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Family travel planning: Coronado Springs Resort

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Family travel planning: Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort main pool features a water slide and a Mayan pyramid replica

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort main pool features a water slide and a Mayan pyramid replica

If you are planning a family trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando and looking at all of the resort options, you may have seen Coronado Springs Resort in the list of Disney’s Moderate Resorts. My family stayed here recently, so I’m sharing our visit. While we were there, the resort had me singing De Colores in my head. (OK, it’s the only Spanish song whose words I know.)

Coronado Springs is a nice resort to consider for your Disney World trip even though it doesn’t have special themed rooms like the other two Moderate resorts. The Caribbean Beach Resort’s pirate-themed rooms and the Royal Guest Rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter add some magic for little pirates and princesses. The Coronado doesn’t have themed rooms, although it does have a variety of suites. And because it has a convention center, there can be groups of people filling the resort. But — score! — Coronado Springs can sometimes be the most modestly priced of the Moderate Resorts. For a little more than what you would pay for the resorts in the Value category, you can stay at a Moderate resort. And that was the case when I reserved the room for my family. (Coronado Springs isn’t always the lowest-priced Moderate resort, it turns out.)

When we arrived, my 7-year-old said, “Why can’t our house look like this?”

The Coronado Springs lobby features a fountain front and center

The Coronado Springs lobby features a fountain front and center

Check-in was fast. Yes, I know you can check in online, but I wanted to pay for a portion of our stay with Disney Rewards Credit Card reward dollars, and I didn’t see how to do that online.

Murals of Latin life decorate the walls of the resort check-in area at Coronado Springs

Murals of Latin life decorate the walls of the resort check-in area at Coronado Springs

The boys wanted to look around, naturally, and found these guys:

Coronado Springs Resort topiaries of José, Panchito and Donald Duck, the Three Caballeros

Coronado Springs Resort topiaries of José, Panchito and Donald Duck, the Three Caballeros

If you’ve been on the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, you’ve seen the Three Caballeros (Donald Duck, Panchito and José Carioca) or maybe even taken a picture with the live characters.

The Coronado Springs Resort gift shop is even named after Panchito.

Find Disney gifts and goodies at Panchito's near the Coronado Springs lobby

Find Disney gifts and goodies at Panchito's near the Coronado Springs lobby

(Little-known fact: The character José is actually Brazilian, not Mexican.)

Coronado Springs is divided into three sections: Ranchos, Cabanas and Casitas.

Coronado Springs Resort building in the Ranchos section

Coronado Springs Resort building in the Ranchos section

You almost feel you are taking a vacation on the Mexican Riviera, or on a ranch.

Coronado Springs Resort, or Mexican Riviera?

Coronado Springs Resort, or Mexican Riviera?

Our room had some hidden and not-so-hidden Mickeys.

Coronado Springs Resort carries the Mayan/Latin theme throughout the guest room

Coronado Springs Resort carries the Mayan/Latin theme throughout the guest room

I liked that there were wooden doors that slid across the bathroom area. It helped block the light from my sleeping boys while I got ready for bed. It was also perfect to have a mini fridge. We think of it as a necessity when we travel!

After settling in, who doesn’t want to check out the pool? I took a walk to find it. On the way, the landscaping was too pretty to pass by.

The Coronado Springs Resort buildings are situated around a lake

The Coronado Springs Resort buildings are situated around a lake, Lago Dorado

The Coronado Springs Resort, like other Disney resorts, has beautiful landscaping

The Coronado Springs Resort, like other Disney resorts, has beautiful landscaping

Fountains are scattered throughout the Coronado Springs Resort

Fountains are scattered throughout the Coronado Springs Resort

The main pool area is where the fun is.

The main pool at Coronado Springs is called the Dig Site, where you'll find a water slide, pool bar, arcade, beach volleyball court, playground and the largest hot tub at Walt Disney World -- big enough for 22

The main pool at Coronado Springs is called the Dig Site, where you'll find a water slide, pool bar, arcade, beach volleyball court, playground and the largest hot tub at Walt Disney World -- big enough for 22

There are also three “quiet” pools. I passed one of these pools, and there was one person sitting on a lounge chair. That’s quiet!

My family had a dinner reservation for the Coronado Springs table-service restaurant, Maya Grill, one evening.

Coronado Springs Resort's table-service restaurant is Maya Grill

Coronado Springs Resort's table-service restaurant is Maya Grill

There was a musician performing standard and popular songs in a flamenco style. I loved it!

With my family’s food allergies and intolerances, eating while we travel can be tricky. It often takes longer for us to get our food, too, because food is specially made.

My son passed the time waiting for our meal by doing the activities in the kids' menu that Disney restaurants usually provide

My son passed the time waiting for our meal by doing the activities in the kids' menu that Disney restaurants usually provide

I had noted the foods we avoid when I made the dinner reservation, and we talked with the server about it too. Everyone got a delicious meal in the end. I had a vegetable enchilada made with gluten-free tortillas.

Gluten-free tortillas make this vegetable enchilada dinner at Maya Grill in Coronado Springs Resort

Gluten-free tortillas make this vegetable enchilada dinner at Maya Grill in Coronado Springs Resort

However, I was concerned the corn soufflé side dish might have been made with wheat flour, so after one bite I stopped eating it. I didn’t get a chance to ask our server about it. There was still more than enough for me to eat.

Inside the Maya Grill restaurant at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Inside the Maya Grill restaurant at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

My family also ate at the quick-service Pepper Market at Coronado Springs. It is set up like a mini food court with different food options.

The downsides to our stay at Coronado Springs were having housekeeping knock on our door at 8 am the day we checked out even though checkout time is 11 am, and trying to find our room on our own. It turns out we could have had a service the resort provides to take a limo golf cart right to our door with us and our luggage, but when we checked in, no one told us about this service. We just had to wander around our building until we found the right room. (There can be what looks like a hundred rooms in each large building.) Then after finding our room, we had to carry our things from the parking lot, which can be pretty far from your building. It took three trips. We did the same thing in reverse when we checked out.

Like all the other Disney resorts, though, Coronado Springs is a beautiful place to stay and can sometimes be a good lower-priced option for a Walt Disney World vacation.

  1. It looks like a nice place to stay!

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