I’m heading back to Disney World for the first time since 1999 and I was looking at staying at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, managed by Starwood as Westin & Sheraton properties.  The hotels are great in that you get all the benefits of staying in a Disney Resort, including the extra hours benefit and Disney transportation, but you earn SPG points as well. There’s even a boat directly from the hotel to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. While looking under the special rates section of the hotel’s website I noted the following:

Now, I’m used to SPG50 rates usually being ridiculous due to the rack requirement, but I decided to call SPG and price out the hotel using the code and hoping for some Disney magic.  Well, Mickey and his pals would not be happy with this discount, $199 plus 1000 SPG points per night for my selected dates and a resort fee of $14 per night.  This is compared to the best available rate of $189, the AAA rate of $177.65, or the pre-paid rate of $179. Once again, the SPG50 rate proves worthless. I think I’ll be keeping my points! Anyone know of any other offers for these properties?  I did note a teacher and nurse discount offer:

PS – I am very excited to re-explore Epcot now that I’ve actually visited 65 other countries!!

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Abhishek Duggal August 22, 2012 - 8:46 pm

My wife & I are headed there for Labor Day weekend as well! Let me know if you find good deals on Disney World Tickets please!

We are staying at the Hilton Tuscany! Call HHonors & see if they ask you to be transferred to hear about a timeshare telemarketing offer 😉

adam August 22, 2012 - 10:25 pm

@ Abhisehk Duggal – Will do, let me know as well and thanks for the tip on the Hilton!

Perryplatypus August 22, 2012 - 10:15 pm

My wife and I stayed go to Disney World 3 to 4 times a year and have a blast every time we visit. If you can get the Swan at the same rate book there as it will be more quiet. The Dolphin is great but because it a convention hotel it can get noisy in the evenings. Also whats’s great about the Swan/Dolphin is you can have all your purchases in the park sent to the hotel gift shop at no charge so you don’t have to lug it around all day! It also a short walk to the Epcot back gate and is faster then waiting for the boats. Especially when Epcot closes with illuminations and everyone is stampeding for the exits!

adam August 22, 2012 - 10:26 pm

@Perryplatypus – Thanks for the advise, can’t wait for the trip!

Dustin August 23, 2012 - 5:31 am

Sometimes these hotels show up on Hotwire at a discount (I think the only properties on Disney property that do). You could give that a try and compare amenities to find out if it is on the list.

adam August 23, 2012 - 9:53 am

@Dustin …already tracking these…thanks!

Quark August 23, 2012 - 7:47 am

I always look at mousesavers.com for WDW info. They seem to be on top of things and sometimes have discount and promo info.

Dan August 23, 2012 - 8:30 am

There are a lot of mixed reports about the Swan and Dolphin on tripadvisor. Please follow up if you can when you get back and let us know your opinion of the hotel. And a second recommendation for mouesavers.com for getting the scoop on any Disney related discounts.

adam August 23, 2012 - 9:52 am

@ dan – thanks, I’ve read them as well. I will certainly report back with a Trip Report.

Groucho mama August 23, 2012 - 8:38 pm

Aaa card will get you 20% off non-signature restaurants at Swan &Dolphin. Saved a a family of four $$. Stayed there in June 2011. Great location. We still drove to parks. Hate waitin for buses. Cat Cora’s place is a welcome respite from mouse mania. Check out dis boards for more info.

adam August 24, 2012 - 5:21 am

Thanks Groucho mama!

Perryplatypus August 28, 2012 - 12:20 am

We ate at Cat Cora’s and was not impressed but go next door to the Flying Fish for an incredible meal. I would also recommend Le Cellier in Canada. It the smallest table resturant of all of Disney World and one of the best. It tends to be booked up very quickly at 180 days! Also if you can get a seat another amazing experience is Lunch or Dinner with an imagineer. Extremely limited seating I think only 10 people and only offered a couple times a week.


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