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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
HOTEL_030126_01.JPG: This is the lobby of the Dolphin. The tent is 72 feet tall. It's supposed to remind people of whatever they want it to remind them of -- a circus, an Arabian tent, an underwater place, etc. The columns in the back are covered with (real) bougainvillea vines which have silk wisteria leaves woven into them.
HOTEL_030126_48.JPG: In the distance is the edge of the Dolphin resort. In the foreground, you'll see people partying behind the pool. The party is an opening reception which involved lots of television screens to watch the Superbowl.
HOTEL_030127_28.JPG: This was a Goofy fountain which was in the middle of the swimming pool at the All-Star Sports Resort.
HOTEL_030127_30.JPG: This dog, made of hand towels, greeted me in my room when I returned from the Monday sessions. The next night, they'd leave a towel-made elephant.
HOTEL_030128_01_STITCH.JPG: This is the Disney All-Star Sports Resort that I stayed in for most of my nights in Orlando. It's considered a "budget" hotel--just above a Motel 6 in amenities--but rates were $77/night whereas you could find motels across the Interstate for less than half of that. The All-Star Resorts are themed of course, I was in the "sports" one which had these sort of decorations outside. Note the huge Coke glass which is a staircase. I have no idea what Coca-Cola pays to be a Disney partner but it must be a lot. There was also a "music" resort (the staircases looked like bongo drums) and "movies" resort (which, I'm afraid, I never had time to visit).
HOTEL_030128_02_STITCH.JPG: This is the Swan Resort. The building, which cost $120 million to construct, is 600,000 square feet and contains 758 guest rooms plus 56 suites and 4 Presidential suites. It opened officially in 1990. Each of the wings is topped with clamshell fountains. Both the Swan and the Dolphin were designed by Michael Graves who wanted creatures appropriate to a lakeside hotel. Both buildings were built by the Tishman Construction Corp which also built the World Trade Center and Epcot. The large swans on top of the building are five stories tall and weigh about 56,000 tons. Designed by Gary Graham, a Disney artist, the name and logo are owned by Disney but the land is leased to Westin Hotels and Resorts which actually runs the Swan.
HOTEL_030128_03_STITCH.JPG: This is a stitched photo showing the lake near the Dolphin resort. To the left is the tip of the Disney Yacht and Beach Club Resort , where rooms were $289 and up. In the middle, you can see the top of the globe from the Epcot Center. To the right, you can see the Eiffel Tower clone which is part of the World Showcase of the Epcot Center.
HOTEL_030128_48.JPG: You can see the light house from the Yacht and Beach Club Resort. It's used as the boating dock for a ferry that goes between this resort, the Dolphin, and Epcot Center. You can also see the dome from the Epcot Center in the background.
HOTEL_030128_57.JPG: They're building a fake beached sailing vessel which is going to be part of the lake. This is part of the resort complex, not one of the entertainment parks. I don't know if it's going to be a ride or just a decoration.
HOTEL_030128_81.JPG: When I got back to the room, I was greeted by an elephant made out of towels. It joined the dog from the day before. These were the only two decorations in the room but they were kind of neat.
HOTEL_030129_06.JPG: This is the Dolphin resort. It's about twice as big as the Swan (from which this photo was taken--I was in the CLP lounge which was on the sixth floor), having 1509 rooms, 1.5 million square feet, and cost $375 million to construct. Like the Swan, it was constructed by Tishman Construction Corp, opened in 1990, and is owned by Disney but leased to another company, in this case the Starwood Hotels and Resorts (branded as a Sheraton). Like the Swan, the Dolphin name and image are still owned by Disney.
HOTEL_030129_31.JPG: A scale model of the Dolphin/Swan complex. I'm told that an entire wing to the convention center portion of the Dolphin had been added in the last year.
Description of Subject Matter: Each of the Disney properties at Walt Disney World is themed in a different way. For the Lotusphere conference, I had always stayed at the All-Star Sports Resort, which is basically a themed Motel 6. The complex consists of nine separate buildings, each with over 200 rooms and arranged in the shape of a "T". Two T's go head-to-head and between them in a valley with a unique appearance. It might appear like a football field with bleachers on each side or something. The buildings come together in two or three main pool areas, each of which is also unique. The handrails and staircases match the theme some how. I usually get stuck in the baseball unit which has three-story tall Coke glasses as the staircases. The more expensive resorts are usually massive single complexes with thousands of rooms in each building.
Bigger photos? To save server space, the full-sized versions of these images have either not been loaded to the server or have been removed from the server. (Only some pages are loaded with full-sized images and those usually get removed after three months.)
I still have them though. If you want me to email them to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
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