WW GOES TO WDW at Yesterland.com Walt Disney World
Swan and Dolphin
 
on WDW Radio Podcast

Would you like to hear interesting and fun stories about the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin—the resort’s forgotten history, the story behind its unusual design, and legends that many people believe?

I think you’ll enjoy show number 225 of The WDW Radio Show, Lou Mongello’s popular podcast series. For this episode, two guests join Lou. One is Disney authority Jim Korkis. The other is the Curator of Yesterland.

There’s a link to the podcast at the end of this article— or click here if your can’t wait.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, June 7, 2011


Lou Mongello takes podcasting seriously. No Skype for us. Lou, Jim Korkis, and I would meet on location at the Walt Disney World Dolphin. The three of us had been doing our homework, polishing up our knowledge of the non-Disney resort in the heart of Walt Disney World—and how it came to be there.

Before recording a single word, we sat down in the lobby and spoke for more than an hour. This conversation served as a dress rehearsal, preparing us to be ready for the microphone without a script.

Left to right: Werner Weiss, Lou Mongello, and Jim Korkis

Left to right: Werner Weiss, Lou Mongello, and Jim Korkis

We then walked around the property making observations about the distinctive design work of Michael Graves, architect of this resort. A friendly hostess at the Fresh restaurant took our picture in front of a painting by Michael Graves.

Finally we were ready to record. The lobby was too loud for this purpose. Although it was supposed to be a rainy day, the weather turned out to be beautiful—sunny, but not too hot. We found a bench as we walked toward Disney’s Yacht Club. We could look at the Swan and Dolphin while recording.

Walt Disney World Dolphin

Walt Disney World Dolphin

The recording went well. When I write, I often reword sentences until I’m happy with them. That’s not option when doing a podcast in single take. Somehow, the words flowed out and made sense. We managed to take turns speaking without stepping on each other’s words. (Lou and Jim are pros at this, but I’ve only been on a few other podcasts.)

Fountain at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

Fountain at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

In the podcast, we discussed how the Swan and Dolphin look so different from the Disney’s own themed resorts. Actually, despite this difference, the Swan and Dolphin have something in common with the Disney resorts. They’re all examples of “entertainment architecture.” Michael Graves just took a different approach to storytelling.

Balcony at the Walt Disney World Swan

Balcony at the Walt Disney World Swan

I have to admit that I like the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. It took me while to accept these unusual hotel structures sharing Crescent Lake with Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas.

The Swan and Dolphin complex is playful and original, especially when compared to typical chain hotels. It provides excellent lodging and dining—and it’s often a terrific value for quality and services in the same class as Disney’s deluxe resorts.

Heavenly Bed in the Walt Disney World Swan

Heavenly Bed at the Walt Disney World Swan (2004 photo)

My first exposure to the Westin Heavenly Bed was at the Walt Disney World Swan in 2004. Compared to the beds at other hotels, including Disney resorts and Westin’s competitors, the Heavenly Bed was... for lack of a better word... heavenly. Since then, the entire lodging industry has had to step up their game when it comes to mattresses and bedding. But I still don’t think I’ve had a better bed anywhere than at the Swan.

Swan and Dolphin statues installed on the wrong structures?

Swan and Dolphin statues installed on the wrong structures?

I’ve written articles discussing legends about the Swan and Dolphin. Here’s one of them:

Take a careful look at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. The giant rooftop statues don’t match the paint schemes and ornaments. The swans are on the building with the ocean waves and seashells. The dolphins are on the building with the leaves and park-like fountains. That’s because a helicopter crew installed the statues on the wrong buildings. The hotel company had to swap the names. The Swan became the Dolphin and the Dolphin became the Swan.

Black squares removable to make a path for a monorail route?

Black squares removable to make a path for a monorail route?

Here’s another legend:

The black areas on the façades of the Swan and Dolphin can be removed to accommodate future Monorail beams.

To find out the if these legends are true or false, listen to the podcast (or click on the links below).

Show notes page for WDW Radio show 225

Show notes page for WDW Radio show 225

Here are the links. You can also subscribe to The WDW Radio Show in iTunes.

About LOU MONGELLO

In addition to hosting the WDW Radio Show podcasts and website, Lou Mongello is the author of The Walt Disney World Trivia Book, Volume 1 and Volume 2, creator of The Walt Disney World Audio Guide series (available on CD and by download), publisher of Celebrations Magazine, and organizer of special events.

About JIM KORKIS

Jim Korkis is the author of The Vault of Walt, a contributor to several websites, a popular speaker, and a writer for magazines—including Disney Files (the official publication for Disney Vacation Club members) and Celebrations Magazine.

On July 13, 2011, Jim will present “The Creation of Walt Disney World” at the Disneyana Fan Club (formerly NFFC) Convention at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Garden Grove, California.

On July 23, 2011, Jim will speak present “Walt Disney and Outer Space” at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, California.

 

Click here to discuss this page on the Yesterland Discussion Forum at MiceChat!


Disney’s AVATAR Kingdom
Places Not to Drink
Home


© 2011 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated September 23, 2011.