All Stars vs. Dolphin vs. Off-site?

DH and I are looking at a quick long weekend in Dec and availability is incredibly slim! Sorry Disney I’m not interested in $900/night deluxe rooms. Our trip will likely be focused on DHS and Epcot so I wanted Caribbean Beach but it’s not available.

Unless Port Orleans opens, the cheapest room available for all of our dates is Coronado springs. I can find All-Star Movies for a couple nights and try to piece something together. Dolphin seems like the winner here given that we can walk to DHS/Epcot and the price over All-Stars isn’t terrible.

All-Star Movies = $250/night
Dolphin = $360/night (I think this includes the resort fee)
Coronado Springs = $415

Any thoughts or suggestions? I’m very tempted to look off-site and uber to the Swolfin in the mornings. We would miss early entry though.

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Curious which weekend you’re looking at. One weekend in particular is extremely tight (2nd-5th).

I would be inclined to go offsite at those prices, too. $250 for AS??? Um, that’s a hard no. And CSR is a bit outrageous then too.


The next one! I’m looking at the 8-12. We get in late on the 8th, so I’m also looking at the 9th to the 12th. I cannot really stomach $250 at the All-Stars and those aren’t even the weekend nights!

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I’ve not stayed in Dolphin (or Swan), but the location is great, and reviews seem decent. I did walk through each of them, and they were decent looking.

Considering you have a focus on DHS and Epcot, it seems like the best of the three choices in terms of location, since you can walk/boat to either so easily.

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Are you looking at the actual Marriott site? The Swan was $290 + tax and resort fees for the 9th-12th. Not the cheapest weekend but not too far out of line with “normal” rates. The 8th is even cheaper. Marriot’s rate calendar is pretty handy to use.

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So these numbers are definitely pre tax/fees and this is the same that I saw. The $360 is the average when you factor in those weekend nights. It’s the resort fee that kills ya!

Yes, this is where I’m leaning too. Just a little steeper than I was expecting. But since this trip was originally planned for the Boardwalk, I can’t get away from walking distance. We will have to weigh how much not needing to uber home is worth!

You could stay somewhere cheaper on the Saturday night, it’s not too much of a pain for 2 adults to uber over somewhere cheaper…you’d still have 3 mornings you could walk to the parks.

Are you going to the parks on the 12th or just heading out in the morning?
Who know if early entry or fastpass will even be a thing by December.

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As you mention Uber, I’m guessing no car. Off- site makes perfect sense if you are driving. Marriott Sable Palms is 1,200 sf, full kitchen, and a 5-minute walk to arguably one of the best pool complexes in the area.

We have a pretty long trip booked but it is $1,000 cheaper for room and park tickets vs just the deluxe on-site room paying with rented DVC points. Crazy.

If no car, I’d probably stay onsite at the cheapest rooms I could find just to avoid the hassle.

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I agree!!!

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We are staying at BLT for the night of the 12th and hopefully going to Mickey’s Christmas Bash that night or whatever party opportunity we can find! I’m not opposed to staying elsewhere Saturday night. We still need to figure out park days.

We usually do rent a car, but there is hopefully quite a bit of alcohol involved this trip so it makes sense to skip. I don’t need a kitchen this trip so I might look at DS hotels too.

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Dolphin. I visited it and Swan and liked them and priced them out and they were considerably cheaper than BW, BC and YC so much so that I’m strongly considering giving it a go for next time and they are the last stop on the Boat to DHS and first to drop off. But the walk isn’t bad either. It’s a lovely hotel from what I can tell.

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I’d go ahead and book the Swan/Dolphin all 4 nights (whichever is cheaper) and keep watching prices. Walking to those 2 parks is just so nice. They might come down then you could price match it, just book direct not through a 3rd party - no point in that.

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Another vote for not counting out Swan/Dolphin. Often overlooked if dead set on using DME or for “not Disney enough”, but great location for lower price is a huge perk. I had a great Hotwire deal for Swan in the middle of covid, so I can’t say much on what rates there are decent in more normal times, but should always be significantly less than the 3 deluxes next door. Also, Swan Reserve (dumb name) will be open soon for just a little higher rate than Swolphin on average, so there’s another option.

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Definitely not counting it out at all! I was just a little surprised by the price tag. It’s definitely the leading contender with the location for sure! I forgot about the Hotwire deals and maybe will look for one of those as it gets closer.

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I really hope those (and Priceline Express) continue and that they weren’t just an artifact of lower demand during the height of covid and restrictions. Definitely watch for any updates from @JJT on that topic as it gets closer to your dates. I’ve checked a few times lately just out of curiosity and at first glance am not seeing a whole lot of on-property deals. I’m a bit worried demand will be high across the board for awhile now, but fingers crossed for some deals. :crossed_fingers:


Hotwire went haywire several weeks ago and took all the deals out of Bonnet Creek except for Waldorf and Quality Inn. Crazily ALL of the standard non-hidden hotels in ALL of Orlando are just gone. Only last night have I seen any Disney deals return, not much to phone home about but I have a TP blog post waiting to publish about it.

Hopefully these deals are a sign they might be fixing things, but when I tried to tell Hotwire their site was acting crazy they said it was fine.

TL;DR I am optimistic deals will return, but first HW needs to realize they have a problem.


Update! I had completely, completely forgotten about a 4-night Hilton timeshare offer that we had purchased in 2019 (for 2020…). So this trip just got a lot cheaper! And this will be good since this is an adults-only trip we won’t have to worry about the kids during the presentation.

Only snag is that they are telling me there isn’t much availability so we are currently booked at the HGV at SeaWorld. I really would like Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Area so I will keep calling to see if they have room. But if there are any other better Hilton properties, I’ll take recommendations! Did Bonnet Creek or the Double Tree at DS qualify for the EMH pre-Covid?

I was able to snag one night at a camp site in order to get two days of the Extra Morning Minutes or whatever those will be called. I’m starting to think that my night at BLT will be badly timed if that is a party night and now I would prefer the Extra Evening Hours at MK. So I have a couple assorted waitlists for other DVC nights. But if the monorail is back up and running maybe Sunday night will be Evening Hours at Epcot!