Coronado Springs – WDW Orlando, Florida

from website

Destination: Orlando, FL (Disney World)
Date: November 2015
Hotel: Coronado Springs
Brand: n/a
Elite Status: n/a
# of travelers: 2
nights: 1

Hotel: Making the Decision & Total Cost

In August of 2015, I had just returned from a family reunion in Boston and my car was giving me trouble – making me unreliable for work. I had pushed my Sebring as far as it would go (for me) and we ended up buying me a Mazda after I was late to work for the third time in a month. Needless to say, my original plans for spending a long weekend in Florida for the wedding of a friend weren't looking too appealing. Going to Disney World is always appealing, but asking for the time off? That's another story… So I decided to change things up. I decided to fly down Thursday night and then stay in Florida through Monday morning that way I would only miss one day of work. This would work with the Port Orleans hotel stay I had booked in January and keep me looking reliable for the family I was babysitting for. I considered just adding a day on at the Port Orleans, but my hesitant side kept waiting to book thinking maybe I could find a better price and cancel the Port Orleans reservation… But no, that never happened. I was worried something in the system would get screwed up and then I would end up having to pay for the nights at Port Orleans plus whatever other hotel I booked at. I guess that's the downside of going through a third party site (Expedia) rather than booking with the hotel directly? Anyway, Port Orleans was full for Sunday night by the time that I went to book it, so I had to find another hotel… Coronado Springs.

Honestly, I was so busy trying to plan a European vacation and get over my fears that I can't remember researching Coronado Springs. All I remember is that I didn't want to stay at anything too "kiddie". All-Star Resort was out and so was Art of Animation. A number of Disney hotel rooms were upwards of $300 a night, a number I wasn't exactly thrilled to be paying. Then I found Coronado Springs. At around $200 a night, I agreed to get the Disney Visa to save an additional $100 on the hotel stay after spending $500 on the card. Easy peasy when the cost of the room is almost half of the total spend needed! (Of course they fail to mention the card costs $50, so really you are only $50 toward the hotel cost, but still… Fifty is fifty that I will happily take. Plus, I got a credit card with the Disney castle on it!)

image from TripAdvisor

Getting There, Checking In, Having Luggage Held

After booking Coronado Springs, I was basically in constant contact with Disney all the way up until our trip. I had to make sure we had rides to and from the airport with both hotels and figure out how to connect both hotels to my account, etc… It was kind of crazy. Basically, if you book a Disney hotel through a third party website, as soon as you get an account set up on the Disney site (which you should do!), call Disney to get your hotel reservation added to your account. They should be able to look you up with your name and reservation number. (The reservation number for Disney may be different than what you are seeing. Be sure to write down the number while you have them on the phone so that if you run into trouble adding the stay to your account, you have easy access to it without calling them again.)

Anyway, my talks with Disney representatives indicated that if we left our luggage packed and ready to go in our hotel room at Port Orleans Riverside, it would be moved, while we were enjoying our time at Disney World, to our hotel room at Coronado Springs.

Because Justin and I had rented a car and decided to visit with Justin's sister (who was living near Orlando at the time), Justin and I opted to move our luggage ourselves to Coronado Springs. We packed up and checked out from Port Orleans Riverside shortly before 7AM, ate breakfast with my delightful sister-in-law, then took our luggage to Coronado Springs for check-in at around 9AM. Of course, our room wasn't ready, so they held our luggage while we went to party it up at Disney World. Unfortunately, though, everything at Coronado Springs took forever – checking in and then the line to have our luggage held. Since I had wanted to arrive at Magic Kingdom at 9AM, every time we had to wait in line (and even when breakfast took longer than expected!) was killing me. I was feeling very antsy and ready to get going since I knew we had very little time to get 2 parks in for the day!

Finally, everything was handled at Coronado Springs. Justin and I hopped into our rental car and made our way to the parks. I assumed this was going to be a short day… (It wasn't.)

image from TripAdvisor

The Lobby, Checking In (a second time), and Maintenance

When we checked in earlier in the day, we were told that our luggage would be taken from storage to our room while we played at the parks all day. We would get a notification on our phone as to which room to go to and we'd be able to use our magic band to enter and go straight to bed! Nice, right? Only that didn't happen…

As the day went by, Justin and I hopped from park to park spending time at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios was staying open late that night which meant I got to ride, for my first time ever(!!!) on the Aerosmith Roller Coaster (Best ride ever!) and Justin got to do Tower of Terror (worst ride ever imho). It was fun despite the impending rain … until we returned to our hotel at midnight.

Let me first begin by saying that the lobby for this hotel is lovely. Ever seen the 1944 cartoon The Three Caballeros?

Think that.

Spanish but in a very cartoon beyond reality kind of way. Y'know … typical Disney style. (Do you know? Take my word for it, if you don't. Disney is very extravagant and takes things pretty far in an attempt to get you to believe in the impossible.) There is a fountain in the front entrance, everyone is dressed in old style Spanish costumes, and the set up is just … fun (but easy to clean). It's not at all like a comforting Hilton with plush couches and beautiful chandeliers.

So, Justin and I were seeing the tile and bright colors in the lobby when we went to the front desk to figure out what room we were in and why we hadn't been notified. After being on your feet all day, at midnight with a 9AM flight, all you really want to do is go to sleep. The staff at the front desk apologized for not having sent us a message, then gave us a room. She said we could grab our luggage from the storage facility and take it ourselves or we could have it delivered. I opted to have it delivered.

That's when we left the lobby and walked toward our room, five buildings away. It was only about a ten-minute walk, but it felt like a few miles considering how tired we were. Justin lifted his MagicBand to the door and … nothing. The door wouldn't unlock. Our phone batteries were close to death, but even when I attempted to call the front desk, I was informed that "office hours were closed". We had to walk the 10 minutes back. The front desk then confirmed our MagicBands were working and didn't believe Justin when he said we weren't receiving any feedback at all from the door scanner. I can't remember if we walked back and forth a second time, but I do remember that we finally ended up waiting on the luggage guy to go with us. He drove us to our room on his golf cart and tried to use our MagicBands to get in. Nothing happened. (Again.) Then he tried his key. Nothing. He called maintenance. At this point, we were nearing 1AM. The manager came and tried her key. (If the scanner doesn't work for one key, what makes you think it will work with another?) Then she used her real key. (FINALLY!) We got into the room. We thanked her, told her we didn't need the door fixed tonight, and wished her a good night. It was time for bed…

But… just as Justin got in the shower I heard a knock on the door. Maintenance wanted to fix the door. Arg. It was like … "you really want to fix the door while someone is in the shower? Seriously?" But I let him in; he fixed it quickly and was gone. Then it was seriously time for bed. No ifs, ands, or buts.

image from TripAdvisor

The Room, View, & Amenities

Interior decorations were very simple at the Coronado Springs (very similar to Port Orleans Riverside). The one nice bit was that, rather than a curtain like at Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs had a sliding wood wall between the beds and sink area, once again making it ideal for families with small children to get ready without waking them. Of course, you also have the Mickey-headed shampoo and soaps available to use.

I must say the view we received wasn't that great. There are definitely rooms with beautiful views on the property though. The hotel buildings go around a manmade lake and if you get just the right hotel room it's possible to see the sun rise over the lake in the morning (and worth the view if you can get yourself up in time to see it!). All we really saw from our room was a very minimal garden and other hotel buildings. It didn't matter for us though since we were going to bed late and getting up before the sun rose.

image from TripAdvisor


Justin and I didn't get to take advantage of the big restaurant on the resort (A delicious Spanish breakfast for the win? Except not. Maybe next time?), but we did get to enjoy some fantastic food from a small bakery in the lobby. Two croissants, some yogurt, a cup of coffee, and a lot of bad news on the television made our breakfast! (Florida was reporting a lot of shootings that morning. It was seriously the most depressing news I have ever seen. Does anything good ever happen in Florida?) The food was yummy though and for a decent price.

We had to be ready to go three hours before our flight since it takes the Disney bus system an hour to get to the airport. So … at early o'clock in the morning after viewing the sunrise over the lake and getting a delicious breakfast in the lobby, we checked out and boarded our bus. And waited and waited and waited… Transportation on Disney property is seriously slow. Eventually, we got to the airport though… And just like that, my first Disney trip in over 15 years was over! It was sad. :)

image from TripAdvisor

Overall Review
★★★ (average)

If you are going to Disney World, Coronado Springs is not a bad place to stay. Yes, it could be better and my experience there was pretty awful. There were no bugs though and we eventually got into our room to sleep. I didn't see any dirt on anything and while we did have to walk a ways to get to our room, that's going to be true of any Disney resort you stay at (especially during the summer!). The food at this resort was cheaper and better tasting than the food at Port Orleans Riverside. The view was about the same. (There you had a view of the romantic river; here you have a view of a lake.) The only complaint I really have (which knocked my review down to 2 stars) is that the staff did absolutely nothing despite everything that went wrong during this stay for us. An apology is fine, but don't you think they should have come with us when the key wasn't working the first time just to make sure we could get in? Or given us a special number to call in case we continued having problems? What about a discount or a free coffee? Anything really! $5 value or $100 value, I don't care. It would just have been nice if, rather than blaming us for their problem, they had recognized that there was a problem and tried to be more helpful than they were.

Will I go to Coronado Springs again? … That's a hard question. I'd love to review them again and try their food for real. I'd love to get a room with a view of the lake. But the problems we experienced and the way they dealt with those problems? That doesn't have me too excited about returning… Maybe I'll try the Animal Kingdom Lodge first; I hear you can get some awesome views of animals there! Or, like I said in my review of Port Orleans, I could try The Grand Floridian or Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

Your Turn

Given what I have shared in my review, would you be willing to try the Coronado Springs resort? Should I hold the problems I experienced against the hotel or give them another chance sometime in the future? What do you think?

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