The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts, owned by Marriott, are popular non-Disney owned hotels. They also allow frequent travelers with many Marriott Bonvoy points to stay on Disney property. They also offer similar amenities to the higher-end Disney-owned resorts with Disney-specific amenities – including access to Disney buses.
However, the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts are no longer using Disney buses. They are now using Mears Transportation -much like the Disney Springs area resorts.
Mears Transportation is a common sight in the area, and they even operate Disney’s Magical Express and transportation to Port Canaveral for Disney Cruise Line for the Disney company. While this company is reputable and very good, there are some downsides to this particular switch.
Namely, charter buses have designated pick up and drop off locations that are sometimes far away from the Disney Bus pick up and drop off locations. For example, at Magic Kingdom, only Disney buses are allowed to pick up and drop off at Magic Kingdom. Instead, charter buses have to park at the Transportation and Ticketing Center (TTC).
Another issue is that the time between buses is extended to 20 to 30 minutes, which is longer than what Disney aims for – although shorter wait times even at Disney Resort Hotels don’t always happen in practice.
It’s unclear why Swan and Dolphin cut the Disney buses. Marriott might have chosen to do this to cut the cost of “renting” buses from Disney; alternatively, Disney might have cut their ties with Swan and Dolphin or reduce their labor costs and prioritize their own hotels.
So if you do choose to stay at either the Swan or Dolphin Resort, what are your options? Fortunately, Swan and Dolphin Resorts are within walking distance to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can also walk to one of the neighboring Disney Resorts – Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, or Disney’s Beach Club Resort – and catch a Disney bus there.
No Disney Buses: Would you still stay at the Swan or Dolphin Resort?