Coronado Springs, a 1,961-room resort near Animal Kingdom, caters to visiting conventioneers (quiet pools, business center, Wi-Fi) and vacationing families (Mayan-temple pool and waterslide). Its rooms are among Disney's best, especially in the "Moderate" category, given that the 2009 renovation brought down comforters and flat-screens. But it's farther from most theme parks than other resorts.
This sprawling, 1,967-room Southwestern-themed Disney resort has a calm environment with a wide variety of features, accommodating both convention center visitors and family travelers.
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort has a split personality: half quiet, Scottsdale-esque convention-focused hotel; half rip-roaring Disney-brand family resort experience with a Mayan-temple pool complex (called the "Dig Site") with waterslides and a play area. Still, when you compare it to the neighboring Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs can feel a bit like an office park with its convention center and relatively unexciting theme.
It's situated around man-made Lago Dorado, a 22-acre lake encircled with paved pathways and artificial beaches and hammocks, on the far western corner of Disney World (near Animal Kingdom, but farther from most of the Disney theme parks than other Disney resorts). The setting is scenic, but it can also make for a very active vacation (like it or not); Some rooms are nearly a half-mile from the lobby and restaurants and it can take 25 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom by shuttle bus. While the resort's location can be annoying for some guests, especially families with small children, anyone who values a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere will appreciate the relative calm. Plus, you still get all the same advantages of any Disney resort, including free shuttles to all the parks, extended park hours, and free shuttles to Orlando International Airport.
At Coronado Springs, the staffers efficiently move long lines through the lobby and restaurants, but the service is largely impersonal (unlike what you'll find at higher-tier Disney resorts, like the Animal Kingdom Lodge).
Room service is available throughout the day; other moderate-level resorts only offer pizza delivery.
Free shuttle to and from Orlando International Airport; free delivery of one luggage item per person
Free shuttle bus to all Disney theme parks; busses can arrive, however, at irregular times (long waits are common)
Free access to facilities at any other Disney resort; Guests can charge activities and meals from the parks or other resorts to their room.
Large concierge desk. Mainly, the concierge can help guests book an activity or get tickets to an event.
During peak travel times, restaurant reservations are required to avoid long wait times.
Inside Walt Disney World Resort, a five- to 10-minute shuttle to Animal Kingdom, but far from other Disney parks
Located on the far western end of Walt Disney World Resort near Animal Kingdom, Coronado Springs is farther from many of the most popular theme parks; getting to the Magic Kingdom can take up to 25 minutes by Disney shuttle. Like most Disney resorts, it's set back from the main roads, so traffic and noise aren't much of an issue. The downside to this, as is the case at just about every other Orlando resort, is that there's not anything within reasonable walking distance; renting a car is a must if you plan to get off the Disney compound.
Free bus transportation to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney; Animal Kingdom is the closest park, but the others can take upwards of 25 minutes to get to, depending on traffic.
15- to 20-minute drive to SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild parks
20-minute drive to Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure
15- to 20-minute drive to International Drive,a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants.
30-minute drive to Orlando International Airport; Disney provides a free shuttle.
Rooms are only average in size, but they are among the newest and best-furnished in all of Disney World.
Coronado Springs' rooms hit their category on the mark: They're moderate in size, furnishings, and views. That said, they're at the top of their game compared to rooms at Disney's other "Moderate" resorts (or even some of the more expensive resorts): Polyester quilts have been replaced with down comforters and pillow-top mattresses; the new furniture is in great condition; flat-screens replace tube televisions; the alarm clocks even have MP3 hookups.
Accommodations are grouped into "Casitas," "Ranchos," and "Cabanas" -- clusters of buildings that each have their own quiet pool and laundry room. Aside from this, the differences between the rooms within each of the buildings are mostly stylistic (Casitas, fashioned after "urban areas of the southwest," are the most unique and upscale with courtyard fountains). Certain room types, however, are limited to specific buildings; you can only find suites in the Casitas buildings and the Club Level rooms (which have their own concierge services, a lounge with free food and snacks throughout the day, and evening turndown service) are only located in the Cabana section.
Standard rooms are a comfortable, 314-square feet; big enough for two queen- or one king-size bed, a desk, and a closet.
Comfortable beds: pillow-top mattress; down comforter; cotton sheets
Flat-screen TVs with standard cable channels and on-demand movies (no DVD player, though)
Kid-friendly facilities like waterslides and video game arcades, plus business travel conveniences (like free Wi-Fi throughout the prperty) are spread out over the large property.
Focused around two hubs -- "Dig Site" water park and "El Centro" (which consists of the lobby and the convention center) -- the resort offers a slew of features divided between kid-friendly activities and business-oriented conveniences (with a fairly good separation between business and family interests).
"The Dig" is a large, Mayan-temple-themed pool and play area with waterslides, Jacuzzis, a shallow kids' pool, and ball courts.
Three small pools, located at the center of each section of rooms (Cabanas, Casitas, and Ranchos) -- you're never too far from a pool, unlike at the French Quarter Resort.
Low-key areas for business travelers, but plenty of fun activities and family-friendly features
Disney resorts are all family-friendly, and this is no exception. But by comparison to other properties, the Coronado Springs has some slight drawbacks and is a bit more mellow then other Disney resorts, like the heavily themed (and more expensive) Animal Kingdom and Polynesian resorts. For families with impatient or easily fatigued children, the long walking distances between resort areas can be a huge inconvenience (the walk between restaurants and the kids' play area, for example, is at least 10 minutes from the guest rooms). Plus, the location of the resort in the far southwest corner of Disney World means longer distances to many of the park's main attractions -- most are 10 to 25 minutes away.
Standard room capacity is four people, on two queen-size beds.
Rollaways available (charged per day) but room occupancy is still limited to four people per standard room.
Concierge can arrange for private in-room babysitters through a separate company.
All rooms were renovated in 2009, and the clean, modern furnishings look better than some of the more worn-down rooms at other Disney resorts. Like anywhere at Disney, the entire property is well kept and tended to daily by housekeeping and groundskeepers; even the busy restaurants are vigorously tended to.
Wide range of kid- and adult-friendly options at a typical resort markup; all-day room service, but no late-night options
Coronado has five dining options, ranging from a deli-style shop with cheap(er) a la carte items, to a full-service sit-down restaurant. The range is great for families but also has viable adult dinner options for business travelers and convention center guests. The hours aren't extensive, though, and private dining ends around 11 p.m.; not great, but that's standard for most Disney resorts.
Café Rix serves a la carte breakfast and lunch items, like pre-made sandwiches, pastries, cereal, and packaged snacks; guests can sit in Rix Lounge or at outside tables to dine.
Pepper Market serves a wide range of cafeteria-style food, like pizza, pasta, Mexican, and stir-fry stations; open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Maya Grill serves a family-friendly breakfast buffet and a la carte dinner, and is the resort's priciest option.
Siestas Cantina pool bar serves poolside drinks and snacks (burgers and nachos, soft drinks,cocktails)
Laguna Bar serves alcoholic drinks next to the lake, near the convention center and the lobby.
Room service is available throughout the day; the menu consists of traditional breakfast items, and dinner items like pizza, chicken buckets, and salads (kids' menu items are available).
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