New look lobby coming to the Walt Disney World Swan

Aug 20, 2018 in "Walt Disney World Swan Resort"

Concept art of the new lobby at Walt Disney World Swan

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is undergoing its next redesign project, a $3 million transformation of the Swan Resort’s lobby, public spaces and coffee bar.

Upon completion, the resort’s two main lobbies, all guest rooms and meeting spaces will all have completely updated appearances.

The new Swan spaces will incorporate the water theme of the redesigned guest rooms and Dolphin lobby, providing an elegant, classic look to the resort’s lobby, rotunda, front desk, lounging areas and corridors. Features like lantern lights and sconces, Bahama shutters and palm leaf designs will transport visitors to a serene tropical oasis. The Swan’s coffee bar, Java Bar, will also receive a refreshed look as part of the redesign.

The Swan Resort project will take place in phases, in order to remain open to guests throughout the renovation, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

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Article Posted: Aug 20, 2018 / 12:30pm ET
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the.dreamfinderAug 23, 2018

You’re right, this isn’t like what Disney did to the Poly grand ceremonial house 😭 in terms of making permanent structural changes to the physical character of the space. Thankfully, as stated earlier, these changes are mostly cosmetic and can be reversed.

the.dreamfinderAug 23, 2018

It’s not about nostalgia. This isn’t about keeping the entire hotel exactly the same as it was in ‘91. No one wants crappy CRT TVs or other outdated amenities. Amenities should be separate from, in this case, art direction. This a significant work of architecture and the lobbies and common spaces ought to be protected from aesthetic changes which alter the design intent. But, overall, Disney has little respect for art, including the theme park artform pioneered by the company, at this point, so this is absolutely consistent with their worldview.

TJ VazquezAug 23, 2018

The changes aren’t that stark. I typically agree that most changes recently haven’t been great, but this is a needed change in a dated lobby, most of the same elements that were built in original are still present.

the.dreamfinderAug 23, 2018

Michael Eisner picked the hotels’ architect and Disney oversaw the design process. According to the article below, Disney has ”creative control” over the resort. They very much approved of these changes, even if it was a rubber stamp. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/08/magazine/disney-deco.html It’s funny how all these changes go against Graves’ design intent. At the Swan and Dolphin, Michael Graves brazenly forgoes the visual cues normally associated with luxury hotels - mirrors and crystal chandeliers (Continued on Page 42) - in favor of water splashing down a waterfall made of mammoth clamshells, the last and largest shell supported by two sliver-thin Dolphin sculptures, ''the fillets,'' he calls them. The hotels are rife with joy and mischief - comic but functional works of architecture that say to the public, ''Take my building . . . please.''

Biff215Aug 23, 2018

Even if Disney does have the final say, did anyone here actually believe that they would turn it down? Look at Disney’s own renovations as of late. They probably encouraged this design. Personally I don’t mind any of these updates by the way. They might seem less Disney or boring, but we also can’t continue with 80’s and 90’s designs just because we’re nostalgic. Give it another decade and they’ll change again.

RteetzAug 23, 2018

They seem to only do it for major construction. General refurbs don't tend to get them. Like Pop didn't do pins for their room refurbs.

build_itAug 23, 2018

I'm glad to see they aren't ripping out or covering up the key original designs. I am a little disappointed in some of the choices... mostly the main lobby entrance. I've always appreciated the varied uses of circles in the design and the play of the stripes that accentuate them. Some of that is going away with these more subtle tones and angular lighting fixtures. And more white.... looks like they went to a certain flowering tree home line for inspiration. At least I don't see any shiplap. I'm guessing it was one of M/SPG standard design contracts. Not a surprise, just not the fun/edginess I would have wanted for these very recognizable post modern pieces. It could be much, much worse, so I'll take what I can get.

Deano77Aug 23, 2018

A little random and may be unknown, but we have have received construction pins at both Caribbean and Coronado and love them. What is the criteria for Disney to do these during construction? Is there a criteria? The only other Resort I have found to do this is WL. Any insight would be interesting and would love to hear it.

DznyRktektAug 22, 2018

The colors and patterns seem to be revisiting circa 1988 Kissimmee lobby design trends.

Missing20KAug 22, 2018

My guess is a third party interior design or architecture firm did the design for Marriott/Starwood and Disney just signed off on it. My reasoning being that the renderings shown do not have any Disney copyright mark, nor show any "entourage" (fancy architect speak for people and stuff). Disney renderings virtually always show people enjoying the space and kids with balloons and an employee or two. As for the actual design.....I'm excited to watch the Golden Girls go to Disney special to hype the new Mary Poppins ride. ;) I think the Dolphin re-design was much more successful.

shernernumAug 22, 2018

I would actually like to know how much design oversight they have...because maybe I'm wrong. Do they have veto power over everything, or just the ability to challenge a design choice that would lower the resort quality? Those would be very different things. I'm honestly asking, because that would make a difference.

TJ VazquezAug 22, 2018

I disagree with you here. The main elements that made these hotels great are still there. I mentioned earlier that they are keeping the beauitful mural and swan fountiains and the addtions they are making are welcome and appropriate. The lobbies disperatly needed some updating.

the.dreamfinderAug 22, 2018

Disney has to sign off on any changes at Swolphin. They’re also involved in the developemen of that ugly glass cube proposed to go between the two resorts.

shernernumAug 22, 2018

Disney screws up.... a lot. I was not disputing that. However, the only point is, call out Marriott/Starwood if you don't like what they are doing with Swan and Dolphin, because this is their call and I doubt that anything they are doing violates any license agreement they have with Disney or that Disney really can have much influence over this as long as the hotel remains consistent in "luxury" with the standards of other similar level properties. Leave the "keep it up Disney" to things they actually have direct control over, because if we believe they listen at all to the fan community (which is of course entirely debatable), then blanket statements about everything, even things they don't directly control, just become noise, which they can ignore. Want to complain about generic updates to the Yacht Club, the destruction the the Wilderness at the Lodge, the IP invasion of EPCOT...etc. I think that's a different story. I realize this may sound like semantics, but in the era of clickbait and "fake news" I really do think it's important if fans want to actually get their point across.