Walt Disney World Swan
|Walt Disney World Swan|
|Location||Epcot Resort Area|
|Resort type||Deluxe Resort|
|Opened||January 13, 1990|
The Walt Disney World Swan is a resort hotel designed by architect Michael Graves located between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios behind Disney's BoardWalk Resort and across from its sister resort, the Walt Disney World Dolphin. The Swan, which opened January 13, 1990 on Disney property, is not fully owned by the Walt Disney Company, but is instead owned by Tishman Hotel Corporation and MetLife but operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide under the Westin brand. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are the only Walt Disney World resorts to carry the Disney name and receive special Disney benefits, while not being fully owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company.
The Dolphin and Swan share similar elements, but each has a distinctive appearance. The Swan's main structure is a 12-story rectangular main structure with a gently arching top and two 7-story wings, on the Dolphin side the main structure is crowned with two, 47-foot (14 m) tall Swan statues. The colored facade is adorned with turquoise waves similar to the Dolphin's banana-leaf motif.
In 2008, The Walt Disney Swan Resort was awarded a One Palm Designation through the Florida Green Lodging Program established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary state initiative that provides the lodging industry with free technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste, conserve natural resources and improve the bottom line.
In the late 1980s, Disney saw that they were losing business to area hotels that catered to conventions and large meetings, so Michael Eisner decided to build a convention-oriented hotel near Epcot. The Tishman Group, the contractor who was hired to build Epcot and who also had hotels in the nearby Disney hotel zone, claimed that the Epcot deal gave them exclusive rights to operate convention hotels on the Disney property, so Disney partnered with Tishman to develop the Swan and Dolphin complex. Eisner had used Graves for other company projects and wanted to continue to build striking, unique buildings.
Tishman and MetLife own the buildings, but has a 99-year lease on the land from Disney. Disney also receives a share of the hotel's revenues, and has a say in any design or architecture changes to the interior or exterior of the buildings.
The Walt Disney Swan Resort is located near many Disney hotspots and hotels. Walking paths or Disney boats are available from the resort to both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney Transport Buses bring guests to all other Walt Disney World attractions. 
The resort, along with the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, has two lap pools and one grotto pool with a waterslide and waterfall. Drinks can be ordered by guests near the pools through a nearby cabana bar. Resort guests have access to a spa, arcade, day care program, along with multiple Disney gift shops. 
Walt Disney World privileges
Walt Disney World Swan guests are provided complimentary transportation to all Walt Disney World theme parks and attractions on the Disney Transportation System, via boat (to EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios), and bus (to all other Disney attractions). Length-of-stay park passes are available, as is package delivery from Disney theme park shops to the resort. There is a Disney information and ticketing desk located in the Lobby of each resort. Walt Disney World Swan guests can also use Extra Magic Hours at certain theme parks on certain days, equivalent to the other Disney resorts. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin guests also have access to Disney's Fastpass+ service, guests can select time slots for attractions 60 days prior to their arrival at the resort. However, room charging (using hotel key as a credit card at Walt Disney World) is not available and hotel restaurants only participate in the Tables in Wonderland Dining Plan, not the Disney Dining Plan. There is onsite Disney Character Dining nightly and on weekend mornings, and reservations for all restaurants can by made through Disney. Room charging within the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Complex is available. Also, guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin have free theme park parking and priority access to the Disney theme parks during sell out situations.
- "Disney Deco". NYTimes. 1990-04-08. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "Graves digs Disney hotels; a World without Amex?". Baltimore Business Journal. 2002-09-27. Retrieved 2009-02-11.[dead link]
- Brick, Michael (2002-10-30). "Commercial real estate; A Disney Resort Remodels for Business Travelers". NYTimes. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- Photo Gallery of Swan & Dolphin Hotel by Michael Graves
- Swan & Dolphin official website
- Walt Disney World Swan page at Westin Hotels website
- Swan Resort's page at Walt Disney World website