Coronado Springs Resort: A Photo Tour

by Donald and Bonnie Fink, contributing writer
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One of the best kept hotel secrets on Disney property is Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. Hidden along Buena Vista Drive, the resort is west of World Drive near Disney's Animal Kingdom. This quiet hotel doesn't seem to get much attention, but there's not anything in particular wrong with it—quite the opposite in our view.


The main lobby of Coronado Springs sets the mood. When you enter through the main doors and first view this fountain, it's clear that you're about to enter the world of old Mexico and the Southwest. Photo by Donald Fink.

Coronado Springs is designed and themed after old Mexico and the American Southwest. We've had the pleasure of staying here a couple of times, and each time has been a remarkably relaxing experience. The pace seems slower than with other Disney hotels, and it's sometimes a welcome change.


The registration area of Coronado Springs certainly reminds us of the architecture used in the old California missions. Maybe it was just a senior moment, but it took Don several minutes to find the hidden Mickey in this scene. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

We've often read on user forums that Coronado Springs is too far away, or too remote to be considered as a possible destination hotel. We've found that the remoteness is largely irrelevant. When staying at a Disney hotel, we usually rely on Disney transportation for all our needs, and the distance then becomes simply a matter of time management. The truth is, if you go to Google Maps and look at the distances from Coronado Springs to virtually all the parks, its driving distance is not significantly different from many of the other Disney resorts.


Panchito's Gifts and Sundries is a general merchandise store located in the El Centro area of Coronado Springs. They have gift items as well as necessities. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


You can appreciate the old Mexico charm of Coronado Springs when viewing the El Centro area from across Lago Dorado. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


Jose Carioca, Panchito Pisotles, and Donald Duck (left to right) are a perfect fit in the gardens of Coronado Springs Resort. These topiaries represent the Three Caballeros from the film "Saludos Amigos." The characters are also featured on the Gran Fiesta Tour at the Mexico Pavilion, Epcot. Photo by Donald Fink.


The wildlife is real at Walt Disney World. Here, a small American alligator is seen near the El Centro area. Guests were feeding him, so it won't be long before Disney will have to find him a new home. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

Food at Coronado Springs

One thing that is a bit surprising is the quality of the food in the food courts of the moderate Disney resort hotels, and Coronado Springs is no different. We visited the Pepper Market for breakfast and were treated with the usual scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a small Mickey waffle. It was more food than we needed and the taste was good, for a food court. There is Joffrey's Coffee in all the Disney hotels now, so the morning coffee was good too.


The food court at Coronado Springs is called Pepper Market. It's decorated with figures and colors from old Mexico and the American Southwest. Like many of the food courts on Disney property, the food is surprisingly good. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


The Pepper Market, with its colorful Mexican style tables and chairs, is a fun place to find quick service food at the hotel. Photo by Donald Fink.

We also had the opportunity to visit the two full service restauruants at Coronado Springs: Las Ventanas and Maya Grill. We had breakfast at Las Ventanas and it immediately went down on our list of best places on Disney property for breakfast. Whether you choose the cheese quesadillas with huevos and black beans or the sourdough French toast, you won't be disappointed.


Las Ventanas restaurant is unassuming in its appearance, but the food can easily compete with some of the best restaurants on Disney property. Photo by Donald Fink.


Las Ventanas restaurant is decorated in warm and inviting colors. The food is pretty good too. Photo by Donald Fink.

At the Maya Grill, we stopped in for dinner. This restaurant also serves Mexican food, but it's not what most of us have come to expect with a typical Tex-Mex menu. We tried the braised short ribs with mole sauce and menonita cheese. Our conclusion was that this restaurant can easily compete with any of the full service restaurants on Disney Property. If you're visiting Walt Disney World, either of these restaurants are worth a visit even if you're not staying at this resort.


The Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs is a Mexican style restaurant with a Mayan theme. Photo by Donald Fink.


Cafe Rix, located near the main lobby, is a place to grab a quick snack. They offer many items, from hamburgers to gelato, and much more. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

The Rooms

There are three areas to Coronado Springs: The Casitas, the Ranchos, and the Cabanas. They're all located around a lake called Lago Dorado, but each area is distinct and has different architecture. As one of Disney's moderate resort hotels, the rooms are usually equipped with two queen beds, but there are other configurations and even a few suites. There is free Wi-Fi in the rooms as well as a flat-screen television. The rooms we stayed in had a refrigerator and a coffee pot.


Typical rooms at Coronado Springs are what you would expect from a moderate resort. The rooms are usually equipped with a desk, flat-screen TV, and two queen beds. Single king beds are available is some rooms too. Photo by Donald Fink.


The architecture at Coronado Springs reminds us of the Spanish Missions throughout California. Photo by Donald Fink.


The Casitas reflect across the water of Lago Dorado in the morning. Photo by Donald Fink.


The Casitas area as viewed from across Lago Dorado, near The Ranchos. The Casitas are the rooms nearest the lobby. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


The Ranchos area, with its tile roofs and wooden pillars, is reminiscent of a southwestern ranch style home. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


The Cabanas have more of a beachfront feel to them with tin roofs and posts that resemble simple wood framing. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

The Pools

The main pool area at Coronado Springs is located across Lago Dorado from the El Centro Area. It's called The Dig Site and its main attraction is the Lost City of Cibola Swimming Pool. There's a fifty foot tall Mayan pyramid in the backdrop and guests can enjoy a 123 foot long waterslide.


The main swimming pool at Coronado Springs is called the Lost City of Cibola Pool. Its backdrop is a fifty foot tall Mayan pyramid. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

The Dig Site is an active area with plenty to do. There's the swimming pool, a waterslide, several spas, arcade and of course a bar. If you're more interested in a quiet pool experience, each of the three room areas has a Leisure Pool. These smaller swimming pools have fewer amenities with a more relaxing and quiet atmosphere.


Like most Disney resorts, there are smaller pools with more private, intimate settings located around the property. This pool is located in the Rancho area and offers seclusion from the higher level of activities found at The Dig Site. Photo by Bonnie Fink.


Siestas Cantina is the poolside bar at The Dig Site. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

Comments

  1. By danyoung

    Coronado Springs is by far my favorite moderate on property. Thanks for the excellent pics!

  2. By Goodnplenty

    Please don't flame me, but just in case there are folks out there that don't know.
    It is against Federal Law to feed any alligators in the entire state of Florida. It doesn't matter that its' on WDW property. Please do not feed alligators. The alligator associates people with food and becomes dangerous. I have never heard of an instance were a hand fed, in the wild, alligator that was "removed" was allowed to live. We don't have rehab facilities for gators. I'm quite sure that the trapper would tell those around that they were going to relocate the gator to the swamps in Ocala. But honestly, that's just not going to happen.

    Please don't feed gators. Look, take pictures and appreciate them. Just eat the food yourself.

    I'm sorry if I've offended anyone,
    Gnp

  3. By DisneyGator

    Coronado is my favorite resort to go to, and the only one I've ever returned to visit. The bus service is quick and rarely crowded in the mornings. I love the room decor. The Rancho area is easily my favorite as I love the SW desert feel. The pyramid pool is simply fantastic! Walking the lake is peaceful. Both times we've stayed here, we've had a 3rd floor room that faces Epcot. We've been able to see the Christmas finale' of Illuminations from our room, which is really great. One night, I could even faintly hear the music.

    The food court is one of our faves. You can get TS-quality food for a CS credit on the dining plan. Great selection.

    My only problem is that I have a family of 5 now, and you can't fit us into Coronado anymore. A real bummer. This place is THE best and I will miss it.

  4. By Dave1313

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    Please don't flame me, but just in case there are folks out there that don't know.
    It is against Federal Law to feed any alligators in the entire state of Florida. It doesn't matter that its' on WDW property. Please do not feed alligators. The alligator associates people with food and becomes dangerous. I have never heard of an instance were a hand fed, in the wild, alligator that was "removed" was allowed to live. We don't have rehab facilities for gators. I'm quite sure that the trapper would tell those around that they were going to relocate the gator to the swamps in Ocala. But honestly, that's just not going to happen.

    Please don't feed gators. Look, take pictures and appreciate them. Just eat the food yourself.

    I'm sorry if I've offended anyone,
    Gnp

    I seriously hope no one flames you for that excellent advice! I consider it a very good tip from someone who should know since you live in FL.

    Thanks for the reminder, not that I've ever considered feeding a gator. The signs that indicate they may be present (I recall seeing such a sign at a hotel in Titusville) is generally enough to get me to move along before I actually see one!

  5. By Lovethemouse

    We're looking forward to staying there again in just a couple of weeks. We totally enjoyed our last stay at Coronado, and can't wait to be there again!

  6. By Goodnplenty

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I seriously hope no one flames you for that excellent advice! I consider it a very good tip from someone who should know since you live in FL. Thanks for the reminder, not that I've ever considered feeding a gator. The signs that indicate they may be present (I recall seeing such a sign at a hotel in Titusville) is generally enough to get me to move along before I actually see one!

    Thank you Dave. I really debated whether or not to make that post. I'm really not trying to be a nuisance to anyone. The thing is that FL has a hotline where you can report AND get a reward for leading to the pressing of charges against someone for certain wildlife infringements. You can actually go to the Florida Wildlife and Game website and print it out. I would just feel soooo awful for someone's vacation to be ruined when they get a ticket or court summons for feeding gators.
    Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone. It's just we've had someone here at work who moved from up north and didn't know about this. He was sure that alligators were off the endangered list. Yes, that's true. But these laws are still in place. So please enjoy our wonderful wildlife and take pictures. But eat the food yourself.

    GnP

  7. By danyoung

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.

    You keep apologizing for offending anyone. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended. You presented some useful information. If someone is going to continue feeding wild animals after reading what you posted, they're fools and deserve whatever ticket or punishment they get.

  8. By Goodnplenty

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    You keep apologizing for offending anyone. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended. You presented some useful information.

    Thank you Dan!

  9. By UncleMike

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    Please don't flame me, but just in case there are folks out there that don't know.
    It is against Federal Law to feed any alligators in the entire state of Florida. It doesn't matter that its' on WDW property. Please do not feed alligators. The alligator associates people with food and becomes dangerous. I have never heard of an instance were a hand fed, in the wild, alligator that was "removed" was allowed to live. We don't have rehab facilities for gators. I'm quite sure that the trapper would tell those around that they were going to relocate the gator to the swamps in Ocala. But honestly, that's just not going to happen.

    Please don't feed gators. Look, take pictures and appreciate them. Just eat the food yourself.

    I'm sorry if I've offended anyone,
    Gnp
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I seriously hope no one flames you for that excellent advice! I consider it a very good tip from someone who should know since you live in FL.

    Thanks for the reminder, not that I've ever considered feeding a gator. The signs that indicate they may be present (I recall seeing such a sign at a hotel in Titusville) is generally enough to get me to move along before I actually see one!
    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    You keep apologizing for offending anyone. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended. You presented some useful information. If someone is going to continue feeding wild animals after reading what you posted, they're fools and deserve whatever ticket or punishment they get.

    GNP
    I echo the sentiments of the other posters.
    You are correct in warning non FL residents about feeding the gators.
    We had friends who were Management CM's in the 90's and I was told that trapped gators that were being fed by guests ended up on a menu and their hided were sold to tanners.
    We saw a young gator last May as we crossed the bridge towards El Centro.
    My Wife asked if it was real or a "Disney" gator.
    I told her "No wires. No tracks. It's real."
    That got me smacked for being a smart***.

  10. By cstephens

    We just spent a week at Coronado Springs, and I thought the experience was ok. I have to admit that I've been spoiled because we've been able to stay at a Deluxe the last few trips because we've gone during discount times. We even got to stay at the Poly last time because they had the construction going on, so the prices were terrific. The rooms at Coronado Springs were ok but nothing exciting, even though we generally don't spend a lot of time in our room. Maybe we just had a bad room, but there was always some kind of mechanical noise in our room, which wasn't bothersome per se other than that I couldn't hear anything from outside. We left to go to dinner on Wednesday night, opened the door - and it was pouring rain, none of which we heard because of the noises in the room. I can't speak to the pools because we don't use them. I did spend quite a bit of time sitting near a pool during our trip, because I couldn't get any cel reception on my phone in my room, and I couldn't for the life of me connect to the wifi from my phone. (Even when we connected to the wifi on our laptop, the connection was fairly slow and would often drop in and out.) So, if I wanted to post something to Twitter or Facebook or check my email, I had to sit by the pool to get any kind of reception. I did spend some time doing that, which was actually very pleasant, but I didn't like that I had to do that to connect to anything.

    If anyone has a thing about little lizards, this wouldn't be the place for you. They were everywhere. They would startle me only because I wasn't expecting them and they'd run out from nowhere, and mostly, I was just afraid of stepping on them and squishing them.

    Walking to the main center was very pleasant and it was fairly quiet. The food options were pretty good. I browsed the grab-and-go, and they had some decent items. The casual service restaurant was very good and had lots of options. We ate breakfast one day and lunch another there. There are two table service restaurants, neither of which we ended up going to, and a bar/lounge area as well. I sat there for a little while one day because it was too hot to sit outside by the pool to use the internet, and I wanted somewhere cool to sit, and I could also refill my resort mug.

    I did enjoy having parking fairly close by. At the deluxes, parking is farther away.

    One odd thing that I never got a chance to ask about - every day, they threw away the bath soap that we'd opened, and they'd give us new ones. I'm used to getting a new bar every day, but no place I've stayed has gotten rid of an open bar of soap while we're still staying there. After the first night, they also threw out the bottles of shampoo and conditioner I'd opened and left on the little shelf by the tub because the bottles weren't empty. They did give me new bottles but I could have gotten another day's use out of the bottles I opened. It was only that first night that they threw away the bottles. The other nights, they didn't. But they did keep removing the open bar of soap. Seemed wasteful to open a new bar every day.

    I wouldn't object to staying there again, but I probably wouldn't choose to. Caribbean Beach was the first on-property place we stayed, and I really liked it, so I'd likely try that again if we were doing a moderate.

  11. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    If anyone has a thing about little lizards, this wouldn't be the place for you. They were everywhere.
    These are everywhere in Florida, not just the Coronado. Certain times of year there are a lot more.

    One odd thing that I never got a chance to ask about - every day, they threw away the bath soap that we'd opened, and they'd give us new ones... Seemed wasteful to open a new bar every day.

    That is a little strange, but they don't throw away used toiletries. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/bl...ombat-cholera/

  12. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    These are everywhere in Florida, not just the Coronado. Certain times of year there are a lot more.
    OK, thanks. I don't remember seeing as many of them before or having to make sure not to step on them. One of the times I was sitting by the pool waiting for something to upload, I was looking around, and there were four lizards just standing on the deck area, motionless. There wasn't any foot traffic to disturb them. This is also the first time we've been at WDW in April, so maybe that's part of it too.


    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    That is a little strange, but they don't throw away used toiletries. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/bl...ombat-cholera/

    Yeah, I knew they didn't just throw them away, but it seemed a weird way to manufacture used toiletries. And our bars of soap weren't so much "used" as they were "in use".

  13. By UncleMike

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    OK, thanks. I don't remember seeing as many of them before or having to make sure not to step on them. One of the times I was sitting by the pool waiting for something to upload, I was looking around, and there were four lizards just standing on the deck area, motionless. There wasn't any foot traffic to disturb them. This is also the first time we've been at WDW in April, so maybe that's part of it too.

    When I was a little guy I had some as pets.
    They'll sit still for hours waiting on a tasty snack to amble by.

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