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Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Last updated: May 23, 2024

Overview

The Dolphin is an icon of postmodern architecture, its main building a 27-story blue triangle. The main building's wings are topped with 56-foot tall statues of dolphin fish - you can't mistake it for any other hotel.

Cost Range

$531-1,030

Lodging Area

EPCOT

Category

Deluxe

Transportation

Boat, Bus, Skyliner, Walk

Guest Overall Rating

Based on 150 surveys. (See our Ratings and Research page for details)

Our Overall Rating

Room: B

Pool: A-

Lighting: B

Pillows: A

Room Quality
Check-in Efficiency
Quietness of Room
Park Transportation
Hotel Pool
Staff
Food Court
Resort Strengths

Best-priced location on Crescent Lake

The hotels participate in the Marriott Loyalty program

Good on-site and nearby dining

Only hotels within walking distance to minigolf (Fantasia Gardens)

Large variety of upscale restaurants

On-site car rental (Alamo, National)

Very nice pool complex

Impressive public spaces

Walking distance to both EPCOT International Gateway and DHS

Resort Weaknesses

Conventioneers may be off-putting to vacationing families

Daily resort ($35/night, plus tax) and parking ($35/night) fees

Non-Disney bus service runs less often than that of other resorts

Bus service to Magic Kingdom drops off at TTC instead of park entrance

Architecture that was on the cutting edge decades ago now looks dated and cheesy (Swan, Dolphin)

Self-parking is quite distant from the hotels' entrances

What Readers Are Saying About Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

The service from each individual employee we interacted with was fantastic!

T

Tom A

September 3, 2022

The Dolphin has to be the best place to stay for going to Hollywood Studios!

S

Stacey P

October 12, 2019

Was a bit disappointed Dolphin doesn't have direct bus to Magic Kingdom anymore, but we walked to Boardwalk and went from there.

L

Liz B

December 15, 2021

The Dolphin was the best part of the holiday. Amazing pool, great restaurants.

R

Robert W

July 31, 2017

Rooms

The Dolphin's rooms incorporate light wood, gray carpeting, and taupe draperies. Oversize upholstered headboards buttress Westin's plush Heavenly Beds, and minimal art adorns the walls.

  • Room with Queen Bed(s) and en-suite bathroom
  • Balcony or patio
  • Dresser with drawers
  • Full-length mirror
  • Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi)
  • Flat-panel TV
  • Coffee maker and starter supply of coffee pods
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Hair dryer
  • Digital thermostat
  • In-room safe
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and bar soap

One thing to note is that the Dolphin's beds are either doubles or kings, while the Swan has queens and kings.

Dining

The Dolphin has plenty of dining options, from grab-and-go, to fancy steakhouses. If you want even more variety, four other hotels' restaurants are a short walk away.

The Fountain Eats and Sweets at The Dolphin Resort The Fountain probably isn’t the best choice for calorie counters.

Rosa Mexicano Modern, authentic Mexican cuisine and over 100 different tequilas are served in the former home of Fresh Mediterranean Market at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.

Shula's Steak House Shula’s is the place to go for steaks if you’re staying in the EPCOT resort area.

Todd English's bluezoo The appetizers and desserts are above average, and you could fashion a good meal from just those. In fact, bluezoo’s pastry chef, Laurent Branlard, is a two-time winner at the World Pastry Team Championships. It would be a disservice to the culinary arts not to order one of his desserts.

Fuel In the lobby of the Dolphin and open daily from 6 AM - 2 AM, Fuel features coffee, grab-and-go sandwiches, snacks, and desserts.

Picabu Buffet/cafeteria restaurant. While previously open 24 hours, Picabu now closes overnight.

Cabana Bar and Beach Club Many Walt Disney World pool bars follow the same setup: A square (or rectangle, octagon, trapezoid, dodecahedron...you get it) bar sitting on top of a patio serving a few beers, a few cocktails, and maybe some snacks. One of the few exceptions to this formula is the Cabana Bar and Grill at the Dolphin Resort. The pool bars at both the Dolphin and Swan Resorts are located near their respective “quiet” pools, rather than near the shared pool complex. Apparently their architects didn’t think the kids playing in the big pool needed a drink, but their parents are likely a different story. The secondary pool at the Dolphin is meant for lap swimming and the Cabana Bar sits along one side of the pool. Inspired by a South Beach poolside lounge, the bar is flanked by partially-covered seating and cozy-looking cabanas. In addition to this glamorous seating, the thing that sets the Cabana Bar apart from most other pool bars is the food. With a few types of flatbread pizzas, burgers, sliders, and a cheese steak on the menu, this is a place you could literally relax at all afternoon without even having to leave for dinner. The drink menu is good here too, compared to the other Disney pool bars. While there is still only a limited selection, they do not follow the standard Disney menu, so the cocktail list is a little bit different. Their two signature cocktails are the Rum Pineapple Mojito (rum, pineapple, mint, lime, splash of soda) and the Citroen and Berry (citroen, rock candy syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries). There is also a small selection of frozen drinks (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) as well as wine and beer. While most pool bars are good for grabbing a drink or spending short shifts at while enjoying the sunshine, the Cabana Bar and Grill is something more. This is a place you can really relax and feel like you are on a Florida vacation.

Phins

Dolphin Room Service

Amenities

SWIPE TO EXPLORE

4 Pools

The Dolphin has four pools. The main pool is 3 acres and has a waterfall, rock caves, and water slide. For quieter bathing, there's a spring pool nearby. The Dolphin also has two lap pools for those wanting to get their workouts in.

Arcade

The Dolphin's video arcade is located on the hotel's first floor and features relatively recent video games of all kinds.

Outdoor Movies

Free Disney Movies Under the Stars are shown most evenings, weather-permitting, either at the Beach Club Beach, or in the Solarium.

Fitness

The Dolphin Health Club has weights, treadmills, and other equipment for your workout. Hours are typically 6 AM to 9 PM.

Jogging & Sports

One lap around Crescent Lake is about 0.8 miles. Volleyball is also offered.

Campfire Activities

Roast marshmallow around a campfire starting at 5:30 PM nightly at the nearby Yacht Club, Beach Club, or BoardWalk Inn Resorts.

Children's Activity Center

The Camp Dolphin club is open nightly children for ages 4 to 12. Activities include crafts, games, dinner, and movies. There is a per-child fee, and reservations are required, so check with the resort for details.

Playground

The Dolphin has a children's playground with climbing areas and slides, located near the grotto pool.

Early Theme Park Entry

Disney resort guests get into each theme park 30 minutes earlier than off-site guests, every day.

Buy Individual Lightning Lane Early

Those staying at Disney's Deluxe and Deluxe Villa hotels can buy Lightning Lane via Individual Purchase at 7:00 a.m. each day. Others cannot make that purchase until the official park opening time.

Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

Disney's Deluxe and DVC resort guests get two extra hours in select theme parks on certain days of the week. The schedule changes, so check with the front desk.

Resort amenities at-a-glance
Early Theme Park Entry
Extended Evening Theme Park Hours
Book Lightning Lane access via Individual Purchase Early
Suites
Room Service
Wireless Internet
Fitness Center
Water Sports
Marina
Tennis
Beach
Transportation to Parks
Disney-owned
Club Level
Biking
Airport Transportation

Practical Matters

Check In/Out Time
Theme Park Tickets
Dining Reservations
Shopping
Child Care

Transportation

Driving to the Resort
Getting to the Parks
and Disney Springs
Getting to Another Hotel from Dolphin
Getting to Universal Orlando

More

Why You Should Consider the “Swolphin” Rather Than A Disney Hotel

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