Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort & Convention Center has a distinctly Mexican feel with a Southwestern splash- a perfect getaway with a moderate price.
Do you dream of hitting the white sands of a beautiful Mexican beach resort on your next trip? Or are the Red Rocks of Sedona more your style? If you’re looking for that relaxing yet festive flair mixed with a little Disney magic, Coronado Springs Resort might be your ticket to a perfect vacation.
When guests arrive at Coronado Springs in Walt Disney World, they are greeted with bright buildings, friendly staff members ready to whisk away luggage, and the romantic and subdued feeling of Spanish-colonial Mexico. Upon entering the stucco lobby of El Centro, guests might flip a coin into the La Fuente de las Palomas, or “Fountain of the Doves,” which also serves as a meeting spot and resting place for guests. Atop the fountain lies a pineapple, the traditional symbol of hospitality, welcoming all who enter. El Centro literally means “the center” or “the hub,” and it serves as such for the resort. This is where guests can discover dining options, shop for something special, and check in at registration.
A Brief History Lesson
According to Walt Disney World’s website, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort was named for 16th-century Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who set his sights on finding the Seven Cities of Cibola’s fabled riches in the New World. Although the legendary gold of Cibola escaped Coronado, members of his group became some of the first Europeans to reach the Grand Canyon. The guest areas of Coronado Springs Resort echo his travels, which included Northern Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico, where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado experienced new cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and interesting architecture. The resort’s villages are inspired by the cabanas, haciendas, and pueblos Coronado saw along his journeys, and once guests step onto resort property, there’s no mistaking that spirit of adventure and exploration.
The Villages: Something for Everyone
Coronado Springs boasts three distinctly different resort areas: the Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas, all surrounding the 15-acre Lago Dorado (or “Lake of Gold”) in the center of the resort.
The Casitas, meaning “little houses,” resemble three- and four-story villages in an urban setting with fountains, plazas, and palm trees. The architecture of this guest area is reminiscent of Mexican or Southwestern cities such as Santa Fe. It has a distinctly energetic feel but also offers quiet seating areas and sidewalks that wind through the village for guests who seek a slower-paced vacation. The Casitas is a favored location for guests who enjoy quick access to the convention center, El Centro, the spa, and fitness center.
The Ranchos are rural and rustic with a decidedly Southwest American flare- watch out for the cacti! These two- and three-story villas are themed after the arid ranchlands and desert regions of the Southwest United States. In fact, if guests wander around the Ranchos area, they might even find the small stream flowing over a rocky stream bed, also known as an “arroyo.” Some of the Ranchos are more colorful and remind guests of the Old West saloon era, complete with hitching posts for horses.
Finally, the Cabanas remind guests of a lovely Mexican beachfront resort, complete with hammocks and plenty of sand. Located on the northern shore of Lago Dorado, the Cabanas are two-story adobes evoking the serenity of Mexico’s coastal regions. Guests favor this location for the easy access to El Centro, the many lake-view rooms, and the sandy shoreline. Thirsty for a Cerveza while lying in your hammock? No problem- El Centro has refrigerated options available for guests over 21.
No matter which area guests stay in, they will enjoy recently refurbished rooms which were completed in 2009. Although guarantees are not available, guests who book a stay at Coronado Springs Resort may make village requests in their reservation notes.
Delicious Dining in a Variety of Settings
For many travelers, one of the best parts of being on vacation is enjoying new and exciting dining experiences. Coronado Springs Resort certainly delivers that and more. With seven different dining options in one resort, guests can find the perfect spot to indulge.
The Maya Grill
Latin-American cuisine gets fired up in an open wood-burning grill surrounded by Mayan decor in this fine dining table service restaurant. Sun, Fire, and Water Temples evoke the feeling of ancestral Mexico while diners enjoy entrees such as Latin-inspired steak, seafood, and chicken. Looking to start the day right? Maya Grill offers breakfast with choices such as steak with huevos rancheros.
The Pepper Market
The Pepper Market is one of the most unique dining experiences on Disney property. Themed like an open-air market, guests can choose their meals from a variety of themed stations. The choices are endless: a Mexican station, a carving station with grilled-to-order meats, a pizza station, a pasta station, and a sandwich station. But don’t forget dessert! The bakery station includes bread, sweet rolls, cakes, cookies, flan, and other delectable delights made on the premises.
One of the newer fads in international cuisine is the idea of tapas, or small plates meant to be shared. Rix Lounge is an upscale dining experience featuring tapas and specialty drinks along with living music. After 9 p.m., guests must be 21 or older to enter.
Other dining choices include room service, quick service counters, and lake/poolside dining and drinks.
Swimming, Recreation, and More
One thing guests of Coronado Springs should not miss out on is the magnificent archeology-themed pool area known as “The Dig Site.” As guests put up their feet or take a swim, water cascades down the stone steps of a 46-foot tall Mayan pyramid and into the pool. Another must-do at the Dig Site? The slippery twists and turns of the Jaguar Slide!
If guests are looking for more resort recreation, they can visit La Marina to book things such as bass fishing excursions, boat rentals, or bike rentals. For the gamer in the family, Iguana Arcade offers a decent selection of video games, penny pressing, and pinball.
The Benefits of Staying On-Site
Coronado Springs is priced in the Moderate category and is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area. A stay at Coronado Springs entitles the guests to full Disney Resort Guest privileges, including free Disney transportation and the use of Extra Magic Hours. In addition, Coronado Springs Resort is the only resort in the moderate category to offer a spa, salon, and fitness center. If you’re ready for excitement, adventure, romance, and relaxation, resort reservations can be made online or through your Travel Agent.