Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. With an on-site convention center, the hotel is geared toward business-types, but it has the essential Disney touches as well. Read on to learn about our experiences at this Disney World moderate resort!
Coronado Springs Basics
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate resort at Walt Disney World, which means it should fall between the value resorts and deluxe resorts in price and quality. If you’re considering Coronado Springs, you may want to read some of our other posts. We have a ranking of the best Disney World moderate resorts. We also have a guide to all the hotels of Walt Disney World. And here are our reviews of all the moderate resorts (links open in new tabs):
Review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (you are here)
And if you’d like to see where this resort falls overall, check out our complete Disney World hotel rankings.
Rates start at $208 per night in 2019. Guests at all of Disney’s hotels get access to a variety of perks, including Extra Magic Hours and advance FastPass+ booking.
Coronado Springs is also home to a convention center, which makes it unique among the moderate resorts. Catering to business types, the resort is maybe a little more understated in its theming, which is Spanish Colonial Mexico. The resort is currently under construction, which is where we’ll start our review.
Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs
Part of Coronado Springs is the newly opened Gran Destino Tower. The Tower is not its own hotel, rather it is a set of rooms at Coronado Springs. The Tower also houses the hotel’s lobby as well as a few bars and restaurants. We have a separate review of the Gran Destino Tower, and it is definitely our preferred room type at Coronado Springs.
Booking Coronado Springs
We booked Coronado Springs via the Walt Disney World website. There was an Annual Passholder offer, which brought the rate of our room down from $259 nightly to $172—about 34% off. This isn’t the best price we’ve seen for Coronado Springs, but it’s a good price.
Arrival and Check-In
As of July 2019, check-in is completed at the Gran Destino Tower, and you can find the details of our last check-in there over at our Gran Destino Review.
Generally, we still recommend checking in via the My Disney Experience app when you can. If your room isn’t ready when you arrive, you can swing by the desk to ask if anything is available.
Grounds and Theming at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs can be broken down into seven sections. Gran Destino Tower is the new centerpiece of the resort, and it is where you’ll find the main lobby and several restaurants.
El Centro was the main area of the resort prior to the Tower opening. It contains restaurants and the resort gift shop. The Convention Center is attached to El Centro.
Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas are the room sections. Each has three to five buildings of rooms, a laundry room, and a small pool. With El Centro, these are located around the Lago Dorado lake and comprise a loop of just under one mile.
The Dig Site is the main recreation area of Coronado Springs. It comprises a pool, playground, the Iguana Arcade, and volleyball court. The Dig Site is about a five minute walk from El Centro. We cover The Dig Site more below.
Coronado Springs is themed to Colonial Mexico. It has more understated theming than the other Disney resorts. This might be appealing to some, but if you’re comparing to the other Disney resorts, particularly the values or the better deluxe hotels, don’t be surprising to feel like the theming is pulled back.
Our Room at Coronado Springs
We have a separate review of the Gran Destino Tower, and it is definitely our preferred room type at Coronado Springs. That is mostly a location issue, though, as all the Coronado Springs rooms are some of our favorite at Walt Disney World.
The pics and video below are of a standard room in the Cabanas section of the resort.
Our room at Coronado Springs was a nice combination of some of our recent stays. We had a corner room, which impacts our assessment a little as it at least felt like it had more space (we don’t know if it actually did). The new rooms at Coronado Springs (like ours) have hardwood floors, one of the new features of Disney’s rooms that we really like.
The vanity area was the largest we’ve had recently. It had significantly more counter space than the one we had at Yacht Club, a deluxe resort, recently.
Like the new rooms at Pop Century and All Star Movies, the Coronado Springs rooms make good use of their space. This is most notable in their use of the dresser space under the TV. Instead of just having a dresser there, the counter sits over a dresser and open space for a chair, creating desk space.
Outlets and USB ports abound, and the beds have reading lights.
For their price, these are some of the best rooms on property. They’re easily a step up on the other moderate rooms; they’re larger than the refurbished value rooms; and they are more reasonably priced than the deluxe rooms.
The Dig Site, Pools, and Recreation at Coronado Springs
The main recreation area at Coronado Springs is called “The Dig Site” or, alternatively, “The Lost City of Cibola,” named after the mythical cities of gold sought by Coronado.
The Dig Site is located over by the Cabanas and Ranchos buildings, about a five-minute walk from El Centro. This means guests in Casitas get the benefit of being close to El Centro, but are farthest from The Dig Site.
The main pool, the Lost City of Cibola Pool is overshadowed by an impressive Mesoamerican pyramid structure.
The pool and pyramid also house a water slide (not pictured here). There’s also a kids’ play area pool, though its a little simpler than some of the other resorts’ offerings.
Siestas Cantina, a bar and counter service spot, offers refreshments at The Dig Site.
The arcade, spa (hot tub), volleyball court, and playground are also at The Dig Site.
Cabanas, Ranchos, and Casitas also have their own secondary pools. There’s nothing noteworthy about these, and they’re useful only if you want to avoid crowds or just be completely alone.
Coronado Springs maintains an active recreation schedule, including campfires and Movies Under the Stars. Here’s an August 2019 activity schedule (two pages):
You’ll notice that Coronado Springs has a Fitness Center. While the spa and salon services cost money, the fitness center is complimentary to resort guests and accessible via Magic Band.
Location and Transportation at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs is categorized as being located in the “Animal Kingdom Resorts Area.” It’s nestled between Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Blizzard Beach. From Coronado Springs, you have to take the bus to all four theme parks, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. Magic Kingdom is the farthest, about a 15 minute trip.
Coronado Springs, like the other moderate resorts, except Port Orleans — French Quarter sometimes, utilizes multiple bus stops. This is theoretically great because it means you don’t have to walk all the way to the main building for your bus.
Practically, it’s a disaster, because your bus trips can take an extra 10 minutes pretty easily. As always, we’re keen to suggest you consider Uber for getting around Walt Disney World, but of course you’ll have to walk all the way to Gran Destino for Uber, and this won’t help you getting to Magic Kingdom in a pinch (Ubers drop off at Transportation and Ticket Center for Magic Kingdom).
For a business hotel, this isn’t such a huge problem, but for families who stay here (with or without business people), transportation continues to be a problem at the moderate resorts.
Food and Drink at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs has two table service restaurants, two quick service restaurants, one snack shop, three bars (two are at two of the restaurants), and in-room dining.
Table Service at Coronado Springs
Outside Gran Destino Coronado Springs has three table service restaurants—Three Bridges Bar and Grill, Maya Grill, and Ricks Sports Bar and Grill. A fourth, Toledo, at Gran Destino, is briefly discussed in our tower review.
Three Bridges Bar and Grill
Three Bridges Bar and Grill is located on the lake at the center of the resort and accessible via—you guessed it—three bridges. Read a review of Three Bridges over at Disney Tourist Blog.
Rix Sports Bar and Grill
Rix Sports Bar and Grill is a standard sports bar, but with a very limited menu.
Our time at Rix was the low-light of our time at Coronado Springs, as the staff struggled for 45 minutes to work the TVs. It was an NFL Sunday, and several TVs were showing college basketball, college football highlights, and soccer. At one point, despite multiple requests from multiple tables for (American) football, they only managed to get the three TVs in front of us to show soccer.
Quick Service at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs has two quick service restaurants—El Mercado de Coronado and Siestas Cantina.
El Mercado De Coronado
El Mercado de Coronado is the food court-style option at Coronado Springs, serving things like bowls, burgers, and pizzas. This was one of the more disappointing food court options at the moderate resorts, but it’s not super surprising.
The hotel is Mexican-themed, and middling Mexican food is available throughout Walt Disney World regardless. Contrast this with a place like Port Orleans, which offers New Orleans style food not available anywhere else. Regardless, we found the selection to be more limited than we like.
Siestas Cantina is a quick-service enhanced pool bar at Coronado Springs. It’s located over at The Dig Site, making it a good option for guests in the Ranchos buildings. It serves a very limited menu, sort of designed to have one item in every category—one burger, one fish, one chicken, one salad, etc.
Bars and Snacks at Coronado Springs
Cafe Rix is listed as a quick service option on the latest listing of Disney restaurants, but it’s only a snack stop now, serving pastries, cereals, candies, and coffee.
There are bars at Siestas Cantina and Rix Sports Bar and Grill, which we previously discussed. In addition, Laguna Bar is a bar just outside the main lobby. Besides offering a decent view of the resort, it’s just another watering hole.
In Room Dining at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs has a limited in-room dining menu, serving from 7AM to 11AM and 4PM to 11PM.
Shopping at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs’ store is “Panchitos.” Besides standard hotel essentials and Disney merchandise, Panchitos has a small selection of Coronado Springs gear and Mexican-inspired items.
Coronado Springs — Conclusions
Almost all of our love for Coronado Springs comes down to two factors. First, the rooms are wonderful. Second, Gran Destino Tower is wonderful. Outside that…we don’t love the resort so much.
That’s definitely not to suggest we think you have to book at Gran Destino. Indeed, rooms in the Cabanas section of the resort are perfectly positioned between the Dig Site Pool area and Gran Destino Tower. While we think the standard rooms in Gran Destino are probably slightly better (we’ve only personally stayed in a suite) than the other Coronado Rooms, all the Coronado rooms are good.
Beyond that, we struggle a bit to get past the convention vibe. If you’re looking for something that feels Disney, we just don’t think Coronado is it (like all the resorts, I’m sure it has hardcore fans who disagree). Rather, the resort feels like what it is—a convention hotel in Disney clothing.
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