There are a lot of great hotel suites at Walt Disney World. Some of these resort rooms offer breathtaking luxury, sprawling size, brilliant design, or unbeatable views of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios. It’s rare to find a resort room offering all of those things.
We’ve toured many suites at Walt Disney World, each of which check some of these boxes. Most notably, we shared our visit to the Yosemite Suite at Wilderness Lodge earlier this year. For me, that one is tough to top thanks to its thematic attention to detail–it remains my personal favorite. However, it’s rustic and not particularly luxurious, nor is the view that great.
At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve visited the Royal Suite at the Four Seasons Orlando, which is the pinnacle of luxury at Walt Disney World, but isn’t exactly in the heart of the action. For some, it’s an unparalleled room, but it didn’t do a ton for me personally. Suffice to say, when it comes to Walt Disney World accommodations, it’s hard to have the best of all worlds, but I think we’ve found it…
In several senses of the word, the Presidential Suite at the Dolphin Resort is Walt Disney World’s peak suite. Located on the top two floors of the tallest hotel on property, no suite has a higher view of the parks.
Additionally, the Dolphin’s Presidential Suite has a centralized location within Walt Disney World. Its placement on the far side of Crescent Lake means a bird’s eye view of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, plus glimpses of other tall locations throughout Central Florida.
Then there’s the quality of the suite, which is top-tier as well. The entry foyer contains original works of art, a large widescreen flat-panel LCD television, custom furniture, and elegant furnishings. The center of the lower-level open living room is punctuated by a grand piano, which is flanked by a variety of plants and floral arrangements, sofas, and chairs.
With this, the Dolphin Presidential Suite makes a strong first impression upon entering. Seeing the piano, spacious open room, and high ceilings with diffused lighting. Of course, being atop Walt Disney World’s tallest building, the natural inclination is to breeze past all of that and immediately race to the balconies to check out the view.
And what a view it is. The Dolphin Presidential Suite has the equivalent of maybe three to four “normal” hotel room balconies, with a layout that offers views of (left to right) Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Spaceship Earth (and other front-of-park Epcot structures), World Showcase, BoardWalk Inn, Riviera Resort, the Swan, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The view of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is actually better than that of Epcot, with the full length of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror visible in the foreground. Beyond that, you can see glimpses of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Toy Story Land, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
From this balcony, you can see pretty much everything else at Walt Disney World in this area, but those are the main resorts and parks. From other rooms in the suite, you can see as far as Cinderella Castle in the north and Gran Destino Tower at the southern end of property.
It probably won’t surprise anyone reading this that almost all of my time in the Dolphin Presidential Suite was spent out on that balcony. I was there for sunrise, sunset, fireworks, late nights, and everywhere in between.
I took my laptop, coffee, and even meals out there, wanting to savor every moment of that view. The only times I left were for brief visits to the parks.
As cool as the Presidential Suite itself is, these views are the main draw. The balcony offers the perfect vantage for the fireworks shows at EPCOT, and you can run upstairs to the windows for a view of fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
In my opinion, this is the best hotel room view in all of Walt Disney World. It’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but we will take this over what Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers to Atrium Club guests.
Both the Atrium Club at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower offer great views of Magic Kingdom, but that’s it. Moreover, the foreground is a parking lot and bus drop-off area.
Despite the Dolphin Presidential Suite towering so high, it’s a surprisingly “clean” view. Sure, some roads are visible, but the foreground is the Crescent Lake Resort Area, which has all of its hotel buildings thoroughly designed and finished, and a network of waterways that are a delight to see.
Backstage views are surprisingly limited, and to the extent that you can see backstage at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’re seeing finished facades. Most notably, there’s no “bad” view of Tower of Terror–the entire thing is show-ready. (The only exception to this is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and it’s pretty far in the distance.)
Continuing back inside on the lower level of the Dolphin Presidential Suite, there’s an alcove with a dining or conference room table (depending upon the nature of the stay, I suppose) for eight. Adjacent to that, there’s a full kitchen with a variety of appliances–the only one of which we used was the Keurig machine.
Upstairs, the Dolphin’s Presidential Suite offers elegant bathroom and bedroom appointments in residential style decor, spread out over several bedrooms and bathrooms. These rooms offer a sophisticated color choices, contemporary amenities, and a generally refined style.
Luxury-wise, the Dolphin Presidential Suite certainly holds its own, and benefits from what would appear to be a relatively-recent redesign. It’s also a true Presidential Suite, hosting the likes of President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton.
With that said, I think the finishings and attention to detail are nicer in the upper-echelon Four Seasons Orlando suites. Given that the Four Seasons is an industry-leader offering the pinnacle of opulence, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. (It’s also priced accordingly!)
Thematically, there’s no question that the Disney-owned hotels are doing suites that are more interesting than the Dolphin Presidential Suite. This is certainly true at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and to varying degrees at the other resorts.
We’ve also seen the named suites at Grand Floridian and BoardWalk Inn, and those are definitely more ‘generic luxury’ in design. They’re pretty comparable to the Dolphin Presidential Suite, albeit not as grandiose.
Appearance-wise, it thus becomes a matter of personal preference. We’ve never seen a Walt Disney World suite that is as grandiose as this. Walking in to that sprawling parlor with the grand piano dead-ahead and high ceilings towering overhead offers more of a “wow moment” than any other suite we’ve seen at Walt Disney World.
Then there’s the labyrinth of hallways and rooms upstairs, which we got lost wandering more than once. (It’s probably not that big, we just are both a bit “navigationally challenged.”) The overall style is classy and interesting without being over-the-top in terms of lavishness.
Per the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort official website, the two properties offer a combined eight Presidential Suites, with four at each resort.
All of these are at least 1,000 square feet–and that’s just for the one-story suites. No size is listed for this two-story Dolphin Presidential Suite, but it’s presumably around 2,000 square feet in size.
As for the cost, rack rates for the Dolphin Presidential Suites start at over $3,000 per night. To my knowledge, you need to call to make reservations at any of the Swan & Dolphin premium suites, but they’re available to anyone.
Our stay was provided courtesy of the Swan & Dolphin. We had the room so I could photograph the EPCOT’s fireworks from an elevated vantage, and assumed the room would just be a normal, high-level balcony room. Upon arrival, the front desk told us that we had the best view possible (“oh cool” we thought at that point, assuming it was hyperbole).
When we opened the front door and entered the room, our jaws about hit the floor. We figured it had to be some sort of mistake–perhaps they thought we were the founders of the world-renowned Bricker’s Famous French Fries (which I’ve never actually had, but I assume they’re fantastic given the name). Suffice to say, it was nothing short of an incredible experience during which I filled up several memory cards on my cameras.
Overall, these areas and strengths all combined make the Dolphin Presidential Suite a formidable hotel room, and given it a strong case for the ‘peak suite’ at Walt Disney World. You won’t find a better view anywhere (unless you care about Magic Kingdom and only Magic Kingdom) or a room that makes a bolder first impression. It’s a great option for hosting a business meeting, family reunion, or in our case, a couple looking to race around its maze of hallways and rooms paying homage to Kevin McAllister’s classic “Home Alone” freak-out scene.
What do you think of the Dolphin Presidential Suite? Thoughts on the style of the room? Do you agree or disagree with our take that this is the room with the best view in all of Walt Disney World? 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!