By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Category — d. Where to Stay at Walt Disney World

Theming and Villages at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, see this.)

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is themed to Caribbean islands, their beaches, and the pirates who once voyaged among them.

Rooms in the resort are found in five “villages” ringing a lake, each of which has three or six two story, 64 room buildings. All the villages are named after Caribbean destinations: Barbados, Trinidad, Martinique, Aruba, and Jamaica.

Each colorful village has palm-tree lined beaches, and each has its own pool and bus stop. The central Old Port Royale area includes another bus stop and the main pool at the resort, the pirate-themed Fuentes del Morro Pool—the best pool of the Disney World moderate resorts.

All rooms were refurbed in 2014-2015. Pirate rooms (in Trinidad) got a light makeover, retained their full beds, and sleep four.

Rooms in all other villages got a major makeover.  Full beds were replaced with queens, and many rooms now have in addition a fold-down Murphy bed, suitable for a person five feet or shorter, increasing the capacity of these rooms to five.

In all villages you can book water-view rooms (some of the “water” views are of the pools). In all villages except Trinidad, you can book king rooms.  Also in all villages except Trinidad, you can book a room with a third sleeping spot–these rooms previously were reserved for families of five, and any left over were randomly assigned.

You can also book “preferred” rooms in Barbados (and perhaps in Martinique), where for an extra cost you can get a room closer to the central services of Old Port Royale.

There’s much similarity among the villages, but also some key differences, especially in access to the central services of the resort and the new Disney Skyliner.

The Skyliner is a gondola system that connects Caribbean Beach with two parks, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and also with Pop Century and Art of Animation). The Skyliner has two stations at Caribbean Beach, one south between Jamaica and Trinidad that serves all destinations, and another north between Aruba and Martinique that in one direction goes to Epcot and in the other goes to south station.

This part of my review of Caribbean Beach will discuss the villages one by one, starting with Martinique and going clockwise.

Note that in May 2017, the former village Barbados and half of Martinique were leveled.  In October 2018 the village formerly known as Trinidad North inherited the name of the demolished Barbados, while Trinidad South became simply Trinidad.

MARTINIQUE

Martinique is a three building area (it used to have six, but three were leveled in May 2017). The three buildings that remain here have recently been priced as both preferred and regular.

A re-orientation of bus routes in late June 2017 means that park buses pick up and drop off Martinique guests first. Martinique is the furthest of the villages from the main Skyliner station, but in the middle of the villages in its distance from the Riviera station–where you can pick up the Epcot line. Martinique and Aruba are the two villages closest to Riviera and its new dining options.

Beach Martinique Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Each village has a beach.  At Martinique the beach, shown above, is near Old Port Royale.

Pool Martinique Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Each village has a pool–all are similar. Here’s the one at Martinique.

The view from the Martinique area is of the lovely beaches across Barefoot Bay in Aruba…

…and, at the right, the somewhat jarring Riviera building.

Martinique guests will find two bus stops to use–one at Old Port Royale is closer to some rooms especially in building 26, and most other rooms will be closer to the other bus stop.

BARBADOS

Barbados was known until October 2018 as Trinidad North. All buildings here are at “preferred” prices. Because many of its rooms are not far from the central services, dining and pool at Old Port Royale, and also among the closer rooms to the Skyliner, rates are $85-120 per night higher than standard rooms in non-preferred buildings. The other dining venue at Caribbean Beach, the Spyglass Grill in Trinidad, is also fairly close.

It has just three buildings and two beaches, and thus is overall with Martinique the most compact of all the Villages, and is by far the most convenient.

Beach at North End of Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

One of the beaches–near Old Port Royale.

Beach Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The second beach, further south.

Pool Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The pool at Barbados is at the end furthest from Old Port Royal–if this were a six building village, it would be right in the middle. This means all rooms are close to both the main pool and this smaller “quiet” pool.

Buildings here are a brown pink that adults probably call “coral.” We’ll get a better view in the same-color Trinidad material coming next.

The view from Barbados is of the great beach of Jamaica.

The bus stop is in the center and convenient to all rooms. The main Skyliner hub is just across the bridge between Barbados and Trinidad and Jamaica.

TRINIDAD

Up the road–in a dead end–are the six buildings of Trinidad, known until October 2018 as Trinidad South.

In this somewhat inconvenient area of Caribbean Beach, you’ll find the expensive Pirate rooms.

 

Pirate rooms are full bed rooms with special decorations meant to make them nautical and piratical. More on these is here.

Here’s the beach at Trinidad.

Pool Trinidad South Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and here’s the pool.

In March 2018 a new quick-service venue, Spyglass Grill, opened here.

Spyglass Grill provides interesting, though limited, dining options that are much more convenient than what is in Centertown/Old Port Royale.

Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

A better view of the insipid colors it shares with Barbados.

Trinidad is on a separate lobe of Barefoot Bay–Barefoot Bay Bay? The hub station of the Skyliner is just across the bay. On average, both Barbados and Jamaica rooms are closer, but Trinidad is the next closest village to the Skyliner.

The Spyglass Grill and gondola stop make Trinidad a better and less isolated choice than it had been in the past.

The bus stop is in the center of the village.

JAMAICA

Jamaica is my favorite among the Caribbean Beach Villages. Most of its six buildings are near enough to Old Port Royale via the bridge across Caribbean Cay, and those that aren’t are still a reasonable walk via the road bridge and Barbados. Along with Barbados, on average its rooms are closest to the Skyliner among the five villages.

Some southern rooms are close to the new Spyglass Grill in Trinidad, and Jamaica is just north of the Caribbean Beach hub of the Disney Skyliner transportation system to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Jamaica also has a great color scheme…

Pool Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…a pool similar to the rest…

Beach Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…a huge, gorgeous beach, and a nice view of Barbados and Old Port Royale.

The bus stop is in the center. It’s the second to last stop.

ARUBA

Aruba is the next best choice after Jamaica for those unwilling to pay for a preferred room.

Aruba Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It has a so-so color scheme, and its bus stop is at the far end.  Some rooms will be closer to the footbridge to Caribbean Cay and Old Port Royal, others will be closer to the bus stop. The Riviera Skyliner stop to Epcot is close, and the rest of the Skyliner stops are on the other side of Jamaica.

Pool Aruba Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It has the usual pool…

…and a beach second only to Jamaica’s in extent and loveliness.

Aruba View Disney's Caribbean Beach from yourfirstvisit.net

It has a nice view of Martinique and Old Port Royale.

Buses stop here last.

The best overall village, almost regardless of what you are looking for, is Jamaica.

PHOTO TOUR OF A FOUR PERSON QUEEN ROOM AT CARIBBEAN BEACH

This review continues here.

 

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December 11, 2019   No Comments

Review and Photo Tour of Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Rooms

For the first page of this review of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, see this.

THE ALLIGATOR BAYOU ROOMS AT PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE

Port Orleans Riverside has two areas and three distinct room types.

Its Magnolia Bend area has two room types, Royal Rooms and Standard Rooms, each sleeping four in two queen beds.

Its Alligator Bayou area rooms sleep five in two queen beds and one short (~66 inches long) Murphy bed.

These Alligator Bayou rooms are one of only two traditional moderate resort spaces that sleep 5 (non-Pirate rooms at Caribbean Beach are the other), and these rooms are as a result very important to families a little larger than average or families that work best with three sleeping spots

For families that don’t need the extra bed, these rooms have so-so theming (although it is warmer and more cheery after the latest refurb), are kind of ugly in spots–although your taste may vary–and are a bit thin on storage. Such families have better options.

REVIEW OF THE ALLIGATOR BAYOU ROOMS [Read more →]

October 14, 2019   No Comments

Amenities and Dining at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in the Bonnet Creek Resort

(For the first page of this review of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, click here.)

AMENITIES AND DINING AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA ORLANDO

The Waldorf Astoria is deep in the Bonnet Creek Resort.

You access this area from Buena Vista Drive, just east of the old Caribbean Beach entrance, soon to become the Riviera entrance, then drive a while and turn right at the stop sign. In the image above, the intersection of the access road and Buena Vista–Chelonia Parkway–is marked in yellow, and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is marked in red.

There’s both some standard Disney signage (albeit in a different color scheme)…

…and also a large sign indicating the entrance.

On the way to the Waldorf Astoria, you will pass sister resort Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, then their shared parking garage, and then come to the Waldorf Astoria, with a port cochere where you can valet.

Most amenities except the pools and one restaurant are just inside on the second floor, including the check-in area and other guest services.

There’s little lobby seating, but strong service and staffing suggest little is needed–and the adjacent lobby bar has plenty of seats.

The lobby bar also functions as a coffee shop in the morning.

I ate several times in this bar and quite enjoyed my crab cakes…

…and heirloom tomatoes.

There’s another more robust bar, Sir Harry’s, that I did not experience.

Also on this level is Bull and Bear, a classic expense-account steakhouse that is destination dining for many.

Across from the lobby bar are a couple of small shops, one a bit focused on sundries and the other on resort wear.  A classic Disney shop is in the next-door Hilton.

Downstairs on the way to the pool is the more family friendly Oscar’s, well known for its breakfast buffet, and there’s more dining at the pool and at the next-door Hilton. The full scoop on dining at the both the Waldorf Astoria and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is here.

You’ll also find at the Waldorf Astoria a spa…

…and a nice workout room.

Outside, near the port cochere, is a stop for theme park buses. Buses here run too infrequently, and have too many stops, for me to be able to recommend them.

For example, in my May stay, Magic Kingdom buses left generally every thirty minutes (there were a few 60 minute intervals).  From Magic Kingdom half went on to Epcot, then to Hollywood Studios, and half went on to Animal Kingdom. Buses to the Studios could take 45 minutes.

Moreover as is the case with all non-Disney buses, Magic Kingdom buses dropped off at TTC, not the park itself.

Having a rental car, or using cabs, Uber or Lyft (or for a pricey variant of Lyft, a Minnie Van) is a better option.

Theoretically one could walk out of the Bonnet Creek Resort, into the Disney resorts Caribbean Beach or Riviera, and board Disney’s Skyliner gondola system there after its September opening. But it’s a long walk (two miles or more, unless someone punches a path through between Caribbean Beach’s Trinidad and Barbados, which would bring it down to about a mile), and the path ends on Chelonia–there’s no walking path on Buena Vista

The final amenity worth noting is the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.

Including the additional amenities in the next door sister resort Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek–especially the Hilton’s pool complex and its lazy river, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando has as full a set of amenities as pretty much any non-Disney resort with similar perks.

The Waldorf Astoria’s own pool complex is less interesting, especially for families–the full overview of the Waldorf Astoria pool complex comes next!

THE POOL COMPLEX AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA ORLANDO

This review continues here.

MORE ON THE WALDORF ASTORIA ORLANDO

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your Disney World vacation at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando–or at any other Disney World hotel!  Contact her using the form below.

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September 4, 2019   No Comments

Theming and Accommodations in Gran Destino Tower and the Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, see this.)

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is one of 5 moderate resorts at Walt Disney World:

The moderates have much more room than the value resorts, more amenities, and (except for Fort Wilderness) much better landscaping. See this for what you get by Disney World price class.

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is themed to a  “blend of Spanish, Mexican and Southwest American cultures… This beautiful lakeside oasis offers classic influences, Disney touches and modern comforts to energize and inspire as you delight in an array of new features, eateries and enhancements.”

Rooms here typically have two queens or one king, and dozens of suites are available as well, uniquely among the moderates.  Club level rooms (“club” is what Disney calls “concierge”) are available as well–also uniquely among the moderates.

The resort is divided into El Centro, with some amenities and the convention center, and four differently themed lodging areas:

  • The Casitas, resembling a graceful cityscape
  • The Ranchos, based on Southwestern desert habitats and architecture; and
  • The Cabanas, intended to give the sense of “a quaint beachfront retreat complete with cozy hammocks.”
  • Gran Destino Tower, which extends the theming concept to South America and Spain, and has most of the other amenities

Gran Destino rooms are accessed from interior corridors, and rooms in the other three areas have a different layout as they are accessed from exterior corridors.

The two basic rooms types have largely similar amenities, but Gran Destino rooms have less Disney theming, better baths, yet a weak bath layout compared to standard rooms elsewhere in the resort.  Gran Destino is best for adults, and the Cabanas are best for families. See the map for their locations.

A photo tour of a Gran Destino room is here, and a photo tour of the sort of standard rooms you’ll find in the rest of the resort is here.

THE CASITAS AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Casitas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

The Casitas, closest to the main building and Convention Center, have the loveliest architecture among these.

Casitas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Until Gran Destino Tower opened in July 2019, the Casitas also had the highest appeal to conventioneers, being both closest to the convention center, and the location of most of the Coronado Springs suites. They remain a sound choice for convention visitors, but Gran Destino is better.

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

Most suites are in Casitas 1, and there are many lovely courtyards and fountains between Casitas 1 and Casitas 2.

Casitas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

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

(Yes, Coronado Springs is the only moderate with suites; these are required to compete for convention business, as they are often given away or heavily discounted to meeting planners in return for reserving a block of rooms, and are also required as sales and meeting settings by some exhibitors.)

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

Buildings 1, 2 and 3 are closest to the services at Gran Destino and to El Centro and to the Convention Center.  They are also interconnected by covered walkways, very handy in the rain or summer sun. Buildings 4 and 5 are balanced between El Centro and the main pool at The Dig Site. Buildings 2 and 4 are closest to the bus stop.

THE CABANAS AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Cabanas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The Cabanas, the opposite direction from the Casitas, have undistinguished, dull architecture, meant to recollect casual beach houses, hence the perhaps overly subtle patching on the roofs…

Cabanas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

…but look lovely from across the lake. These rooms have the best location for families, being in between the El Centro services and the main pool.

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

Alone among the three room areas of Coronado Springs, the Cabanas are fronted by beaches.

Cabanas Beach Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (3)

Another view of the beaches…

Cabanas Beach Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

…and the beaches in the morning.

The kid appeal of these beaches and overall convenience to both the Gran Destino and El Centro services and to the main pool makes the Cabanas the best area for families, and is why I rate Coronado Springs as the second-best moderate for first-time family visitors.

Building 8c (formerly 9a) is the Cabanas building most convenient to both Gran Destino and El Centro and the main pool, and is the best choice for family travelers.  Buildings 8a and 8b are also fine choices–a little further from Gran Destino and El Centro, but closer to the pool and bus stop.

THE RANCHOS AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Ranchos Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The third area, the Ranchos, is the only area off the water, and has a wilder cactus-y Southwestern theme, which may be a little too realistically arid and barren for some kids to enjoy.

Dry Wash Ranchos Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Theming includes dry washes…

Hithing Post Ranchos Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…hitching posts…

Animal Tracks Ranchos Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and animal tracks.

The buildings are meant to reflect the main buildings of old ranches. This works better in the tall buildings, not so well in the two-story buildings.

Ranchos Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

Note the stonework on the columns and the (fake) chimneys.

The Ranchos are also a hike from the resort central services and convention center, though some of these rooms are near the main pool. Building 7a is next to the bus stop but is otherwise the most inconvenient building at Coronado Springs.  If you are here as part of a team attending a convention, your colleagues are in Gran Destino, and you are assigned by your boss to 7a–well, update your resume.

GRAN DESTINO TOWER AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Gran Destino Tower is the tour-de-force at Coronado Springs, and has both the best amenities and best location, although its bus stop can be over-pressed with guests.

It is the only Disney World moderate space with accommodations, dining and bars in the same building, the only moderate space with interior corridors, and the only accommodation area at Coronado Springs with a temperature-controlled walkway to El Centro and the convention center there. The club lounge is also here.

You will read, here and there, claims that the Disney-Dali collaboration Destino deeply influenced the theming of Gran Destino Tower.  The actual influence of the film is fairly slender-the only material references you’ll find are a couple of names and dandelions. Jim Korkis has more on this here.

And if you know your Dali, you will recognize that this is a good thing. Ants turning into bicycles is not the recipe for a delightful place to stay.

What you will find instead in Gran Destino is a gorgeous set of colors and textures that, while not often much Disney, together create, by far, the loveliest spaces among the moderates.

A few more images from inside Gran Destino:

The issue with Gran Destino, if there is one, is its rooms, so let’s now turn to the two basic rooms types at Coronado Springs.

PHOTO TOUR OF A CASITAS/RANCHOS/CABANAS ROOM AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

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August 17, 2019   No Comments

Photo Tour of a Standard Casitas, Ranchos, or Cabanas Room at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, see this.)

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has two standard room types. One, found only in Gran Destino Tower, is covered here. The material on this page covers the other standard room type, which you will find in the other three accomodations areas at Coronado Springs–the Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas.

Coronado Springs completed a room refurb project in its Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas areas in the fall of 2018. The main differences in the refurbed rooms compared to what was offered in these areas before:

  • Double rather than single sinks
  • More Disney theming
  • The addition of an easy chair
  • Wooden rather than carpeted floors
  • Higher beds, with storage underneath
  • Bigger TVs and many, many more power points
  • More structured storage, especially in the old closet area
  • Many rooms with showers instead of tub/shower combos, and where tub/shower combos still exist, the shower curtain is now sliding glass, rather than fabric

The rooms continue to be largely similar to those in the other Disney World moderate resorts, but with a few key differences related to the importance of the convention and meetings market at Coronado Springs–specifically, a desk instead of a table and two chairs, and a dresser optimized for two convention-goers.

As you enter the room, on one side you’ll find a pair of queen beds.

The bed side from the back.

A closer view of one of the queens.

Besides the lights over the beds you can see, there’s four of these pencil reading lights–one on each side of each bed.

As has become common in recent Disney World refurbs, the beds are a single mattress on a platform, and are about 30 inches high.

Open underneath, there’s now room for you to stick your luggage under the beds–there’s about 14.5 inches of clearance.

Between the two beds is a bedside table. Note the Three Caballeros-inspired art above.

There’s multiple power points on either side of this table…

…and a drawer, small but big enough for your important books.

Inside the table you’ll find a safe.

It’s as large a safe as I’ve seen in a Disney World room, likely so it can hold to hold the valuables of two conventioneers.

To give you a sense of its size, my book is six by nine inches.

The other side of the room is dominated by an easy chair and a long mini-fridge/desk/dresser combo.

This side of the room from the back.

The easy chair by the window is new in this refurb, replacing a couple of small ottomans, and makes the room more comfortable for conventioneers or families. Note more Three Caballeros art.

Next to it is the first part of the long object…

…with a glass-doored mini-fridge below…

…and a coffee service above.

Next is the desk area with a task lamp and set of power points.

 

Next is the dresser with a 54 inch TV above and another set of power points in between at the right.

The six drawers of the dresser will easily fit the two conventioneers or family of four that these rooms can hold.

The divided bath is in the back of the room, separated from it by a pair of sliding doors.

The sinks are just behind these doors. Note the makeup mirror, new with this refurb.

There’s an extensive set of toiletries, including sunburn relief gel, a shower cap, and a sewing kit–more than you’ll find at other moderates, or most deluxes–suited to the demands of business travelers.

There’s some storage below the sinks…

…and also at the back of the sink area.

The formerly open closet area is now enclosed.

Inside the closet you’ll find the iron and ironing board.

The rest of the bath is enclosed behind a pocket door.

It features either a shower, or (as I learned on Mario’s terrific Coronado Springs Facebook group–also see his site and forum), a shower/tub combo with sliding glass doors. If a tub is important to you, Mario says to request one.

Either way you’ll get a rainfall showerhead and in addition a hand-held head.

As is becoming common in hotels at Disney World and elsewhere, shampoo, conditioner and body wash is available in large wall-mounted bottles.

A motion-sensitive fan is in this part of the bath, and because it is loud and seems to never shut off, it may drive you mad until you realize that you can turn it off by tapping on the left-most of the three controls in this area.

In general this refurb is a positive step. Some will object to the lost carpet, and others to the shower or the glass doors in the tub. But the added sink, added easy chair, bigger TV, plethora of power points, re-structured closet, and other additions are all positives for both business and family visitors.  And the Three Caballeros art adds a bit of Disney theming to a space that in its prior life did not have any.

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

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August 16, 2019   4 Comments

Amenities at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, see this.)

AMENITIES AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Amenities at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has more amenities, by far, than any other moderate resort. Most are centrally located in either Gran Destino Tower or El Centro, but a few–especially the pools, but also some dining–are elsewhere in the resort.  This review has separate pages on dining at Coronado Springs and the pools at Coronado Springs. Other amenities are covered below.

GRAN DESTINO TOWER AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Gran Destino Tower is where you check in and also where you’ll find guest services for help with your tickets, luggage, or other matters.

You can valet at the large port cohere outside the tower, or self park.

The area to which you are directed for self parking is fine for check-in parking, but too small for those staying in the tower. Another large parking area, shown above, is steps away, across the bus stops and nearer El Centro. (For those returning to Coronado Springs, this second area is the old check-in parking area.)

Also outside of (and also shown above) Gran Destino Tower is a bus stop that can be overwhelmed by the net increase of about 465 rooms using this bus stop (545 new at Gran Destino, about 80 demolished in the old Cabanas 9b). The other three lodging areas each have their own bus stop.

There’s a separate set of bus stops for Disney’s Magical Express…

…and also outside Gran Destino is an area that can help with boarding passes and luggage for those not using the Magical Express. (This is a tip-based service, and not all airlines are included.)

Inside Gran Destino Tower you’ll find the lobby, with decorating concepts inspired by the Disney-Salvador Dali collaboration Destino.

On one side of the lobby you’ll find check in services, and also help with tickets, dining and such…

…some nice seating areas…

…and an area that does double duty. Sometimes it is open and you can sit/charge your electronics here…

…and at other times it used for overflow check-in services when a bolus of folk attending a conference, meeting or convention have shown up.

Also in this area is one of two workout gyms at Coronado Springs. That’s two more than at any other moderate, BTW.

The other gym is near the Casitas quiet pool, where you will also find the La Vida spa–the only spa at a moderate resort.

Most other amenities at Coronado Springs are in the next-door El Centro. There’s an enclosed, temperature-controlled walkway from Gran Destino to El Centro–in the image, it is the curving corridor-shaped space.

EL CENTRO AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

Lobby Fountain Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

In El Centro you’ll find shops, much dining (dining at Coronado Springs is covered here) and the entry to the convention center.

The gift shop Panchito’s is large, and while it has mostly standard Disney hotel gift shop stuff, there’s a bit of a Mexican selection similar to what you can find in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion.

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

Coronado Springs is a convention resort, with a medium-sized convention center in El Centro, a circumstance which has led to much fussing, most of it silly.

All the deluxe resorts except the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge are also convention resorts, and these get little fuss.

Conventions yield fewer people overall because there are fewer people per room, and most of the time they are spending their time in meetings, in catered meals, and on the exhibit floor, rather than clotting the buses or food courts.

Demands for business services means that Coronado Springs also has more amenities than any other moderate–more than double the dining options and bars, club level rooms,  a real pool grill, a spa, workout gyms, a health club–none of which you’ll find at the other moderates.

But when a thousand people leave a meeting and head to the pool, you’ll notice.

DINING AT DISNEY’S CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

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August 15, 2019   No Comments