During our Star Wars Weekend vacation we stayed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin. This was the 2nd time we had stayed on Disney property, the 1st time was at the Caribbean Beach Resort.
Our intentions when planning and booking this trip was to avoid getting a rental car. We figured that Disney property has a shuttle to and from the airport and then to all the parks so we wouldn’t need one. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way! After booking our trip we learned that the Dolphin does not offer the airport shuttle and we would either be stuck using a taxi or getting a rental car. We opted for the rental car. We didn’t know before booking and ended up having to chat with a cast member via the Disney website which is how we learned the unfortunate news. This was a big downside about this hotel for us.
Another thing that we were not aware of during booking was that The Dolphin also does not offer Magic Bands for it’s guests like most of the other resorts. At the other resorts, Magic Bands are used as room keys and are mailed to all guests after the guest chooses through the various color options. We ended up purchasing our Magic Bands online before our trip. We were also able to activate them before our trip through the Disney website.
The hotel rooms were nice but not anything great. Our room had 2 beds, a tv, and a great view of The Boardwalk. The rooms were very clean but not necessarily kept that way, which may have been our own fault. We opted to go green and not have our linens changed daily. We were under the impression that this meant the sheets wouldn’t be changed daily which actually translated to our beds were not made! At least we got clean towels though!
The room also included a small fridge which was daily stocked with 2 bottles of water. They also supplied coffee and tea to be made in the room. Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion were also left on the bathroom vanity.
We did find traveling throughout the World a little difficult. Since our resort is located within the Epcot resorts water taxi is available but we found it really confusing and opted to use our rental car instead. The drive is short between the parks and there is no fee to park because we stayed on property. A room key must be shown to receive the free parking.
Overall our stay at The Dolphin was pleasant. For our own personal reasons we find staying off property to be a little easier than staying on property. For us, the resorts are just so big that we feel we spend way to much time and energy walking through them than we would like. For instance, after walking throughout the parks all day the last thing we want to do is walk another 1/2 an hour from our parking spot through the hotel to our room. The view we had of the Boardwalk was beautiful but doesn’t make up for all the time we lost meandering through the resort. Staying on Disney property certainly has it’s pros for those that enjoy not leaving Disney property, unfortunately it may just not be for us.
What are your thoughts about staying on Disney property? Would you recommend a different resort? Let us know in the comments!