February 2012

Mariana Wagner, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel - Lake Buena Vista, FL

Mariana Wagner

What service can you provide to groups that they normally might not receive?

We are constantly changing and evolving in order to provide the best service to our guest and ensure that every request is not only met but exceeded. We have many resources on hand to assist with last minute group reservation needs such as dining, tours, transportation, and entertainment.

What are your bar or nightclub recommendations?

The Swan and Dolphin has some great bar options, including my favorite, Todd English’s Bluezoo lounge which is hip and modern with a gastro pub menu. Kimonos is another great option that features amazing sushi and karaoke nightly. Within walking distance from the hotel is Jellyrolls, located at Disney’s BoardWalk. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar, and a fun place to celebrate with co-workers. At Downtown Disney, which is a short drive or complimentary bus ride away, I recommend the Irish Pub Raglan Road that offers live entertainment

Can you recommend a good place to take a stroll?

The hotel sits right next to Disney’s BoardWalk which is the perfect place for a stroll.Surrounding Crescent Lake, Disney’s BoardWalk offers guests an entertainment, dining and shopping area designed after the boardwalks that were famous during the turn of the 20th like Coney Island and Atlantic City. Guests can swing by the Wyland Gallery to appreciate some beautiful paintings and sculptures of Florida’s marine life, and if you get thirsty, enjoy a microbrew at the Big River Grille and Brewery. Disney’s BoardWalk is also the perfect place to catch the Epcot fireworks show that happens nightly.

Are there any quirky places we should check out?

The Ice Bar at International Drive is a bar all made of ice including the glasses. Gatorland has thousands of alligators and crocodiles on site. Guests may also want to check out Ripley’s Believe it or Not on International Drive.

What is an unusual request from a group you’ve had?

A recent group at the hotel requested that the Concierge desk be available 24 hours a day with direct access through walkie-talkie for the CEO of the company and his family. Either my self or one of the other Concierges was ready with the walkie-talkie any point during their stay. We did not get any midnight requests from them, but we were ready and available if needed.

A party of 12 wants to have dinner right away. What restaurant can accommodate last-minute requests of this size?

With 17 restaurants and lounges on property and even more within walking distance, we at the Concierge desk can always work to find one that can accommodate a large group. This includes some of our most popular restaurants such as Shula’s Steak House and Il Mulino New York Trattoria.

What’s a unique event that has taken place at your property?

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is an original Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel culinary festival. It includes food and beverage tastings from the resort restaurants and also wine, beer, and champagne seminars. The seminars are taught by our very own Food & Beverage Managers who are certified sommeliers. The festival will be going on its third year in 2012 and typically takes place in the Fall.

Another memorable event was the Winter Baseball Meetings that took place at the hotel in 2010. The lobby was packed throughout the event with many famous baseball personalities. The MLB network even broadcast live from the lobby, just steps from our desk.

To discover more eye-opening insights from top concierges, just visit our Concierge Insights section!

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