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Walt Disney World Resort - On-site Resorts - Coronado Springs Resort

Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs Resort in the morning... I stayed at CSR in April 2005 and August 2011.
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort (aka CSR) is themed after the old southwest and Mexico, from the stucco buildings to the step pyramid by the main pool. (Though Disney did move the Lost City of Cibola, the name of the main pool area here, to South Dakota in National Treasure 2...)

There's 1915 rooms at this resort covering 125 acres, the majority of which is parking and the large central lake, Lago Dorado. The main registration/food court area is known as "El Centro", with an attached convention center and three groups of room areas surrounding the lake. The three room groups are Casitas (buildings 1-5), Ranchos (buildings 6 & 7), and Cabanas (buildings 8 & 9).

Each building is really a standalone building, and in places like Casitas, it's hit or miss whether the upper floors of each building connect. So if you're going to the food court, for instance, you're probably better off going down to the ground floor before trying to get across the resort. The biggest advantage of Casitas, is you can get from any Casitas building to El Centro in the rain without getting wet, if you know the way. The worst rooms are probably in Ranchos, which is on the other side of the lake and pool. You would definitely be using the buses (or drive) to get to El Centro unless the burger and other fare at the feature pool quick service is good enough for food...

400px Map
Map of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. Click on the map for a larger view... Click here for the old CSR map... Maps ©Disney
Talking about buses, they've changed the system. The internal bus that just stopped at all the CSR bus stops no longer exists. Instead, the first stop for all theme park buses is Bus Stop 2 (then 3 and 4) and the last stop in CSR is at Bus Stop 1 (El Centro). So all theme park buses will take you to El Centro. The first stop for the Downtown Disney bus is Bus Stop 1, so the Downtown Disney bus would be the return bus to all of the CSR room bus stops.

There are now five food venues at Coronado Springs, six if you count alcohol as a food. One is a quick service by by the feature pool (the Laguna pool bar); Cafe Rix, which is a quick service in El Centro, but has bakery goods, and replaces the packaged food area that used to be by Pepper Market; Rix Lounge, which is actually the bar in El Centro, but you can order food there too; Pepper Market, which is sorta half counter service, half table service; and Maya Grill, the table service restaurant.

I ate at all four of the food venues in El Centro, and had consistently good food throughout.

It probably is my favorite moderate, though my experience with Caribbean Beach Resort was just before a major rehab. (Disney was going to shut down all of Caribbean Beach the day after I checked out. No one was at the resort. At night all the windows were dark except for one or two on the way back to your room. You passed no one on the walks. Spooky.)

I first stayed in this resort in April 2005, and it rained. You could see Expedition Everest being built, if that fits your timeframe better.

I stayed here again in August 2011, and it rained. Even harder, I think, if that's possible, than my previous stay.

So even if it's my favorite moderate, if I ever stay here again and it rains, I'm never going to stay here again. :-)

(There is a discussion of resort types (and amenities to each) on the general Walt Disney World Resorts page. There is also a discussion on lodging which leads to room types on my Walt Disney World Overview page.)

Coronado Springs Entrance:
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Registration / El Centro
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This guy is gone, replaced by a seating area for Cafe Rix...
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Rix Lounge
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Pepper Market might take some explaining. It is half counter service, half table service, with half the normal amount of gratuity thrown in.

Upon entering, each person is given a card, and you are seated like a table service restaurant. They take your drink orders, and even have menus, if you need one. Your sorta wait staff will refill drinks and bus the table.

You then take your card, and go to the food area of Pepper Market, where there are different food "stations", such as grilled food, burgers, pasta, pizza, baked goodies, etc. So you go around collecting your food like a counter service. When you collect an item of food, they stamp your card with what you got.

Upon exiting, they tally up what you ate at the register, where they add a 10% gratuity.

I do have to say the food is a notch above the other moderate counter service places, and probably better than most deluxes.

I'd also add it's probably the convention crowd (which is right next to Pepper Market) that drives a system like this. It is designed to handle a lot of people.

If all you want is a burger or pizza or snack without the fanfare, then you want to go to Cafe Rix...

Pepper Market
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Maya Grill
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El Centro and Casitas Exteriors
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These pictures are probably outdated, due to upgrading the TV's to widescreen units and hiding the now standard refrigerator, so the furniture is probably different in a double bed room. These pics are from 2005. Room 2341 (Casitas 2)
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This was a "standard" room. (It was also the second to last room from the farthest room from the elevator, but I digress.) I am not sure if it was an upgrade, or that it was for making me walk to the next to the last room farthest from the elevator. These pictures are from my 2011 stay.

Room 4466 (Casitas 4)
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Casitas Complex
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Resort Exteriors
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Coronado Springs at Night
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So, yes, I'd recommend Coronado Springs. I'd also recommend paying for a preferred room. If I stay here again, that'd be my choice. The far rooms from El Centro really are *far*, and lake view rooms are overrated at moderates because of the outside corridors.

Revisions:
  • 03/22/2010 - Entire page re-imaged
  • 09/19/2011 - August 2011 imaged added, page updated
  • 05/07/2012 - Updated to v3
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2