Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: The Complete 2021 Guide

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Fully reimagined, Disney Coronado Springs Resort and Gran Destino Tower is a sight to behold. This beloved resort went through a refit starting in 2018, with Gran Destino Tower finishing up and opened to guests in 2019. The refurbishments changed the way we see this resort, quite literally.

As you drive up to the resort entrance, you can see Gran Destino Towers soaring majestically into the sky. The new grand entrance feels like you’ve arrived at a luxury hotel in Spain rather than a Floridian hotel. The Spanish influence continues into the two-story lobby, as the new architecture and design elements astound you.

Beautifully classic, yet elegantly modern, the fabulous changes at Disney Coronado Springs Resort will have you placing this location on your must-stay list!


Table of Contents


Adventure Awaits! Disney Coronado Springs Resort & Gran Destino Tower

A sprawling resort complex, Disney Coronado Springs brings together elements of Spanish, Mexican, and the American Southwest.

From the beautiful décor and architecture to the theming of the pool, these touches make you feel like you’ve travelled to the Spanish countryside or a luxurious desert retreat. Even the dining reflects this cultural combination, with a variety of treats with both American and Hispanic flair.

Broken into seven different sections – four room blocks and three common areas – Disney Coronado Springs Resort is one of the largest resorts on property. In terms of number of accommodations, Coronado Springs is second only behind Disney Pop Century Resort, with 2,384 guest rooms! For a moderate level resort, you’re going to be amazed by what it available.

Resort Complex

Common Areas

The first of the resort’s sections is El Centro, or the main lobby space. From the moment you walk in, the Spanish-American theme becomes evident. Bubbling fountains, artistic tiles, and a glorious rotunda are the first to great guests. As you move into the rest of the lobby area, the soaring white columns, with their distinctive texture, captivates its visitors. If you didn’t want to get to your room so badly, you might be tempted to stay here all day!

El Centro serves to connect Gran Destino Tower with the Convention Center, the second of the common spaces. While the usual tourist guests won’t need the center, if you are visiting for work or an event, like a wedding, then this is wonderfully convenient. Walt Disney World has several convention centers throughout their property, and the one at Coronado Springs continues with the theming of the resort. Especially if you’re planning a Disney wedding, you couldn’t ask for a more gorgeous location (outside the parks).

The final common area is The Dig Site, which includes the resort’s main theme pool, the Lost City of Cibola, and the Villa de Lago, which sits in the middle of Lago Dorado. This space includes dining and recreation as well, conveniently connected to all the resort areas by three bridges.

Guest Accommodations

The remaining four sections of the resort are all for guest rooms – Gran Destino Tower, Cabanas, Ranchos, and Casitas. Both Gran Destino Tower and Casitas have suite options, and Gran Destino has the Club Level for the resort. The remaining sections of Coronado Springs divide their rooms according to the category-view system used by most Disney resorts.

VIDEO: Full Walkthrough of Disney Coronado Springs


Resort History – Digging up Disney Coronado Springs

Initially, the space for Disney Coronado Springs resort wasn’t meant to be set on the sunny beaches of Spain or in the deserts of the Southwest. The original concept? An alpine ski resort.

Yup, we almost had a ski resort in Florida.

With the creation of Blizzard Beach, the idea was to connect the waterpark to a resort area, much like how Disney’s Grand Californian is connected to Disney’s California Adventure (at the Disneyland resort), and the new Star Wars resort will open right into Galaxy’s Edge. However, lead Imagineers made the point that the waterparks need yearly maintenance, including draining of the pools, which would ruin the illusion of the park.

With that in mind, the company switched gears, and Disney Coronado Springs Resort was born. Opening August 1, 1997, Coronado Springs had an upscale feel from the beginning. Even though it was a moderate level resort, deliberate design choices and offered amenities made the resort feel more lavish than the price suggested. Adding the convention center was another way to draw corporate guests, while providing them with economic and beautiful accommodations.

From the beginning, Imagineers wanted the different resort sections to have different themes, therefore different looks. Using different cultural elements of Spain, Mexico, and the American Southwest makes each unique, however there is still a commonality that makes the resort cohesive.

Starting in 2018, Disney Coronado Springs Resort went through a refurbishment, giving the rooms a facelift and reimagining some of the common areas. This refurb also brought the resort Gran Destino Tower, adding over 500 new guest rooms, including Club Level amenities. Even with the incredible upgrades, Coronado Springs remains a moderate resort, making it the perfect way to get the prime Disney vacation experience on a budget.


Disney Coronado Springs – Resort Amenities

Accommodations

Each sections of rooms at Disney Coronado Springs Resort takes on a different vibe. The architecture, décor, and overall feel of each area reflects the culture of the Mexican Riviera, Spanish countryside, or villas of the American Southwest. While some of the room configurations and amenities are the same from section to section, their look is totally different.

Resort Sections

Map of Disney Coronado Springs Resort
Map of Disney Coronado Springs Resort
Cabanas

The Cabanas are the first of the standard level areas (that is to say, not Club Level or Tower rooms). Immediately to the right of Gran Destino Tower, this area has an eclectic vibe that matches emulates the Mexican coastline. Bright colors, pointed tin roofs, and wood accents give this section an inviting and homey feel.

In the rooms, the getaway bungalow feeling continues. Decorative dark woods complement light blue and green décor, both in the bedding and on the walls. The lights and bed runners have a cool Aztec-like pattern as well, rounding out the theme.

Ranchos

Much like the name implies, the Ranchos section is modeled on the desert ranches of Southwest America. Yellow buildings, curved tile roofs, and red stone landscaping complete the picture. This is the other standard section; again, this simply means that it does not have any Club Level rooms, Tower rooms, or suites.

In these rooms, the color palette fits with the theme of the area, focusing more on yellows and oranges. Dark wood accents frame the beds, although the lines are sharper and more angular. The decorations in the rooms incorporate metal artwork – see if you can spot some of your favorite characters in the pieces!

Casitas

Arched columns, bridged walkways, and soaring towers give the Casitas the feeling of a luxury Spanish hotel, fitting with the feeling of many of the rooms in this section. While you can certain still find standard level rooms in this section, the Casitas also features suites, perfect for larger families.

To be clear – these are not Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. Therefore, you won’t have amenities like full kitchens or in-room laundry. What they do offer is more space, which is huge if you’re travelling with a larger party! You’ll also find upgraded features, like a large soaker tub in the bathroom, that add to the luxury feel. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the amazing Disney art, featuring films such as Coco, throughout the suite!

Rooms

In these three sections, there are three types of rooms – standard view, water view, and preferred (both types of view). All three rooms have two queen beds, with everything all one room space. The bathroom area is separated from the sleeping space by a gorgeous barn door, allowing for privacy and quiet. Each room has a desk space with a work light, a large flat screen TV, coffee amenities, and mini-fridge.

What sets the rooms apart is their location within the resort. Like many of the value and moderate resorts, Coronado Springs doesn’t have balconies on their rooms. Instead, the rooms are all off open exterior walkways, which actually fits well with the theming of the resort. However, what this is means is that the view is literal – it’s more about placement.

Standard view rooms look out over the beautiful courtyards, or the parking areas. This means these rooms are slightly less centrally located, and are probably not near the pools or transportation.  Water views look out over the pool or the lake, which puts you a bit closer to the central hub of your section.

Now, if you’re in the Ranchos or the last section of Cabanas, you’re going to be a bit of a walk from some of the main resort areas. That is where the preferred option comes in – you can choose to pay extra to be in a preferred room, which guarantees you a spot in a section, closer to El Centro as well as dining and transportation options. This might be worth it if you’re planning on doing most of your dining at the resort, or are dependent on Disney transportation.

All of these rooms also come in a one king bed option, which is perfect if you’re just travelling as a couple!

Suites

There are three suite options outside Gran Destino Tower – a one-bedroom suite, a one bedroom Casitas suite, and the Casitas Executive Suite. The regular one-bedroom suite has views of the garden or lake, which separates it from the Casitas level of suites. These incredible suites separate the sleeping and living quarters, which is great if you’re travelling with kids. In addition to a large dining space, the comfortable couch pulls out into a queen sleeper, again perfect for your kiddos. The regular one-bedroom also has a king bed in the bedroom, which is an added bonus.

For the Casitas one-bedroom suite, there are a couple of differences. The first is the location in the resort – looking out over the luscious Casitas courtyard. These suites are also in a preferred type category, putting you closer to El Centro and its amenities. Finally, the Casitas one-bedroom has two queen beds in the bedroom with the queen sleeper out in the living room. This is ideal if you’re travelling as an adult group – you can either sleep three people, each in their own bed, or put six adults all in one room and share.

The last suite is the Casitas Executive Suite, which is truly gorgeous, especially after the renovations. This two-bedroom suite sleeps up to eight adults, with a king bed in the first bedroom, two queens in the second, and a queen sleeper in the living room. Plenty of common spaces make it easy to accommodate everyone, as well as two separate bathrooms. This is an ideal space for multiple families or travelling with your in-laws, giving everyone the space and privacy they need.

VIDEO: Tour the Casitas Executive Suite

Gran Destino Tower

The newest part of Disney Coronado Springs Resort is Gran Destino Tower, opened as part of the 2019 renovations. These rooms are all considered to be Tower rooms, with view options worked into this category. Here, the views matter a bit more, as you have a window in the room that looks out over the rest of the resort.

Rooms

Within the Tower category, you have both standard and water views, each offering a king bed option as an alternative to the two queen beds. Standard views look out over the courtyard, landscaping or parking lot, while the water views offer gorgeous visions of the lake and water areas.

Both types of room have a typical hotel layout, with the beds in one space and the bathroom closer to the door. While the bathroom is all in one (rather than the sink outside the bathing area) the gorgeous Spanish motif and glass wall shower more than make up for it. These rooms also offer plenty of storage, so feel free to unpack!

Club Level & Suites

With the construction of Gran Destino Tower, Disney Coronado Springs Resort was able to add more suites and Club Level accommodations. Something typical of deluxe Disney resorts, Club Level amenities put Club guests on their own private floor, as well as providing special services. Our favorite of these services is exclusive access to the Chronos Club, the Club Level lounge. Only for Club guests, this lounge offers an alternate dining location, which is particularly ideal at breakfast time. Even if you have to take your food back to your room, having easy access to a hot meal in the morning is a bonus!

VIDEO: Check out the Chronos Club

Pools

The Lost City of Cibola Pool

Over at the Dig Site is The Lost City of Cibola Pool, the featured pool for Coronado Springs. This large pool area takes on the theme of Mayan ruins, and includes features like a fifty-foot pyramid with waters cascading down its stone steps and a 123-foot-long waterslide containing a spitting Jaguar spirit animal. Smaller explorers can enjoy splashing in the kiddie pool, only a short distance from the main pool. Cibola Pool also has the largest hot tub on Disney property, fitting 22 guests!

You’ll also find a sand volleyball court, explorer’s playground, Sieta’s pool bar, and the Iguana Arcade over in this area, so there is plenty to do for non-swimmers!

Leisure Pools

At such a large resort, you can expect to find smaller leisure pools spread throughout the sections. The Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas each have their own central pool separate from the main area, which is nice if you don’t want to walk that far for your swim. These pools are likely to be quieter as well, perfect if you’re travelling in an adult group.

Health Clubs

Over in the Casitas section you’ll find La Vida Health Club, a full-service spa and fitness center. Find plenty of updated exercise equipment, including ellipticals and other machines. The spa offers a variety of treatments, including massages and facials. Also in this area is the Casa de Belleza salon, featuring salon treatments for guests of all ages! One of our favorites is the Character Couture package, which is like the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique…for grown-ups!

Be sure to book ahead for all services by calling 407-939-7727. If you have to adjust or cancel your appointment, Disney asks that you do so at least six hours before your session. Otherwise, you will be charged for the amount of the service.

Next store in Gran Destino Tower, guests can find another fitness center, just focusing on exercise equipment. This is a benefit of staying in the Tower – you have plenty of your own amenities!

Parking

Each section of the resort has their own parking areas, giving guests convenient access to their vehicles. The roads around the resort form a loop, which connects the different parking zones. There is also separate parking for the convention center, so even guests that are staying elsewhere don’t have to struggle to find a space or walk halfway across the resort to get to a meeting.

Resort guests do have to pay $20 a night to park their cars, or $33 for valet parking. This amount rolls into your statement at the end of your stay. A benefit to the parking fee is that you don’t have to pay to park at the theme parks, so we suggest you take your own car rather than Disney transportation!


Sports and Recreation at Disney Coronado Springs Resort

On your down days, there’s plenty to do at Disney Coronado Springs Resort! Especially if you want to stay active, or finding something else other than the pool, you’ll be happy to hear about all your options.

Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

One of my absolute favorites, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is just a short drive or bus ride away! Right outside Blizzard Beach, this adorable two-course mini golf is perfect for an evening after a big meal or an afternoon with your kids. While the whole complex is Christmas-themed, the two courses reflect different aspects of Santa’s and the elves’ year.

The first course is winter-themed, as the elves help get Santa ready for Christmas Day. There are also other fun winter elements, like skating and playing hockey, throughout the course. The second course is the summer half, with the elves and Santa on vacation. The majority of the course depicts a beach (fitting with the waterpark next door), as the elves camp and relax in their off-season.

Winter decor at Winter Summerland mini golf

Getting to the course is easy, as you can actually take a Disney bus to get there! Just hop on to the bus for Blizzard Beach, and then walk past the entrance to the right. Down the path, you’ll see the magnificent sleigh that marks the entrance to Winter Summerland. Don’t forget to get a picture!

Painting Class

Enjoy a complimentary drink and a delicious snack while create your own masterpiece in a Disney-themed painting class! Every Monday in the Dahlia Lounge atop the Gran Destino Tower, you can register to be part of the art class. Registration begins at 1:45 PM and the class begins at 2:00 PM, and we recommend that you make a reservation in advance. To book this experience, call (407) 939-7529. There is some same-day availability, but not much, so see a Cast Member at the location or at the Front Desk to find out. Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance to avoid paying the entry fee.

The experience is $50 per person, which covers the cost of the materials and the food items. Guest twelve and older are welcome at the experience!

Fitness Classes

Want to stay on top of your fitness routine? Try one of the four fitness classes at Disney Coronado Springs Resort!

The first is a swim aerobics class over at the Casitas pool. Every Tuesday at 7:00am, join your instructor for a high-intensity water workout. The class is limited to twenty guests, so make sure you show up early to get a spot!

The second class uses your own body weight to challenge your strength. Combining strength and cardio exercises, meet with your trainer Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00am to get an awesome workout. This class meets at the Explorer’s Playground over at the Dig Site. Don’t let the playground fool you – this class is anything but child’s play. For that reason, it is only open to guests twelve and older.

For the third class, test your strength and flexibility with Pilates. Meeting on the Gran Destino Plaza on Tuesdays at 7:00am, you can warm up your mind and body before heading off to the parks. Pilates is a bit more demanding than yoga, so be sure you’re up for it before going.

The final class is a choice between sunrise and sunset yoga, at 7:00am and 7:00pm respectively this is a great way to refresh before starting your day, or unwinding after a long day in the parks. Morning classes are Mondays and Fridays, while the evening class is on Wednesday.

All classes are complimentary, so why not try them? Just be sure to accompany anyone under 18 to the classes. All materials – like mats, towels, and equipment – are provided at the locations. You might want to bring your own water!

Campfire Activities

Looking for a fun and low-key way to end your day? Try roasting marshmallows over a campfire before watching a movie under the stars!

Located at the Lost City of Cibola pool, you’ll find Cast Members waiting for you with the materials to make campfire snacks, like s’mores, before you watch a family-friendly Disney film. Gaze at the stars and enjoy being outside in the (hopefully) cool evening air, creating fond memories together.

This is a great way to wind down for the evening before heading back to your room for the night. Especially if you don’t have to get up early for a park the next day, you have to give this a try!

Traditional Sports

Among the other recreation options, there are plenty of opportunities for traditional sports and exercise at Coronado Springs.

Over by Lost City of Cibola pool, you’ll find white-sand volleyball courts, perfect for a family game or for a break from swimming. These courts are open throughout the day and into the evening, so you can enjoy a game at any time! You can borrow a volleyball from the Siesta pool bar, or bring your own.

Need to keep your jogging routine? A 0.9 mile jogging trail encircles Lago Dorado, perfect to get those laps in to start your day. Yes, you’re going to be walking in the park, but if keeping the habits are important to you, then power on!

Runners will also love the Sunday fun runs, starting at 7:00am every week (except runDisney weekends). Traverse 1.7-mile course, and at the end you’ll receive a finisher’s collector pin, along with a delicious Magdalena for breakfast! You do need to register for the fun run in advance, and pay the $15 fee. Call (407) 939-7529 to book in advance, or arrive early on the day to register. Remember, these are popular experiences, so we suggest you make the reservation.


Transportation

The only official Disney transportation option for Coronado Springs is the Disney busses. While that is somewhat inconvenient, the upside is that each section of the resort has its own bus stop. That is nice, as it means you don’t have to walk all the way across the resort just to get to the bus.

Other options include your own transportation and rideshare. Coronado Springs is a great resort for having your own car, as each of the room blocks has plenty of parking close to the rooms. I always say if you have your own car, use it!


Disney Coronado Springs Resort Location

Map of Coronado Springs resort in Orlando

Considered part of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom resort area, Disney Coronado Springs Resort is just a few minutes from the park, nearer to the back side of Walt Disney World property. Coronado Springs is also a short drive from both Blizzard Beach and the Disney Swan & Dolphin, which means you have easy access to the entire Boardwalk area.

When travelling to the resort, you want to get off Florida 400 (I-4) at the Osceola Parkway exit if you’re coming from the North, and Highway 530 (Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway) if driving from the South. From Osceola Parkway you will turn right onto World Drive, and route 530 will turn into World Drive. From there, go left onto West Buena Vista Drive, which will take you straight to the resort on your right. Although, with Gran Destino Tower, you’ll definitely see it before then!

Resort Address

1000 West Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8403


Contact Information

To contact Disney Coronado Springs Resort directly, call (407) 939-1000. If you’re planning an event at the resort, this is a handy number to have! For all booking concerns, Disney asks that you call (407) 939-5277 or use their online services.

Get ready to explore the hidden treasures of Disney Coronado Springs Resort! We know you’re going to love your stay.


Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer

Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.

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