One thing that can have the greatest impact on your Disney World vacation, both positive or negative, is the resort you stay at. You have to balance the amenities you want with your budget, while also considering the amount of time you plan to spend at your resort vs. the theme parks.
Recently, we stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and were pleasantly surprised to find the resort offered many amenities available only at resorts in the ‘Deluxe’ category, while still paying the ‘Moderate’ resort price.
Coronado Springs evokes the romance of Spanish Colonial Mexico and the American Southwest through its architecture, dining options, as well as the landscaping and pool areas.
When you arrive at the resort, you’ll enter ‘El Centro’, the main building, and be greeted by La Fuente de Las Palomas, or ‘The Fountain of the Doves’. If you head towards the right you’ll enter the lobby and registration area, where you will be greeted by your first ‘Hidden Mickey’.
Coronado Springs is split into three distinct areas, each sporting their own unique architecture and landscaping – Cabanas, Casitas and Ranchos.
We had booked a preferred room, putting us in the Casitas area. This area is beautifully themed, featuring several water fountains and palm-shaded courtyards mixed throughout the “little houses.” We were conveniently located in Building 3, near bus stop #2, which came in handy when trying to avoid the Florida rain storms.
Rooms in Casitas Buildings 1, 2 and 3 are “preferred” due to their close proximity to El Centro and the restaurants, however, they are the furthest buildings from the Dig Site Pool. In addition to the main Dig Site pool, there are three ‘quiet’ pools, one located in each section of the resort.
If having access to dining options is important, Coronado Springs houses more restaurants than any other moderate resort. There are two quick service locations: Café Rix and The Pepper Market, and two table service restaurants: Maya Grill and Las Ventanas. In addition, there are three bars on site: Rix Lounge, Laguna Bar and Siestas Cantina. Coronado Springs is the only moderate level resort to offer room service.
La Vida Health Club, located in the Casitas section, is the resort’s onsite fitness center – the only one available at a moderate resort. Open daily from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, the fitness center offers weight-lifting machines, elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights, step machines and stationary bikes.
You’ll also find an onsite salon, Casa de Belleza. The salon offers hair styling, make-up application, nail services and facials.
With all of these additional amenities, you might be asking yourself what the trade off is here. Coronado Springs has an onsite convention center, which can cause the resort to feel crowded, even if the parks aren’t. While Disney’s world class service is in full display here, the theming of the resort has less of a ‘Disney’ feel than the other moderate resorts.
In addition to being a great option for those looking for either deluxe amenities or easy access to several dining options without stretching the budget, Coronado Springs is a great choice for couples, both young and young at heart, traveling without children.
The more subtle Disney theming here, combined with the additional amenities, almost makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to a luxurious Mexican resort – which might just be the second happiest place on earth.