Friday, July 22, 2011

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Main reception building of Coronado Springs Resort
There are so many options of places to stay in and around Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, that making a decision can seem overwhelming. Having visited the theme park several times before our June vacation, I knew that staying at one of the on-site Disney properties is the best way to go.  Transportation provided to every park and attraction is reliable, wait times are not too long, and you’re deposited as close as possible to entrances.

The Disney web site describes each type of accommodation, and guide books can add another layer of information to help you determine what best fits your family’s needs. During this recent visit, Larry and I traveled with a 12-year-old granddaughter. Considering her age (not too young) and the fact we purchased a meal plan, we were very pleased with Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.

With our meal plan, cups could be refilled free at
any resort--a big savings.
Coronado Springs is a Southwest-themed moderate hotel (and convention center) encircling Lago Dorado, a glistening 22-acre lake that provides a beautiful, reflective backdrop for the resort.  Named for Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a 16th-century Spanish explorer, the resort embraces the spirit and romance of Spanish-colonial Mexico. From the bubbling spring-fed Fountain of the Doves to the hidden treasures of the Mayan-ruin themed Dig Site pool, this lakeside accommodation is perfect for relaxing after a long day of rides, shows, and exhibits.  Actually, we came back to the room mid-afternoon each day and rested--granddaughter swam in the large pool just outside our room (I could keep an eye on her from our balcony). Then we returned for evening parades, fireworks, and entertainment as scheduled in different parks.

The "smaller" pool near our casita in building 4
Casita guest rooms such as ours are colorful and comfortable with two queen beds (better than doubles elsewhere). The vanity area can be closed off entirely from the sleeping area with sliding wooden doors. Other choices are the rustic Ranchos resembling Southwestern pueblos or beachfront cabanas with cozy hammocks. Meals in Pepper Market were tasty, quickly prepared, and covered by our meal plan. Instead of dessert, which was included, we generally chose muffins and ate those for breakfast the next morning.  Our location was convenient to restaurants, shopping, salon and spa, although some accommodations might require more walking because the resort is fairly spread out (makes for a more tranquil setting, which we loved after all the hectic activity in the theme parks).

Looking across the lake from one of the trails
After a busy day it’s great to relax in the 22-person hot tub at Coronado Springs, one of the largest at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Between dips you can stroll down the nature trail, walk around the lake to the sprawling Mayan pyramid pool at the Dig Site, or grab a poolside drink at Siestas Cantina. This pool featured a jaguar-inspired 123-foot long water slide and plenty of room for everyone. Kids look for hidden treasure at the Explorer's Playground or test gaming skills at the Iguana Arcade.

Coronado Springs Resort is located between Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park and Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. It’s a smoke-free resort and has been noted by the Florida Green Lodging Program for its environmentally responsible practices. We enjoyed the fanciful decorations and serene ambience of this resort and would stay there again.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

Read several stories about the Burmeier's trip to Ireland at Striped Pot

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