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Our Guide to Disney's Coronado Springs Resort (Plus Our Very Favorite Reasons to Stay There!)

by Mommy Frog on January 28, 2021 2 Orlando

Disney's Coronado Springs Guide - Pinterest ImageDisney’s Coronado Springs Resort holds a special place in my froggy heart. I remember when I was as young as Tad, I competed in a national dance competition at the resort’s convention center. My family stayed at Coronado Springs, and it was my very first trip to Walt Disney World! Now, whenever we stay at the resort, I can replay the memories in my head and reminisce with Leap and the kids. Tad and Lily just roll their eyes and say, “Mommy Frog, you tell us about that every time we’re here!” There’s something magical about your first trip. No matter where you stay on property, it’s hard to froget!

With an understated Southwestern flavor, Disney's Coronado Springs has some unique (and memorable!) offerings, such as Sangria University, the Three Caballeros in your room and even an Aztec-esque pyramid at the pool. If you’re looking to stay at Coronado Springs — whether it’s for your first trip or a business convention — we’ve got you covered! From recently upgraded accommodations to a variety of dining options, here’s everything you need to know about Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to help you decide if it's right for you.

Overview of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney's Coronado Springs Guide - Casitas at Sunset

Coronado Springs Resort celebrates a blend of Spanish, Mexican and Southwest American cultures. Centered around Lago Dorado, this Disney moderate resort was originally split into three distinctive “settlements” of buildings — the Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas — that all have uniquely themed architecture. The Casitas (pictured above) draw inspiration from Spanish architecture found in Southwestern cities, the Ranchos represent ranch houses in the middle of a desert, and the Cabanas embody a tropical beach getaway.

Guide to Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Gran Destino Entrance

As part of a major expansion project, the Gran Destino Tower opened in 2019, adding 545 rooms including 50 suites to the already massive property. Inspired by Salvador Dali and Spanish surrealism, the Tower now acts as the resort’s main point of arrival and offers new modern amenities, eateries and enhancements. Because of the resort’s convention center, Coronado Springs does cater to its business travelers with subtler Disney theming and luxurious amenities compared to other Disney moderate resorts. However, it’s still very much family-friendly, and the tadpoles will especially love the Dig Site, the resort’s pool complex and recreation area.

Right now, guests are highly encouraged to use the Direct-to-Room service via mobile check-in through the My Disney Experience app. You’ll receive your room number through a text message once the room is ready, so you don’t even have to visit the front desk! Check-in starts at 3 p.m. (although you can submit the time that you anticipate arriving at the resort, and your room may be ready earlier, but it’s not guaranteed). Checkout is 11 a.m.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Rooms

Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas Standard Rooms

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Casitas Standard Room

To coordinate with the Gran Destino Tower expansion, all of the standard rooms in the Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas settlements underwent refurbishment within the past few years (the project was completed by the time the Tower opened). The 314-square-foot rooms now have new laminate flooring, light fixtures, renovated bathroom space, USB ports and elevated bed frames that allow for more luggage space. The furniture’s lighter color scheme and The Three Caballeros artwork complete the finished new look. Standard rooms come furnished with a large dresser-desk combo, desk chair, accent chair and flat-screen TV, and extra amenities including a coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, in-room safe and minifridge. A sliding barn door separates the bathroom vanity area from the main bedroom. The bathroom boasts two sinks, a closet and plenty of shelving and cabinet space. The toilet and glass-enclosed shower can be further separated by a pocket door.

You will also need to select the type of view you'd like to enjoy! A “Standard View” room overlooks the courtyard or the parking lot, while a “Water View” room faces the pool or Lago Dorado. Most rooms have two queen beds, but you can request a “King Bed” room. If you prefer to be close to El Centro, you’ll want to opt for a “Preferred Room.” The Casitas is the only section that offers options for a one-bedroom suite and an executive suite.

Gran Destino Tower Standard Rooms

Disney's Coronado Springs - Gran Destino Room

The Gran Destino Tower standard rooms are slightly bigger at 375 square feet. These rooms feature similar furnishings as the settlement standard rooms, but differ in the layout. Instead of the bathroom being on the opposite side of the room’s entrance (as it is in the other Coronado Springs rooms), the bathroom will be immediately by your side as you walk into a Gran Destino Tower room. Again, separated by a barn door, the bathroom vanity has two sinks and cabinet space. A walk-in shower, equipped with both a hand-held shower head and a “rainfall” shower head, is separated on one side of the vanity, while the toilet is on the other side and has a pocket door for privacy. If you have a room with a king-size bed, there will be a couch and a small accent table.

The Tower has “Standard View” and “Water View” standard rooms, as well as one-bedroom suites, deluxe suites, Club Level rooms and a presidential suite.

Trying to decide if you'd want to request a room in the Tower or one of the other settlement buildings? For families with younger tadpoles, we'd suggest the Cabanas section. It's about equal distance from the Tower and El Centro, as well as the Dig Site, and we love the colorful buildings, which gives it more of a kid-friendly vibe. For families who prefer a central location with easy access to restaurants, transportation and other amenities (such as the fitness centers or the spa), we'd suggest the Tower or a preferred room in the Casitas.

Transportation at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is closest to Disney’s Blizzard Beach, which is the only park within walking distance. There is a sidewalk if you want to walk the 0.7 miles that it takes to get there, but we usually opt for the short bus ride because we tend to bring more stuff with us to the water park.

Disney's Coronado Springs - Gran Destino Tower Bus Station

Aside from the ability to walk to Blizzard Beach, taking the bus is the only Disney transportation option available. From the resort, you can hop to all of the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs and Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course. The largest, most central bus stop is located in front of the Gran Destino Tower, and there are three additional stops near the Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas buildings, respectively. However, the Gran Destino bus station is the last drop-off/pick-up spot along the internal bus route. Casitas is first, followed by Ranchos, then Cabanas and lastly, Gran Destino.

Amenities, Recreation & Shopping at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney's Coronado Springs - Dig Site Pool

Coronado Springs is home to one of our favorite pools on Disney World property. You can’t miss the Dig Site, the resort’s Mayan-themed pool complex! A 50-foot pyramid with cascading water flowing down its stone steps sits at the edge of the large Lost City of Cibola pool. Tadpoles can also zip down the 123-foot-long waterslide, which features a spitting Jaguar. The Dig Site also boasts the largest hot tub in Disney World — it can fit up to 22 frogs! Additionally, seasonal poolside activities, a pool bar, a white-sand volleyball court, the Iguana arcade, a kiddie pool and a playground are all available at the Dig Site. Volleyballs can be checked out for a small fee from the pool bar by guests with a valid resort ID (DVC members may do so for free).

For a more relaxed swimming experience, there are three leisure pools located at each settlement: the Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas. Complimentary towels are provided at all pools. Hours and lifeguard availability vary by pool and are subject to change.

If you’re looking to get a workout in, you’re in luck. Coronado Springs is the only Disney moderate hotel that has a fitness center — and it has two! The La Vida Health Club Fitness Center is located in the Casitas settlement, and the Gran Destino Tower has its own fully-equipped gym. Although currently suspended now, fitness classes such as pilates and yoga have previously been available for free. You can also always opt for a quick jog around Lago Dorado (it’s about a 0.9-mile loop).

In need of some pampering? Coronado Springs has both a spa and a salon, which offer massages, facials and hair and nail services. Right now, all services are temporarily unavailable due to current health and safety guidelines.

Other recreational activities include Movies Under the Stars, campfire activities, the Running of Coronado Fun Run and the Colors of Coronado painting class. Note that some of these options may not be available right now.

Additionally, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort amenities include:

  • A 24-hour ATM and banking services (may exchange foreign currencies at the Front Desk or Lobby Concierge)
  • Business center
  • Childcare services
  • Convention center
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Mail services
  • Self-parking ($20 per night)

Pick up a last-minute souvenir or an essential traveling item that you forgot at home from Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries. It has everything you can think of — even special resort-specific merchandise and snacks. The gift shop is located near the former El Centro Lobby.

Dining at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

With the recent additions of Gran Destino Tower and Villa del Lago, several new restaurants and lounges were added to the resort’s culinary lineup. Out of all the Disney moderate resorts, Coronado Springs has the most dining options available, ranging from rooftop restaurants to poolside bars.

Toledo - Tapas, Steak & Seafood (Temporarily Unavailable)

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Toledo

Located on the top floor of Gran Destino Tower, Toledo not only impresses with its delicious dishes inspired by the flavors of Spain, but also wows with its panoramic rooftop views (at night, you may even see Magic Kingdom’s and Hollywood Studios’ fireworks from a distance!). The restaurant balances an elegant but fun atmosphere, featuring a pair olive trees and colorful vaulted ceilings. The on-stage tapas kitchen serves small plates, charcutería and cheeses. In addition to its steak and seafood entree offerings, Toledo highlights over 75 Spanish and California wines, hand-selected by a Master Sommelier.

Maya Grill (Temporarily Unavailable)

Ancient meets modern at Maya Grill, which serves Nuevo Latino cuisine in a large dining room accented by Mayan motifs of fire, sun and water. The menu features chef specialties and traditional platters, including enchiladas, tacos and Yucatan roast pork. Be sure to leave room for dessert! Sweet tooths can choose from coconut flan, chocolate panna cotta, chili ancho creme brulee, lemon sorbet or dessert shots. Although it has offered breakfast in the past, Maya Grill serves dinner only.

Three Bridges Bar & Grill

Coronado Springs - Sangria University

The aptly named Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago sits in the middle of Lago Dorado where three bridges converge. The open-air restaurant provides a beautiful lakefront dinner, as you devour shareable bites, savory entrees and refreshing cocktails. Three Bridges Bar & Grill is the exclusive location for Sangria University, a mixology class during which frogs of legal drinking age can learn about the history of sangria, sample house-made sangrias and make their own concoction.

Rix Sports Bar & Grill

Cheer on your favorite sports team, chow down on classic bar grub with a unique spin and savor handcrafted cocktails and draft beers at Rix Sports Bar & Grill. The upscale sports lounge boasts 31 TVs so you don’t miss any of the action. Fuel up for the day with a breakfast burrito in the morning, or stick to a classic burger for lunch or dinner.

Cafe Rix (Available for Breakfast Only)

If you just need a quick bite to eat, Cafe Rix is the perfect spot for you. This grab-and-go, counter-service cafe has a wide selection of fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit, pastries and dessert (including SO MANY gelato flavors!). Need a good cup of Joe? Look no further for specialty coffee drinks to satisfy your caffeine craving.

El Mercado de Coronado

Disney's Coronado Springs - El Mercado

El Mercado de Coronado is the resort’s food court where it’s toadally easy to find something for everyone in your frog squad. Currently, the counter-service restaurant is serving mainly grab-and-go options, including sandwiches, wraps, salads and more. But typically, when its full menu is available, El Mercado de Coronado has a variety of stations serving freshly made individual pizzas, rice bowls and made-to-order omelets.

Dahlia Lounge

Situated across from Toledo, Dahlia Lounge is a rooftop lounge inspired by Spanish surrealism with whimsical shapes and colorful decor. Feelin’ fancy? The wine selection features high-end Spanish cavas. Enjoy your libations with tapas, including Croquettes, Tortilla Espanola and Spanish charcuterie.

Barcelona Lounge

Coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night. In the morning, grab a Spanish espresso drink and a pastry before hitting the parks. Then, return after a long day to unwind with a cocktail, wine or beer. Barcelona Lounge is located in the lower lobby level of Gran Destino Tower, and it’s worth simply checking out the dangling chandelier and colorful stained-glass wall behind the counter, as the space is open. At this time, Barcelona Lounge is only operating in the morning.

Siestas Cantina

Need a break from swimming or sunbathing? The Dig Site’s poolside bar offers typical grub such as nachos, chicken tenders and burgers, as well as signature cocktails, so you can continue to have fun under the sun!

Laguna Bar (Temporarily Unavailable)

Relax while sipping on a refreshing beverage from the Laguna Bar, a lakeside tequila and mezcal bar. The menu features margaritas, sangria, frozen drinks and other specialty cocktails.

What to Consider Before Staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - View from Gran Destino Tower Room

Because of its convention center, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort hosts all kinds of travelers, from business professionals to cheerleading squads, creating a more unique atmosphere than any other Disney resort. Not to say that the resort isn’t family-friendly at all, but some of the resort’s accommodations and amenities are more tailored to its convention guests. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing either! Coronado Springs has more of a Disney deluxe resort feel for a moderate resort price, especially with the recent Gran Destino expansion. Families with teenagers and older children might appreciate the bells and whistles of Coronado Springs more, along with its subtler Disney theming.

You’ll also need to consider its size, as the property is massive and spread out. Gran Destino Tower has helped to centralize some of the restaurants and amenities, and it’s close to the convention center, but the Dig Site is still a bit of a trek. If you’re staying in the Ranchos settlement, then you’re close to the Dig Site, but you’re the furthest away from El Centro. With its three converging bridges, Villa del Lago provides a more direct path across the lake, but it can still be a relatively long walk. The distance from the theme parks combined with a lack of varying transportation options may also be a downside for some families.

It's easy and common for families to compare Coronado Springs to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort (read up on Caribbean Beach in our separate guide). We think Coronado Springs is the better option if you prioritize the resort's variety of amenities and restaurants. Though we give a slight edge to Caribbean Beach for its access to Disney Skyliner and tadpole-friendly accommodations (there are special pirate-themed rooms and 5th Sleeper rooms available). Ultimately, it's up to your family's needs, but we hope these guides can help you weigh all of the important factors for your decision.

Overall, Coronado Springs is a great option if you’re looking for luxurious amenities at a lower price than the Deluxe resorts. With its resort-wide room refurbishments and the Gran Destino Tower expansion, Coronado Springs has received a sleek, modern upgrade in recent years.

Do you have any good memories while staying at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort? If you haven't stayed here, what are you most looking forward to? Share in the comments below, and let us know if you have any questions!

Related: Which Disney World Moderate Resort Hotel Is Right for You?

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Jun 21, 2021 at 4:58 p.m. Katie B Says...

You mentioned that the first bus stop is at Gran Destino Tower. Is that a recent change, because I had read previously that the first bus stop was at Casitas 4?

Reply
Jun 21, 2021 at 2:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie,

The Gran Destino Tower bus stop is the largest/most centrally located (we've updated the guide to change the wording from describing it as the "main" bus stop). It is the last bus stop, with Casitas being the first stop.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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