Best & Worst Room Locations at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Picking the right room location at Coronado Springs Resort is difficult, as is putting together this list of the best & worst buildings at the hotel. Nevertheless, this covers room recommendations based upon priorities and preferences for guests staying at what feels like Walt Disney World’s largest hotel.

In actuality, Coronado Springs (CSR) is “only” the second largest resort at Walt Disney World with nearly 2,500 rooms. First place is Pop Century with nearly 3,000 rooms. If you ask me, Coronado Springs feels bigger than Pop Century, which is likely due to the large lake in the middle and larger room sizes. It’s a similar story as Port Orleans Riverside, Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and Art of Animation–all of which are technically smaller resorts as measured by number of rooms, but have massive footprints.

We stay at Coronado Springs Resort a lot. Part of that is because the standard rooms often have great last-minute availability and above-average discounts. Another part is that we’ve both come to love Gran Destino Tower as a luxury tier hotel at less expensive prices. For a basic primer on the resort, including a look inside the guest rooms, read our comprehensive Coronado Springs Review.

Speaking of Gran Destino Tower, it was at the center (not literally) of a massive transformation of Coronado Springs Resort in the last 5 years. This expansion also included the closure of the hotel’s main lobby (now located in the tower) along with a bunch of new and redone restaurants. The rooms were also refreshed, as were building exteriors and the Dig Site Pool.

From the perspective of this post, the biggest change was the addition of Three Bridges Bar & Grill. Well, more specifically, the addition of the literal three bridges that gave that its name. Would’ve been kinda weird to have a Three Bridges restaurant with zero bridges. These bridges intersect the middle of Lago Dorado (the big lake in the middle of the resort) and greatly reduce walking times from one side of Coronado Springs to the other.

Just like the changes at Caribbean Beach Resort, a lot of what was done at CSR was aimed at addressing common guest complaints that the hotel was too spread out and involved too much walking. This was far and away the most common reader complaint we heard about Coronado Springs in the past, followed closely by related but different problems with the bus service.

We’ll be honest with you–there’s no such thing as an objectively “good” or “bad” location at Coronado Springs. It’s all highly subjective. (To that point, my least favorite area is the Cabanas and I know others who always request these rooms!) Your priorities, preferences, and budget will play a large role in determining the building and room type you should book and request. Let’s dig into the options…

We’ll begin with Gran Destino Tower.

For the vast majority of guests, Gran Destino Tower is going to offer the best location at Coronado Springs. This is where the main lobby is located, along with a fitness center, and the hotel’s best restaurants. It’s also an easy and entirely indoor walk to El Centro, which was previously the main lobby and is still home to several restaurants, a gift shop, and more.

Gran Destino Tower also has efficient elevators and is the only building with interior hallways. Because of that, its rooms actually have views (albeit no balconies) and so long as you get a high enough floor, you’re going to see something, since this is one of the tallest towers at Walt Disney World. As such, I’d stick with a standard view room (rather than water view) and simply make a request for a high floor.

There’s also the Chronos Club Level at Gran Destino Tower, which offers far and away the best bang for buck of any Club Level at Walt Disney World. Coronado Springs is the only Moderate Resort to offer this, and like the rest of Gran Destino Tower, it punches above its weight.

As you’re probably guessing, this all comes with a catch. (If not, we wouldn’t have said there’s no objective “best” and “worst” location at Coronado Springs!) The big one is pricing. Although Gran Destino Tower offers great value for money relative to Deluxe Resorts, it’s much more expensive than the rest of the resort. You can expect to pay rates starting at around $100 more per night at Gran Destino than the outlying buildings.

The other downsides are arguably the bus service and distance from the Dig Site Pool area. Gran Destino Tower is the last bus stop, and on several occasions, we’ve had buses skip us entirely because they were already too full from the first stops. (Obviously, this is an assumption–but one grounded in reality since I’ve been on full buses that skip Gran Destino when staying in other buildings.)

The bus stop and set of buildings immediately before Gran Destino Tower is the Cabanas.

This is basically the “poor man’s preferred room” at Coronado Springs. As mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of the Cabanas area. For me, this all comes down to aesthetics. As originally built, the resort was designed to reflect three themes and regions of Mexico and the American Southwest.

The Cabanas are the rural and more agrarian area, and the buildings reflect this with a more rustic appearance. The placemaking around the buildings is also similarly spartan. This only applies to the outside and common areas; guest rooms are essentially identical at all three of the regions within the resort.

The upside of Cabanas is…pretty much everything else! These are among the closest rooms to Gran Destino Tower and, despite that, you’re not paying preferred room prices. There’s also a quiet pool right by Building 8C, and the Dig Site is near 8A. Another bus stop is on the opposite side of that building.

If I weren’t oddly obsessed with exterior themes, Building 8A would be my favorite in all of Coronado Springs Resort. It’s right by the feature pool and a bus stop, and there’s a ‘shortcut’ path through Lago Dorado that leads to Gran Destino Tower. (This is a smaller bridge–not counted as one of the three bridges through the lake.) I also like that it’s right by Ranchos, which is a nicer looking area of the resort.

If you want the best of everything, are on a budget, and aren’t preoccupied with exterior ‘fanciness,’ then Building 8A in the Cabanas is our top recommendation for a request at Coronado Springs. I personally love the corner rooms and top floor (all buildings at CSR have elevators), but I wouldn’t get carried away on specific room requests beyond that.

Next up is the Ranchos, which is the cluster of buildings behind the Dig Site Pool.

I absolutely love the Ranchos, and think this is one of the most underrated resort ‘regions’ in all of Walt Disney World. According to Imagineering, this area is more arid, and populated by ranches. But not in the rural and agrarian sense–these are like where wealthier farmers would live. There’s also a dried and rocky stream bed and decent amount of vegetation, including formidable cactuses.

These words and photos do not do the Ranchos justice–I really love this area. There’s a lot of nuance and detail to the design that isn’t immediately apparent, but is really quite nice.

I also have to admit that I love spread out resorts and part of the reason why I love Ranchos is because it’s the quietest area of Coronado Springs, and is a great option for my morning coffee walk. Even when I’m not staying in this section of the resort, I make a point of making laps back here.

As for downsides, well, the distance. This is easily 10 minutes from Gran Destino and El Centro. It’s not really near anything, save for the Dig Site. And even then, Cabanas 8A is closer.

The other upside, I guess, is that this is the second bus stop and it’s not that far from Three Bridges Bar & Grill. With all of that said, I have a really hard time recommending the Ranchos to anyone reading a post like this one unless you really prize peace and quiet. You probably don’t value “underrated theme” as much as I do, and even then, there’s arguably a better area of the resort for you.

That brings us to the final stop, the Casitas.

Thematically speaking, this is the nicest outlying area of Coronado Springs. That’s not my assessment, it’s Walt Disney World’s perspective. (It is also my assessment.) The Casitas are inspired by the urban centers of Mexico and the American Southwest. The exterior design reflects that, as these buildings just feel more affluent and lavishly designed. Unlike the Ranchos, which are subtle and take time to appreciate, the quality of Casitas is outwardly apparent.

In this section of the resort, you’ll stumble upon vibrant, flower-filled plazas with fountains and gorgeous courtyards. I would say the Casitas area is also underrated–I truly think it is by fans who haven’t taken the time to explore the quiet courtyards–but the difference here is that Walt Disney World “rates” it appropriately, and has deemed Buildings 1, 2 and 3 to be Preferred Rooms. There are many nights when these Preferred Rooms in the Casitas cost the exact same price as Gran Destino Tower. That makes zero sense to me!

I cannot imagine any scenario where I’d pay the exact same price to stay in the Casitas over Gran Destino Tower. Honestly, I’d have a tough time justifying an extra $25 per night for Buildings 1-3 over Building 4 or 5. So I certainly would not pay a premium of $80 to $125, which is what it actually commonly costs. If you’re going to pay the extra, put it towards Gran Destino.

Alternatively, request Buildings 4 or 5! What I love about these two buildings is that they are close to the bus stop as well as the bridges connecting to Three Bridges and El Centro. Some of the rooms in Building 5 are going to be about the same walk to Gran Destino as Building 2 or 3; many of the rooms in Cabanas will be a shorter walk. Very much a “me thing,” but I also like that Building 5 is close to Ranchos.

I also love that the top floor of Building 5 offers a decent view of the EPCOT fireworks off in the distance. This doesn’t warrant a room request–you can only see them from the hallways, not the rooms themselves. Here’s a photo I shot from showing what this looks like:

When we’re not staying at Gran Destino Tower, Building 4 or 5 is our go-to room request. This is the best of all worlds for me–first bus stop, fancy buildings, and a mangeable walk to El Centro and Gran Destino. It’s also all without the premium pricing. Just keep in mind that I value exterior theme and placemaking; if you don’t care or like the style for whatever reason, Cabanas might be the better pick for you.

That first bus stop can be clutch. I often complain about the bus service at CSR, and for good reason. The addition of Gran Destino put added strain on the buses without added capacity, meaning the buses can be packed in the early morning or end of the night coming back.

There have been countless times when staying at Gran Destino that we just get off the bus at Casitas and walk from there to get out of the congestion. Conversely, seats are abundant from Casitas first thing in the morning. This is really what I love most about Buildings 4 and 5–they’re really close to the best bust stop at CSR.

Finally, what we probably wouldn’t recommend. That would be any of the Preferred Rooms, which are all in Casitas Buildings 1 to 3. This is mentioned above, but I just want to hammer the point home here. This categorization maybe made sense back before Gran Destino, but at this point, I’d rather not pay extra for Cabanas if I were primarily concerned with convenience.

We also don’t really see the point in paying extra for a water or pool view room at a hotel with exterior hallways, but perhaps that’s just us. During hours when guests foot traffic outside our room is heaviest, we seldom open our blinds. To each their own, though. I certainly don’t mind paying for a standard view and being upgraded to water view, which happens from time to time.

Personally, I think you’re better off booking the lowest available rate (standard) and then making room requests for specific buildings. If you book one of the higher tier categories, you’re boxed into (at least) that. I also would not request certain room numbers or ranges. Just a building, floor, and ‘closer to [pool/bus stop/etc.].’

The more general and open-ended the request, the more likely it is to be fulfilled. If you’re getting so specific that there’s only one single room (or a handful of them) that you want, you’re less likely to receive the request.

To help put all of this into perspective, here’s a map of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort:

Ultimately, we know this presents several options and a lot to contemplate. Normally, we aren’t overly-keen on requesting specific room numbers (or even ranges), and think Walt Disney World planners put too much emphasis on them. However, one thing we’ve learned with Coronado Springs Resort is that location is often make or break in terms of guest perception of the resort–so it’s a good idea to make a building request.

We stay at Coronado Springs regularly and have come to really appreciate the arguably underrated resort, and want others to share that same appreciation. Hence this long analysis of the best and worst locations at CSR. It’s definitely not the best hotel at Walt Disney World, but fans often don’t give it enough credit, dismissing it as the bland convention resort. While some criticisms of it are valid, “bland” certainly isn’t one of them.

If you’re still torn or are now more conflicted than before and want us to make your decision for you, go for Buildings 4 or 5 if transportation ease matters most or you want the fanciest area of the resort without paying anything extra. Building 8A is a great option for the most well-rounded area with least walking, but you might be standing on the bus on the way to the parks for Early Entry or rope drop!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


Have you stayed at Coronado Springs Resort since the Gran Destino Tower opened? Which building were you in? Do you have a favorite section of the resort or a room request you typically make? Would you agree or disagree with our CSR building and room recommendations? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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