Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has gone through a lot of changes in recent years. Have these changes been for the better? We think so – Coronado Springs has become one of the best moderate resorts on Disney property and the addition of the new Gran Destino Tower has really made the hotel a great place to stay.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate hotel. That means that it’s middle of the road, both in terms of amenities and in price. Like all moderates, Coronado Springs offers a variety of food options, room types, and a great pool.
Unlike other moderates – Coronado Springs Resort has a fifteen story, 500+ room tower – the newly opened Gran Destino Tower. While the addition of a tower to a Disney hotel was controversial, we love it. The tower looks beautiful which negates any worries about it being an eyesore, and its views of the parks and the surrounding area are spectacular.
The rest of the hotel is spread out along a large lake (Lago Dorado) with a few walkways allowing you to cut through the lake. Non tower rooms are located in small buildings with only outdoor door access – but room sizes are the same across the resort.
We should note that Coronado Springs Resort is used by Disney to host conventions, a main reason they built the Gran Destino Tower. In our experience that meant fewer kids and families in the tower itself although there were still plenty throughout the resort. Just something to note.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is Southwest themed and draws on a lot of southwestern and Mexican influence. From the food court to the pool, you can feel the theme throughout the resort. Note that like most Disney moderate resorts, the theming isn’t Disney focused per se, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The theming extends to the beautiful Gran Destino Tower, where check in is now located. There are little touches throughout the inside of the tower and some impressive art installations on the outside of the tower that make sure the tower fits in with the overall theme of the resort.
Location & Transportation
Coronado Springs is fairly close to Animal Kingdom, which means by bus it’s a pretty long haul to the Magic Kingdom. Still, bus times are fairly reasonable and there are only four internal bus stops unlike a comparable moderate resort, Caribbean Beach, which has way too many bus stops.
The one major drawback transportation wise is that Coronado Springs doesn’t have any non-bus transportation. The aforementioned Caribbean Beach has the Skyliner which makes Coronado inferior in terms of transportation overall in our opinion.
If you’re renting a car, it’s a short drive to all of the parks, but we recommend you still take the bus to the Magic Kingdom to avoid having to park at the Ticketing and Transportation Center.
Rooms and Room Types
Rooms and room types are typical of what you’d expect of a moderate hotel. Rooms are modestly appointed featuring two queen beds and a separate bathroom. One nice feature at Coronado is that there are sliding doors between the bathroom area and the main room which is good for light control late at night if you have young kids.
We should make special note of Gran Destino Tower rooms. Although the layout of the standard tower rooms are the same, they are (obviously) newer and feel cleaner and fresher than rooms throughout the rest of the resort. Also, you can get a great view of the parks – including fireworks – in many standard tower rooms.
Your best bet is to book a standard tower room NOT a water view room and using Touring Plans’ room finder to help you request a room with a good view of the parks.
Club Level at Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs Resort is the only moderate resort that offers a club level. Club level rooms are in the Gran Destino Tower. There are both standard and suite rooms at club level. We’ve heard the club at Coronado Springs is one of the best on property and can’t wait to try it ourselves.
Remember, staying at club level gives you access to food and drink when the club is open and you can also pay for premium Fastpass+ reservations if you’re staying at club level. The Club Level at Coronado Springs is a great option and one we’re excited to try in the future.
Restaurants and Amenities
One thing the Gran Destino Tower has brought to Coronado Springs is a lot of great food options. At the top of the list is Toledo, a tapas restaurant at the top of Gran Destino Tower with spectacular views of all of Walt Disney World. If you’re not in the mood for a meal, you can check out the Dahlia Lounge, also located at the top of Gran Destino.
For more inexpensive fare you can check out El Mercado de Coronado, the food court offering standard food court options with a southwestern flavor. Also of note is Three Bridges, located at the center of the lake and with great views of the entire resort.
Coronado Springs has a pool, the Dig Site, that is a lot of fun for kids and includes a great water slide. If you’d rather avoid the mass of children, you can check out one of the quiet pools – it’s great to have options.
Tips for Enjoying Coronado Springs Resort
Our advice for most moderates is that they’re best for longer stays. Coronado Springs fits right into that same line of thinking. There’s a lot to enjoy about Coronado Springs Resort and a lot of great places to eat and drink as you relax at the hotel.
The hotel really feels like a deluxe lite with the addition of the tower – be sure to ask your kids if they can spot all the Hidden Mickeys throughout the resort!
If you do get a tower standard room, try to request a room on a higher floor and with a view of Hollywood Studios – you can watch the fireworks at night from the comfort of your hotel room! And if you like tapas we really think Toledo is worth a try.
Another random piece of advice is you can ask about club level availability when you check in – the upgrade might be worth the price. It’s always worth seeing what the front desk might have to offer.
Finally, the main bus stop is now right outside of the tower – another reason we recommend the tower. The bus leaves straight from the tower bus stop to the parks – so that’s the place to get on the bus!
Have you stayed at Coronado Springs Resort or the new Gran Destino Tower? Any thoughts or tips we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Featured photo credit: Steven Diaz, Walt Disney WorldConnect with Disney Deciphered!