As our family began planning our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, we had other reasons for heading that way than just to visit the mouse. My daughter, Erin, chose to donate her birthday gifts to a foundation in need. Th place she chose this year happened to be a place called Give Kids the World, located near the major theme parks in Orlando. This foundation provides lodging, food and tickets to several of the theme parks in the area, all free of charge, to children with life threatening conditions and their families. As we approached the time to make the trip, we decided to leave a day early to make the delivery, but were unsure as to where we would stay that night!
We have a friend that is the director of sales at the Swan Resort. I knew it was a deluxe resort and going to be expensive, but decided to splurge the one night. Our arrangements were made and we headed that way, not knowing what to expect of the resort. From the moment we pulled onto property we were in awe. The grounds were beautifully maintained and the courtesy of the valet was top notch. The revolving glass door had Christmas trees decorated inside it! Once inside, there is no way to explain the beauty. Everything was magnificently decorated for the holidays. There were large beautiful bows, wreaths and trees everywhere! In the lobby between the two resorts there was even a Santa and train scene that was totally made of chocolate.
The lady at the registration desk as super nice about our accommodations. Our room was ready even though we arrived an hour before check in. She told us the easiest ways to travel to the Boardwalk, go see decorations at the Dolphin Resort, and the Beach and Yacht Resorts. She also even told us that we would be able to see Epcot’s fireworks from our balcony. We headed up to room 626 and our jaws hit the floor when we opened the doors. The room was huge! The beds were both queen, Westin famous Heavenly Beds with pillow top mattresses, goose down feather comforters and over stuffed pillows. There was a 32″ flat screen HD television, Starbucks coffee and 2 bottles of water. When I opened the balcony doors (which automatically turns off the AC unit to be “green”), I could not believe our view. Straight ahead we could see the sister resort, The Dolphin and Spaceship Earth at Epcot. To our right we saw Disney’s Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Resorts.
After we freshened up, we headed out to begin exploration. We discovered several restaurants on property. Two were signature restaurants, one was casual, two others were quick service and there was even a Disney Character dining experience and 2 lounges on the first floor. If you take the short walk over to the Dolphin, there are even more choices available. The Swan also has a fitness center, game room, swan shaped paddle boat rentals, tennis courts, golf course, a spa, 5 various pools and 4 whirlpools!! You could almost stay at this resort with plenty to do and not go anywhere else. There is a ferry available to take you to the Boardwalk and the Yacht/Beach Resorts. After we checked out the Boardwalk and other resorts, we headed back to the Swan. Near the Garden Grove restaurant, Disney’s character dining experience, the kids were allowed to decorate cookies. We then retired to our room and watched Illuminations at Epcot and part of Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
The Swan is a Starwood Hotel and is not owned by Disney. There are also resort fees here that are not encountered at Disney owned resorts. The resort does offer many of the Disney ammenities, however. Guests are provided Disney transportation, extra magic hours and resort package delivery. If you are looking for a deluxe resort for your next trip to Orlando, check into the Swan.