Imagine combining the magic of Disney World with the exceptional hospitality of Marriott—sounds like a dream, right? Well, that’s what a stay at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel offers. Nestled in the heart of Disney’s EPCOT Resort area, this hotel is a unique blend of Disney magic and Marriott excellence. Recently, I had the chance to experience it firsthand during a work conference, although it quickly felt more like a mini-vacation.

One of the biggest draws of the Dolphin is its prime location. Just steps away from Crescent Lake and the lively Boardwalk, you can easily walk to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Plus, it’s ideally placed for boat rides, Skyliner trips, and bus transportation. It’s a location that positions you right in the thick of Disney magic without the Disney price tag—a true sweet spot for any Disney enthusiast.

However, it’s worth noting that the Dolphin, along with its sister hotels Swan and Swan Reserve, are under the Marriott umbrella. This gives you the distinct advantage of racking up or redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points during your stay. And while the hotel isn’t officially Disney-owned, you won’t miss out on perks like early park entry and extended evening hours, akin to those at Deluxe Disney resorts but with a price closer to Moderates.

During my stay, I opted for a “Run of House” room, which ended up rewarding me with a stunning 11th-floor resort view. There are no Disney-themed surprises in the decor, but the view of the Swan, Boardwalk, and nightly fireworks more than make up for it. If you’ve got a room preference, don’t hesitate to mention it—politeness can sometimes score you a fantastic upgrade!

Dining at the Dolphin is a treat in itself, with diverse options ranging from seafood at Bluezoo to the steakhouse sensations at Shula’s. With over 20 dining and lounge options across the Dolphin, Swan, and Swan Reserve, your taste buds are in for an adventure. Quick pro-tip: While these hotels aren’t part of the Disney Dining Plan, being a Marriott Bonvoy member can make your stay even more rewarding.

Now, let’s talk transportation. No Disney buses serve the “Swolphin” hotels anymore; instead, Mears handles this duty. They might not be as frequent, and they drop you at the Transportation and Ticket Center for Magic Kingdom instead of the front gate. A quick walk to a nearby Disney resort for a Disney bus can make your travels smoother.

All in all, the Dolphin Hotel offers a magical blend of convenience, comfort, and value. If you’re a Marriott loyalist or just love the idea of enjoying deluxe benefits at moderate prices, this could be your perfect Disney stay. Have you stayed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin or are you planning a visit? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this review with your fellow Disney fans!