I not long ago had the enjoyment of trying out a new (for me) resort through a journey to Walt Disney Environment: The Swan. Past 12 months I relished a remain at The Dolphin and uncovered it incredibly obtainable, so when studying our vacation this time about, my partner and I determined we required to test its sister hotel.
Easy Look at In
We’re Marriott customers and commonly stay at their properties when we vacation, so I by now had their application on my smartphone and could examine in a pair of times in advance and give them an believed arrival time. This meant, that the early morning of arrival, when our airplane landed, I obtained an notify that our room was now all set for us.
After our airport transportation dropped us at the entrance, we waited in a limited line to pick up our keycards for the home. It was tremendous rapid and easy—within two hrs of landing, we have been adjusted into our swimsuits and heading down to the pool to come across lunch.
Watch of the Swan resort from the boat launch deck
We had booked an obtainable home with a roll-in shower, which turned out to be both equally attractive and at ease. The space experienced a King-sized mattress, which we like to the normal two Queens because it leaves much more place for maneuvering my wheelchair.
King bed and plenty of area for a wheelchair
There was a mini-fridge in the bureau below the television. A desk that was at good wheelchair top with a chair. Subsequent to the mattress was a comfortable armchair as effectively. But with all this, there was a good deal of place for my wheelchair to roll.
Accessible-peak desk with pull-out chair
But the most effective attribute was the superb luscious bed. I’d listened to that the beds were super snug at the Swan Resort but didn’t foresee how pretty they would be. They are a good deal firm but have a cushion on top that is simple to lay on and genuinely comforting. I slept perfectly each night, and it was tricky to get up in the mornings!
The lavatory was spacious, and the shower was deluxe. There was a fold-down bench, and the controls ended up at the appropriate peak for staying seated. But the ideal aspect was the rain shower head, which felt so beautiful to sit below! There was also a handheld wand that could be turned on with a change.
Roll-in shower for wheelchair end users
The toiletries ended up good, but I wish I hadn’t neglected to deliver my very own shower gel as I obtain gripping soap tricky. Nevertheless, it just meant I received to decide on up some Disney shower gel at a store—so a minor reward for myself. Sadly, the bathroom towels ended up truly scratchy, so we finished up borrowing towels from the pool as they have been a great deal softer. Let us just say, I didn’t assume slim scratchy towels at a Deluxe resort, so a small disappointing.
The only tiny complaint is that, like most other resort roll-in showers, there was a trouble with drinking water heading just about everywhere. In this situation, the drain was excellent and experienced a wonderful flat metallic plate (so no tripping hazard), but the shower curtain was both not lengthy sufficient or positioned improperly to maintain the h2o in. Thankfully, inserting a rolled-up towel just outside the house the shower kept the water at bay and was straightforward to clean up up. As an apart, one more additionally was the lavatory flooring was great—good traction and effortless to dry. A further improvement would be a greater vent in the bathroom as it would fog up conveniently.
Extra Home Perks
The room had a lovely balcony with a check out of The Dolphin and the bridge heading to the Boardwalk Inn Vacation resort. However, it was not available as the threshold necessary stepping over a slide glass door casing, and the balcony was little. Even so, if you can transfer, it is a stunning spot to sit and consider glance at EPCOT in the distance. I manufactured it get the job done by pulling my wheelchair up close, putting my legs via to the balcony, and transferring to a chair on the deck, wherever I liked the perspective.
Balcony with two chairs and side desk
Handy amenities had been just down the hall—the ice device and a microwave. We did not have the likelihood but could have warmed up leftovers that we had held from a mouth watering meal at Il Mulino (a cafe on the foyer stage) in the microwave.
When we checked in, the man or woman at the desk advised us that housekeeping was constrained and would only go to on request. Even so, we had provider just about every working day. We needed the trash emptied and clean towels, so that was fine—just a minimal astonishing following getting told there would be none. If you have distinctive tastes, perhaps it would be finest to established all those at check-in.
All over the Hotel
The ambiance and buying at the resort ended up charming. Swan fountains graced the lobby, and thick carpets and snug furniture dotted the open spots. We tried out out Il Mulino and had an unbelievable Italian evening meal there. We also savored the espresso store each and every early morning just before heading off to the Parks. We briefly strolled by means of the Disney Arranging Centre and received some inquiries answered there by a knowledgeable Solid Member.
Swan fountains in the lobby stage of the vacation resort
I appreciated the Lobby and common format of The Swan improved than the Dolphin as it was considerably less sprawling and a bit easier to navigate. We only had to just take just one elevator to get to the pool, and it was just less complicated to locate things. Of program, it likely helped that we were a very little acquainted with the home due to our previous keep.
A different facet of The Swan I genuinely appreciated was that for the duration of our remain, it appeared usually quieter than The Dolphin, where by I experienced been woken up in the night by persons in the hallway. Though there had been loads of guests all over, there was lots of peace and silent for our trip.
Though technically, The Swan has “only” just one huge and attractive pool, all of the pools at The Dolphin are straightforward to entry with a limited stroll (or roll in my wheelchair). This is most likely genuine of the neighboring Swan Reserve resort, but we didn’t try out it. The Swan also has its personal whirlpool. Both swimming pools have lifts that can be employed simply by attendees.
Swan resort’s whirlpool with obtainable raise
The initial time we utilised the elevate, we experienced slight issues right until we figured out that they left the drinking water valve beneath the lift closed. After we opened the valve, it remained open up the complete vacation, and from there, it was an easy issue of flipping the swap (following pulling the lock pin) to make the lift go down and up.
We took a swim just about every night, which was good for each unwinding after an lively day and sustaining my toughness.
Perspective of the Swan resort from the pool
The 1 major difficulty throughout our remain was transportation. When the bulk of the accountability lies with Mears (the contractor that supplies it), the lodge also is liable for controlling these products and services and guaranteeing they are conference the promises built to guests.
When we stayed at The Dolphin, we had no transportation difficulties, and the provider was offered by Mears. Some changes experienced been produced due to the fact our very last visit wherever the buses had been transformed from regular buses with a ramped entry (equivalent to the Disney vacation resort buses) to mentor buses. This may audio insignificant, but enable me reveal. The coach buses are the similar as the airport transportation. It requires a challenging and time-consuming elevate that arrives out of the bus, is assembled, then loads only just one wheelchair. Then the wheelchair ought to be tied down manually with four straps (not the basic and rapid hooks of the normal bus). In addition, some of the coach buses had no lift or accessibility at all.
As opposed to the buses Disney uses for Park transportation that use ramps that have quick entry and tie down, the mentor buses contain a time-consuming loading system. This is clunky for airport transportation but doable for a for a longer period journey of 40 minutes or so. Even so, for brief visits to the Park, it doubles (or additional) the bus time just for the loading course of action. This prolonged loading time is a hindrance not only to myself but also to all the other friends keen to get to the Parks. It also can make the bus driver’s occupation tougher for the reason that they are attempting to load a wheelchair (by using a elaborate approach) when people today continue on to board the bus and block the aisle while he is trying to go back and forth to established things up, get me boarded, then tie down the wheelchair.
Mears-offered park transportation utilized coaches with elaborate bus elevate for obtainable boarding
Whilst we only essential buses for two Parks (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom), both days ended up a problem. For EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, we just walked (or, in my situation, rolled) and returned on the Friendship Boats.
On the to start with bus trip, we arrived about 10 minutes before the initially scheduled bus to Animal Kingdom. We ended up involved when the bus that arrived was a coach and requested the driver as he loaded me if all the buses ended up like this. He assumed all the AK kinds have been, but that Magic Kingdom would have the ramped buses. Even though it took a very long time to load, we nonetheless arrived in a great deal of time for the Early Magic half hour offered to us as guests at The Swan.
Magic Kingdom was a distinctive tale. Once more, we arrived at the bus prevent early to catch the first bus, but it turned into a time-consuming debacle the place we missed all the Early Magic time and then some. The to start with bus that came was an inaccessible coach. The driver barely apologized and claimed to wait—what else have been we to do? The second bus that arrived about 20 minutes later was also a coach, but at least it experienced a elevate. It was currently typically entire thanks to owning picked up at The Dolphin by now. It took 20 minutes to load me, and the bus continued to fill up so that even the aisle room was long gone, and the driver experienced problem finding back again to protected my wheelchair. The bus then took us to the Swan Reserve prior to Ticket and Transportation, wherever I had a lengthy wait in protection (since of all the outside guests now arriving) ahead of we could then just take the ferry to the Park. It seriously exploded our morning options and gave our working day a horrible begin as we purposefully like the early morning time when the Parks are cooler and less crowded. All in all, it was about a two-hour journey or a minimal considerably less than the flight back property. It felt excruciatingly preposterous.
That night I was far too fatigued, but my spouse went down and spoke to the vacation resort supervisor. He apologized but seemed to shift obligation on to Mears. Even though that is true, the vacation resort also demands to be keeping its contractor accountable for accessibility issues. When we returned residence, I wrote to Marriott to complain, and the exact manager wrote back again and mentioned they were heading to work with Mears on improving accessibility. I also wrote to Mears but did not listen to something back until I followed up a month later on.
On a very long cell phone contact with my spouse, the Mears consultant discussed the company’s system to transition all of the resort Park transportation they supply to The Swan and Dolphin resorts to mentor buses. We stated why this is problematic, and I followed up with a comprehensive email, but I really don’t hope just about anything to adjust. I also adopted up with Marriott to share these plans and request for them to intervene in the contract to make accessibility improvements. As of this composing, I have not obtained a response.
As I advised Marriott, issues with transportation accessibility could be a deal breaker for a return remain. We have booked once more for The Dolphin later this 12 months, but I imagine we should cancel. If I cannot get to the Parks in a well timed method in my wheelchair from their resorts, then what is the stage in being there? I could remain at any other Disney resort and not have these types of amateur transportation challenges. Even though I really significantly get pleasure from the resorts on their own, if I can’t get to the Parks, then I’m not heading to return.
To be frank, I take into account this variety of transportation to be discriminatory not only simply because the raise buses are difficult to board, time-consuming, and split down extra typically (in my plentiful private expertise with them), but also for the reason that they are running totally inaccessible buses. This suggests an excess wait around for transportation for visitors applying wheelchairs (or a lot more than one particular wheelchair due to the fact the coaches just can’t fit as lots of) and outcomes in inequitable transportation. Why I must have to wait around extended for transportation just for the reason that I use a wheelchair does not sit right with me, particularly when I’m spending the identical amount as anyone else for my continue to be.
See of the Swan resort at night
Though I despise to say it, this review is a genuine combined bag. I definitely savored the total knowledge and accessibility of being at The Swan, except for a huge offer breaker that I am not at all self-assured they will deal with. If I simply cannot get to the Parks with out large worry and lengthy waits for transportation—not to mention equal access—I’m not going to return.
For wheelchair end users, transportation is vital to a Disney take a look at. WDW will get this with their completely obtainable bus fleet, Skyliner, Monorail, and boats. Every thing is seamlessly accessible for having areas in a wheelchair inside of Disney. But there are gaps, and a main one particular is the agreement transportation delivered by Mears for The Swan and Dolphin (and now Swan Reserve) resorts. Coach buses are not accessible more than enough (even individuals with lifts) nor successful for guests in wheelchairs. And problems really should be taken seriously and acted upon swiftly if they want to restore self-confidence in accessibility.
Luckily, friends with wheelchairs and other mobility products have numerous vacation resort possibilities, and we can pick to consider our useful organization somewhere else.