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Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

With its Central American theming, convenient location next to Hollywood Studios, and sprawling campus, Coronado Springs Resort seems like an excellent option for your next visit to Walt Disney World. Yet, it doesn't seem to get the love that other moderate resorts get (I'm looking at you, Port Orleans).

Why? Perhaps it's because it's often populated by droves of business travelers staying on property and attending one of the many conferences hosted here.

Earlier this year, we found a great deal on a room at Coronado Springs, so we decided to try it out, and determine once and for all if this moderate resort was great for families visiting Walt Disney World or if it needed to be left to the business travelers.

We ended up liking it so much during our February trip that we booked another stay at Coronado Springs for our July trip! Read on to see why you shouldn't overlook this fun, beautifully themed resort that's perfect for families and conference attendees.

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?
Hey! I know those people: it's my daughter, son, younger sister, and mom!

History

Built in 1997, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort currently has 1,951 rooms surrounding the 15-acre central lake. I can vaguely remember staying here as a middle schooler right after it was built: it was very different than Port Orleans Resort (our favorite in the mid-90s) since it had many more business travel amenities: a conference center, multiple restaurants, and multiple pools. [See the Coronado Springs Resort map here.]

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

We ended up switching to the value resorts after All-Star Movies and Pop Century were built, and, for whatever reason, didn't head back to Coronado Springs until 2017.

And what a time it is to return to the resort: there's a bunch of construction going on right now in anticipation for a 15 story hotel tower (opening spring 2018). While construction has been underway during both of our 2017 trips, we were not bothered by it all. The work is completed during the day when most visitors are out at the park, and there are plenty of tarps hanging around the site to keep you from staring at the ongoing construction.


Room

There are currently three different sections across Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs: the Casitas, Rachos, and Cabanas. After the construction is completed next year, there will be additional rooms in the completed tower, but I haven't heard what those will be called yet.

During both of our visits, we've been placed in the Casitas section which, if you look at the Coronado Springs Resort map, you'll notice are the closest to the main building and conference center. They're also the closest to the fitness center and spa as well. As a downside, the Casitas are the furthest from the main pool (called the Lost City of Cibola feature pool), but there is a small, non-themed pool right next to Casitas 3 for quick dips.

We stayed in a preferred room in Casitas 3 during our February 2017 visit and a standard room in Casitas 2 during the July stay. The preferred room was definitely bigger and was closer to the lake, but I don't know that the difference was enough for me to pay extra for it (we were upgraded at no extra charge during check-in).

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?
The preferred room
The rooms have super comfortable mattresses and just-the-right-weight bedding, small desks, and bathrooms with their own sliding barn doors. The ability to separate the bathroom from the sleeping area is a big deal since no one likes being woken up with a light in their face when the early bird of the group starts to brush his/her teeth. [This divider is the biggest difference for me over the Value resorts, which don't even have a curtain between the sink area and the beds.]

Service

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

Like the other resorts, the main hall at Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs has a massive check-in area and a concierge desk. However, the Coronado Springs lobby also has bell hop service, and a rental car desk.

We had some issues with our Magic Bands on our second visit, and the concierge had us on our way quickly. The cast members in the gift shop were also super friendly every time we visited (and, as wandering around looking at Disney stuff is one of Britton's favorite pastimes, we spent a lot of time on each visit).

Of all of the places we interacted with cast members on property, the ones who were not super invested in the Disney magic were the cashiers at Pepper Market and Siestas Cantina. On each of my visits, every cashier I had argued with me that I could not use my business debit card as a credit card. As a former sales associate and someone who constantly uses that debit card as a credit card on my travels, I know this can be done (I don't even know the password!), but they insist that I get out of line and get a new form of payment. They all had to call a manager for something that seems really basic, and I'm not sure why this was such a hang up since I had no other issues with my card anywhere else on Disney property.

Amenities

Thanks to the thousands of people who come to the conferences annually, Coronado Springs has everything you could possibly need: a poolside bar, a full-service restaurant, a cafeteria-style dining area, a hair salon, a fitness center, and a spa. There's also a large main pool complete with a Mayan style pyramid and three smaller pools.

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?
A beautiful fountain near our standard room in Casitas 2
There are some really cute organized activities for the entire family like poolside outdoor movies, campfires, and surrey and bike rentals.

Besides all of the extra amenities, there are all of the on-property perks like a dedicated bus area, Magic Band access to the rooms, and charging privileges to the bands.

Final Thoughts

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?
It's a roly poly baby Cosmos Mariner!
While you will see conference attendees with their bags and badges walking around the property, Coronado Springs is equally perfect for families on their big Walt Disney World vacation. Unlike the hordes of raucous high school athletes and school groups that you often find at the value resorts, the conference attendees are there on business, so you won't have to worry about screaming and running in the hallways at 2 AM.

Because of the generally courteous nature of the conference attendees, family travelers won't even know that the business groups are there: each group is left to their own itineraries and everyone is happy.

We will definitely be back to wander around the beautifully designed campus at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort again!

What's your favorite hotel at Walt Disney World? Have you stayed at Coronado Springs Resort?

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Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

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