Swan vs Swan Reserve

Ok guys, I need help. We are due to arrive in 2 weeks (me, DD9, DD5 and sister-in-law (SIL?). I have reservations at both the Swan and Swan Reserve, both pretty good AP prices I think and Reserve is about $40 more per night. I have not stayed at either before and cannot decide. I see good and bad reviews for both. I don’t mind the extra money for a nicer, newer resort but could put it to good use otherwise. I’d rather have a tub but we could do shower also. Looks like Swan is closer to parks/water taxi but not by a lot. Has anyone stayed at both? Are there any differences between what is offered in the rooms? Are we more likely to get an upgrade (Bonvoy Gold, basic rooms reserved) at one than the other? What would you advise?

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I haven’t stayed at the Reserve yet, but recently stayed at the Swan and I did get a room upgrade as well as early check in and late check out with my Gold status. To me distance matters so unless it was a MK/AK heavy trip I would book Swan over Reserve to save myself some footsteps. There are also a lot of great dining options in the Dolphin so Swan gives you better proximity to it also. Here are some pics from my room in July. Note I only had a king bed reserved.


I prefer the Swan’s grand lobby as opposed to the boutique lobby feel of the Reserve.


I agree, it is odd that when you go in the main entrance you have to immediately go up an escalator to a very small lobby. I have not stayed here yet but was the for dinner at Amare which was good. When I booked there I had assumed that Amare was on the top floor with a view of Epcot. Nope, its on the same floor as the lobby, the awesome looking space you can see on the top of the building is just for events and not accessible for guests. I was dissapointed, it just seemed like such a waste.


Just to follow up, we just returned and took everyone’s advice and stuck with the Swan.
I’m glad we did! They just gave us a one-step upgrade (no view to view of Dolphin) but it was apparently sold out so I was happy to get any upgrade. The room was fine, no issues. I definitely liked the bathroom setup better than Dolphin (two sinks, one in separate area, and bigger bathroom). Our room was made up every day and anything I requested via note to housekeeping or app was provided. We had a great meal at Kimonos. We did walk over to the Swan Reserve our last day intending to play mini golf, and I was happy we weren’t making the extra walk to Reserve every day.