Marriott’s newest Disney World hotel on track to open in 2021 with a new name

Sep 1, 2020

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If you want to use hotel points to stay on Disney World property, you likely already know about Disney’s Swan and Dolphin hotels. While they’re on Disney’s grounds and within walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they’re actually Westin and Sheraton properties where you can earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points.

Since similarly outfitted Disney hotels can cost £200 – £500+ per night, using your hotel points to stay inside the park can go a long way in keeping the cash cost of a family trip to Disney World under control.

Disney Swan and Dolphin (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Disney Swan and Dolphin (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

We’ve known for a while that a third tower was coming to this “Swolphin” development — a name we affectionately use for the two adjacent properties that share many amenities. This third tower was announced back in 2018 and was known as The Cove — until now.

Now, we’ve learned that not only does the project have a new name, but it also just hit a significant construction milestone, a big deal if you’re eyeing a trip to Disney World next year or beyond.

The third component of the Swan and Dolphin complex is now known as The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, instead of The Cove. (Which could get a touch confusing as there will now be two towers with the Swan name in them.)

We also just learned that the project’s top floor was just topped off, a construction milestone that signifies the property is still on track for its planned summer 2021 opening.

Related: Guide to visiting Walt Disney World 

(Image provided by TJM Communications, Inc.)
(Image provided by TJM Communications, Inc.)

The new tower will have 14 stories and 349 rooms — 149 of which will be suites designed for families of six to eight. As a Marriott Platinum member, I’m already doing some mental math on how available suite upgrades might be at this property.

The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve will have its own signature restaurant, a grab-and-go market, a health club and its own pool. Guests will have access to the amenities and pools at the Swan and Dolphin as well.

While we don’t know where this hotel will be priced or which category in the Bonvoy award chart it will fall under yet, we can make an educated guess. Both the Disney Swan and Dolphin are Category 6 hotels that cost between 40,000 and 60,000 Marriott points per night. With travel to the Orlando and Disney area depressed in 2020, I highly doubt we’d see those categories rise in 2021.

Of course, Marriott could price this new tower at a higher category than the Swan and Dolphin, as the Swan has occasionally fallen in a higher category than the Dolphin in the past. But, Category 6 is already relatively high for this area, so fingers crossed the new hotel mirrors the category of the existing two when it opens — unless it’s a much nicer property.

(Image provided by TJM Communications, Inc.)
(Image provided by TJM Communications, Inc.)

Bottom line

In 2019, Disney World opened both a new hotel and a new tower — the Disney Riviera Resort and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs. But, other than the (very exciting) Star Wars-themed hotel (that’s really more experience than a traditional hotel) that will hopefully still open in 2021, new hotel construction may be slowing for a bit at Disney World. Since the pandemic hit in March, there’s some evidence pointing toward at least a pause in the construction of the previously announced Disney Vacation Club nature-themed resort called Reflections that was to open in 2022.

That makes the announcement that the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve is still on track for a 2021 opening that much more exciting for those planning a future trip to the Magic Kingdom.

Featured image provided by TJM Communications, Inc.

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