps

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