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Is the Swan Reserve Worth the Upgrade? (Walt Disney World)

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Looking for a luxury hotel experience just steps from EPCOT? Look no further than the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, the newest member of the Swan and Dolphin family. With its ideal location next to EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nightlife at the Boardwalk, Swan Reserve is a great option for adults looking for a non-Disney vibe but still on Disney property. In this review I’ll share some info about the Swan Reserve and how it compared to my stay at Dolphin.

Exterior view of Swan Reserve building which has a reflective surface

Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel – Review


Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel opened in 2021 to high expectations. Its construction and opening were delayed by the Covid shutdown so by the time it finally did open, theme park enthusiasts were chomping at the bit to get a look.

This is the first expansion to the popular Swan and Dolphin Resort, which opened in the late 1980s (and underwent an extension renovation in 2017). Swan and Dolphin Resort is popular with Walt Disney World travelers due to its location and price. It’s often referred to as being like a deluxe hotel at moderate prices.

And since the property is owned by Marriott, guests can get all the Marriott Bonvoy perks such as points, possible upgrades, and free Wi-Fi.

The lounge area at Swan Reserve features large plants in white pots and carpet with various shades of blue. In the background you can see a curved bar top with grey barstools.

Pros and Cons


  • Secluded pool area
  • Better food options
  • Best for adults traveling without kids
  • Marriott Bonvoy perks
  • Complimentary theme park transportation
  • Modern rooms


  • Not an official Disney hotel
  • Most expensive of the three sections
  • Farthest walk from the boat launch
  • Less options for “quick” food
  • Daily resort parking charge
  • No bus service to Magic Kingdom (transfer at TTC)


Hotel Grounds and Amenities

The Swan Reserve opened in September 2021, so the building is very new. The Swan Reserve itself doesn’t have any grounds aside from the main building and the pool. The building is modern and sleek, with contemporary decor and upscale furnishing. The exterior is very reflective, almost like mirrors, which almost makes the building blend into nature. Overall the interior common spaces of the building feel very serene, as if you’re walking through a modern day spa. 

Across the street, guests of Swan Reserve are free to use the grounds of Swan and Dolphin, including their pools, beach area, and swan boat rentals.

Other resort amenities include (note some of these amenities might be located in other areas of the hotel property):

  • Convenience Shops
  • Mandara Spa
  • Swan Reserve Health Club
  • Laundry
  • Game Room
  • Business Center
  • Complimentary Lobby WiFi
  • Running Trail
  • Outdoor movies
  • Poolside Cabanas
  • Poolside Activities on select days
  • Kid’s playground
  • Disney Planning Center


I loved my room at Swan Reserve. It felt modern, clean, and spacious. I really liked how the bathroom was set up, with a separate section for the toilet and an extra sink. Again, the Swan Reserve had been open less than a year at the time of my stay, and the room felt fresh. One big complaint is I wish the room had a tub, as there’s nothing like a nice soak after a 20,000 step theme park day. I also was not a fan of the bikini wall art; as a full-figured gal I didn’t need reminders of society’s ideal body type greeting me every time I entered the room. 

Interior of Swan Reserve hotel room with King bed and sitting area

Interior of Swan Reserve hotel room with flat panel TV sitting on a white dresser next to a small desk and white chair

Interior of Swan Reserve hotel room shown with wide angle lens, showing the bed, desk, TV, and door to the restroom

Interior of Swan Reserve hotel room bathroom showing sink and counter area, and glass enclosed shower


Pool Area and Activities

Swan Reserve has its own pool behind the building from the main road, which makes the pool area feel secluded and private. It’s pretty small and is catered more towards adults. There is a pool bar and small menu available during the day, and the firepits are turned on at night until 11pm (weather permitting). Guests also have the option of going across the street and using the main Swan and Dolphin pool areas.

Upper floor view looking down on pool area of Swan Reserve

The lounge area by the pool features several brown rattan chairs and white tables

Restaurants and Food Options

Amare & Stir

Amare is the main restaurant, located on the third floor. I didn’t eat here but I did eat at Stir, the lobby bar, which seems to have a similar menu (I suspect they share a kitchen considering they are adjacent to each other. During my stay I had a selection of craft cocktails, all of which were excellent. Pictured below is the Meditterean Dips which was very filling but felt like a healthier option after eating theme park food all day. On another night I ordered one of the flatbreads to take to my room for late night snacking, and it was very good.

A cocktail in a tall glass sitting on a table next to the menu at Stir at Swan Reserve

The Swan Reserve menu at stir lists several drinks and food items

A trio of colorful dips in silver bowls next to a cup of toasted bread cut into thin strips for dipping


Located close to the lobby on the third floor, Grounds serves coffees, pastries, and grab-and-go items like sandwiches and snacks.

The interior of Swan Reserve Grounds quick serve store is lined with shelves containing various drinks and food.


This is the poolside bar and lounge; unfortunately I did not have time to eat here.



There is a daily resort charge for parking your own car on-site.


Weddings and Events

There is event space and ballrooms on the very top floor of the Swan Reserve, offering great views and, in some rooms, distant fireworks views.



I’m not gonna lie, I love a luxury hotel experience and Swan Reserve really hits the mark. It feels like you’re staying at a Deluxe Walt Disney World hotel without the price tag (although, don’t get my wrong, Swan Reserve isn’t a budget hotel at all). Having done a split stay with Dolphin, I can say everything about Swan Reserve is upscale in comparison. The downside is the long walks to and from the boat launch, busses, and Skyliner.

Still, I would happily stay at Swan Reserve again if my budget allows it, and plan ahead for those long walks.

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.