The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels have released new resort room-only discounts available to Annual Passholders, Floridians, and other groups for this summer and beyond. This post shares the details of these special offers, sample prices for 2023, analysis & other info. (Updated July 5, 2023.)
If you’re looking for general public promos for official Disney-owned hotels, see All Current Walt Disney World Discounts (Summer to Christmas 2023). There are promos available for most dates between now and Christmas 2023, so that’s worth checking out if you’re debating a trip anytime this year, except the week leading up to New Year’s Eve.
Over at the Swan & Dolphin, Annual Passholders and Florida residents can take advantage of deep discounts of up to 30% off for the remainder of this year and into early 2024. That’s on par with Deluxe Resorts for the general public, but below the Disney+ subscriber, Annual Passholder, and Floridian Rates. The Swan & Dolphin are technically Deluxe Resorts despite being third party-owned, but with the key distinction that the starting rack rates are considerably cheaper at the Swan & Dolphin.
Right now, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Florida residents can save up to 30% off regular room rates on their stays at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. According to the hotel, this discount expires “soon.” No expiration date is listed.
In searching, we found availability via discounted rates between now and January 2024. With that said, the ‘quality’ of the discount definitely drops off starting in October. This could be because Swan & Dolphin are popular resorts during the heart of the 2023 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, and the holiday season is always busy at Walt Disney World, so rates are just naturally higher in those months.
It also could be because the Swan & Dolphin use dynamic pricing rather than publishing rate charts in advance, so more distant dates are usually more expensive. As those draw nearer, it’s often the case that prices increase or decrease as demand dictates. In our experience, it has generally been the case that Swan & Dolphin prices have dropped closer to travel dates, with the most notable exception being during the period of pent-up demand post-COVID.
With that mostly or fully exhausted, or expectation is that Swan & Dolphin prices will probably go lower than what’s currently listed for October 2023 and beyond. But it’s definitely not a sure thing–even Walt Disney World is not offering discounts for many dates this holiday season, presumably because bookings are better during those timeframes.
Here’s how to book if you’re a Walt Disney World AP…
For reservations, book online via the WDW Swan & Dolphin’s special offers page. There are a number of other discounts available via that page–you’ll want to use Promotional Code QWH in the Corporate/Promo code box.
Alternatively, or contact the hotel at 1-888-828-8850 and ask for the promotional AP rate. A valid Walt Disney World Annual Pass is required at check-in to receive this offer.
It’s pretty much the same deal for Floridians. When booking online, make sure Promotional Code FR6 appears in the Corporate/Promo code box.
Floridians can also contact the WDW Swan & Dolphin resorts directly at 1-888-828-8850 and ask for the Floridian rate. Valid Florida Resident ID required at check-in to receive this offer.
Here are the current best available rates for August 2023:
I still have screenshots of pricing from last year, and prices are actually higher this year for the most part.
Personally, I’m skeptical that August and September 2023 are going to be busier than their counterparts last year. About the only way that’s likely to be true is if convention business has bounced back, and those events are typically more common in October than they are the late summer.
Additionally, this does not include the dreaded, mandatory resort fee of $40 per night, which has increased by $5 since last year.
(I’ve complained about this consumer-unfriendly pricing practice in countless other posts and won’t rehash it here. If you want to know more about why this should be abolished, see our Fight Back Against Hotel Resort Fees post.)
To be clear, these are hardly bad prices for the Swan & Dolphin (well, those $1,599 nights definitely are–but that’s a byproduct of room types that are currently available via the discount). I’m simply contrasting the current prices with last year’s rates for the same months, which were actually lower.
Disney-owned hotels all have better discounts and lower out-the-door rates this late summer and early fall as compared to last year. With “revenge travel” being fully finished at Walt Disney World, it’s difficult to see the justification for a year-over-year price increase. It thus wouldn’t surprise us if these rates ended up being lower when the dates draw nearer. (Of course, that’s a gamble if rooms sell out at the current discounted prices!)
You’re still looking at out-the-door prices that are better than any other Crescent Lake. In searching for availability, the best I could do for any of these dates was Disney’s BoardWalk Inn for ~$375 per night. That’s a pretty good rate by the BoardWalk standards, but not this good.
While pricing is pretty comparable between the Swan and Dolphin, this deal is also available at the new Swan Reserve–and it’s significantly more expensive there. I couldn’t find anything below $200 per night at the Swan Reserve, which can easily be over $300 per night after resort fees.
Also, those lower rates are all for the traditional guest rooms at the Swan Reserve. While aesthetically nicer and newer than the rooms at the regular Swan or Dolphin, they’re a far cry from the suites at the Swan Reserve.
Those rooms are fantastic–but the lowest price I could find for the suites was over $325 per night. The suites often aren’t available at the discounted rate at all.
For families wanting more space and separate areas, the Swan Reserve suites are arguably worth the cost.
There’s a world of difference between the Swan Reserve rooms and regular Swan & Dolphin rooms. (Above is the Swan Reserve, below is a regular room at the Swan & Dolphin post-refurbishment.) See our recent Swan Reserve Resort Review for why we’re such fans of the new hotel–and willing to walk a bit farther for it.
The Swan & Dolphin weren’t refurbished that long ago, but comparatively, they have not aged well. They’re still nice and the beds are incredibly comfortable, they’ve just been far surpassed by the Swan Reserve.
We’ll cover the pros & cons of the Swan Reserve vs. Swan & Dolphin soon, but all else being equal, I’d rather stay at the Swan Reserve right now. (Although I do love the rooms with balconies at the Swan & Dolphin–that might be enough to tip the scales.)
For those who are unfamiliar with their affiliations and labels, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels are considered Deluxe Resorts but are managed by Marriott. Due to an agreement way back in the Eisner days, these are the only third party hotels that are treated like actual Deluxe Resorts and bookable by the public. (Shades of Green is similar, minus the last part.)
In addition to enjoying standard on-site Walt Disney World benefits and guest perks, Marriott Bonvoy Rewards members can take advantage of program benefits, including earning Marriott Bonvoy points with each stay. We are Marriott Bonvoy Members, have stayed at many of the chain’s other hotels, and have found it to be a solid brand with quality service.
If you’ve made it this far into the post, you’re probably not one of the many Walt Disney World diehards who dismisses the Swolphin out of hand because these hotels are “not Disney.” Those people are making a mistake.
We are big fans of Disney, but don’t think hotel management is one of the company’s strong suits. Marriott definitely has the edge there. To be sure, not everything about the Swan & Dolphin is perfect (the Magic Kingdom bus to TTC is the biggest strike against it) or even great. With that said, our experiences here have generally surpassed those at Disney-owned properties.
Although the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort hotels are not owned by Disney, they are very much on-site hotels. Located on Crescent Lake alongside BoardWalk Inn and Yacht & Beach Club, the Swan & Dolphin are within walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
With this prime piece of real estate, the Swan & Dolphin actually have a better location (in my estimation) than most Disney-owned hotels. To each their own, but I’d put Crescent Lake right up there with the Magic Kingdom monorail loop.
The Swan & Dolphin also have better on-site perks than most Disney-owned hotels now that Disney’s Magical Express has been retired and so long as the Disney Dining Plan remains suspended. That’s because, in addition to Early Entry, Swan & Dolphin guests are eligible for Extended Evening Hours, whereas Value and Moderate Resort guests are not.
Unlike other third party hotels that are technically on-site, the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin truly offer the best of both worlds. All of the benefits (for now, at least) of staying in a Disney-owned hotel, plus a rewards program, better management, and more competitive prices. About the only thing you’re compromising is Disney IP infused into the hotel.
If you’re neither a Florida resident nor an Annual Passholder, you might be eligible for other discounts that are available on the Swan & Dolphin special offers page. There are offers for senior citizens (62 and older), AAA and CAA members, medical personnel and their families (nurses, doctors, firefighters, paramedics, etc.), teachers and school support staff, plus law enforcement, government employees, and military personnel.
All of these groups are eligible for up to 25% off rooms at the Swan & Dolphin. Most of these are perpetual discounts, subject to room availability at the hotels.
We haven’t see any truly good deals on these options in months…but hopefully that changes soon. Walt Disney World’s “fall” off-season starts in mid-August and runs through September, and that is usually one of the best times of the year for deals.
Nevertheless, if you’re an Annual Passholder or Florida resident wanting to book a trip to Walt Disney World in the next couple of months, it’s definitely worth checking this Swan & Dolphin special offer to see the rates for your dates. (When comparison shopping, be sure to include the resort fee!)
What do you think of these discounts at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel for Annual Passholders and Florida residents? If you booked this, do you think you ended up with a good price? Able to find any rates below $134/night? What was available or unavailable for your dates? Is this deal enough to convince you to book a trip, or can you not justify these prices? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!