Ok, little known fact: I have a BS (Bachelor of Science, not Bull Sh!t) Degree in Zoology. As such, it took me about 45 minutes of concentrated staring to discover why the “Dolphins” of the Walt Disney World “Dolphin” Resort threw me for a loop. It wasn’t that they were cartoon stylized. It wasn’t the scales (ok, that was part of it). It was the complete lack of a dorsal fin. After deciding this was the only thing wrong with this resort, I laid back and enjoyed myself.
Look, you can go to Expedia or even the WDW site to find out how lovely this place is, you can see pictures, etc. I’ll offer you the things that aren’t spelled out:
1. The all important toiletry rating: “plus”… it has separate Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion; all good stuff. No funky smells, nice and gender neutral. Also, flip-top caps. And they replenish daily.
2. Everyone is friendly. EVERYONE. Maids, pool lifeguards, the guy who advises you on sunscreen, waitstaff, busboys, gardeners, etc. EVERYONE. It’s kind of bizarre, and kind of cool.
3. The busses are worth it when going to the parks, but understand that they come as they come — so it may take up to 15 minutes for one to show for the destination you want. They do go all over the place– in the park. If you want to go outside of the park, I’ll write about that later.
4. The Grotto Pool — best seats are under the waterfall (especially if you, you know, burned yourself to a crisp on day one) or across from the waterfall. The Cabana Restaurant will happily serve you drinks and food at the bar, but will not deliver. You can charge that to the room, along with floatie rentals, sunscreen (yep, it is $17, so you may want to check a bag to pack that), kids goggles, etc. Towels are complementary and thick. They have a water slide to go with the waterfall, and it’s fun — this big kid already did it. Twice.
5. If your typical breakfast is Starbucks, head to the Java Bar at the Swan (it’s a nice walkway to the hotel across — about a block). If you want sit-down, head to the Garden restaurant in the Swan, they have character breakfast on the weekend. Note– sweet stuff is almost cloying sweet, so those chocolate chip pancakes? Really love chocolate. Those apple cinnamon crepes? REALLY love apples and cinnamon.
Other stuff: there’s a National/Alamo rental car company in the hotel, and I will point out it’s cheaper to rent a car for a day for when you want to go to, say, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (at Universal) vs. a cab. Same day rentals are available in the lobby.
Next post: “Budget” travel (no, not really).