Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Review
We got a great passholder deal on Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and I was excited to try another resort! I’m going to make it to all of them all eventually. There are tons of reasons to become an annual passoholder at Disney World, and room discounts are one of them. Coronoda Springs is a Moderate resort, putting it in the ~$200 per night price range. It’s located in the Animal Kingdom area, but the ride to Hollywood Studios was actually the shortest.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is themed after Spanish Colonial Mexico. The lobby and fountain were quite beautiful and welcomed you into a very well-styled resort.
The most important aspect of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort for us was that it is also a convention/conference center. This resulted in some really big pluses and minuses for our stay. It contains three different sections and a main center, which branches off into the convention/conference center. We stayed in the Casitas, which are separated into 5 sections themselves. The sections, in order:
- El Centro – Check-in, Conference Center, and Dining Options
There is a fair amount of construction going on at Coronado Springs, with a high-rise hotel addition due in 2019. This mainly impacts El Centro, and construction really didn’t impact the rest of the resort. We walked almost everywhere, and it was about a 10 minute walk from the Casitas to El Centro, where all of the food and shops were located. The walk to the pool was very smilier and was a Mayan-themed temple with water slide, multiple pools, and snack bar. It also provided complimentary life-jackets for the kids which meant my youngest could enjoy the water slide as much as big brother!
Location and Transportation
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is located in the Animal Kingdom area, but we found it closest to Hollywood Studios in terms of bus time.The only transportation available to the parks is via bus. There are 4 stops and with the current construction, Bus Stop 2 is actually the first stop. We did not have a good experience with transportation at this particular resort. I felt that due to the convention/conference center, there were fewer buses during the day than at other resorts. We had one particularly bad day and waited 55 minutes for a bus to Magic Kingdom. We also waited at Hollywood Studios for 45 minutes on a return bus the day before.
I will say that we saw additional buses added to the route in days following. Transportation said they should have buses every 20 minutes. We took a trip to each park and the rides from Bus Stop 2 were approximately:
- Hollywood Studios – 10 minutes
- Epcot – 25 minutes
- Magic Kingdom – 30-40 minutes
- Animal Kingdom – 20 minutes
- Disney Springs – 20 minutes
The ride times to both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were very reasonable. We tend to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom, and it was about 30 minutes away.
The other transportation challenge was that the bus stops were on the outside ring of the resort meaning you had to walk across pretty large parking lots to get to them. The walking time wasn’t any longer than other resort we have stayed at, but it was across a much busier area. There were a few times that cars weren’t paying attention and I had to hold my kids back.
We stayed in the Casitas section of the resort. The rooms are similar in size to other moderate resorts, with two queen beds. The rooms did seem older than other resorts but were well taken care of.
The food options were one of the high points of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. As a convention/conference center, Coronado Spring had more restaurant options than many other Moderate Resorts:
- Quick Service
- Pepper Market ($14.99 and under)
- Siestas Cantina (at the pool, $14.99 and under))
- Table Service
- Las Ventanas ($14.99 and under, $15-34.99)
- Maya Grill ($15-34.99)
- Rix Lounge ($14.99 and under)
- Cafe Rix ($14.99 and under)
Pepper Market was by far my family-favorite. They made pizzas from scratch for the kids. As a tip, the adult meal only costs $2 more than the kids meal and has a pizza twice the size! My adult favorite were the Mexican Rice Bowls. The barbadoa beef was especially delicious!
We partook in some of the resort activities while at Coronado Springs Resort and couldn’t have been happier. It’s always hard to find cheap activities inside Disney World, and I think Coronado Springs has one of the best. In their shop, they sell a lot of Oaxaca wood carvings. Our family has collected these for a long time, ever since I visited Mexico for archeological sites way back in high school. For only $12 on Wednesday and Friday, they offered to let you paint you own wood carving. They had wonderful lady from Oaxaca there to help coach you along too. She put some finishing touches on my kids’ pieces. Adding these to our collection was a great moment!
Overall, the dining options can’t be beat for a moderate resort, but the transportation and bus schedule left us waiting for long periods of time on our way to and from the parks.
Coronado Springs Resort would be a good choice for you if:
- Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are your main parks
- You want a lot of food options at your resort as opposed to eating in the parks
- You plan to spend a lot of time at your resort for the pool or other resort activities (like our wood carvings!)
Coronado Springs Resort may not be the best fit if:
- Magic Kingdom is the main park you visit
- You need very predictable travel times