Perks of staying at a Disney hotel…

This will be our first ever off-site stay but I thought that with the Dolphin, we’d have a relatively similar trip experience as we’d be eligible for most of the on-site perks: early entry AND extended evening hours and the dubious pleasure of being eligible to purchase the Individual Lightning Lanes at 7am. But I completely forgot about the on-site advantage of opening your entire stay for ADRs at the 60 day mark.

insert Wookie scream of frustration

Well, there goes my ADR plans.

Book a leading reservation and then cancel it when you get 60 days out from your last day

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But won’t all my ADRs get cancelled when I cancel the fake hotel reservation?

No. They are not linked to the hotel.


Did you call? Is your reservation linked in MDE? Some people have been able to book length of stay?

I linked my Dolphin stay to MDE. My 60 day window opens in a few days so I’ll try since you have heard of it working for some people. I wonder if it only worked for phone ADRs or also online. Because I’ve heard the online ADRs open up earlier than the phone lines.

I think it’s the Swan Reserve that’s been causing issues with ADR booking. As far as I know the length of stay window has been opening OK for Swan & Dolphin stays.

Online does open an hour earlier than phone bookings.


I don’t think of the Swan/Dolphin/Reserve as true off-site, since they are right in the midst of things, between EP and HS on Crescent Lake. You’re simply not at a true Disney hotel, but otherwise I think of that as being in the bubble. Much more on-site than the DS group.

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I agree- it’s very much in the Disney bubble. :blush: I was referring to it being offsite in terms of eligibility for opening up the entire stay for ADRs at the 60 day mark.

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Yeah, it’s one of those “exactly the same, only different” things. :frowning_face: Too bad there are so many categories of hotels in terms of what perks they get.

That would be GREAT if the Swan Dolphin was included in this perk! Thanks for the heads up!

Me, I’d just go ahead and book a leading reservation starting 10 days before your real start date and ending on the same date. Who wants the stress of your real reservation not working?

I did that for our last trip because I had a split stay and a mix of off and on site. It was so wonderful to do every reservation at 60+10 one day at a time with no need to wake up at oh-dark-thirty.

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I booked the Dolphin in February and got all my ADR by using TP’s advance reservation alert system. So unless you want something like Cinderella’s Table, you’re probably fine.

FYI though, Dolphin was great for location and price but had a lot of issues. None were big, but it was like death of a thousand cuts, which was frustrating because they tried to charge us extra at every turn.

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Are you talking about the resort fees? What other fees were you caught off guard by?

I’m a little worried about how the double beds will work out for my family. I hate that the Swan (with the Queen beds) only allows up to 4 people while the Dolphin (with the smaller double beds) allows 5.

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We stayed at the Swan and the only fee we had was resort fee (booked through Marriott). I LOVED it for a couples trip. If ur iffy about the buses, like we were, best experiences we had was we ate QS breakfast at Yacht and used their busses. I also loved the boat transport to HS. Used 1 to EP and walked the other time. I’d take the boat is one is there but the BW walkway was quick too.

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Regarding the double bed: I’ve seen reports that these beds are just an inch or two shy of being queen size, and are significantly bigger than doubles. I haven’t stayed there, so I haven’t measured them. Hopefully the work out for you.

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Every single place I ate at - cafeteria, self pick up, restaurant - had a line where you are supposed to add on a tip. I didn’t mind it at the Fountain, but I draw the line at tipping for Fuel, where it’s all self pick up. Fuel had prices $1-2 higher than the prices posted and I’m talking what was on the board or in the cooler, not the website. When I complained, the cashiers shrugged and said they hadn’t changed the signs yet and guest services said sorry, not their department. Picabu, which is a cafeteria, charged a $2.53 “service fee” even though I walked the line and then asked if I’d like to add a tip on top of that. The arcade only accepts a swipe card, which you have to buy from a machine, which charges you $1 for the card. Read your receipts carefully.


Thank you for the heads up! I agree with you- all of those “little cuts” can add up. I’ll be sure to check all my receipts. This is my first foray into a non-Disney hotel.

Wow! We did not notice this at Swan but admit we only did QS breakfast there. I do remember a line for tip on the receipt but I only tipped for great service! Some people were great and I gave them a buck or 2.

Honestly, we did most of our dining away from Swolfin. Yacht and BW (and I imagine BC) have great options and it helped to feel more “Disney” to be eating at the actual Disney hotels and Epcot. We also UberEats one night to get some great local offsite food which was nice