Disappointment, Disney Style...Coronado Springs Resort
Written: May 21, 2003 (Updated Mar 19, 2007)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:At least it was in Orlando!
Cons:Loooooong walks to room, inferior to comparably priced Disney hotels, tacky rooms
The Bottom Line: While the rating seems harsh, I've come to expect better of Disney! Try another moderately priced resort instead.
As a family which has traveled to Walt Disney world an embarrassing number of times in the past decade, we have obviously had very enjoyable trips to prompt our annual or semi-annual returns all the way from Indiana. We have stayed at a variety of the 'moderately priced' properties with very happy results-Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans, and Dixie Landings. As a result, we had complete confidence in Disney hospitality when we booked our most recent stay at the Coronado Springs Resort. Unfortunately, we found that not all 'moderately priced' resorts are created equally. Although our vacation was still pleasant (we were at Disney World, after all!) our family will not be returning to this resort.
First, the rooms themselves are an important aspect of any week long vacation. To be fair, any comparable resort on Disney property is going to have small rooms. Be prepared for this! We found the furnishings and decor to be a bit overpowering (think tacky) with overly bright hues. Yes there is an Aztec theme going on here, but the color scheme didn't provide a relaxing, homey, atmosphere. There are smoking and nonsmoking rooms, stress your preference upon arrival. In fact, despite our emphasis on a nonsmoking preference we were initially placed in a room smelling distinctly of smoke-and containing an ash tray. After a call to the front desk, the situation was remedied and we were moved to a nonsmoking room.
However, this move unfortunately didn't take us any closer to the main building!!! The Coronado property is huge and sprawling, and while you can put in a request for a certain building, there are no real guarantees. (You can also select a waterfront view, but keep in mind we aren't talking about a glorious ocean view here-its a lake.) In the farthest building from the main area, (unless we swam across the lake) we found ourself faced with a 15 minute walk to eat, visit the front desk, or shop in the gift store. This may seem like a healthy way to exercise, but after our fourth long day at the theme park it was more of an inconvenience than anything. Like all of Disney's more sprawling properties, there are multiple bus stops at this location. However, keep in mind that during certain early mornings the buses may fill up after the first bus stop or two, so it may be worth your time to walk to the main bus stop just in case, despite the inconvenience.
The hotel's public facilities are certainly nice, the public pool features a giant 'Mayan' pyramid which makes for some nice photo opportunities. There are playgrounds for children of different ages. While the pool area is monitored by a lifeguard, I would be hesitant to recommend leaving young children unattended for long either at the pool or the surrounding play area. The resort is simply too big, and the chances of a child getting turned around and lost are too high.
The food court area-the 'Pepper Market', has a fun marketplace feel, and there are lots of options. Our favorite meal was the great freshly tossed ceasar salads, with or without chicken. The desserts, which include giant Mickey cookies and rice krispy treats with chocolate, are delicious and reasonably priced-at least compared to everything else. We tried the hotel's full service restaurant, but found the food overpriced and the selection a bit to spicy for our picky eaters. I would recommend trying to eat cheaply while at the hotel. Shop for groceries your first day and prepare breakfast in your room, and save your money for a few really nice meals in the park or at the more exclusive resorts. If you want to eat cheaply in the food court, children's meals are a relatively good deal and can often feed an adult too, and most entrees are big enough to be shared. For a night out, we have had very good experiences at Cafe de San Angel in Epcot's Mexico pavilion, the full-service restaurant at Port Orleans, and the 50's Prime Time Cafe at MGM studios.
The resort also features a smallish health club with the basics-cybex, cardio, massage services, etc. This particular Disney property specializes in conventions and meetings, which is interesting, but to our family the huge conference facilities were simply wasted space and resulted in some crowded rushes toward the dining room/restaurant when a meeting ended. There are bike and watercraft rentals, and while this type of stuff can get expensive, I do recommend an hour or so with the paddle boat if you have kids-this can be an entertaining time and a way to see some nice views of the resort.
The bottom line...how much will it cost me???
Rates here vary tremendously depending on the season and room type, but here is the info from 2003.
My suggestion? This hotel has some nice aesthetic effects in the public areas, and the Mayan theme is fun. However, all the Disney properties are beautiful and there are better options. Our family just didn't feel as at home here, and the walk was a major inconvenience. If this is the price range you are looking for, any of the other moderates are a better pick.
*Check out my positive 2005 experience at the Caribbean Beach Resort, a hotel that goes for the same price.
*Planning a trip to WDW? These other reviews might be helpful...
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