We stayed at the Dolphin. It is on Disney property, close to Epcot and Disney Studios, and enjoys the extended hours and early entry that other Disney resorts do. It is a very good place to stay, but it is NOT a Disney-owned property and therefore you CANNOT get the meal plan if you are staying at the Swan or Dolphin.
I would agree with other posters here that the meal plan is a very good deal, if you use it correctly. Also, be sure to make reservations for where you want to eat LONG BEFORE you travel down to Florida. Otherwise you will find that they are filled up and you may only get to eat at odd hours, if at all. We intentionally wanted to eat at some higher end restaurants, so we knew we would pay a lot...especially since we were staying at the Dolphin and couldn't get the meal plan package. We enjoyed most of them, but unless you really appreciate French food, I would stay away from the French restaurant at Epcot. We had never eaten French food before so we wanted to try it. We paid well over $200 for 3 people to eat (and I use that term loosely, since none of us finished our meals). I am a person who will generally eat anything, but I just couldn't handle this Frech food. The meals were generally terrible (again, I had no experience with French cooking) and portions were sized for a 3 year old. The dessert was very good however. If you want to try a bit of France, then I suggest just ordering the dessert. Again, this is just me. I learned (after spending well over $200) that none of my family likes French food. We did enjoy all the other countries that we at at. The Norway restaurant was especially excellent for food, and the service was pleasant and prompt.
In a previous trip, we stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge. This was a higher end resort and therefore pricier, but well worth the money, in my opinion. A great African motif, some African food on the menu, and you can't put a value on waking up, going out on your balcony and seeing giraffes, wildebeest, etc. right outside your hotel room balcony! Our kids loved it!