August 2013


The Swine Hotel at Dismal World!

Swan Hotel Swan

This helps you find your hotel.

Ooops, I did it again. I misspoke the name of this “resort” – it’s actually the Swan at Disney World.

I’ll readily admit that I am not a Disney kind of guy – the idea of such a place gives me the creeps and I have no desire to visit the place, but, thanks to the vulgarities of my life, I’m here for a conference.

Vulgar is, I might note, the key word here: The Swan/Dolphin resorts are fantastically colored in this bizarre shade of vomit-pastel-pink and pastel-vomit-aquagreen. I hope that this isn’t supposed to emulate some actual place on earth, but is, instead, some sad architect’s attempt to recreate the fiery pits of Mordor, or something similar.

Dolphin Hotel

This is the Dolphin Hotel. I hate this shade of green. And that shade of pink.

Without realizing it I must have offended the check-in clerk at this hotel because I was assigned a room with the best view. I cannot recall having received such a splendid room in my adult life. This place is, without a doubt, the bomb! I was even greeted by a fork and empty dish directly outside my room when I arrived.

Swan Hotel

Seriously, this is the view outside my Swan Hotel room window. I felt like Bob Uecker.

Swan Hotel

This was outside my room when I arrived. I actually was worried that my assigned room was occupied, but, no, my room was “clean” and ready for me. The dish was there until sometime after 9:30pm, which is when I got back to my room and crashed.

I suppose I could have complained and forced them to assign me a better room, but I decided that the view served to fulfill my impression that I am at a shithole hotel, in a shithole world, and that it probably accurately reflects Florida.

Swan Fire Escape Plan

This is the Swan Fire Escape Plan, as posted in my room. The red dot says “YOU ARE HERE.” But, in fact, I am not there because that is floating outside my room. There is no red dot in my room. I wonder if this violates the fire code. Fortunately I am smart enough to know how to escape should I Need to escape. Well, escape if there is a fire.

My first night was, to be honest, pretty rough: I ended up not sleeping very much – awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night – and deciding to get out of bed at 6:45 in order to find breakfast.

Expensive breakfast, as it turned out, and with very nosy people at the reception stand. I showed up at the Garden Grove entrance, confirmed that I wanted a table for one, and she asked me my last name. WTF? Why the hell should I tell somebody my last name, just to eat breakfast? I declined – and was rewarded with the girl looking at the seating plan for 3-4 minutes trying to decide where to seat me.

Swan hotel restaurant

The Garden Grove features this tree. It does not, however, feature food that you would want to eat.

After she made her decision, I was ushered into an enormous dining area, where maybe 6 tables were taken. I had been assigned to a table next to another person. WTF???? The place was EMPTY and I was assigned to a table directly next to somebody else? I refused and asked for a different table, which was granted – but seriously, this left a terrible impression on me. As did the food – I’d ordered biscuits and gravy and when it came out, I had to confirm that it was what I ordered. I am not back home in Indiana, that’s for sure. The waitress patted my back sympathetically as I expressed my dismay – asking, “where is the biscuit?” She told me it was under the fried egg and that the gravy was the small puddle next to the egg. I died a little bit on the inside and forgot to take a picture.

Dolphin Hotel Art gallery

The “art” gallery at the Dolphin Hotel concerns me.

Following breakfast I decided to check out the rest of the Swan/Dolphin resort complex. This did not take very long – there’s not a lot to see, although over in the Dolphin I was immediately attracted to an art gallery with some of the finest art I’ve ever seen. I took a photo and told several of my friends that I was going to buy them either the dragon in front or the blue colored painting in back – which did they want? Best response: “You frighten me. No religious torture paintings from Golgotha, please!”

Mickey Pretzels

The Mickey Pretzels are hands down the worst pretzels I have eaten in years. They were basically covered in disgusting grease.

Mickey Rice Krispy Treats

Everything here that can be disney-fied, is.

I wish I could say that the rest of my day at Disney World got better – I attended a reception inside Epcot where food is Disney shaped and I was able to relive what I did two weeks ago Monday: pass by the Itsukushima Shrine, but this time the Disneyfied Epcot version.

Itsukushima Shrine / Epcot

If I’d known that Epcot had the Itsukushima Shrine, I wouldn’t have bothered visiting Japan. Just kidding.

This really is a sad, pathetic, depressing, and exceptionally awful place.

2 comments to The Swine Hotel at Dismal World!

  • I still think you would be mistaken to gauge your entire impression of Florida on Diz-Knee Wurld. While you are correct re: stand your ground, the state is getting bluer, though like anything that has been to the extreme in the other direction, it will take time.

  • Florida is my home state- I lived there for the first 38 years of my life. I went to college in Orlando and only set foot on Disney property eight or ten times- and most of those were when I was doing events with the radio station. There’s a lot of good in Florida- Disney is just a tiny fragment of the place.

    That being said, I’ve never had any interest in staying at the Swan or the Dolphin; I’ve always felt they were kind of overblown. I do like the idea of the Contemporary though, but only because the monorail goes *through* the hotel.