I’ve done a few restaurant reviews (Liberty Tree Tavern, Le Cellier Steakhouse) because dining is pretty much one of my favorite parts of a Disney stay. It may surprise people, but the resort itself is somewhat less important to me since typically it’s only a place to sleep or nap in between time at the parks. I am notoriously bad at not even scheduling a “pool day”. But, I can’t lie, I’m always mesmerized by the detail of each resort I’ve stayed at and how much fun it is to explore and so today I’d like to explore the Coronado Springs Resort.

Note: if you’re looking for an overview of all the Disney reviews I’ve done (which can help provide context for scoring) give my review index a quick glimpse.

Theme – 3.5 out of 5 points

The general theme of the Coronado Springs is Spanish-Colonial Mexico. Basically it’s themed (and named) after Don Francisco de Coronado. The grounds are littered with hammocks and palm trees, and lots of 2-3 story buildings that are painted in bright yellows and pinks. It’s also got a gorgeous lake right in the middle which is great for views but can make walks around the resort a bit lengthy. Overall, I enjoy the theming though find it may be a bit less immersive than other resorts and isn’t the most exciting theme in the world, either.

Ambiance – 4.25 out of 5 points

Part of the reason the theme may feel a bit lighter than other resorts could be that there is a convention center attached to the Coronado Springs. This means it is geared a bit more towards adults who are traveling without young kids as opposed to families with lots of young kids. So, while the theme may be a bit less immersive, I personally loved the ambiance with just my girlfriend and I. If you’re traveling as a couple without kids this resort should be seriously considered.

Lobby & Check-in – 4.25 out of 5 points

coronado-springs-resort-gallery02One part where I thought the theme was actually quite strong was the lobby. I thought the lobby area (and, in general, the inside part of the hotel entrance and the adjoining gift shop) was done very well. With the exception of the pool, I thought the lobby was the best themed part of the hotel.

When we arrived there was not a long line for check-in so that didn’t take too long. The check-in process itself is probably a 15-20 minute experience in and of itself, but there is a lot to go through and verify, activate Magic Bands, link credit card, ask a few questions, etc. Either way, the gal who checked us in was very friendly and it went very smoothly.

Rooms – 3.5 out of 5 points

I found the hotel rooms to be a good size so I had no complaints here. But, to be fair, I think many of the rooms are basically the same size and layout across all the resorts. So, this may not be a big deal. I will say the theming inside the room itself was a little light, so if you’re looking for an intricately decorated room, there are probably better resorts out there.

Food Options – 4.5 out of 5 points

Pepper Market
Pepper Market

The food options here are actually pretty robust. You’ve got a gift shop with a few random treats, then you’ve got a kind of bakery area that sells coffee and tea and baked goods and more small snacks. You’ve also got their food court, the Pepper Market, which has quite a few options to pick from. There are a few little bars and cantinas scattered along the lake outside. And, of course, a table service restaurant named Maya. We leveraged the Pepper Market for breakfast pretty much every day of our stay and were pretty impressed with the options, the quality, and the cost. We also dined at Maya our final night and thought the food and service was very high quality. Our waitress, who was new on the job, was also very sweet. All in all, Coronado Springs has a nice robust variety of dining options on-site which I liked.

Transportation – 2 out of 5 points

This is where Coronado Springs Resort suffers a little bit. First, it’s a huge resort with five total bus stops. That means that sometimes you’re waiting a while because by the time a bus gets to your stop it’s already full. This also means that sometimes you’ve got to wait quite a while for 3-4 sets of other guests to depart at their stop before you get to yours.

The other issue with this resort is that it is closest to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. And, while I enjoy these parks, they’re usually a one day part of my trip. Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, on the other hand, we will visit multiple times and they happen to be farthest away from this resort. That means that not only are you waiting at the stops for a while, but you’re also taking a while to get to and from the parks that you visit most.

This is also not a resort that is connected to the monorail or boat system. Thankfully, the Disney bus system does help absorb some of these issues by being reliable and frequent but I can see how the extra waiting may annoy people (like me).

Pool & Grounds – 5 out of 5 points

coronado-springs-resort-gallery05This resort actually has a few pools – one basic boring pool, and one very awesomely themed pool complete with a water slide, massive hot tub, and pool-side bar. Though we only spent a few hours here during our trip, the pool had an amazing theme and the water slide was a blast. If the pool area is a big part of your Disney stay, this would be a solid reason to consider Coronado Springs Resort.

Extra Credit – 3 out of 5 points

These things don’t deserve their own paragraph (usually) but could still be point-worthy tidbits. Each item is worth -1 to 1 points, which means places can actually lose points here!

  • Price: When you consider what you get and that this is a moderate resort with a lot of nice features I think it’s very reasonably priced, and one of the better bargains. (+ 1 point)
  • Resort staff: You know, to be honest, outside of check-in and restaurants, we didn’t interact with them much. (+ 0 points)
  • On-site entertainment: Definitely a lot to do on site at the resort – be it the nightly activities, the volleyball courts, the fitness center, the jogging trail, the playground, or the arcade… plenty of stuff to do here when not at the parks. (+ 1 point)
  • Extra mile: This is reserved for something that took place where the resort (or staff) truly went beyond the call of duty. Nothing to report on this particular trip. (+ 0 points)
  • Would return on future visit: Technically, the girlfriend and I try to stay at new resorts each visit. But, in theory, yes, we would return to this resort. (+1 point)

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a good value for your money, a great pool, or a resort with more adults than kids, then this is definitely a resort for you to consider. If you’re looking for a resort with more kids and families, or are looking to be really close to the action of Magic Kingdom, then you may want to consider a different resort.

Coronado Spring’s Resort Total Score:
30 out of 40 points

Have you stayed at Coronado Springs? If so, we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments, too! And, if you’re craving more Disney insight be sure to check out these other fun articles:

Thanks for reading!!
— Disney Dork Tom (follow me on Twitter and Facebook, too, for non-stop daily Disney action!)