By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







Review: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort



By Dave Shute

DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Review Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.netDisney’s Coronado Springs Resort is distinctive among Disney World’s moderate resorts for its level of amenities–higher than at any other moderate–and some of the characteristics of its rooms.

Both of these distinctions come from its dual role as both a family hotel and a convention hotel, which yields both positive and negative effects.

  • Extra amenities available only at Coronado Springs among the moderates are those typically offered to business travelers, including a substantial room-service menu, a fitness center, and a grill at the main pool.  For access to these, you may pay $3-$6 more a night for a standard room than you’d pay at one of the other traditional moderates some nights of the year.
  • The rooms differ a bit from other moderates in that their fixtures and fittings have been optimized for double-occupancy convention stays, so things are just a little different than in the other moderate rooms. (More on this later.) Moreover there overall decor is starkly masculine, and not as fun as, for example, the Disney-themed rooms at Caribbean Beach.

Review Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Even so, my half-dozen stays at Coronado Springs (most recently in November 2014) confirm that Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort remains the second best of the moderate resorts for first time family visitors.

However, Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are very close in these rankings to the top two options, and either might be a better choice for many families.

(For what the moderates provide, and how they compare to the other Disney World resort classes, click here)

The Casitas at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

You can have a wonderful visit at any Walt Disney World resort.

However, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World avoid the moderate resorts, while noting that these resorts are wonderful for visits after the first. (See this for why.)

That said, the moderates represent ~30% of the rooms of Walt Disney World, and will be sought by some because this site’s recommended resorts are sold out, because you are on return visits, or because–sensibly–you’re just not that into my rankings!

So I’ve stayed (so far) in the moderate resorts twenty-seven times, and published reviews of each.

REVIEW: CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience. On this basis, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is the second-best moderate resort for first time family visitors.

(Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is first, Port Orleans Riverside is third, and Port Orleans French Quarter fourth; these results are very close.  The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are ranked last, and this is not close.)

FLOOR PLANS AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Disney's Coronado Springs Standard Room Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.net (1280x919)
Like those in the other traditional moderates, rooms at Coronado Springs have ~314 square feet.

These rooms are quite spacious, and the bedroom area is particularly ample–bigger than the bedroom spaces at the smallest deluxe resorts. (See this.)

Bed Side Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The rooms sleep four in two queen-sized beds. You can add to this capacity of four a child younger than three who sleeps in a crib.

They do have some differences compared to other standard moderate rooms, mostly tied to their potential use by double-occupancy convention visitors.

  • Rather than a table and two chairs, they have a desk with one chair
  • Rather than a set of several large drawers, there’s two sets of three smaller drawers–one set for each convention occupant
  • The TV wall next to the bath omits the small bench and coat rack typically here at the other moderates
  • The bathroom is divided, but is set up for single use, and for more privacy while it’s being used. The screen separating it from the bedroom is solid wood, not fabric (among other moderates, only refurbed rooms in Caribbean beach have this), and it has one sink rather than two

Other room points worth noting:

    • The heating/cooling unit has been moved from in front of the window where you’ll find it in other moderates to a walled in space next to the first bed.  This frees space by the window compared to the other moderates, and that space has been filled with two little ottomans
    • The room overall is stark and masculine.

KID APPEAL AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

While slight, the kid appeal of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is enough to bring it to second in the ranking on this measure among the moderates, after Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Coronado Spring’s kid appeal comes from:

The Ranchos at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

–The American southwest and Mexican architecture and theming, which will be exotic and intriguing to some kids who have not traveled to or lived in such regions.

Cabanas Beach 2 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

–The beaches in one of the resort’s three sections, the Cabana area.

The Main Pool at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

–And the fun main pool, decorated with a Mesoamerican pyramid

The rooms themselves have zero kid appeal, being the most “businesslike” of rooms in any of Disney’s moderate resorts.

CONVENIENCE AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Disney’s Coronado Springs is the second most convenient of the Moderates, exceeded only by Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter.

Disney calls it an “Animal Kingdom Area Resort,” and is poorly placed on maps in many websites and guidebooks right next to the Animal Kingdom.

It is in fact just a bit west of World Drive, is as close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios as it is to the Animal Kingdom, and is the most centrally located of all the moderate resorts.

(It is just south of the (theme park attendance weighted) center of Walt Disney World. This center is located in the undeveloped area west of World Drive, north of the Coronado Springs Resort, and south of the Magic Kingdom parking lot.)

OTHER DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

For adults, Coronado Springs Resort presents far and away the best value for money among the moderates.

Gym Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It is the only moderate with a spa, the only one with a health club, the only one with a substantial room-service menu, and the only one with real business services support.

It also has in Pepper Market one of the better food courts among the moderates, although it is much less fun, varied and interesting (and complicated…) than it used to be.

For all this, you may pay $3-6 more per night some nights of the year than you would at the other moderates.

Convention Center Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

On the other hand, the reason it has such good amenities is because Coronado Springs is the only moderate which also serves conventions. If a big convention is at the resort, the food court, restaurants and bars can be choked up with the crowds.

The peak season for Orlando conventions is January through March.

BEST PLACES TO STAY AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, not preferred rooms (because they won’t be spending much time in their rooms, or going to the main resort food area often; the single exception is visitors to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, who should always pay for savanna views.)

Coronado Springs has three architecturally different areas: the Casitas, buildings 1-5; Cabanas, buildings 8-9; and Ranchos–buildings 6 and 7.

Map of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

There’s pretty stark trade-offs among the areas in terms of access to the food court and main pool.

See the map (click it to enlarge it.)

Cabanas Beach Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Standard rooms on the top floors (quieter) in buildings 9a and 8b of the Cabanas section are the best bet, because of their access to the kid-pleasing beaches that are present only in this section of the resort, closeness to both the main pool and the dining area, and nearby bus stop. (Buildings 8a and 9b in the Cabanas section are almost as good.)

Casitas Walkway Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The top floors (quieter) of the Casitas are the next best choice, partly because their architecture provides a mostly sun-and-rain-shielded walkway to the central services and food area. Buildings 1, 2, and 3 benefit from this walkway, and are closer to the food court; buildings 4 and 5 don’t have the walkway, and are further from the food court, but are closer to the main pool.

Avoid the Ranchos (buildings 6 and 7), as their theming—southwestern desert—is too subtle for most kids, and may show up to them as ugly or forbidding instead. They are also farthest from the food and other central services—though many are quite close to the main pool.

Here’s the online check-in form:

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Online Check-in from yourfirstvisit.net

BEST FOR:

Families that will take advantage of the extra amenities—the room service, spa, health club, business center, etc.

WORST FOR:

Families that won’t—the extra price, and risk of convention congestion, would suggest Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort instead.

PHOTO TOUR OF A STANDARD ROOM AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

This review continues here!

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8 comments

1 Chad { 05.02.15 at 10:08 pm }

Hi Dave-
The family and I just booked a standard room at CSR for the free dining promotion in September. I saw were you suggested staying in the Cabanas. We have two small children under 4. I’d love to be close to transportation and also close to the main building for early morning breakfast and coffee. My question is, I’d love to stay in building 9B as it looks like it’s the perfect location to both transport, the dig site and the main building. I saw online that building is considered Business Class. Since we are only paying for a standard room, could I even request building 9B? Do they have any standard room in that building? Would I better just to request 9A? How much further of a walk would 9A be? Another question, would it be nuts to ask for a jr. suite free upgrade at check-in? Thanks for any feedback!

2 Dave { 05.03.15 at 8:58 am }

Chad, you can always ask for 9B (or a jr. suite!) but 9a is much more likely…9a will add less than a minute of extra walking time…

3 Debbie gallovitch { 08.24.15 at 10:19 pm }

The worst room ever . The Ranchos very last room in the last parking lot. My son head 8 was out from major hip surgery and I requested a room not so far away.,because he couldn’t walk long distance. Then the parking lot was blocked for buses . The area was not so disney. We have been a loyal disney about fifty plus times. then we were charged extra fo my son . He is only fifteen. We are going back for the third time this year during Christmas. We are going to ask for business class rooms on the top floor. Maybe it will be a better experience. I love staying on Disney properties. The food court was good. The pool was a lot of fun and the hot tub didn’t work properly. We deserve a credit for being overcharged. That has never happened before.??????

4 Debbie gallovitch { 08.24.15 at 10:22 pm }

The worst room ever . The Ranchos very last room in the last parking lot. My son head 8 was out from major hip surgery and I requested a room not so far away.,because he couldn’t walk long distance. Then the parking lot was blocked for buses . The area was not so disney. We have been a loyal disney about fifty plus times. then we were charged extra fo my son . He is only fifteen. We are going back for the third time this year during Christmas. We are going to ask for business class rooms on the top floor. Maybe it will be a better experience. I love staying on Disney properties. The food court was good. The pool was a lot of fun and the hot tub didn’t work properly. We deserve a credit for being overcharged. That has never happened before.??????

5 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 08.25.15 at 7:57 am }

Debbie – So sorry to hear that your trip wasn’t as magical as expected. Disney never guarantees room requests, they are just that requests. Coronado Springs is Disney’s convention resort, and designed and themed to fit the needs of the business traveler. Many of Disney’s resort have “preferred” rooms. Those will be guaranteed close to amenities.

As for your son being overcharged….Children 0-2 are free, ages 3-9 are child rate. All children 10 and up are considered as an adult and are charged accordingly. That is for rooms, tickets and dining.

If you are looking for a Moderate resort with a bit more “Disney” feel, you might want to look into Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. For a small resort, with a charming feel look at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter.

I’m Kelly, the dedicated Destinations in Florida travel agent for YourFirstVisit.net. Helping you and other guests make memories to last a lifetime.

6 Anonymous { 04.29.16 at 4:23 pm }

Long story short, but I really just want someone to pat my back, dry my tears, and convince me I got the better deal. Originally booked Royal Room at Port Orleans for 6 nights with free dining. We were sooo excited for boat rides, beignets, and Yehaa Bob. Decided to fly in a night early and in the process (plus HUGE miscommunication with my travel) lost our entire promo! We have been scrambling for a replacement and booked Coronado Springs for 7 nights, free dining and are paying less than we would have at either POR or CBR. So, somebody please tell me that my kids will love Coronado Springs, it’ll still feel like a vacay and not a convention, and I can stop feeling so upset!

7 Dave { 04.30.16 at 10:52 am }

CSR is a delightful resort, with much better amenities than POR. If you see anyone is a tie, just ignore them! You will be fine…

8 Anonymous { 04.30.16 at 11:43 am }

LOL, I think I love you. Thanks, Dave

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