I recently had the opportunity to stay at Gran Destino Tower, the new tower at Coronado Springs Resort. The tower opened in 2019 and I actually had the opportunity to tour it for the first time then. This was my first stay at Coronado Springs. While I admit that Coronado Springs hadn't been on my radar before 2019, I knew that this had to be on my list!
I arrived via Disney's Magical Express on the day we checked in. The porte coche and the check-in desks are all housed at Gran Destino Tower, which was super convenient for me! The lobby was grand, colorful, and smelled lovely! Since I shared the room with a few other agents, I didn't have to actually check in. Our room wasn't ready, and bell services gladly held our bags while I immediately hit the parks with a friend/fellow agent! I typically stay at deluxe resorts while I'm on Walt Disney World property. The lobby at Gran Destino Tower immediately felt luxurious and extremely high-end. If I didn't know that this was a moderate resort, I would have immediately thought it was deluxe.
One of my favorite features was the elevator keypad! You selected your floor on the keypad outside the elevators, and it told you which elevator (A-F) to head to, then the elevator whisked you there immediately! No hitting buttons once you were inside the elevator! (Fun fact: I stayed in a hotel in Ohio for a wedding on the day that I returned from Walt Disney World, and I stood inside the elevator there for about 30 seconds before realizing I had to select my floor from inside the elevator!!)
We were in a standard 2 Queen bedroom room. The room offered plenty of space for us. (There were 4 adults in our party.) There was plenty of space for luggage and we could easily move around the room without feeling cluttered. Much like the rest of the resort, this had a much more luxurious feel than any other moderate resort on Walt Disney World property. (And I've been to all of them!)
One thing to be aware of: there was a glass-front shower in the same area as the double sinks and vanity. You also had to go through this area to get to the water closet where the toilet was located. This meant, for us, the entire bathroom was basically off-limits the entire time someone was showering. We made do, but this is something to keep in mind!
All parks, water parks, and Disney Springs are accessible only by bus. Depending on the time of day, this can either be super convenient or very busy. One important thing to note is that there are multiple bus stops throughout the resort. Gran Destino Tower is Stop 4, so there are 3 other internal bus stops that come up first. Our Magic Kingdom rope drop morning was the only time this really got tricky. (I took the bus to Magic Kingdom around noon the day before this and had no issues.) A lot of families had the same idea as us, and while we were at the bus stop an hour before park opening, we had to wait for 3 buses to come by before our party of 4 could be seated. At the time of travel (early June 2021), seating was still being assigned on buses, so standing room was simply not an option.
Personally, the transportation situation was the only real negative that I experienced at this resort. Magic Kingdom transportation gets tricky with Ubers/Lyfts (they can only drop you at TTC, while buses get you right to the entrance) and since we planned to rope-drop that park, we didn't want to take time using monorails or ferries. We did arrive about 15 minutes before "official" opening.
We had the chance to visit Dahlia Lounge and Rix Sports Bar during our stay, though those are far from the only options available!! (Let's be honest, I was too busy eating my way around EPCOT.)
Dahlia Lounge had incredible views and a great specialty drink menu. (You could see the Tower of Terror, Galaxy's Edge AND Blizzard Beach from up there!) It felt very swanky but approachable. I had a great time and tons of laughs up there.
My dinner at Rix was fantastic and I honestly wanted about 12 things from the menu. I ended up choosing the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. Our waitress recommended this sandwich, otherwise I never would have decided! It was absolutely incredible, with just the right amount of heat (I like things on the spicier side.)
Like I mentioned, there are plenty of other dining options, from quick service locations, other bars and restaurants, and even fine dining. If you're looking for a nice date night spot, I recommend Toledo, which is just opposite Dahlia Lounge on the top floor.
Gran Destino is a must-stay if you:
-Would like a deluxe feel at a moderate budget
-Enjoy subtle touches of Disney
-Want a more leisurely Disney World experience
You may want to pass if you:
-Prefer quick park transportation
-Like heavier Disney theming
-Enjoy deluxe dining
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience here and I'm so glad that I stayed at this stunning resort! For more information or inquiries about staying at Coronado Springs Resort, contact me!