Combine business and pleasure at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The Spanish-colonial Mexico themed resort is a behemoth, with meeting space and accommodations sprawled around a 22-acre lake with accommodations in Casitas, Ranchos and beachfront Cabanas. A meeting brought me to Walt Disney World, so how could I leave my multigenerational family at home?
Our family of 5 reluctantly left Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, but fortunately, since we were moving to another property, our luggage would be magically transported to the new resort. Since we were already on Disney property, the Magical Bus was not an option, so we caught the Walt Disney World theme park bus to Hollywood Studios, the closest park to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Other than the wait for the bus, the process was smooth. We weren’t sure where to disembark, so we unloaded at the first bus stop, not realizing there were more stops including one at the lobby.
We had a long walk from the back of the resort to the lobby for check in, actually passing our casitas, where we would be spending the next 3 nights. It was a really long walk, literally the opposite side of the lake, and one of many hikes we would make from our casitas to the lobby where the restaurants were located. However, the landscaped ground and lake provided distractions for the grandkids with an alligator sighting and little geckos (“house lizards”) along the way.
Main Building and Lobby
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort celebrated the annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, a Disney themed topiary greeting us when we entered the lobby.
We had arrived mid-afternoon, prior to check-in, and unfortunately our room wasn’t ready. Glitches in transfer of all of our Disney MagicBands (super cool high tech “wrist bands” with microchips to access theme parks, your room, and add charges to your hotel bill) held up the process, but Disney’s professional concierge team jumped through the hoops to figure it out – and bought us lunch for the time delay.
We trekked back to our casitas to freshen up before heading out to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, our first theme park stop in Walt Disney World. We were on the third floor, with 2 queen beds, and we knew in advance we’d have tight quarters for the 5 of us as these rooms are built for 4 people.
The rooms were adequate, but we consistently had problems with the plugs. We’d connect our technology to the outlet but not all of them would charge. Free WiFi was available in the room and a small work desk, but I was so busy with meetings and then taking the grandkids to the theme parks that I didn’t’ have time to connect.
Our favorite thing about the location of our casitas was that we’d step out on our balcony and could overlook the pool. Late nights after spending time at the theme park, we’d throw on our suits and spend an hour winding down in the pool.
Multiple dining options are available, the majority located at the main lobby area. Quick service options are Café Rix, Siestas Cantina, and the Pepper Market. We dined at Pepper Market twice, a café all day option.
Casual dining is offered at Las Ventanas while the newest dining option is the themed Maya Grill. At the entrance to the resort’s lobby is Laguna Bar, with a view of the lake, while the Rix Lounge is located across from Pepper Market at the “entrance” the massive meeting space. The afternoon we spent at the Dig Site (the super sized pool area) we also took advantage of the poolside café.
Pool with Waterslide
The pool complex, known as the Dig Site Pool, was a hit with my family. The 50-foot replica Mayan pyramid was the centerpiece, with water streaming down the steps of the stone structure. The “Jaguar Slide was waterslide plunge into the pool. This area was also home to the largest outdoor hot tub, fo rup to 22 people, at Walt Disney World Resort. We spent our remaining hours at Disney at the pool on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, there was no pool side service, and long lines at the bar and service window. Bonus: Pool side activities from trivia games and activities kept the grandkids entertained.
Keep in mind that the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is built for meetings. Although there are kid-friendly activities and rooms, for the most part, your stay here will be slanted toward accommodating the business traveler. The hotel is closest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which was our favorite theme park), but Magic Kingdom was a long bus ride. We stayed three nights in adequate accommodations and certainly enjoyed our stay. Although perhaps not the perfect family resort in Disney, the Coronado Springs Resort is a Disney resort, offering all the magical opportunities to take advantage of Disney theme parks!
Accommodations provided by Walt Disney World Resort; opinions expressed are my own. Photos courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort and Diana Rowe.