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3rd hotel to join Swan and Dolphin Resort in EPCOT area

In a move that’s been rumored since height testing balloons were first spotted last year, The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has confirmed that a third tower will be joining hotel complex near Epcot. The Orlando Business Journal confirmed the story first reported by the fan-site WDWNT. The project will feature a 14-story, 349-room hotel located on the current site of the Swan hotel’s tennis courts.

Work on the new hotel is expected to begin any day now (we’ve heard the tennis courts will be closing shortly, if they haven’t already). The grand opening is currently expected sometime in 2020.

The Swan & Dolphin has terrific convention facilities and the new tower will add 21,000 additional feet of meeting space. A space on the top floor will offer meeting attendees the much-desired view of fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

The hotel is expected to include a small restaurant and bar that can also be used as event space. Additional amenities include a fitness center, outdoor entertaining space, and state-of-the-art technology.

“We look forward to expanding the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and to marking the next chapter in our decades-long relationship with Disney,” said a statement from Daniel R. Tishman, principal and vice chairman of Tishman. “This expansion is an exciting continuation of our commitment to delivering a best-in-class experience for all resort guests, and is consistent with our recent enhancement of the Dolphin lobbies and resort guestrooms.”

We’re a little disappointed how disjointed the new hotel looks from the two current Swan and Dolphin towers. They were designed by Michael Graves at the request of then Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Alas, Graves died in 2015, so he’s not around to create a third tower.

The new tower reflects the nature of modern hotels. Basically a giant box with rooms inside. It’s the amenities, level of service, and interior design that matters to the guest. Still this is Walt Disney World and I think the design should be something that tells a story and doesn’t just reflect light. This hotel would look great in a metropolis somewhere, at Walt Disney World, there should be some theme or at least some whimsy.

How do you feel about the location and the design?

(Concept art courtesy Tishman Hotels)

6 thoughts on “3rd hotel to join Swan and Dolphin Resort in EPCOT area”

  1. Looks like Tishman´s late revenge for being forced to accept the Swan and Dolphin designs – Eisner had many faults as a CEO, but he would never have accepted that sort of sloppy, unimaginative architecture…

  2. You are entirely correct. The design artwork shows an unthemed, plain looking (dare we say anorexic) box, quite inappropriate for a place such as Walt Disney World. One more reason not to choose that hotel resort when staying on the property…

  3. Agreed. There should be some art to the design. It shouldn’t just be a hotel that could be in Toronto or Chicago or Cancun.

  4. While the company is performing as well if not better than it ever has, this architecture makes me miss the Eisner days when each property was special. While better inside amenities are needed and appreciated, the exteriors of upcoming properties have become bland. The new Coronado tower reminds me of many Las Vegas strip properties which is the last thing Disney should mirror. Riviera looks on track to becoming the most bland appearing DVC property. It is unfortunate to put this boring box next to two great examples of design.

  5. To me, the Swan and Dolphin are hideously dated-looking buildings that reflect the worst of that era’s design, so I don’t really mind having a hotel that doesn’t match. A tower that is mostly glass will sort of blend into the background, which is what you want from a non-themed, non-Disney-operated hotel.

    Personally, I’d prefer to see that whole end of Crescent Lake bulldozed and a new Disney resort built there. Something on the scale of the other resorts (four to five stories tall at most) and offering good theming, perhaps like the Grand Californian or maybe even a Santa Fe-style Southwestern theme.

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