On the heels of my enlightening visit to Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, the hotel snob in me began to soften a bit. My first stay at a Disney "moderate" resort had been a successful one, and I was inspired to check out a few of the other hotels that until this point I'd previously shunned. We found ourselves celebrating St. Patrick's Day at EPCOT, and decided it was best to stay overnight, since the Guinness consumed would be measured in gallons, not pints.
So for the second time in less than a month, I found myself checking into uncharted territory at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.
|The Ranchos section... |
The Coronado Springs resort conveniently lies near three of the four Disney theme parks, and features the largest convention center at Walt Disney World. While I usually appreciate hotels designed for business travelers instead of families, one thing about the resort has always bugged me...its name.
When I hear the word "Coronado," I picture the iconic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, who's design Disney famously ripped off with the Grand Floridian Resort. The original Coronado is an airy beachfront resort, which is the polar opposite of the arid, southwestern theme of Disney's version. I realize the fact that this bothers me is a bit neurotic, and as usual, I digress...
While the resort may cater to a great deal of conventionears - Disney's word, not mine - Coronado Springs still has plenty of appeal to families as well. The resort's main pool, known as The Dig Site, is one of the best at Walt Disney World, although we opted to spend the afternoon lounging by one of the "quiet pools" instead.
|The Dig Site|
There are two great food options at Coronado Springs. The Pepper Market serves up nearly every kind of food imaginable, and is sure to please even the pickiest of little appetites. Those looking for a more upscale option have the Maya Grill, which serves up contemporary Latino cuisine. While we didn't experience either option personally, another member of our party raved about the spread at Pepper Market.
|The Convention Center|
One unique feature to Coronado Springs is the Rix Lounge, a semi-nightclub experience no doubt designed to entertain bored conventionears. I have always heard great things about Rix, so we decided to pop in after our St. Patrick's Day festivities at EPCOT. To our disappointment, there was not a sole in the place, which made the DJ's refusal to play a couple requests for the girls in our group all the more puzzling. Then again, I'm not sure why this was a surprise...it's a nightclub at Disney.
The guestrooms at Coronado Springs are spread over the enormous grounds of the resort, and are divided into three sections...Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas. We found ourselves in the Casitas section, which was on the opposite end of the resort to the lobby building, but was still a short walk from the Dig Site and quiet pool.
Our room featured two queen beds, a smartly appointed bath, and a workable desk area, equipped with plenty of outlets for the modern traveler's electronic devices. As one might expect given the number of business travelers that frequent Coronado, the room is essentially devoid of all references to a mouse, pirates, or princesses. Perfect for me, but maybe not so much for kids there to visit the same.
While it may not have been an enlightening experience like our visit to Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs proved yet again that I have misjudged Disney's moderate resorts all along. My only beef with Coronado is its overall lack of character. Like many of the more recently built hotels at Disney, the theme Coronado Springs conveys is based solely on a look, and imparts little feeling onto the guest beyond what is seen with the eyes. For you Disney fans, a short stroll through the lobby of the Polynesian or Wilderness Lodge will demonstrate the contrast.
My weird hotel observations aside, Coronado Springs is a great home base for families exploring the parks, and is more than functional for those attending a convention. Next week, my tour of Disney's moderate hotels continues with a visit to the Caribbean Beach Resort. I hear they have rooms themed on Pirates of the Caribbean.
I can hardly contain my excitement....
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~