DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
We’re on our way to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: a celebration of the diverse cultures and scenic beauty of ancient Mexico and the American southwest.Disney Bus Spiel
Opening in 1997, Coronado Springs celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022, and my family and I absolutely love this moderate resort. I’ve split my review into three distinct categories that I found were motifs of the resort after my two stays in recent years.
Firstly, the resort is in the Animal Kingdom Resort Area and is very centrally located, with usually only a 30-minute bus journey at most to all of the parks. A bus is the only Disney transportation option for Coronado Springs, which is often cited as a limitation of the resort alongside it housing a Convention Centre. However, neither of these bothered me during my visit.
The Gran Destino Tower opened in 2019 and brought a luxury experience to this moderate resort. Easily the best part of my most recent trip to Walt Disney World was the fact we received an upgrade to a water view room in the Gran Destino Tower. This was instead of being in a standard room in one of the villages situated across Lago Dorado.
Inevitably, this will not happen to all guests visiting the resort, but cast members will always provide extra magic where they can. Nevertheless, it was amazing to wake up and see trains climb Expedition Everest as well as Magic Kingdom fireworks when we went to sleep. The room also seemed extremely spacious, with a huge shower, subtle Disney details (like the adorable hidden Mickey on the sliding bathroom door!), and an unforgettable view.
I didn’t mind the 10-minute walk across the lake to get to El Centro when I previously stayed in the Ranchos Village before COVID-19, however, the Gran Destino Tower is right next to all the food options and the front desk. Also, it is typically the final stop before the buses leave the resort for the theme parks (since there are four bus stops around the resort), which means you don’t need to plan in additional time circumventing the resort before leaving.
The Lost City of Cibola feature pool is easily one of the most highly-themed pools on Walt Disney World property that I’ve been to. I remember watching the old vacation planning DVD when I was visiting Walt Disney World for the first time at Port Orleans Riverside and being so jealous of Coronado Springs because of the Mayan Temple! The pool features the largest spa pool on property as well as a shallow kids pool and the Jaguar Slide. Equally, if that pool is too busy, there is an additional pool in each village that tend to be a lot quieter.
Whilst some other resorts do have beautiful aesthetics, the Gran Destino Tower is such a lovely place to sit and people-watch. I found myself just meandering through the Gran Destino tower staring at the Mickey, Walt and Dahlia artwork across the two-floor lobby and was quite content just sitting in one of the many little seating areas across the resort. One quiet spot is the Barcelona Lounge on the ground floor which sells barista coffees, bakery items and specialty drinks throughout the day with the menu changing depending on the time period you are dining.
El Centro (the former lobby before the construction of the Gran Destino Tower) is a great space to meet and simply relax – especially when characters like Pluto, Daisy, Chip and Dale appeared from a Character Caravan during our trip! As well as this, there are hammocks on the beach in the Cabanas Village and additional seating, including rocking chairs around El Centro on the waterfront.
El Mercado de Coronado has some really high-quality quick service options. These include flatbreads ($16-18), pasta dishes on rotations ($15-18.50), Tex-Mex options ($8-17), burgers and chicken ($14-17) and chef’s specials on rotation for dinner ($16-20). This will also be the main location where you will find the refill machines for your refillable mugs (a must for any Disney trip!) – other than at Siestas Cantina for fountain beverages. However, I would say that it is quite overpriced for a quick service – even at Disney – with a kids’ meal being around $13!
Dining at Three Bridges Bar and Grill – albeit doing it on the cusps of a thunderstorm – was another highlight of our stay! It is uniquely placed on Lago Dorado in the centre of the resort. Despite being more of a lounge, it was a great, affordable evening meal that we were able to book one afternoon for that evening.
The type of cuisine is considered Latin by Disney with entrées like Coconut-Curry Chicken ($18.50), the Signature Burger ($20), salads ($11-19) and poke bowls ($15-22). I would definitely recommend you at least visit for a selection of their small places (affectionately named “Spreadable, Dippable, Shareable”). The Szechuan-Peppercorn Wings ($14.50) and Warm Manchego and Oaxaca Cheese Dip ($14) were personal favourites!
Overall, Coronado Springs is easily my favourite moderate resort (having visited all of them) closely followed by Port Orlando Riverside. Due to the multitude of restaurants available and the quiet, picturesque spots around the resort, Coronado Springs is easily my top choice!
What is your experience of Coronado Springs if you’ve stayed or visited?
Hi - I'm Matthew! I am a Geography student from the UK but in my spare time I love all things Disney! I first went to Walt Disney World in 2011 and have been returning every few years since, alongside visiting Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.