During our most recent visit to Walt Disney World, we stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs. Coronado Springs is home to Disney’s Convention Center, and is a giant hotel within the “Animal Kingdom Resort Area”, but its very close to both Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach.
Its also gorgeous.
The hotel is decorated in “the inimitable spirit and romance of Spanish-colonial Mexico” – according to disneyworld.disney.go.com – and you can see the touches as soon as you walk onto the resort. There is also a store near registration that sells Disney merch, some merch with “Coronado Springs” flavor, and a small area with travel necessities like deodorant, toothpaste, etc. if you forget something. The back of the store has area where packages are sent if you order anything from the parks and have it sent to your hotel.
We arrived at about 11:30am hoping that our room was ready. We had “checked-in” online before arriving, but did not receive a text message that our room was ready (it was), so we headed to registration to check-in. Of course the legendary Disney hospitality was present as soon as we walked in, and everyone was polite, friendly, and helpful. Plus our room was ready, and after a 3 hour drive we were just excited that we didn’t have to wait.
Overall the rooms are clean and well appointed, and are on the larger side for Disney rooms (we have also stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter and some All Stars), we think Disney wants to impress the convention guests. But, you know what was missing from the room? A digital clock. You wouldn’t think that would be a big deal because you have your phone. But, you would totally think about it when you wake up before your alarm and have to crawl over your soundly sleeping boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife to check the time on your phone. Really, its a small annoyance, not enough to even mention to the resort staff.
Did I mention that Coronado Springs is a giant resort? Let me repeat that. Its a giant resort. We were in the “Casitas” cluster, in building 5. Coronado Springs has remedied the size issue with multiple bus stops, you can see one right outside the building, so you are never too far from a convenient bus stop (and it is totally possible to run from the Casitas bus stop to the main lobby bus stop when you see the Epcot bus pulling away, not that I know from experience…). The walk in the morning to get coffee was kind of long, but I think that was because I was under caffeinated and had just woken up.
The 0.75mi and 1mi running routes are very nice and you can see more of the beautiful resort design.
Speaking of coffee, there are multiple places to obtain coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. If you like a big breakfast in a hurry, Pepper Market (quick service or cafeteria style) is a good choice, but Siestas Cantina also has some breakfast options if you don’t want to walk all the way to “El Centro”. Café Rix has specialty coffees and “grab-n-go” breakfast options (muffins, bagels, etc.). If you would rather have a sit down meal Las Ventanas is your best bet. These options are also available for lunch.
I also highly recommend Maya Grill for dinner, with a style described as “Nuevo Latino cuisine paired with traditional American flare.” Maya Grill is an especially good choice if you’re looking for a break from either Hollywood Studios or Blizzard Beach (especially with the lack of current dining options at Hollywood Studios. You can hop on a bus from the park and head right over to Coronado. And might I recommend a 0.75 mi walk around the lagoon afterwards to take in the resort?
Drinking. Thats what we’re all here for right? Coronado Springs does not shy away from that department with the Lagnua Bar, Siestas Cantina (open while the pool is open), and Rix Lounge. We prefer Laguna Bar and Siestas Cantina over Rix Lounge, as Rix Lounge does not serve the standard Disney drink menu and is kinda dark and usually filled with whatever group is attending a convention, but your mileage may vary, and they also have a pretty good selection of appetizers. I recommend the Mojito Frambuesa, which is specific to Coronado Springs.
Finally, lets talk about the pool. It is an AWESOME pool. You can see it on the map marked as “The Dig Site.” Its huge, has a great (and big!) water slide, plenty of seating, a bar, and a hot tub. Towels are available. There is also a children’s play area and arcade near the pool. There are a few “quiet” pools around the property but I recommend braving it and going to the main pool, and remembering that you are never too old to go down the water slide.
“The Dig Site” Pool, you can see the end of the waterslide in the right picture. Unfortunately it does not start at the top of the Mayan Pyramid decoration, but its still awesome.
So, Drinking Ever After, do you recommend Coronado Springs?
In general, yes. Though if you are looking for a moderate resort, my recommendation is Port Orleans – French Quarter. We find it to be smaller, quieter, and we like the bar a lot better. We also really love the New Orleans theming and boat transport to Disney Springs. The pool isn’t as great though.
We have found Port Orleans French Quarter and Coronado Springs to be (relatively) adult friendly. We are not entirely sure why – maybe because of the convention center at Coronado, and because “New Orleans” theming doesn’t exactly call to kids.
We stayed at Coronado Springs this time because it was much cheaper than French Quarter. If that happened again, we would not hesitate to stay at Coronado Springs as the pool, huge amount of food options, and close proximity to Hollywood Studios make Coronado Springs a great choice.