The Walt Disney World Dolphin is one of our favorite properties. Since it’s a Starwood hotel and not Disney-owned means you can get a great deal using points.
What You Get
- Five FREE Nights at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Savings: $1,400 (average $280 per night)
What It Takes
- 40,000 Starpoints (Starwood Preferred Guest)
- The hotel costs 10,000 per night year-round, but you get a fifth night free when using points
How To Do It
- Apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
- After spending $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll receive a 25,000 sign up bonus plus another 3,000 points for the money you spent; 28,000 points total.
- Keep making your daily purchases on the card until you’ve reach 40,000 points.
- Visit the Walt Disney World Dolphin website. Search for the dates you want. When it pulls up your options, you can refine your search under “Rate Preferences” at the left, selecting “SPG Free Nights” and updating your search to see all your points options.
Walt Disney World Dolphin
It doesn’t get much better than five free nights at a hotel that regularly runs $300. Sitting between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, close enough you could actually walk to each if you wanted to, the Dolphin is in as good a location as you could want. With amenities coming out the ears, the beach, pools, kids activities and more will make this a vacation to remember.
Not only is it walking distance from Epcot and the Boardwalk, but Disney transportation to all the theme parks are available as well, even though it is not a Disney property. This is such a huge advantage to this hotel. One disadvantage, however, is that the Dolphin does not offer the Disney Magical Express (the Disney service that takes guests to and from the airport).
The rooms are stylish and comfortable, complete with the signature Heavenly bed. Heavenly bed…that sounds so nice to fall into after a long day of walking in the parks.
The Dolphin also has a Children’s Activity Center called Camp Dolphin. Camp Dolphin is for children, ages 4-12. With an hourly rate of $15, parents can drop off their children and enjoy a dinner out. The Swan and Dolphin resort complex have 17 restaurants. Camp Dolphin is a way adults can enjoy some of those restaurants sans kids…which might be needed after a day in the Magic Kingdom. Camp Dolphin does require advanced reservations.
On Crescent Lake, the Dolphin is a sight to behold. It is a massive hotel, with so many wonderful amenities…our favorites being the complimentary Disney transportation to the theme parks and the 3-acre pool complex, complete with a white sand beach. The amenities are so very wonderful, but we should note that there is a daily resort fee of $28 (plus tax), as well as a daily self-parking fee of $18 (even when paying with points). This, however, does not take away from its proximity to the magic…. from the top two floors, you can even see the Boardwalk and Epcot’s nighttime fireworks. We highly recommend the Dolphin.
Based on the sample bookings we ran, the hotel averages $305 a night after taxes. You’re getting $280 in value using points because you’d still have that resort fee. This means you’re getting $1,400 knocked off the cost of your vacation just through one credit card sign up and putting $5,000 of your normal spending on it. Talk about savings!!!
From more information on this card and how the Starwood system works, see these posts: