Coronado Springs sits on Lago Dorado.
Coronado Springs is a hotel doing double-duty at Walt Disney World. As one of Disney's "moderate" resorts
, it fits snugly in between the value and deluxe hotels. It's also a conference hotel, and as a result it's very popular with business guests. This might be immediately obvious at check-in if the lobby or food court is filled with nametag-wearing conventioneers. On the other hand, you could stay a week and never notice, especially if you don't plan to spend a lot of time at the hotel.
Rooms at Coronado Springs offer a little more space than those at the value resorts.
Ask for a room in Casitas 4 or Cabanas 8A or 9B if you want to be closer to a bus stop. Remember, staying in a Disney resort allows you to park for free at the theme parks if you'd like to avoid the buses and opt for a room in a quieter part of the resort, especially the Ranchos buildings farther from the convention hall.
However, always opt for a bus to the Magic Kingdom--even guests staying at a Disney resort can't drive all the way there, but must change to a boat or monorail at the Transportation and Ticketing Center.
At the end of a long day, head over to the edge of Lago Dorado, the hotel's lake, where hammocks await the weary. Remember, only swim in the pool--alligators could lurk in any of the Disney lakes.
Pros and Cons
A pyramid at the pool adds a touch of mystery.
Pros: The southwestern theming of this resort may feel different or even exotic to visitors from the Northeast. Even if you never set foot in the pool, the Mayan-style pyramid rising out of the water adds a touch of mystery.
The Pepper Market is a terrific place to eat on a budget, offering the variety of a mall food court but with better food and a touch of Disney style. This is hands-down the best counter-service restaurant at any moderate or budget resort. Don't forget to tip--since it's not full-service, and you need to get your own food, 10 percent is considered appropriate.
As a moderate resort, Coronado Springs has more space in its rooms than the value rooms, and the landscaping and decoration theming is a little more upscale.
Cons: Depending on your needs, you may find this hotel to be a relatively minor upgrade from the budget hotels on Disney property. It may be worth exploring the price difference between this hotel and the All-Star Resorts and Pop Century before booking. If you can save a lot of money by staying at one of these hotels, you may never really notice the difference in quality or service--especially if you spend very little time in your hotel room.
Some conventions and conventioneers can be a little louder than you might hope for at your vacation destination.
Coronado Springs is particularly ideal for couples with no children, or older children, who plan to spend a little more time in their resort but don't want to pay the extra money to stay in a deluxe hotel. It offers more space in the rooms, more lush landscaping and better dining options than the value resorts. On the other hand, one rowdy conference crowd can dampen that experience. Compare to value resorts if you plan to spend less time in your room, or to Port Orleans for a similar type of accommodation but with less of a potential for conventioneers.
Edward Drummond has been writing for newspapers, magazines and the Web since 1992. He's been a first-hand witness to some of history's biggest events, and written about some of the world's most remote and unique places from Asia to Antarctica for publications around the world. Drummond has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from SUNY New Paltz.