Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Review + Why We’ve Stayed Here So Many Times

This review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort discusses the resort in its entirety. We’ll review what it’s like to stay at Coronado Springs, including rooms, dining, recreation, and other amenities.

Our original Coronado Springs Review was one of the first we provided when we started Resorts Gal. Since that time, we’ve been on a mission to provide coverage of all the resorts at Walt Disney World.

So it had been some time since we last visited the resort. Previously, we frequented Coronado Springs. That was at a time when we were returning vacationers who squeezed in five to six trips to Walt Disney World a year.

Coronado Springs always stood out as a clear winner when considering price, value, and other amenities. Plus, we immensely enjoy hanging out at The Dig Site and leisurely sunset walks around the resort’s grounds.

With hotel reservations in place, we looked forward to this stay for several months. It did not disappoint.

So find the nearest hammock on a white sand beach (or the closest comfortable spot). It’s time to settle in for a detailed review of our stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney's Coronado Springs Casitas Section with a pink Hibiscus

Coronado Springs Overview

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate resort near Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is not a deluxe resort. However, its counterpart, Gran Destino Tower, is similar to a deluxe hotel.

Originally, the resort was spread out around a lake, and each section of buildings was considered a village. Back then, you would have to walk the parameters of the lake to get around. Depending on your room location, it might have been a reasonable hike to get to the lobby, pool, or dining.

However, during the resort’s last major refurbishment–things changed for the better. During that time, multiple bridges were built over the lake. So, guests can now walk directly across them for quicker access to their destination.

An interior access hotel was also added to the property, called Gran Destino Tower. Therefore, when you go to book a stay at Coronado Springs, you’ll end up in one of the villages, or you can book Gran Destino Tower separately.

Gran Destino Tower has amenities similar to what you might find at a higher-end hotel. We have a separate review of Gran Destino Tower that discusses the specifics of the hotel. Additionally, we’ve returned since that stay and have a review of the Chronos Club, the club level at Gran Destino.

Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs

For this review, we’ll focus solely on the original Coronado Springs Resort. However, we will include the amenities at Gran Destino Tower that you can take advantage of during your stay, like dining and lounge areas.

Coronado Springs is inspired by Spanish, Mexican, and American Southwest cultures. With so many influences, the resort offers one of the most gorgeous and unique settings in central Florida. You’ll feel like you crossed the border to Mexico instead of just getting off a plane in Orlando.

A view of the lake at Disney's Coronado Springs.

Coronado Springs is substantial when it comes to the size of the property. It’s comprised of three villages with room accommodations and several other areas, including a tremendous convention center. Lago Dorado, the lake, sits in the center of Coronado Springs, offering stunning views of the property from all vantage points.

Lake at Coronado Springs

Below is a photo of the main bridge from El Centro (the resort’s lobby) that leads to the center of the lake. Two additional bridges meet in the center, forming three bridges altogether. As you might tell from the photo, the straight-away greatly reduces walking time at the resort.

Bridge over the lake at Coronado Springs

So it’s important to note the resort’s layout is more convenient than before. Additionally, each village has a bus stop. So you don’t have to trek across the resort to get to the bus stop. You can also take a bus from your village to the front of the resort if desired.

Coronado Springs Bridge Across Lake

Villages at Coronado Springs

Here is a list of the villages that house room accommodations at Disney’s Coronado Springs.

  • Casitas 
  • Ranchos
  • Cabanas

Other destinations across the resort include;

  • Coronado Springs Convention Center
  • The Dig Site
  • El Centro
  • Gran Destino Tower
Coronado Springs Resort Map and Layout

Each village has its pros and cons. For example, most of the Casitas sections are considered a preferred location. Preferred rooms are an upgrade because they are the closest in proximity to El Centro. 

Additionally, the Casitas are nearest the convention center. Therefore, the crowd in this section might be more business-class guests mixed in with families. 

As far as the convention center goes, I wouldn’t consider it a huge concern. But Coronado Springs does have a tremendous convention center that stays reasonably booked throughout the year. 

During our last trip, a massive group of guests were visiting the resort for a youth karate convention. One of the things we noticed is that you might encounter more guests in line for food, especially around dinnertime, when events let out for the day.


Here are a few photos of the Casitas section of the resort.

Casitas Section of Coronado Springs
Preferred Room section at Disney's Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs Casitas
Fountain in the Casitas at Coronado Springs
preferred room area Coronado Springs


Ranchos sits directly behind The Dig Site and is the furthest away from El Centro. However, this area has some of the most beautiful landscaping of the different villages.

Ranchos landscape at Disney's Coronado Springs
Ranchos section of Disney's Coronado Springs
Ranchos village at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort


Lastly, the Cabanas sit directly between Gran Destino Tower and The Dig Site. This is my favorite village of the resort because of its location. However, it is the smallest village and probably the most plain.

Cabanas Section of Disney's Coronado Springs

El Centro

El Centro, the resort’s main lobby, is home to multiple dining locations, a gift shop, and a formal check-in area. A beautiful fountain sits right inside the entrance. 

Fountain in El Centro, Coronado Springs lobby

We enjoy walking through this area and taking in the mosaic tile ceiling.

Lobby fountain

The entire area is gorgeous.

Lobby in El Centro at Disney's Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs Convention Center is located in a hallway off El Centro. This area is to itself for the most part. But if you like to explore, you might take a walk through the corridors. You might be surprised.

Convention Center at Coronado Springs

Benefits of Staying at Coronado Springs

Since Coronado Springs is a Disney-owned and operated hotel, guests are privy to several benefits. One of those benefits is early theme park entry, which has been extended through 2024. 

All resort guests can visit the theme parks 30 minutes early each day. This means you can access the parks before any guests who are visiting from off-property.

Early theme park entry applies to every park for every day of your vacation. Buses at the resort will begin running approximately one hour before the early theme park entry time begins.

Guests of Coronado Springs will also have access to Disney’s bus 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.

We have a separate article with an extensive list of Walt Disney World Resort benefits. Some resort categories differ in their offerings.

The walkway between the Cabanas and Dig Site at Coronado Springs.

Coronado Springs Room Types

Coronado Springs has a wide range of room options. Below are the different room categories:

  • 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)

These are club-level rooms and suites:

  • Tower Deluxe Suite (Club)
  • Tower One-Bedroom Suite (Club)
  • Tower Presidential Suite (Club)
  • Tower Standard View (Club)
Sunset at Coronado Springs

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

Preferred rooms at Coronado Springs are located in buildings one, two, or three of the Casitas. If you reserve a preferred room, you’ll be within close proximity to El Centro, dining, shopping, and transportation. 

However, preferred rooms are not close to The Dig Site. But a pleasant quiet pool is nestled in the center of the Casitas.

Casitas quiet pool (preferred rooms)

Another extra some might consider is upgrading to a king-size bed. For whatever reason, these rooms cost more, and they are few and far between. So, if a king-size bed is important, you might consider paying extra. 

Additionally, upgrading to a water-view room is an option. A water view room offers a view of a pool or a lake. While I consider upgrading room views when staying at a deluxe, I wouldn’t at a moderate resort unless it were Gran Destino. 

First, none of the rooms at Coronado Springs have balconies. Secondly, each room has exterior access. This means there is an overhang and a walkway outside your room. Therefore, other guests will walk past your window when walking back and forth to their rooms. 

In my opinion, a room view upgrade is not worth the price. We rarely open the curtains in an exterior access hotel room. I know I don’t want others staring into my room when they walk by, and you probably don’t either. 

Now, we did enjoy our room view upgrade at Gran Destino, and you can see why. While this room didn’t have a balcony, the view was stunning, and there wasn’t the possibility of anyone walking directly outside the window. It was particularly gorgeous at sunset.

Room View at Coronado Springs

As for the other rooms listed above, they vary. Some suites will accommodate a larger number of guests at a higher price. 

If you are part of a larger party, you might want to browse our overview of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts for other options. These resorts have amenities like kitchenettes and sleep five or more guests, depending on the suite.

Those who want to feel pampered during their stay might consider club level. Chronos Club is located at Disney’s Gran Destino Tower.

Chronos Club is a private lounge that club-level guests can access throughout the day. Club lounges offer items like a continental breakfast, snacks, beverages, appetizers, and desserts in the evening, among other things.

If you would like to compare, we have an independent review of the club level at Disney’s Beach Club and a review of the King Kamehameha Club at Disney’s Polynesian.

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

Our Room

We stayed in a standard guest room in the Cabanas section of the resort. This room sleeps up to four guests.

Standard guest room Casitas section of Coronado Springs

Our room had two queen-size beds, a nightstand, and several outlets.

two queen beds

A desk doubled as a dresser with a built-in beverage cooler on one end. Other amenities included a coffee maker, disposable cups, and an ice bucket. Plenty of outlets and USB ports were built into the countertop.

room layout Coronado Springs

As far as guest bathrooms in a hotel room go, I don’t think you could ask for more. A pocket door separates the toilet and shower area.

guest bathroom in a standard room at Coronado Springs

Additionally, a second set of pocket doors separates the vanity area from the rest of the room. Other amenities included a make-up mirror, toiletries, a hair dryer, an in-room safe, an iron, and an ironing board.

We have a separate Coronado Springs Resort Standard Room Tour that provides a photo and video tour of the room if you want more details.

alternate view of a room in the Cabanas at Coronado Springs


Coronado Springs is home to a vast recreation area called The Dig Site. It’s going to be a hard pool area to beat when comparing hotels.

The Dig Site

Coronado Spring’s Dig Site has something for everyone, from a giant pool to all types of recreation.

entrance to the Dig Site at Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs feature pool is known as The Lost City of Cibola Pool. This pool area is so extraordinary that we include it in our list of the best pools at Walt Disney World.

The Lost City of Cibola Pool at Coronado Springs

It has a 123-foot-long Jaguar water slide.

water slide exit

Here is a view of the pool from the pyramid.

Pool area at Disney's Coronado Springs

Additionally, Coronado Springs has the largest pool hot tub at Walt Disney World. This massive hot tub can seat up to 22 guests.

hot tub at Coronado Springs pool

A kiddie pool sits in a separately fenced area near the pool.

Kiddie Pool at Coronado Springs

In addition to the pool, a few other recreational options are available. For instance, a large sand volleyball court sits near the front of the area.

sand volleyball court at Coronado Springs

To the pyramid’s far side is a sizable playground with rubber flooring.

playground at The Dig Site

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

playground at Coronado Springs

It has sections for older and younger children.

Extra playground area at The Dig Site

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

ping pong tables at The Dig Site

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

Iguana Arcade at The Dig Site

Having numerous activities available in one place is a huge benefit of this area. Children and adults alike can enjoy the pool. And if someone doesn’t want to swim, there are other things to do.

Additionally, you’ll find a substantial restroom at The Dig Site with a separate changing area. This is a great space to utilize on check-in or check-out day when your room is unavailable.

Siestas, the resort’s pool bar, doubles as a quick service. It’s an excellent 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 a leisure pool. Below is a look at the quiet pool in the Casitas.

Casitas area of Coronado Springs

Ranchos has a pleasant leisure pool.

Ranchos section of Coronado Springs

And here is the quiet pool at the Cabanas section.

Related: The Pools at Disney’s Coronado Springs

Cabanas Pool at Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs has a jogging trail for those who like to get a run or two while on vacation. Signage indicating the path is posted at the resort.

Related: Jogging Trails at Disney World

Map of Running Trail at Coronado Springs

One evening, a while back, 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.

So now, when I jog here, I stay in the interior circle around the lake and run through some of the villages.

If you prefer a strength or other cardio workout, two gyms are available at Coronado Springs. First, there’s La Vida Spa and Fitness Center, located in the resort’s Casitas section.

Fitness Center in the Casitas section of Disney's Coronado Springs

This gym is entirely adequate, with plenty of equipment for various workouts.

Workout equipment

Coronado Springs’s other fitness center is located inside Gran Destino Tower. I walked over and used this gym during my last stay at the Cabanas.

Exercise equipment

Guests staying at the resort have access to either of the hotel gyms.

Related: Resorts with Gyms at Disney World

alternate view of the gym at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Also, Coronado Springs has a laundry room located near each quiet pool. So, if you need to do a load of laundry, you might enjoy a little time at the pool simultaneously.

Related: Laundry Facilities at Disney’s Coronado Springs

Laundry Facilities at Coronado Springs


Coronado Springs has an impressive number of restaurants. First, El Mercado de Coronado is Coronado Spring’s primary counter-service dining location. El Mercado serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

entrance to El Mercado at Coronado Springs

Formerly called Pepper Market, this counter service location has unfortunately gone downhill in recent years. I was giving El Mercado the benefit of the doubt for a while.

However, on my most recent stay, I noticed they were still serving items that were not freshly prepared. So, instead of walking up to a station and ordering something, you grab hot or cold items from various cases.

menu items from El Mercado

When the resort was refurbished a few years ago, this entire area was completely redone, and the food offerings were satisfactory. But now you’ve got chicken fingers and fries that have been sitting under a heat lamp for no telling how long.

Some other stations include Mexican food like nachos, American fare like burgers, and Italian, which always involves pizza.

As far as El Mercado goes, they have a kids’ meal at every station. Pre-made salads and sandwiches are available in the cooler. A variety of drinks are available in the cases.

Oh, and that fantastic bakery case that used to be in El Mercado is gone. Instead, you have a few convenience store racks of items that are arguably not freshly baked.

desserts at El Mercado quick service

El Mercado also has a refillable beverage station. You can refill Rapid Fill mugs here or at the pool.

Beverage Refill Station at Coronado Springs

Since Coronado Springs is such a huge resort, El Mercado has a tremendous dining room.

Dining area in the quick service at Coronado Springs
seating area in El Mercado at Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs is home to a few table-service restaurants. Maya Grill offers Mexican cuisine. Their menu lists tacos, tortilla soup, enchiladas, and other Mexican-inspired dishes. You can preview the Maya Grill Menu on Disney.com.

Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs

Rix Sports Bar and Grill is a popular table service restaurant and lounge. I stopped in during this stay to see what all the fuss was about.

Rix Sports Bar and Grill at Coronado Springs

It turns out it was delicious. I had a colossal turkey sandwich. It was so huge I had half of it for lunch and enjoyed the other half in my room for dinner later that evening.

Turkey sandwich and onion rings from Rix Sports Bar at Coronado Springs

When I asked my server if they had coffee, she offered to prepare me a specialty cup. I went with a cappuccino. You can preview the menu for Rix Sports Bar and Grill.


Cafe Rix, similar to El Mercado, underwent a complete makeover. Unfortunately, the last few times I’ve visited, they’ve either been closed or had hardly anything available.

Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs

In the past, they had pastries, sweets, coffee, and a gelato case.

gelato at Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs

Laguna Bar is another option for beverages at Coronado Springs. It sits directly outside the back of El Centro.

Laguna Bar at Coronado Springs

This entire area is a gorgeous place to enjoy a meal or a drink when the weather is an agreeable temperature.

sunset at Coronado Springs

You might especially enjoy dinner around sunset hour.

outdoor sitting areas near El Centro

Siestas Cantina is the pool bar at The Dig Site.

Siestas Poolside Bar at Disney's Coronado Springs

Here is a photo of their menu.

Siestas Menu

Three Bridges Bar and Grill (Villa Del Lago) is another casual table service restaurant. It sits in the middle of the lake where the three bridges meet.

Villa de Lago at Coronado Springs

Here is a photo of their menu.

Menu for Three Bridges at Coronado Springs

Toledo, Tapas, Steak, and Seafood is a table service restaurant located on the top floor of Gran Destino. We enjoyed a delicious meal here when they first opened.

Toledos at Coronado Springs

Across the foyer from Toledo is Dahlia Lounge. They offer small plates, cocktails, and a variety of beverages.

Dahlia Lounge

We had an order of chicken wings one evening during our stay.

order of chicken wings from Dahlia Lounge

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

Barcelona Lounge at Coronado Springs

Overall, Coronado Springs has a number of restaurants. However, it is rather unfortunate that the quick service options have become more of a miss than a hit. Hopefully, those options will improve.

Dahlia Lounge and Toledo sit next to each other on the top floor.


For most, the lack of transportation options at Coronado Springs is a negative factor. However, it is nice to have Disney’s bus transportation available.

Here are the destinations you can visit via the bus service:

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

*For Disney’s water parks, you must take a transfer bus. It will take you to one location. Then you’ll transfer to a bus to get to the water park.

As we touched on earlier, each village has a bus stop. Therefore, the bus stops are relatively easy to locate. Coronado Springs buses run a dedicated route. In most cases, they’ll stop at bus stops two, three, and four before heading to El Centro.

Additionally, if you don’t want to walk to El Centro, you can always take one of the buses to the lobby. Just ask the bus driver to make sure they will stop at the lobby on the way out.

Related: Transportation Options at Disney’s Coronado Springs

Bus stop at Coronado Springs

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

Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries

Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries is the resort’s gift shop at Disney’s Coronado Springs. It sits directly behind the fountain at the resort’s front entrance.

Panchito's gift shop at Coronado Springs

Inside, you’ll find anything from resort-branded merchandise to fun Disney-themed apparel.

Coronado Springs merchandise

You should be able to find almost anything you need.

inside Panchito's gift shop

Toward the back of the store, pantry items and other staples are available.

A refrigerated case is available with anything from bottled water to milk and soda.

Final Thoughts on Coronado Springs Resorts

Overall, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has many more positives than negatives. Even with the lack of decent counter service at this time, I was still pleased with our stay.

Ultimately, it only meant we spent more on food in the theme parks than at the resort. But it would have been nice to have more convenient choices at the resort.

As far as Coronado Springs goes, the main distinctions between it and a deluxe resort are the lack of an additional transportation option and the fact that the rooms are spread out in villages.

Beaches with hammocks at Coronado Springs

However, the price is significantly less when compared to the higher-end hotels. So there’s that.

For those who are budget-conscious and concerned about the lack of amenities at the value resorts, it might be time to visit Coronado Springs. It’s an excellent option.

Just remember, if you stay here, there’s plenty to do. So you’ll want to plan a resort day.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this Coronado Springs Resort Review. This resort will always be my favorite of Disney’s moderate resort hotels.

water feature at Coronado Springs Resort

For more information, all of our articles are listed in our resort guide:

Here is a list of our other moderate hotel reviews:

Or browse an overview of all our Disney World Resort Reviews.

Additionally, you might enjoy our complete list of Disney Restaurant Reviews. It includes some of our most popular articles:

In the comments:

What are your thoughts on Disney’s Coronado Springs? Did you find this review helpful? Do you have any questions about staying here?

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