Hotel: Coronado Springs Resort
Location: Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Rating: 3.75 stars (out of 5)
The Good: Extremely friendly staff who went out of their way to make sure we were happy. Stay in Cabanas 8A -- close to everything yet quiet.
The "Meh": Bed linen had large stain on it (but Housekeeping took care of it immediately and Front Desk comped us a night).
In a Nutshell: Coronado Springs Resort caters well to the business traveler, and I was able to have some fun, too!
I attended a conference that was being held at the Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center. I was able to mix business with pleasure, so this review covers both. My mother, who needed a break from the harsh Northeast winter, joined me as well.
We flew in to Orlando International Airport and rented a car from Payless rentals (as a side note, Payless was very unfriendly and had bad customer service, so I don't recommend them. Paymore and use a different company.).
Coronado Springs Resort is divided into several areas that reflect the Southwest Americana theme. Check-in was very smooth. I clicked immediately with the cast member behind the counter, so much in fact that he followed up with us via phone a few hours later to make sure everything suited our needs in our room.
We also reconfirmed our dining reservations with the concierge -- and was impressed she was able to score us a last-minute reservation for California Grill!
We had requested (and got!) a room in Cabanas 8A. I highly recommend this location, as we had a wonderful view of the lake and a short walk to the Pepper Market and main area.
The outside decor in the Cabanas is a warm pink that complements the natural surroundings well. The room is standard, and with the two of us women in the room we didn't feel at all crowded or claustrophobic. The two double beds were quite comfortable. If you stay here, you're far enough from the main pool to keep the noise away, yet close enough that it's only a lovely 3 minute walk across the island to get your mug refilled every morning and night (and sometimes in the mid-day, too!).
The mugs, it goes without saying, are completely worth the price. You pay $11.99 for a souvenir mug that holds either hot or cold drinks, and you can visit the food court at for unlimited refills during your length of stay. We literally filled ours 2-3 times a day, and I filled mine during the break periods in between conference sessions.
Time of Year
Since I was here on business and didn't really have a say in when I went to Disney World, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of people at the resort and parks. Sure, Pepper Market was a bit busy during breakfast and lunch due to the conference rush (7:30-8:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.), but even then it was only a 4-5 minute wait at the cashier. Though this is touted as a convention resort, I could definitely see going to CSR with a family, too.
We could have used the bus system (and have in the past -- and loved it), but we had a car so we used that to get around. Parking was plentiful at CSR, and it was easy enough to get to the parks from our resort. In fact, on most occasions (especially when leaving EPCOT), it was a heck of a lot quicker getting to/from the parks and restaurants by car than bus. CSR to Animal Kingdom lodge (Boma for dinner - spectacular!): 3 minutes. EPCOT to CSR at park close: 6 minutes.
For those of you who've read my Caribbean Beach Resort detailing our honeymoon trip, you'll know I was very happy with using the bus system for that trip because I didn't want to plan anything! Having used a car now, though, I'll probably use that for future trips. Know that if you do use the bus system, on our honeymoon we never missed a priority seating reservation (and we had 12 during our trip!), and the drivers were always friendly.
If you want to get off resort grounds and want something free to do, head over to Port Orleans French Quarter (take CSR bus to Downtown Disney and transfer to POFQ) any night Thursday-Saturday to listen to the dulcet tones of Elliot Dyson. He covers everything from Al Green to Ray Charles to Creedence, and provided us with a relaxing night to just hang out and listen to good music. Check with POFQ for performance times and details.
Both my mother, who spent each day lounging around the Cabanas pool while I was in the conference, and myself were very happy with Coronado Springs Resort. We highly recommend it!
- Review based on trip March 2-8, 2006
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