Saturday, June 25, 2016

Coronado Springs Resort Review

After three days at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village, we transferred to Coronado Springs Resort. Disney makes it pretty easy to transfer resorts.  You just pack up all your stuff and take it to bell services (or call them to pick it up) and then they move it to your resort for you!  I would have loved to stay longer at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it was cheaper to switch to Coronado.  I think our Coronado room ended up being $178 a night after all taxes and fees.  Coronado Springs is a moderate resort at Disney, so it is a little nicer than the value resorts but not quite as luxurious as the deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge is a deluxe resort).

Here are some pictures of the entrance to Coronado Springs.  It's theming is based on Spanish Colonial Mexico and the American Southwest.  It is a huge resort and also has a conference center and a spa and a large man made lake.

The lobby

Outside El Centro, the main hub with the lobby, gift shop and restaurants

There are over 1900 rooms at Coronado Springs divided into three sections.  There is the Ranchos section, which is the most secluded from the rest of this resort.  We didn't ever go there, so I have no picutres.

This is the Casitas section.

And this is where we stayed, in the Cabanas section.  We loved our location!  We were in Cabanas 8B.  It was about 1 minute to walk to the bus stop, 3 minutes to the pool and about 5-7 minutes to El Centro. 

The Cabanas section has little beach areas with hammocks around the lake.  This was the closest we got to a beach on our trip!

Our room

It was a nice room, but not our favorite.  If we hadn't just transferred from Animal Kingdom Lodge, I probably would have loved it more.  But I felt like this room was starting to show its age, and everything just looked and felt a little worn down.  Our air conditioner also was having some issues and made some really loud sounds, even when it wasn't running.  We called to have them look at it, but I don't think anyone ever did.  

The view from our room.  Not super exciting.  That's the laundry building.  You can pay to have a water view, but I don't really think that is worth the money. 
One good thing about this view:  we had a decent view of the Hollywood Studios fireworks, right above the laundry building!

We tried out the food court, Pepper Market, one time.  It was not a good experience.  The service was terrible, and the food wasn't anything great.  I don't understand the parrot/woman thing.  It's so ugly!  The Port Orleans French Quarter has some big ugly figures like that too.  Disney pays so much attention to theming and then sticks these big ugly things in the middle of their food courts.  I'm sure there is some cultural significance, but visually, it is not appealing.
Okay, I saved the best for last:  The Dig Site, which is the pool at Coronado Springs.  It is huge and a lot of fun!

When we got to the pool, there was no water flowing down that big pyramid.  However, shortly after we arrived, they picked a kid out of the pool and held a little ceremony where everyone chanted "water, water" to get the water to come down the pyramid.  It also turned on the statue, which squirts water out of its mouth. (That is Audrey in the black swimsuit sitting on the pyramid)

The waterslide here was even bigger than at Kidani Village.  It was Audrey's favorite waterslide on our trip!  It's hard to get a picture of it, but the slide starts at the top of the pyramid, and then winds down through the trees into the pool.  About halfway down, this jaguar dumps water on your head.

There's Audrey going down the slide!  
At all the pools, Isla liked to do these "tricks" on the poles by the stairs.  Such talent! ;)

Okay, I think that is all the pictures!  It's a big resort, so it needed a big review!  Overall, this wasn't our favorite resort at Disney.  Probably one of the biggest critiques I have of this resort is the bus stops.  We were totally spoiled at Kidani, as we never had to stop anywhere else on our way to the parks, and the buses were rarely full.  Coronado Springs has 4 bus stops, and makes stops at each one going to and from the parks.  Sometimes a bus would get to the bus stop and be nearly full before they even stopped.  We had to stand up frequently to and from Coronado.  I don't think we ever had to stand up when staying at Kidani.  We still always made it to and from the parks, but the experience was less enjoyable.

If I were ranking the Disney resorts where we have stayed, they would go in this order:
1.  Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village (deluxe)
2.  Port Orleans French Quarter (moderate)
3.  Coronado Springs Resort (moderate)
4.  Art of Animation (value)
5.  Pop Century (value)

After staying at a few moderates and deluxes, it is going to be hard to ever go back to a value resort.  The values are decent places.  They are a good value, and the theming is big and fun, especially for kids.  But the values are also crazy and hectic and crowded.  I feel like staying at a value resort is like being in the middle of a theme park.  After spending a day at theme parks, I like to be able to come home to a resort that is peaceful and quiet.  And it just so happens that the order of favorites above is also the order from most peaceful to least peaceful!

Up Next:  Our day off, with a trip to Disney Springs


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