Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Accessibility Review

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In all of our visits to Walt Disney Environment, my husband and I have usually stayed onsite. We appreciate the theming, the several dining places, the gorgeous swimming pools, the convenient entry to the parks (in advance of the pandemic we normally took advantage of the early morning Additional Magic Hours), and of training course the accessibility for my wheelchair. 

Immediately after obtaining our COVID-19 vaccinations, we determined to make an excess vacation and consider out the Walt Disney Earth Dolphin Resort for the very first time. We had heard and read superior issues about it, which includes that it offers many of the perks of staying on web site, regardless of not becoming a entirely Disney-operated resort. We experienced a great remain and I’m happy to share that, all round, we located it really available and would continue to be there yet again on foreseeable future outings.

Writer Kelly Mack taking pleasure in the fountain at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Vacation resort in her motorized wheelchair.

Arrival

The available taxicab we procured at the airport pulled us into a covered driveway at the vacation resort. The entrance spot was big and gorgeous with a gorgeous fountain characteristic. We then entered a spacious lobby showcasing an additional fountain with a chandelier hanging down more than the splashing h2o. Couches placed close to the circular place on a thick carpet invited a rest soon after our exhausting journey, but we turned left and waited in a short line to examine in.

Considering the fact that I’m a Marriott rewards member, I now done a pre-check out in on the application the working day before. I produced specific requests (extra towels) and early verify in (obtained our time of arrival virtually precisely!) on the app, so all we wanted to do was decide up the keys. As a make any difference of behavior, I often double verify that an obtainable room with a roll-in shower has been assigned (as well quite a few times I get to the home and it’s not appropriate, then I have to go back again down and request a change). 

We dropped our luggage, then went back again down to discover the cafe at the pool to get some lunch. Later on, our upcoming mission was to uncover distilled drinking water for my CPAP device that I use whilst sleeping. In all other Marriott attributes I have stayed at, I’ve generally found it accessible for order either at the sundries store or the front desk. We went to every single store (and there are a couple!) and even to the Swan Vacation resort with no luck. Unusually, when we inquired at the Dolphin entrance desk, they gave us a card for ordering supply from a professional medical supply store.

As frequent Disney site visitors, we guessed that the nearby Boardwalk Inn Resort would have distilled water in their shop. A helpful Disney shop worker at the Swan Resort also confirmed this. We just took place to have dinner reservations at a Boardwalk Inn Vacation resort restaurant, so we ordered the distilled drinking water at their store after taking pleasure in a delicious food.

Area

The home was incredibly at ease and not dissimilar from other Marriott rooms I’ve stayed in. There was space for my wheelchair to roll, but it felt a lot more cramped rolling by the beds than other Disney resorts we’ve stayed at. Surprisingly, according to the website, the Dolphin space square footage is greater, so most likely it is the layout that provides wasted space all around the doorway that can make the relaxation of the space truly feel extra crowded.

Dolphin resort wheelchair accessible roomDolphin vacation resort wheelchair obtainable area

The bathroom was nice and spacious with a perfectly-designed roll-in shower. Just one factor I definitely preferred was the strong fold-down bench (rather of the material sling benches staying set in at some Disney resorts, which I feel are unstable and unpleasant). The shower head was also seriously pleasant, alongside with the thick and fluffy towels. 1 unfavorable, which is not uncommon for a lot of obtainable loos, was the deficiency of available hooks for hanging towels and shelving. It is truly unusual that regular features like these are generally stripped out of obtainable rooms and we’ve by no means been able to figure out why.

Accessible bathroom with roll-up sink and transfer showerAvailable rest room with roll-up sink and transfer shower

A lovely and unexpected aspect of the home was a balcony overlooking the waterway concerning the Dolphin and the Swan Resorts, which include a watch of the Friendship ferry dock (see the leading photograph). We appreciated some wonderful time relaxing there, which includes breakfast sandwiches from the coffee bar one morning. The downside was that it was not wheelchair accessible. I pulled my wheelchair up to the doorway and transferred (with support from my partner) to 1 of their chairs.

One more downside was that the place door was a little bit difficult to function. I’m not sure if it was just our door, but it was heavy and the manage was harder to transform and launch from the lock.

Maybe the very best thing about the space was the luxurious, super-snug bed. It is a little bit tall for transferring from a wheelchair (which is a pattern I am not a enormous lover of), but the layers of bedding ended up soft and cloud-like. I slept so well! When Disney resort beds are fantastic, the comfort and ease of the Dolphin mattress was next-amount and really nice on my achy bones immediately after an lively day expended in the parks.

Pools

One of the marvelous capabilities of the merged Swan and Dolphin resorts are the lots of attractive pools. A series of swimming pools arc around the lake among the two resorts. The pool on the Swan aspect is quieter (at minimum what we ended up explained to and what we noticed when we visited). 

The major pool is a enormous meandering pool with a seating place in a grotto under an impressive waterfall. It was astounding!

Grotto pool at the Dolphin ResortGrotto pool at the Dolphin Resort

In addition, there was a significant circular pool that was quieter and turned our preferred location for me to visit and do some of my aquatic workouts. Then upcoming to the Dolphin was a more normal rectangular pool. Through the pool spots, whirlpools dotted the landscape and a lot of chaise lounge seating surrounded all of the pools. 

We’re applied to the bare minimum normal at hotels where by each pool has a person elevate for accessibility. At the Dolphin, this regular was satisfied, and also, the grotto had an additional lift—one at each and every close. It was straightforward for us to try out out various pools for my workout routines.

All of the lifts had been the h2o-run variety and incredibly easy to use. At the bottom was a valve that essential to be turned on to have the drinking water flowing, which gives the electricity for the carry to transfer up and down. At the top rated by the seat was a handle to flip for shifting the raise up and down right after removing the pin that secures the elevate in put at the top rated. 

Circular pool with water-powered pool liftRound pool with drinking water-run pool carry

We designed time for swims just about just about every day and found the pools to be a good way for soothing or acquiring a very little stretch in right before mattress time. An additional great detail was that the pool towels ended up delicate and thick—no thin, scratchy towels here!

Dining

Due to the fact we are Disney restaurant supporters, I confess that we did not take in numerous foods at the vacation resort. When we arrived, we had a terrific poolside lunch at the Cabana Cafe. We also loved some great drinks there—the mango daiquiris and mojitos were being delectable! 

We returned to the Cabana the night time ahead of departure and experienced a different good meal there. The menu was not substantial, but the burgers, tacos, and salads were being delicious and (relatively) wholesome. 

As my spouse has an ice cream quota to fill on our Disney excursions (as many scoops as he can try to eat!), we frequented the very little shop that served refreshing scoops in the back again of the developing upcoming to what looked like a enjoyable diner-form cafe. The ice product was superb and we would certainly go back!

The Dolphin has various places to eat, and some of them fine eating. On a return journey we’d like to go to extra of the dining establishments to try out their offerings.

Transportation

Just one of the reasons we needed to consider out the Dolphin Vacation resort was the proximity to two of the WDW parks. Both equally Epcot and Hollywood Studios are in strolling (or in my situation, rolling) length. Moreover, accessible Friendship Boats travel from a dock station off the bridge in in between the Dolphin and Swan Resorts to each of those parks, along with the Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn Resorts. We ended up halting at those two resorts to check them out and pick things up at their perfectly-stocked sundries shops.

Nonetheless, the accessibility of transportation to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom was a little bit trickier. We’re early-early morning people today, so on the days we visited those parks, we requested about the timing and took the very first buses of the day. That meant arriving about a 50 percent hour right before bus departure time to wait. Even then, people today were there waiting before us and we were being glad we experienced appear early in purchase to get a seat. 

The buses experienced available ramps and pull up seating regions for wheelchairs that were being very identical to Disney bus transportation. On the other hand, they are operated by Mears on deal for the resort. 

There were being a few issues. 1st, it appeared that not all of the buses lowered. This is the purpose where the bus deflates to lean to the facet and would make the ramp a lot less steep to climb through boarding. 2nd, even when the bus could decrease, the ramp was quite steep and hard to climb. I experienced to have my husband thrust me from powering although boarding and spot me when coming down for the reason that it was so steep. Generally I exit forward struggling with, but with these buses I didn’t rely on that I would not suggestion out of my wheelchair, so had to very carefully deboard backwards.

Mears-operated shuttle to WDW parks with ramp down for wheelchair boardingMears-operated shuttle to WDW parks with ramp down for wheelchair boarding

Finally, whilst the Animal Kingdom bus dropped you at the parking good deal of the park, it was in the center of nowhere and additional than the Disney resorts bus place. For Magic Kingdom, the bus drops at Ticket and Transportation so readers then have to choose both the ferry or the monorail the relaxation of the way. Though both equally are entirely accessible, it adds yet another stage and time to your journey.

A further note on transportation: the Mears shuttle from the airport to the vacation resort was not managing at the time of our vacation due to pandemic limits. Because Magical Specific is only accessible to official WDW resorts, our remaining available transportation possibility was a Mears available cab. We experienced combined success with the trip to the resort going pretty efficiently and the return vacation again to the airport not heading perfectly and putting us in risk of lacking our flight. With the journey share applications not supplying lots of (if any) accessible rides, and the scarcity and extraordinary expense of leasing a wheelchair available car, transportation from the airport to the resort  and back again can be stress filled and hard to obtain.

All round Experience

We experienced a wonderful time at the Dolphin Resort and bonus take a look at to Walt Disney Globe! But we also had a couple of nit picks about our resort expertise. For illustration, the making was awkwardly laid out and and puzzling to navigate from the point of view of a wheelchair. There weren’t clear accessible routes and signage for how to get to areas. We bought dropped receiving to the pool and took more time paths than vital. From our place location, we experienced to take two various elevators in two distinctive towers to get to the appropriate stage, and the pool space was much. Once we bought the tackle of the format, navigating grew to become much easier but continue to took a bit of time.

Night view of the beautiful Swan and Dolphin ResortsNight see of the wonderful Swan and Dolphin resorts

Like a ton of motels, we also had challenges with the WiFi. Because my spouse experienced to get the job done in short spurts, this was quite frustrating. He essential to get on speedily and get to perform, but I experienced to invest time with a not-incredibly-beneficial tech support particular person who didn’t know in which we ended up even staying. It labored out, but it was a large amount harder than it essential to be.

And lastly, we skipped the Disney theming of WDW resorts. While we’re Marriott associates and take pleasure in staying at their properties about the earth, we go to Disney for Disney. So that is an aspect we seen. Nonetheless, it was a charming resort, and so really that is not a complaint, just one thing to note.

Our stay at the Dolphin Resort was great and we achieved the exciting and peace we were on the lookout for immediately after a prolonged pandemic year. We specially appreciated the fantastic personnel at the hotel as they have been performing really tricky and providing superb service. We’d absolutely return to the Dolphin in the upcoming and look at it an accessibility achievements for our desires.