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Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by Allyson
Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World is my new favorite resort — and for good reason.
Believe it or not, but this Disney Resort hotel may even be tied with Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter as my top resort when visiting the most magical place on earth.
Yes, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is that nice.
Coronado Springs is a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwest American cultures. Plus, there is also the Gran Destino Tower portion that opened on July 9, 2019.
Before diving in, here are a few things to note about the resort:
- Type: Moderate Resort (medium price bracket)
- Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Dining: 10 dining options [1 Casual (a bar and grill), 2 Lounges, 2 Bars (1 is a pool bar), 2 Quick Service (1 grab and go, 1 food court), 3 Table Service options]
- Shopping: One gift shop
- Transportation: Access to buses
- Pools: 1 main pool with a waterslide and 3 leisure pools
- Recreation: Fitness center, basketball court, tennis court, shuffleboard, pool tables
- Amenities: Movies Under the Stars, an arcade, campfire activities, playground, volleyball, jogging trail, full-service health and fitness center
Note: Sometimes not all dining, recreation, pools, amenities, etc. will be available. This is something to look into prior to booking, because it may affect your decision on where you want to stay.
I stayed at Coronado Springs for the first time in June 2021 with my family. We booked a Preferred Room, which placed us in a room on the first floor in building 1 of the Casitas.
This means we paid more to be located closer to both transportation and the main building, where you can find the food court, the gift shop, and more. It was a great location.
The door to our room opened to a beautiful courtyard with multiple fountains and a courtyard that lit up at night.
Here’s a map of where our room was located.
If you look to the right of the red circle on the map, you can see we weren’t far from the main building, Gran Destino Tower, Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago, and the first bus stop.
Regarding the latter, the bus stop isn’t where you see the bus on the map, but the gray rectangular buildings outside of Gran Destino (this is also the first bus stop of a total of four).
There are multiple bus stops due to Coronado’s size. Here’s the order: Gran Destino Tower, Casitas, Ranchos, and Ranchos and Cabanas.
Keep in mind that depending on the time of day (usually never in the mornings), your bus will make multiple stops around the entire resort.
Now let’s talk why Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World is my new favorite resort.
1. The location
I had no idea Coronado Springs is centrally located on Disney World property, aka it’s close to every theme park. The bus rides to each park are short.
Usually, bus rides to and from your resort to the parks aren’t horribly long, but if you want to stay at a hotel in a prime location, this is it.
2. It’s like two hotels in one
Even though Coronado Springs and Gran Destino are essentially one resort, they feel like two separate hotels, especially due to the respective theming.
It’s great having so many options when it comes to dining, bars, pools, and exploring.
It’s also kind of unbelievable to me that this is a moderate resort, because it feels like a deluxe resort.
The Tower is gorgeous and exudes that deluxe vibe. Plus, some of the dining is top-notch.
If you want to pay moderate prices, but stay somewhere with a more upscale vibe, this is your hotel.
3. The dining
There are 10 different dining options. That’s right, 10!
Allow me to list each:
- Quick Service: El Mercado de Coronado, Café Rix
- Casual: Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago (Mobile Order available)
- Table Service: Rix Sports Bar & Grill, Toledo — Tapas, Steak & Seafood, Maya Grill
- Lounges: Dahlia Lounge (drinks and small bites), Barcelona Lounge (Spain-inspired coffee bar)
- Bars: Siestas Cantina (pool bar), Laguna Bar (by the main building where the food court is)
Three Bridges is a covered outdoor casual dining space (as seen above) that sits on the water and has phenomenal food and drinks. Plus, you get fantastic views of the resort.
Reservations aren’t accepted. They open at 4:30 p.m. and remain open until midnight.
There is also the Dahlia Lounge, which is a rooftop lounge in the Gran Destino Tower. The views are unbelievable.
You can see Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, and Swan and Dolphin. Plus, the drinks are superb.
This is a gin bar, so you may want to try one of their signature cocktails. If not, they have other offerings.
You don’t need reservations for the Dahlia Lounge. It’s open from 5 p.m. until midnight.
4. Has its own nightlife
I’m not one who usually spends a lot of time at the hotel, but this trip was different because Coronado has so much to offer, especially at night.
There’s a lot of night-life. Not only are Three Bridges and Dahlia Lounge open until midnight, but, from Wednesdays through Sundays, the Laguna Bar has some form of entertainment.
It’s nice to go back to your hotel after a long day at the park and relax with some live music and a drink at the bar without having to go all the way to Disney Springs.
5. The rooms
The rooms are refurbished and very nice. There’s just a hint of Disney throughout. They are sleek, have a ton of counter space, and plenty of storage.
For those who shave their legs, be warned — there isn’t a ledge to place your leg. That said, the shower is nice and has great water pressure.
If you didn’t notice in the above photos, there is an in-room Keurig!
This is definitely a huge perk, especially if you’re a coffee drinker like myself. There are K-Cups provided (including ones from Joffrey’s), but we also packed our own.
6. Geared more towards adults
Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World is more of an adult-friendly hotel. There’s an awesome feature pool perfect for kids, but, overall, it has an adult vibe.
I don’t mind being at a hotel with families, because that’s what Disney is all about. But, it’s nice to stay at a resort where there aren’t too many children.
Coronado Springs is geared more towards businesses and conventions (it has a Convention Center), so it’s not as family-oriented.
If you’re looking for a hotel that has a lot Disney theming and family-friendly energy, you may want to book somewhere else.
7. It’s beautiful and relaxing
Coronado Springs is a gorgeous hotel. It has a relaxing vibe, it’s peaceful, and you can’t really go wrong staying here.
All that said, I do have somewhat of a big con to share that I know my fellow avid Disney World visitors will be upset about, as well. The in-room TVs don’t have Disney World Resort TV.
You know, the most beloved Disney channel that features Disney music, the daily schedule, weather, and more? That’s right, for some unknown reason that channel is not featured.
I called the front desk to ask and they tried to help, but they didn’t provide an answer as to why the channel is missing. So, we ended up playing the channel via YouTube, but it just wasn’t the same.
As for some other tidbits to note:
—> I wish there were a few more smaller/healthier breakfast options at El Mercado de Coronado and Café Rix. You can get eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, pastries (a lot of donuts, muffins, etc.), fruit, cereal, and more. But, I don’t normally eat a big breakfast and like the choice of a bagel or even oatmeal.
—> The rooms don’t have hooks for clothing, bags, ponchos, or whatever else you may want to hang. There is plenty of storage, including closet space. But, like at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, I like having the options of hooks on the wall to hang select items, especially when you’re sharing a room (and closet/hangars) with three other individuals.
—> El Mercado de Coronado doesn’t have Mobile Order. I’m a big fan of ordering food via the My Disney Experience app. That said, the food court is grab and go, which means each counter has all of the food prepared, packaged, and ready for guests. This makes grabbing your breakfast, lunch, and dinner super easy.
You can also make requests. For example, we asked for pancakes without bacon (we don’t eat meat), and they were happy to give us fresh ones in a new container.
—> If you or someone in your party needs a courtesy wheelchair to get around the resort, just ask the Front Desk. My mom needed one in June and they were kind enough to provide us with one at no cost.
It’s also important to add that Coronado Springs is a big resort, so depending where your room is located, you may have to do a lot of walking.
Overall, my first stay at Coronado Springs was fantastic and I can’t wait to book here again.
Have you stayed at Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World? Let me know your thoughts!