Walt Disney World Dolphin
Price Level: Deluxe
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The companion to the Swan, the Walt Disney World Dolphin dominates the Epcot-area skyline. Its more than 1500 Michael Graves-designed guestrooms offers beds with pillowtop mattresses and high-speed Internet access.
Last time we stayed here it was in May, with a group ranging from 4 to 74. The pools and outside amenities were absolutely awesome, especially given the heat, and really made the resort for us. Location was also outstanding, we walked to Boardwalk, took a boat ride to the back of Epcot, and really felt in the middle of everything.
My initial grading was going to Mediocre but, based on the room we ended up with, I went with Average. We ended up being taken to a room where someone had been smoking and the bell hop was exceptional. He called down and raised Cain and we were switched to a corner room overlooking the lake. Exceptional. That's the good part. The bad part is that this is like any other large, convention hotel in a city like New York, Chicago or Las Vegas. Room after room, corridor after corridor, mile after mile of the same carpet. Plus they charge for parking and you are charged a $10 resort fee per night for two bottles of water - and you can't refuse the water. If you are going on vacation and not attending a conference, neither the Swan or the Dolphin are right for you; well certainly not for us. The hotel had good restaurants but, to be honest, do I go to WDW to eat in another hotel's restaurants?