Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Review

Disney’s Coronado Springs is a resort located in the Animal Kingdom Resorts area at Walt Disney World. Coronado Springs is a tremendous resort with many of the same amenities you might find at a higher-end hotel.

This Coronado Springs Resort review will look at the resort in its entirety. We’ll discuss what it’s like to stay here, resort benefits, rooms, dining, recreation, and other amenities.

Disney’s Coronado Springs is a moderate category resort. The resort is inspired by Spanish, Mexican, and American Southwest cultures.

We love the resort so much that it is our top choice for a moderate resort. Most who stay here will find that it’s a step above comparable alternatives.

Related: Best Moderate Resort at Disney World

Additionally, the landscaping at Coronado Springs is gorgeous. The resort provides the perfect place to enjoy a nature walk or sunset stroll.

Let’s look at the details.

This review was updated on April 1, 2022.

Coronado Springs Review

A few years back, Coronado Springs received an entire remodel. A new tower hotel, Gran Destino Tower, was added to the property.

Gran Destino is the only moderate resort with interior room access similar to a deluxe resort. The rest of the resort is spread out into different villages around the lake.

So the first thing you’ll want to decide is whether or not you would like to stay at Gran Destino Tower or in one of the villages at Coronado Springs. Naturally, the rooms in the villages are more affordable.

We have a separate review for comparison.

Related: Gran Destino Tower Review

Coronado Springs

In addition to the tower, several different villages comprise Coronado Springs. They are the following:

  • El Centro
  • The Dig Site
  • Ranchos
  • Casitas
  • Cabanas
  • Convention Center

Here is a map that shows the layout.

El Centro is the resort’s main lobby. Inside you’ll find a formal check-in area, multiple dining locations, and the resort’s gift shop. In addition, a beautiful fountain sits in the resort’s foyer.

The Dig Site is the recreation area for the resort. We’ll discuss the recreation area in more detail as we continue.

The Ranchos, Casitas, and Cabana are made up of various guest rooms. In addition, each of these villages has a quiet pool.

The villages are nicely situated around a large body of water called the Lago Dorado.

In addition, Coronado Springs is a convention resort. A large convention center sits on the far side of the Casitas section of the resort.

However, I wouldn’t let the convention center deter you from staying at the resort. The center is to itself, and you likely won’t notice it during your vacation.

Benefits of Staying at Coronado Springs

Since Coronado Springs is a Disney-owned and operated hotel, guests are privy to several benefits for on-property resort guests.

First, guests can enjoy early entry into the theme parks. At this time, early entry is available daily at every park.

With early entry, guests can visit the parks 30 minutes early, which means you can access the parks before guests staying off-site. It’s nice to enjoy some extra time in the parks each day.

Guests of Coronado Springs will also have access to Disney’s bus transportation service to and from the resorts to the parks and Disney Springs. So you won’t have to worry about driving anywhere during your vacation.

Additionally, there are several other benefits of staying at Walt Disney World Resorts. You can preview them all in our complete guide.

Related: Disney World Hotel Benefits

Rooms

There’s a wide range of options for rooms at Coronado Springs. Below are the different room categories for the resort.

  • Preferred Room
  • Water View Room (King)
  • Preferred Room (King)
  • Standard View
  • Water View
  • One-Bedroom Suite (King)
  • King Bed (Standard)
  • Casitas One-Bedroom Suite
  • Casitas Executive Suite

Additionally, the following rooms are available in the Tower:

  • Tower Standard View
  • Tower Standard View (King)
  • Tower Water View
  • Tower Water View (King)

And then there are the following club level rooms and suites:

  • Tower Deluxe Suite (Club)
  • Tower One-Bedroom Suite (Club)
  • Tower Presidential Suite (Club)
  • Tower Standard View (Club)

Those looking for the most budget-friendly option will want to stick with a standard view in the regular portion of the resort. Anything else is considered an upgrade and will cost more.

Briefly, I’ll discuss what to expect with a few of the rooms to give you a better idea of whether or not they’re worth the upgrade. Of course, some upgrades might depend on your circumstances.

For starters, the preferred rooms at Coronado Springs are located in buildings one, two, or three of the Casitas section. The benefit of being in a preferred room is being located near El Centro (lobby), dining, shopping, and transportation.

There are two things to consider for preferred. First, Coronado Springs has an internal bus system, so each resort section has a bus stop.

Secondly, a few years back, a large bridge was built across the lake.

Since the bridge was added, it’s become much easier to cut across the bridge to El Centro. Previously, you would have had to walk around the parameter of the lake to get back to the front.

Therefore, while a preferred room will be important to some, I don t believe it’s a necessary consideration. Personally, I request the Cabanas section when I stay at Coronado Springs.

The Cabanas are centered between Gran Destino Tower and The Dig Site, the resort’s main pool and recreation area. We spend a decent amount of time at the pool when we stay at Coronado Springs, so I enjoy this location and its proximity to amenities.

Another room upgrade is king-size bedrooms. For whatever reason, these rooms will cost more. Additionally, rooms with king-size beds are limited.

One other somewhat controversial room upgrade is a water view. And I do have an opinion that varies when it comes to the subject.

First of all, none of the rooms at Coronado Springs have balconies. Secondly, all of the rooms in the villages will have exterior room access.

Therefore, in my opinion, a room view upgrade in the village rooms is not beneficial. When we stay in these rooms, we rarely open the curtains enough to enjoy the view.

Also, I don’t care for anyone walking by to have the ability to look directly into our room. So a view upgrade at any of the moderates or value resorts, for that matter, doesn’t make sense.

However, there is one exception: the rooms in Gran Destino Tower. I received a water view room upgrade on my last stay in the tower.

While this room didn’t have a balcony, the view was stunning. Additionally, there wasn’t the possibility of someone walking past my window.

I spent a decent amount of time in this room throughout my stay. And I enjoyed the room view not only in the morning but also in the evening.

You may have noticed there were a few other suites listed above. These room options would be great for larger groups or those who need more space.

While Coronado isn’t a villa resort, the one-bedroom suite will accommodate six guests, and the executive suite accommodates eight guests. You might want to browse the Disney Vacation Club Resorts to see your options.

Related: Disney World Villa Resorts

For those of you who want to go all out or at least feel pampered, you might consider club level. Chronos Club is the name of the club level at Disney’s Gran Destino Tower.

Club level provides access to a lounge throughout the day. The lounge offers a continental breakfast, snacks, beverages, appetizers, and desserts in the evening, among other things.

We have a separate review of club level at the Beach Club. It will provide you with an overview of what you’ll get during your stay.

All of the club levels at Disney World have pretty much the same setup. However, some of the food options will vary between lounges.

Related: Club Level at Disney’s Beach Club

The photos below are from my stay in one of the tower rooms. Unfortunately, the last time I stayed in the Cabanas, the rooms hadn’t been redone. Since then all of the villages have been refurbished.

In the tower the guest bath has a walk-in shower.

However, if you stay in the villages, the rooms will have traditional tub with a shower combination.

Other room amenities include a beverage cooler, iron, ironing board, in-room safe, individual cup coffee-maker, hairdryer, and toiletries.

Recreation

When it comes to the moderates, I don’t think you can do better than Coronado Springs. The resort is home to a huge recreation area called The Dig Site.

In addition, the resort offers two fitness centers, a jogging trail, a wilderness walk, and more!

The thing I love most about The Dig Site pool area is that there are so many recreation activities combined in one location. Meaning there’s always something for everyone.

The swimming area alone is pretty amazing. In fact, it’s so amazing that we included it in our list of the best pools at the Disney World.

Related: The Best Pools at Disney World

The Lost City of Cibola Pool has a 123-foot long water slide with a jaguar water feature included in the design.

Children can climb the steps of the Mayan pyramid to access the jaguar slide.

Additionally, Coronado Springs has the largest whirlpool tub at Disney World. This large spa can sit up to 22 guests.

There’s even a separate kiddie pool at The Dig Site.

A large sand volleyball court sits to one side of the pool area.

The backside of the pyramid has an area that offers a playground with rubber flooring.

I think the Explorer’s Playground is one of the best play areas at Walt Disney World.

It has sections for older and younger children.

Across from Explorer’s playground, you will find Iguana Arcade.

A few outdoor game tables are set up in front of the arcade.

There are many benefits of having all of these activities available at The Dig Site. Children and adults alike can enjoy the pool.

And if you don’t want to swim, you have several other options.

To the left of the arcade, there’s a restroom with a separate changing area. This is a great space to utilize on your check-in or check-out day when your room is not available.

Siestas, the resort’s pool bar doubles as a quick-service is a great place to grab a meal by the pool. We’ll cover Siestas in more detail in the dining section.

Aside from the resort’s feature pool, the three villages each have their own leisure pool. Below is a look at the quiet pool in the Casitas.

And here is the quiet pool at the Cabanas section.

These pictures were taken on a hot day. Soo you can probably tell why they are called quiet pools.

Most guests like to take advantage of The Dig Site, and the quiet pools are usually empty.

Coronado Springs has an excellent jogging trail for those who like to get a run or two in while on vacation. The picture below shows a sign you’ll see posted at the resort.

You can run the full circle or change up some of the paths if you like.

Related: Jogging Trails at Disney World

One evening I ran out by the parking lot area after dark. While I’m sure it was probably safe, it did feel a little more isolated than I would have liked.

I recommend staying on the dotted line path in those areas if you are jogging alone late in the evening.

The La Vida Spa and Fitness Center is located in the Casitas section of the resort.

Here is a list of all the spa services provided at the La Vida Health Club.

The gym is completely adequate. There is plenty of equipment to get in a good work out.

Most moderates do not have a fitness center. However, Coronado Springs is unique because it has two fitness centers.

Guests staying at the resort can use either of the hotel gyms. The other gym is located in Gran Destino Tower.

Related: Resorts with Gyms at Disney World

Lastly, there is a laundry room located near each quiet pool. So if you want to do a load of laundry you might spend a little time at the pool.

Dining

Coronado Springs offers a tremendous amount of dining options. Below you’ll find a brief overview of these options.

El Mercado de Coronado is Coronado Spring’s main counter service dining location. This location is located at El Centro and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Here is a look at the overall counter service interior. This area has been recently refurbished, before it was called Pepper Market.

Each area has a station offering specialty food item like Mexican, American (burgers), Italian (pizza), and more.

Additionally, every station will offer a kids’ meal.

Below is a look at the interior dining area for El Mercado. There are several different types of seating options available.

You should be able to find a variety of grab-and-go items.

El Centro offers several other places to dine, like Maya Grill, a table-service restaurant offering Mexican cuisine.

Their menu lists items like tacos, tortilla soup, enchiladas, and other Mexican-inspired dishes.

Rix Sports Bar is a bar with a small menu of appetizer-style items. It’s located next door to El Mercado.

I haven’t eaten here lately, but I plan to next time I’m back over this way.

Cafe Rix has undergone a complete makeover and is a reasonably unique stop compared to what’s available at other hotels.

They have items like pastries, sweets, coffee, and a gelato case.

Here is a look at all the toppings on the far wall of the store. Café Rix is an excellent place to find a snack or breakfast item.

If you walk out the back steps of El Centro, you will run directly into Laguna Bar. The bar typically opens later in the day and is a nice place to grab a drink and enjoy the sunset.

It’s also a nice stop after a late evening check-in to pick up a margarita. Maybe they will have one waiting for you.

Surprisingly, my favorite stop for food at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is Siestas Cantina. Siestas is the pool bar I mentioned earlier at The Dig Site.

The menu at Siestas has always been unique and refreshing. I’ve eaten here several times and always walk away impressed with my meal and happy with the price.

Below is the Mahi-Mahi Tacos that came with a side order of fries. I’ve had these twice and always enjoy them.

The tacos are an excellent option that’s a little healthier. Well, healthier without the fries anyway.

Three Bridges Bar and Grill is another casual restaurant. It is located in the middle of the three bridges over Lago Dorado.

Here is a look at the menu. Preview the updated menu here on Disney’s site.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful location with outdoor seating that faces the water.

Additionally, Toledo, Tapas, Steak, and Seafood is a table service restaurant located on the top floor of Gran Destino.

We enjoyed a delicious meal here.

Related: Toledo,Tapas, Steak, and Seafood Review

Across the foyer from Toledo is Dahlia Lounge. The lounge has small plates, cocktails, and a variety of beverages.

Barcelona Lounge is located on the ground level of Gran Destino Tower. The lounge doubles as a coffee bar during the morning.

Coronado Springs is a beautiful resort with plenty of dining options. If you would like to learn more details make sure to check out our full dining guide.

Related: Restaurants at Disney’s Coronado Springs

Transportation

For me, the only negative factor about Coronado Springs is the lack of transportation options. The resort provides Disney bus transportation to and from the following Disney theme parks and other destinations:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney Springs
  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Blizzard beach

As we touched on earlier, each village has a bus stop. Therefore, the bus stops are relatively easy to locate. However, each bus services every stop, unless it fills up.

The buses runs a dedicated route so you should get an idea fairly on how it works.

For example, if you are at bus stop four (Cabanas) you will leave directly and head to your destination. But when returning, you will be the last stop to disembark.

Here is a look at the bus stops and a few reminders.

Earlier I mentioned that you could take an internal bus around to the lobby if you didn’t want to walk across the resort. If you are going to do this, make sure to take the internal bus or water park bus.

And don’t be afraid to ask the bus driver if you are unsure. Most of the time, they know where they are going.

Additionally, if you are going to a water park, you must go to El Centro (Bus Stop 1) and transfer to a water park bus. As of late, the water park buses have been delivering directly to the water parks.

So if you have been in recent years, you might have found yourself transferring to Animal Kingdom or Disney Springs for a change.

Unfortunately, Disney’s Magical Express service ended. Anyone traveling to and from the airport will need to make travel arrangements.

Lobby

El Centro is truly the hub of the resort. It’s very similar to Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach.

Related: Caribbean Beach Resort Review

Here’s that beautiful fountain. I have to show this photo off because there’s usually people sitting around it.

There is a check-in area. However, most will want to use Disney’s text-to-room service.

In general, when things work at Disney, they tend to work well. But unfortunately, when they don’t work, it can be a hassle.

Off the main lobby, you’ll find Panchito’s gift shop. Panchito’s is truly a name synonymous with Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

I’ve always loved this store, but I have to admit that it feels a bit bland since the remodel.

They do have an excellent selection of merchandise and resort-specific items.

You should be able to find almost anything you need.

Toward the back of the store, there are pantry items and other staples like candy.

There is a refrigerated case with anything from bottled water to milk and soda.

Coronado Springs has so much going for it. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to stay here many times.

I can tell you, the main difference between Coronado Springs and one of the deluxe resorts is the location and lack of extra transportation. Most of you will enjoy your stay here.

Additionally, if you are budget conscientious and concerned about the lack of amenities at the value resorts, it might be time to take a look at Coronado Springs.

Just remember, if you do stay here, you’ll definitely want to plan a resort day.

Final Thoughts on Coronado Springs Resorts

Hopefully you enjoyed this Coronado Springs Resort review. Since I initially wrote this review, we’ve visited several times to keep things up-to-date.

Coronado Springs will probably always be my favorite of Disney’s moderate resort hotels. Sure, Caribbean Beach is nice, updated, and has the Skyliner.

Related: Disney Skyliner Resorts with Travel Times

But I wouldn’t recommend it over Coronado Springs. It would be my second choice of the moderates.

And while I do like the Port Orleans Resorts, they aren’t my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. They are beautiful resorts.

Related: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Review

Coronado’s landscape tends to take me to a place I haven’t been. There’s just something special about the grounds that always makes me smile.

If you decide to stay here, take some time to explore the resort and its offerings. I think you will find yourself quite at home here.

For more information, all of our articles for Coronado Springs are available here. Or you might enjoy these other Disney Resort Reviews:

Additionally, you might enjoy browsing our complete list of Disney Restaurant Reviews. And while Coronado Springs doesn’t offer character dining, many of the other resorts and parks do. You can read all about them in our character dining at Disney World guide.

In the comments: What are your thoughts on Coronado Springs? Did you find this review helpful? Do you have any questions about staying here?

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