Swan and Dolphin Resort Announce Opening Date

Today the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort announced that they will be opening on July 29th.

While the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be opening tomorrow to be followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th, and many of Disney resort hotels have been open for a few weeks and most of the rest will be opening within the next few weeks, the Swan and Dolphin Resort had chosen not to open until this announcement.

Sean Verney, the hotel’s new general manager stated in the announcement:

“With the Disney parks reopening, we are thrilled to open our doors again.  We are committed to providing a relaxing and revitalizing experience but doing so in a responsible manner.”

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Completes Largest Redesign in the Resort’s History

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has completed the largest transformation in the resort’s history: a $140 million, three-year project which included a redesign of all guest rooms, complete transformation of the Dolphin Resort lobby and renovation of all meeting space.

“This is both a huge accomplishment for our team and a significant moment for our guests,” said Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort General Manager Fred Sawyers. “With the transformation now complete, our guests can enjoy a stylish new look, new amenities, the latest in technology, an operation with more than a quarter century of excellence in serving guests and a prime location at Walt Disney World Resort, all in one property.”

The completion of the project also means the resort returns to operating at full capacity just in time for the openings of Toy Story Land (2018) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (2019) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is within walking distance of the resort.

The resort celebrated the milestone with a special ceremony on Thursday.

Overall, the redesign included:

Guest rooms:

  • All 2,267 guest rooms were completely transformed to a new look which reflects the resort’s water-themed architecture. Noted interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios designed the rooms, drawing inspiration from the resort’s original designer, the renowned late Michael Graves. The new rooms offer guests a relaxing oasis featuring hues of white, blue and gray, sleek multi-functional furniture and all new bathrooms featuring vanities with backlit mirrors on iridescent glass tiles
  • Technology upgrades include the addition of more outlets and USB ports for charging devices and new high-definition TVs. The resort will also soon introduce new interactive TV software, allowing guests the ability to check out from their room and cast their own video streaming services from their personal tablets and mobile devices to their in-room TV

Public Space:

  • The new Dolphin Resort lobby, designed by ICRAVE, features a contemporary look with a new geometric ceiling, enhanced lighting and more than double the amount of guest seating. The centerpiece of the new lobby is a grand chandelier stretching 20 feet from the ceiling with nearly 1,000 strands and about 10,000 individual crystals suspended above the Dolphin fountain
  • For the first time since its opening, the resort has built a completely new dining venue.  Located in the Dolphin lobby, fuel offers high-quality quick service and grab-and-go food and drink options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast options include pastries from world-champion pastry chef Laurent Branlard, muffins, breakfast sandwiches and wraps and a variety of coffee, tea and espresso options. Lunch and dinner options include sandwiches and salads. Those with a sweet tooth will find Branlard’s signature desserts and chocolates as well as frozen yogurt and a wide assortment of candy
  • Phins, a new bar centrally located in the Dolphin lobby and seating up to 150 guests, offers wines, beers and cocktails along with appetizers perfect for sharing. Signature offerings include the resort’s own craft brew Phins & Feathers, wine on tap and creative cocktails.  On Sunday mornings, Phins offers brunch-themed beverages including a variety of bloody marys and sparkling options
  • Coming soon will be new private poolside cabanas furnished with lounge seating, tables, fans, refrigerators and television for rental.  Each cabana will include full food and beverage service

Meeting Space

  • A new 2,800-square-foot meeting and event space, Lake View, offers scenic outdoor views of the resort’s private lake and picturesque Dolphin Resort
  • All of the resort’s 332,000 square feet of meeting space has been transformed with an updated appearance
  • New technology includes electronic reader boards throughout the meeting space and the latest in high-density Wi-Fi offering high-speed, uninterrupted internet to groups as large as 15,000 people

Michael Graves, Renowned Architect of Disney Buildings, Dies at 80

michael-graves-disney-architect

From Variety – 

Michael Graves, the influential architect whose whimsical post-modern style was well suited to buildings such as the dwarves-bedecked Team Disney building and several Disney theme park hotels, died Thursday in Princeton, N.J. He was 80 and had been paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a spinal cord infection since 2003.

The 1986 Team Disney building on the Burbank lot had only hints of the Memphis Group style that influenced Graves’ household object designs such as the Alessi tea kettle, but the iconic seven dwarves were well integrated into the Parthenon-influenced design, in the manner of modern-day caryatids.

Graves went on to design Walt Disney World’s distinctive Dolphin and Swan resorts in Orlando, a pair of unusually-shaped pink and blue buildings topped with giant animal statues. Meant to look like an art deco New York building, his 1989 Disney Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris was more subdued, with colorful post-modern touches.

Former Disney president Michael Eisner once said of him, “Michael Graves is an architect for whom design has no boundaries. There is no such thing as an insignificant object.”

He designed dozens of other prominent hotels, universities, residences and public buildings, such as Oregon’s 1982 Portland Building, considered the first post-modern building. His collaboration with Target included designing several buildings for the company as well as a popular line of blue-accented modern housewares.

Among his more recent work is Resorts World Sentosa, a large-scale theme park, hotel and casino complex off the coast of Singapore.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Offers Springtime Savings

swan-dolphin

Flowers are in bloom and activities abound at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, where springtime savings offer guests up to 40 percent off for stays between March 4 – May 17. The offer runs the length of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, providing vacationers the ideal excuse to stop and smell the roses this season.

A convenient walk from Epcot, the hotel is a premier location for guests visiting the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, where the magic of spring blossoms with a vibrant display of enchanting gardens, Disney character topiaries, fresh seasonal dishes and live musical entertainment.

In addition, guests vacationing April 1-8 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will enjoy a full schedule of Easter-themed activities, including meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny, glow-in-the-dark and traditional Easter egg hunts, bunny hop races, arts and crafts, and a poolside showing of the movie HO

Other featured experiences during the week include a special Easter Bunny basket delivery to the room on Easter morning and an Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove restaurant with Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 5, at 5 p.m. Additional costs apply for both.

The Epcot Resort Area hotel is also just minutes away from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to Atlanta Braves’ spring training, where sports fans can take part in one of baseball’s greatest traditions.

For more details about springtime savings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, visit www.swandolphin.com/offers. To make room reservations, call 1-800-227-1500 and mention “FLOWERS.” Rates start at $195 per night. Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups; offer is based on rate schedule availability.

Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Returns for Sixth Year

swan-and-dolphin-foodwineclassic

We’ve barely cleaned up the fallen confetti and discarded corks and our food and wine calendar is already filling up. The fall Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns for its sixth year on Friday Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Epcot resort.

The two-night festival will spotlight more than 40 stations with culinary creations from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 30 wineries.

Guests will also be able to enjoy live music, a beer garden featuring local and seasonal brews from around the world and food and beverage seminars led by the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has more than 70 certified wine sommeliers on staff and 1,400 wine selections for resort guests.