2. Moderate Resort
Staying at one of Walt Disney World’s Moderate Resorts may provide you with the perfect balance of affordable pricing with added onsite amenities, like larger general room sizes and more options for where to dine on location. And while uniquely featured theming is a mainstay at all Walt Disney World Resorts, the themes at Moderate Resorts tend to be more subtly blended into the working décor and motif in a way that’s not as obtrusive and flashy as the larger-than-life icons at Value Resorts. There are currently five Moderate Resorts located on Disney property; Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort being the only one located within the Animal Kingdom Resort Area.
--Disney’s Coronado Springs:
Get lost in the spirit of the American Southwest and good old colonial Mexico at this top-rated pick amongst Disney’s Moderate Resort Hotels. In fact, Disney’s Coronado Springs has really been dubbed a “Moderate Deluxe” given it packs a host of additional featured amenities not typically found at most Moderates. Some of these include an onsite full-service spa and salon, two 24-hour access fitness centers, its very own convention center, and much, much more. The recent 15-story Gran Destino Tower extension has really upped the quality and attributes here as well, which were already stellar to begin with but now rank superb. Coronado Springs now stands as the first in all Disney Moderate Resorts to offer up club level services that were previously exclusive to Deluxe Resorts of that distinction.
With so much versatility, you have a host of options on how to stay via room accommodations. Traditionally, Coronado has been fashioned into three themed sections—Ranchos, Casitas, and Cabanas. While the Ranchos incorporate a feel for western cattle ranching and the great outdoors, the Casitas gear more toward urbanization and the Spanish architectural influences prevalent in Mexico City. The Cabanas section gives off a more coastal, tropical vibe to put you in mind of beach time and fun in the sun. Room accommodations vary in size and features, with suites and even executive suites available depending on your travel party’s preferences. And with the aforementioned Gran Destino Tower addition, now Coronado Springs boasts an additional 545 accommodations, 50 of which are club level suites.
For recreational endeavors, you’re in for a delightful host of onsite diversions to choose from, including swimming—one of the most beloved pastimes amongst vacationing guests. Enjoy a refreshing dip in one (or all) of three leisure pools featured at the three aforementioned accommodation sections, or dive into the Lost City of Cibola Pool—a crowning favorite at the resort. Following a Mayan ruins theme, it even features a 50-foot Mayan Pyramid, 123-foot-long waterslide with a spitting jaguar, and an accompanying dig site.
The dig site also sports a grand 22-person hot tub—the largest in all of Walt Disney World. Other onsite recreations to enjoy include a white sandy beach, volleyball nets, a kiddie pool, playgrounds, an arcade, jogging trails (with special runtime events every Sunday morning), campfire activities, and the famed Movies Under the Stars nighttime activity included at most Walt Disney World Resorts. As mentioned before, the resort also features spa and salon services as well as fitness centers with special activities and classes.
Your taste buds are in for a full-fledged fiesta with profuse offerings to entice you all around the resort. In addition to the myriad menu pickings featured at the main food court “El Mercado,” you’ll find a vast array of options from the various resident restaurants. There is of course the classic Mayan Grill—a longtime favorite presenting palates with “ancient-modern styling and Nuevo Latino cuisines,” at their finest. But with the recent resort-wide refurbishments even more picks have been added to the mix.
These include four new establishments, three of which can be found within the Grand Destino addition: The Barcelona Lounge, Dahlia Lounge, and Toledo—Tapas, Steak & Seafood. The first operates as a quick service Catalonian-style café by day and gin tonic bar by night, while the Dahlia Lounge is a great place to find light eats and a good drink to unwind with. But the new Toledo—Tapas, Steak & Seafood addition brings an all-new table service experience to the site, drawing on traditional Spanish-inspired dishes and crafted specialty small plates alike.
The fourth new experience, Three Bridges Bar & Grill, can be found out overlooking the resort’s Lago Dorado (Golden Lake) as an open-air dinner experience featuring stellar entrée options, small plates, cocktails, and even signature sangria pitchers, to name just a few of its enchanting enticements. Other counter service lounges and poolside bar picks to take delight in include Café Rix, Rix Sports Bar & Grill, Laguna Bar, and Siestas Cantina.