CONCEPT ART: Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing $12 Million Refurbishment

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Nov. 30, 2016 – The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Dolphin lobby will undergo a $12 million re-design as the final stage of the largest makeover in the resort’s history. When finished in the fall of 2017, the new lobby will be completely transformed into a sleek contemporary space and feature new dining and beverage options.

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment

The lobby re-design is the final stage of a total $140 million project which also includes the transformation of all 2,267 guest rooms, along with upgrades to the hotel’s meeting space.

“This lobby will mark the final piece of an exciting transformation for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “This space is designed specifically to cater to today’s guests and offer an inviting place where they can come together to relax, network, and grab something to eat or drink.”

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment

Renowned Manhattan design firm ICRAVE, designers of projects including Westin New York at Times Square, W Atlanta and STK restaurants, created the concept for the new lobby space, drawing on inspiration from the lobby’s iconic Dolphin fountain.

The centerpiece of the new lobby will be a dazzling custom crystal chandelier which will sparkle above the fountain and use the latest in color-changing lighting technology.

Other new features will include a new geometric ceiling, increased lighting, all new contemporary décor and furnishings and more than double the amount of seating.

Two new food and beverage options will be incorporated into the lobby, including a bar and lounge space seating up to 150.

A new quick service café and market offering coffee, sandwiches and snacks will provide guests a convenient way to energize during their day, whether it be filled with business meetings or exploring the theme parks.

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Lobby Undergoing Refurbishment

The Dolphin Resort lobby will remain open throughout the renovation with minimal impact to resort guests. The project is currently scheduled to begin in spring 2017 for completion by fall 2017.Swan a

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


Click here to post a comment
  • Beautiful, looks tasteful, not fake. Elegant to me. Can’t wait to see it! You can tell it’s NOT Disney doing it. (a good thing).

  • True, Disney would cheapen it out, wouldn’t put many seats, that takes away from the tents and carts that people can rent and buy stuff from. Why make it comfortable or fun? That makes no money. Duh! :) All said, we never stay on WDW owned properties any more cuz of their cut backs, but Swan and Dolphin are pretty nice!

    • Wow, a corporation in the business of…*gasp*…making money?!

      Yes, this does look really nice, I just don’t understand the need to tear down Disney to make your point.

      Oh, and the next lobby Marriott makes that could compare with the lobbies of Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Animal Kingdom Lodge will be their first.

      So while I understand the need to sound “cool” and “edgy” by bad mouthing Disney, it might serve you well to keep a little perspective.

      • I think you’re bring way too sensitive Scott Dolan. You have no skin in Disney, they don’t give a rats ass about you, so chill out bud. Honestly, nothing Disney does looks this well put together anymore. The seating and lobbies of Wilderness Lodge and Contemporary have gone to ways of stores and profit centers only. Take a look back at Contemporary resort and it looked really inviting. Not so anymore. They even moved Concourse steakhouse to the basement (the wave) to make more money in stores, and blocked all the windows, the view was “a distraction” according to Meg Crofton. I think this person has a valid point, and nothing I read as tearing Disney down. Is honesty. You’re right, its up to Disney to be a business, they’re just not a good one at creating the guest experience, and R. Alvarez chose to take his money somewhere else because of it I think was the point. If you’re not lying the posts or can’t keep perspective, move along.

  • Disney has eyes on profit and theming as inexpensively as they can get by. Dolphin and Swan owned by Marriott, used to be Starwood, they’re to hotel resorts, what Disney is to movies and media. Disney should stick to media. BTW Scott, Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge weren’t built by Disney. They were designed and built 100% by outfit in Ft. Lauderdale that builds high end aquariums called “Living Colors”. Disney’s latest built hotels (Animators, etc) are pretty much motels with theming.

    • ….and don’t forget WDW recent attractions at their motels to enhance the guest perception and experience…tacky overpriced pizza carts and temporary tents. This build looks amazing. Marriott can’t afford to be cheap like Disney though, way larger hospitality company in in for the long haul, and they know sometimes you gotta spend a buck to make one. Can’t wait to stay there!

Fantasy Strollers
Lost Bros

Latest Videos